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The growth equation NEWSLETTER

Receive weekly insights on the art and science of success from Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness. Join over 30,000 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 and excellence, along with practical tips for day-to-day application.


The 15 Best Books of 2022 for Sustainable Excellence and Well-Being


Welcome to the annual reading list. If you are familiar with our work, you’ll know that it integrates ideas, research, and practices from diverse domains. (See our latest book, for example.) People always ask us how we do this. The…

The Problem With Biohacking, Optimization, and The Wellness Industrial Complex 2.0


In the self-help, biohacking, and personal improvement crowds, people often turn their entire lives into work, all in the name of getting better and living forever. I know some who get so into optimization, recovery-tracking, cold-exposure, and nutrient timing that…

Why We Need to Seek Out Discomfort

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Joseph Campbell is known for his work in mythology. He outlined the hero’s journey that influenced George Lucas in the creation of Star Wars. But when Campbell was asked by PBS’s Bill Moyers what it was like to have a…

146 – Internet Brain


On today’s episode, Brad and Steve discuss the symptoms, causes, and prevention of Internet Brain. You can find the episode on: iTunes and Apple Podcasts Spotify Android Stitcher Check out our exclusive community offers on Patreon here. Get Do Hard Things and The Practice of…

Anxiety is the Dizziness of Freedom—Here’s How Mastery Can Help


In a little known book called Fear of Freedom, first published in 1942, the philosopher Erich Fromm argues that humans long for both independence and individuation on the one hand, and belonging and community on the other. The modern person,…

When You Feel Lost, Go Local.


For a very, very long time in our species’ history, we were stuck in small tribes. These were groups of a couple dozen family members and our closest friends to help us live, hunt, and survive on the savannah. And…

Amusing Ourselves to Death in the Attention Economy


Recently at the gas station, I was filling up my tank as a beautiful woman appeared on the high-definition screen placed on the pump. She told me when I’m feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, I need to repeat to myself…

Improve Your Cognitive Performance by Ditching Your Device


In an increasingly distractible world, we’re slowly losing the ability to sit with our thoughts and experiences. When our inner self becomes foreign, we become hyper-reactive to anything it says. The explosion in mindfulness books, podcasts, and apps is a…

Internet Brain is a Real Thing


If you feel “off” more often than you’d like, you aren’t alone. Many people do. In The Practice of Groundedness, I traced this general sense of dis-ease to a concept I called heroic individualism: an ongoing game of oneupmanship against…

Want to Be a Better Leader? Embrace Reality.


Conventional wisdom tells us that leadership is about confidence and control. The best leaders project a sense of self-assurance; they are here to show us the way, to lead us to the promise land. Often this means adopting a bit…

How to Overcome the Arrival Fallacy

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Wherever you are, the goal post is always 10 yards down the field. If you develop a mindset “If I just accomplish ___, THEN I’ll arrive,” you are in for a rude awakening. There is no arriving. The sooner you…

The Difference Between Tolerating Pain, Suffering and Performing

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Since the release of Do Hard Things, the questions I’ve received most are some variety of “What about the David Goggins, be a badass and ignore your limits, approach?” In what follows, I’ll answer it. First, what Goggins has accomplished…

The Perils of Heroic Individualism


It has been a year since The Practice of Groundedness was first released, and well over two years since I finished writing the book. Much has happened since. COVID-19 went from being a novel virus to a full-blown pandemic, dramatically…

The Truth About Quiet Quitting


The term “quiet quitting” has become a thing. It all started with a seventeen second TikTok video that went viral, in which the narrator says “it is not outright quitting your job but quitting the idea of going above and…

Knowing When You Are Ready To Rise to the Occasion

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In 1985, Neil Gaiman was a twenty-five-year-old writer with a smattering of fantasy stories, magazine articles, and two books to his name. They weren’t glaring successes. One book was a collection of quotes. The other, a biography of the pop…