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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 40,000 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.


Shalane Flanagan on How to Achieve Peak Performance

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Last year, on November 5, I watched the end of the New York City Marathon on television. I got chills as Shalane Flanagan crossed the finish line, becoming the first American woman to win the race in 40 years. I…

You Can Be Happy and Lonely At the Same Time

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Thanks to the proliferation of digital technologies, never has it been so easy and inexpensive to reach — pretty much anywhere and at any time — family, friends, and colleagues. I regularly Facebook-message with a Sherpa friend who lives in…

The Original “All Natural” Remedy For Burnout? Nature.

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Here’s a modern paradox: People report that they feel significantly happier outdoors than they do indoors, yet we spend less than 5 percent of our waking hours in nature. Such were the findings of a recent study published in the journal Global Environmental…

The Best Way to Follow Your Dreams Is by Keeping Your Day Job


One of my favorite inspirationalbooks is The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion, byElle Luna. The basic premise goes like this: Far too many people stick to “should” — the safe route, what they feel they ought to be doing…

Be Better at Life By Thinking About Yourself Less


(Note: The below is excerpted from our book Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success) It was the 2015 IAAF World Championships, and Ashton Eaton was dead tired. Eaton, as you may know, is…

6 Tips to Improve Work Performance From the World’s Best Athletes

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If you want to get better at what you do — whatever that may be — a good place to start is by looking to the world’s best, and for good reason. It turns out that the mind-sets and practices of…

For Super Driven People, Not Working *Is* The Work


It’s well established that intrinsic motivation promotes long-term performance and protects against burnout. Whether it’s on the playing field or in the workplace, the more that your drive comes from within and the more you perceive your work as an end in itself…

“Better” Means Stronger, Kinder, and Wiser


A while back, I sent a tweet out into the internet that read: “Don’t compare yourself to others, compare yourself to prior versions of yourself.” It spread far and wide, but not everyone loved the message. A handful of folks questioned whether we should be…

The Fascinating Science of Belief

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Marathon season is here, which means runners across the country are obsessing over how they can make even the most marginal performance gains. Although I’m skeptical of supplements, there is one that boasts a strong record of effectiveness, carries virtually…

In Fitness — as in Life — Patience is a Virtue

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Recently, there’s been a surge in the popularity of workout programs, like P90x and ClassPass, which are based on “muscle confusion,” or the premise that constantly switching up your workout routine — i.e., “confusing” your muscles — is the pathway to fitness…

A 1970’s Book About Tennis is About Far More than Tennis

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Perennial Super Bowl–winning hero Tom Brady is merely the latest in a long line of sporting legends — including Steve Kerr, Pete Carroll, and Billie Jean King — who credit a little book about tennis with helping them to stay cool, calm, and collected under pressure. The book, called The…

Love is An Ongoing Practice

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I make a living coaching and writing on passion and peak performance. I know that medals won, deals closed, and promotions earned all feel nice. But I’m increasingly coming to think that if your primary goal is a long, happy, and…

Three Secrets to Performing at Your Highest Level

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It’s one thing to reach the top of a mountain. It’s another thing to stay there for a long time, through good weather and bad. Serena Williams, Tom Brady, Lebron James, and Diana Taurasi are all notable examples of elite performers…

Finding Balance in Life Is Easier Than You Think

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As an athlete, if you want to continuously improve, then you have to change up your training on a somewhat regular basis.But, equally problematic, if you introduce too much stimulus and challenge too frequently, you’re liable to get injured or burn…

Having a Mantra Will Make You Better

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Buddhism, Stoicism, and Taoism all teach adherents to repeat particular chants or mantras to steady the mind. Only recently, though, have researchers begun to look into the power of this practice. A 2015 study published in the journal Brain Behavior described research in which participants…