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NEWSLETTER & ARTICLES

The growth equation NEWSLETTER

Weekly insights on the art and science of performance and well-being. Join over 15,000 subscribers and unlock your full potential with our weekly newsletter. Every Thursday, we share original articles and interesting links on performance and well-being, along with practical tips on how you can apply it to your own life. Our goal is simple: To help you get better and feel better, whatever your craft may be.

ARTICLES Archive

The Chase for the Sub 4-Minute Mile and The Complexity of Success

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“Wes Santee has recently broken the world mile record in the time of 3:58.3, and it should stand for many years to come.” -1950With the passing of Sir Roger Bannister, who in 1954 became the first man to run a…

Coach People, Not Numbers

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In his fascinating documentary Vietnam, director Ken Burns briefly profiles Robert McNamara, former US Secretary of Defense under John F Kennedy, and Lyndon B Johnson. McNamara focused exclusively on the measurables, believing that everything imaginable should be quantified. “What you…

The Myth of Greatness

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At the 1972 Munich Olympics, Frank Shorter did the unthinkable for an American: he won the marathon. At the same race, his friend, countryman, and occasional training partner Kenny Moore ran an incredibly strong race to take the heartbreaking 4th…

Coach Towards Independence, Not Dependence

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When success occurs, to what do we attribute it? Do we take full credit ourselves or acknowledge the helping hand of a mentor or coach? Does that coach claim full responsibility in creating the athlete who stands upon the podium?…

Top Books of 2019 for Performance and Wellbeing

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Welcome to the annual reading list. If you’re familiar with our work, you’ll know that it integrates ideas, research, and practices from diverse domains. People always ask us how we do this. The answer is simple: We live in the world…

When an Olympian Has No Grit.

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Grit. What comes to mind? An athlete pushing through pain and fatigue. A potential Navy Seal surviving “Hell Week.” Or for the more research savvy amongst us, Angela Duckworth’s definition of Passion + Perseverance. Early in my coaching career, I…

A Better Way to Think About Self-Improvement

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Self-improvement as we know it, said the philosopher Alan Watts, is a hoax. Because the self that needs improving is the same self that is doing the improving! So long as you think of the self as a closed system,…

Introducing The Growth Equation

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The Growth Equation

Health and wellness is a 4.2 trillion dollar industry. Throw performance in there and we’re probably talking over 6 trillion dollars, or half the entire GDP of China. And yet, as individuals and communities we are struggling to be well and sustain…

8 Simple Tips to Live Healthier and Longer

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Over the past few years, there has been an ever-increasing obsession with biohacking and life extension: FDA-approved studies to see if metformin, a drug historically used to treat Type 2 diabetes, can slow aging. A supplement called Basis, which purports to extend life and is…

How Exercise Shapes You, Far Beyond the Gym

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When I first started training for marathons a little over ten years ago, my coach told me something I’ve never forgotten: that I would need to learn how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. I didn’t know it at the…

Big Goals Can Backfire. Olympians Show Us What to Focus on Instead.

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At the United States Track & Field Olympic Team Trials in Eugene, Oregon, 28-year-old Brenda Martinez was in prime position to win her best event, the 800-meter run, which would qualify her for the Olympics for the very first time. But with…

We’ve Reached Peak Wellness. Most of It Is Nonsense.

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In Silicon Valley, techies are swooning over tarot-card readers. In New York, you can hook up to a “detox” IV at a lounge. In the Midwest, the Neurocore Brain Performance Center markets brain training for everything from ADHD, anxiety, and depression to migraines, stress,…

A Simple Solution to Millennial Burnout

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Earlier this year, Anne Helen Petersen wrote an essay for BuzzFeed entitled “How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation.” The basic gist was that millennials, people between the ages of 22 and 38, tend to suffer from a combination of low-level anxiety, fatigue, and…

Do You Control Your Passion, Or Does Your Passion Control You?

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Common advice is to find and follow your passion; to be passionate. It’s what parents, teachers, managers, coaches, and commencement speakers champion. A life of passion is a good life, or so we are told. But it’s not that simple. The same…

Willpower Isn’t the Key to Success

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There’s a popular theory that willpower is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes. But like any other muscle, if you use willpower too often without any rest or recovery in between, eventually it fatigues and gives out—you eat the…

"Do It Better" - Brad's column at Outside