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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.


Fake Toughness Versus the Real Thing


Fake toughness is easy to spot.  It’s the guy picking a fight at your local gym. The anonymous poster acting like a hard ass on message boards. The bully at school. The executive who masks his own insecurity by yelling at…

For a Good Life, Think Boundaries Not Balance

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Balance is a questionable goal at best. After years of reporting, I’ve found that the majority of people report being happiest and most fulfilled during times when they were unbalanced, giving their all to something they cared deeply about. But “giving their all” doesn’t…

Burnout Runs Deeper Than “Too Much Work”

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Burnout — a state of physical and emotional exhaustion often followed by apathy and illness — is ubiquitous across industries. Physicians, businesspeople, artists, teachers, and athletes all have high rates of burnout. As a matter of fact, most studies show…

Do You Define Success in the Same Way as Your Team?


When watching a performance from the sideline, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment. You see an athlete win a race or stir the crowd with a rousing speech, and you beam with pride and excitement. But then,…

Choosing Lazy over Busy


I’m very lazy. We all are. Evolutionary biologist Dr. Dan Lieberman made the case that we evolved to be lazy. As he concluded in a journal article, “while humans are adapted to be physically active endurance athletes, we are just…

An Updated Toolkit to Address Burnout

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The World Health Organization recently named burnout as an international health concern, complete with and ICD-11 code, which is one of the predominant ways medical providers diagnose, chart, and bill for care. Whether or not burnout should be a medical…

From Nothing to Something: An Ode to Agency in the Time of COVID


Why baking, gardening, creating arts and crafts, and exercising have been so popular and fulfilling.

The Key to Unwavering Strength

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Something I didn’t know about Redwoods until reading up a bit more is that their roots only run six to twelve feet deep. Instead of growing downward, the roots of redwoods grow out. They extend hundreds of feet laterally, wrapping…

Adopt the Mindset of a Craftsperson

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I’m not at all handy, so the satisfaction of fixing a broken sink or blown electrical circuit is one that I don’t know. But it’s got to be a good one. The thing isn’t working. I do something to the…

The Point of Meditation is Not to Relax

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    A common misconception is that meditation is used as a gateway to relaxation. This is only halfway true. In the long-run, yes, a regular meditation practice is likely to yield relaxation. In the short-run, however, meditation is anything…

The Power of a Team

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We were exactly one point ahead at the conference championships with only two events left: the 5k and the 4×400 relay. We were strong favorites in the relay, but our competitors were the 2nd ranked team so if all went…

Be a Gracious Learner

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I was sent to Tom’s office for a strength-training plan. I walked in knowing little about Tom besides the fact that he was dating Alyssa, an athlete on the post-collegiate team I was on. I was 23-years-old and thought I…

Three Layers of Identity


Identity has been a large theme in our work over the past few months. One of the many paradoxes of passion and performance is when your identity becomes connected to a certain endeavor—be it running, writing, leading a team, pursuing some other vocation, or parenting. It’s…

Broscience is Not Real Science.

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​  Earlier today, CNBC published a story on the top “biohacks” of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Along with things like cold-showers, infrared light, and 7-minute high-intensity interval workouts on the list was that Dorsey only eats one meal a day—consisting of…

Overcoming Fear So You Can Perform With Ease and Freedom


 “What if I fail?” This singular thought can be debilitating, preventing you from stepping foot on the starting line or pursuing your passion. You may carry around this idea that if you fail, you’ll be exposed as the fraud you…