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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.


The Keys to a Consistent Physical Practice

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“The athlete that dwells in each of us is more than an abstract ideal,” said George Leonard, the philosopher of human potential and Aikido master. “It is a living presence that can change the way we live and feel.” I love this…

Comparison is the Thief of Joy

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At the Canadian Olympic marathon trials, the odds on favorite was Cam Levins,  who had recently broken the 43-year old national record in the marathon. It wasn’t Trevor Hofbauer, a former basketball player who had risen through the ranks of…

Stop Hiding Behind Complexity


Lots of people make things overly complex. Sometimes complexity is necessary but often it’s not. A lot of times people make things complex so they can sell them. It’s hard to monetize the basics, but come up with an intricate…

What To Do When You’re Feeling Lost

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If you’ve ever pushed hard or cared deeply about something then you’ve probably experienced a feeling of being lost. Perhaps this manifests as being unsure of what to do next; unsure of how to do it; or even unsure of…

Choosing the Difficult Path


It’s been an interesting week. Nike coach Alberto Salazar was banned for cheating. For those who don’t know, I was a main whistleblower. That identity has consumed my life for the last 7 years, hovering over me like a cloud; occasionally…

Growth like a Gardener


Improvement is about planting seeds, nourishing them, and providing them with a safe space to grow.

Performance Lessons From The Wild World of Elite Chess


ESPN recently published a story exploring how chess masters often lose 10-15 pounds during a week-long tournament. According to scientists, this is related to the human stress response. During tournaments—which can last 5 to 10 days—it is not uncommon for competitors to experience elevated heart-rates,…

The Best Natural Performance Enhancing Drug

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Mention Testosterone and Human Growth Hormone (HGH) to a group of sports-minded folks and their mind jumps to the illegal use of performance-enhancing drugs. In fact, according to the book Game of Shadows, these two drugs were prominent in the cocktail…

Quit Being So Hard On Yourself: Self Compassion and Performance


If you’ve ever been stuck with a crying baby you know that yelling back at it does not make matters better. It only makes them worse. There are two skillful ways of working with a crying baby: 1) Hold it,…

Why is Everyone so Tired (And What to do About It)


“I am sleeping and eating well and not commuting to work or worrying about getting dressed up in the morning and yet I still always feel so beat,” bemoaned Linda, a 40-year-old woman who lives down the street. “I am…

What Andrew Luck Can Teach us about Quitting

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At 29 years old, in the prime of his career, coming off a pro-bowl season in which he won the NFL comeback player of the year award, star quarterback Andrew Luck retired. Much has been written about Luck’s decision to…

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…