Skip to content


The growth equation NEWSLETTER

Weekly insights on the art and science of success from Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness. Join over 20,000 subscribers and unlock your full potential with our weekly newsletter. Every Thursday, we share original articles and links on cultivating a more enduring and fulfilling kind of success, along with tips for day-to-day application. Our goal is simple: to help you do better and be better, whatever your craft may be.


Working on the Weekend Depends On How You Define Work

Topic: ,

“Unpopular opinion: the best thing young people can do early in their careers is to work on the weekends,” tweeted a woman named Jordan Kong, who reports working in tech and splitting her time between San Francisco and Miami. “Disagree.…

Languishing and the Art of Showing Up

Topic: ,

I recently wrote that if I had to feel motivated to start a workout I would have done 23 workouts last year, not 230. If I had to feel inspired to start writing, well, there’d be hardly any writing. If you want to…

How Boredom Can Lead to Breakthrough


What do you do when you feel bored? There was a time in the past when the answers may have been diverse and varied. Read a book, call a friend, go for a walk, play a game, or if you’re…

How Breaks Change Our Brain for the Better


When I was in 5th grade, I was determined to break the Haude Elementary school record in the mile. I knew I had to train to do it. So I set out to train by doing the only thing that…

Making the Difficult Appear Easy


This past weekend Simon Biles pulled off an athletic feat that had never been seen before in women’s gymnastics: the Yurchenko double pike. In simplistic terms, while her competitors generally flip 1.5 times when coming off the vault, Simone rotated…

The Value of Doing Something Real in the World

Topic: ,

I can’t even remember what it was, but long before the Bill Gates news broke (i.e., that he was chumming it up with Jeffrey Epstein on the regular; that he had questionable, at best, office behavior at Microsoft; that he…

Stop Comparing Yourself to the Performative Junk on Social Media


You’re standing in line waiting for those in front of you to order their favorite drink from the local coffee shop. Or maybe you’re sitting in the movie theatre, waiting for the ads to end and the main feature to…

When Everyone Is Headed In the Same Direction, Look the Other Way


When Michael Jordan clinched his first NBA championship, teams averaged 7.1 three-point attempts per game. Fast forward to today and the average NBA team is taking nearly 35 three-point shots a game. Even the team that shoots the fewest amount…

Money is Not the Best Motivator (Here’s What Is)


Anyone who tells you that money isn’t important is either delusional or has so much money they’ve become blind to how important it actually is. That said, above a certain amount—between 75K and 100K with adjustments in both directions for geography,…

When Something that is Supposed to be Easy Feels (Really) Hard


On Thursday, June 22nd, Jim Ryun ran a mile in 4:07. In his training log, he wrote “was hard.” The mile race was the prelims for the AAU National Championship. Ryun had advanced to the final. But as someone who…

Overcoming Extremism (In All Areas of Life)

Topic: ,

Fact: the oldest parts of our brains evolved to make quick judgements. “That’s a big snake. Bad! Run away!” “That’s an attractive person of the opposite sex! Good! Pass along the DNA!” Not only did snap judgements help our species…

The (Unfortunate) Power of a Story


At the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam, women were allowed to run the 800m for the first time. Up until that point, women were restricted to the short sprints, while men had a full plate of events to contest, ranging all…

Want to Do Better and Feel Better? Pay Attention.

Topic: ,

I’ve been on a bit of a George Saunders binge. For those who don’t know, Saunders is an American writer most known for his short stories and, more recently, novels, including the popular Lincoln in the Bardo. In his latest book, A…

The Science of Freaking Out

Topic: ,

Acute stress can be debilitating. It can cause professional baseball players to lose the ability to throw a ball 30 feet, something they’ve been doing since elementary school. In theater, it can cause stage fright, freezing, and forgetting lines that…

The Limits of Growth and When Smaller is Better


For myriad reasons, the culture of the past two decades has been obsessed with growth. I am going to call this the growth era. In the growth era, it doesn’t so much matter what you are growing—your company, your audience,…