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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 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.


Does What You Say Match What You Do?


When you are leading a group of individuals — be it a team or a workforce — a lot of preparation goes into talks. What are you going to say during the meeting? What are the take home messages during…

The Right Way to Strive

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The great irony is that those who are focused least on conventional success and most on being present in the process of their lives are the most likely to achieve conventional success anyway.

To Be Tough, Experience Emotions


When the word toughness gets thrown around, we often imagine someone who is stoic, who can withstand enormous amounts of pain without displaying any signs of weakness. We think of the athlete playing through injury. The person who’s been beaten…

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…

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…