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NEWSLETTER & ARTICLES

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.

ARTICLES Archive

Ongoing Practice > Goals

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Perhaps what life satisfaction is really about is transitioning from being a seeker, or someone who wants a certain lifestyle, to a practitioner, or someone who actually lives that lifestyle day in and day out. “Practice,” writes the philosopher Terry Patten, “is…

Time Off: A Short Story

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(This guest post — a short fictional story — is by our good friend Michael Joyner, who he does his share of fact based thinking and speculation about all things human performance.) The writer had been busy. His short stories,…

A Three-Step Framework for Mastery

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Earlier this week, my friend Mike shared a blog post from a strength coach named Ross Enamait illustrating how it doesn’t take much in the form of equipment to get strong. Ross demonstrates how you can progressively stress your entire body to…

Stop Doing Tabata Intervals. They Suck.

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Walk up to a college or even high school track coach and ask, “Do you think 8 x 160 meter near-maximal sprints with only 10 seconds rest is a good workout?” They will laugh you right off the track. They…

The Paradox of Control and Letting Go

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Control is often an illusion. Yet most people, myself included (times a million), have a hard time releasing from it. We like to think we have more of a handle on things than we actually do. This kind of habitual…

Overriding Fear

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Overriding Fear on the Playing Field and During Election Season Illegal immigrants. Walls. Abortion. Nuclear disaster. Taking away your guns, your rights, your healthcare. Republican or Democrat, moderate or radical, these messages come screaming across our televisions, computers, and phones.…

Searching for the Easy Explanation

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Whenever we see or experience something that challenges our expectations, we search for a reason. How did I accomplish that feat or why did this happen to me? In this weekend’s marathons extravaganza highlighted by Eliud Kipchoge breaking two hours…

You Are What You Pay Attention To

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​I like to think of our innermost essence as a blank canvas. It’s the part of us that lies underneath everything we see, say, think, feel, or do. Meditation teachers call this basic nature awareness. Scientists call it consciousness. It’s…

Understanding the Voices in Your Head

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“If other people could hear my inner dialogue during competition, they’d think I was certifiably crazy.” That refrain is one I’ve heard from countless people, regardless of the sport or activity they are pursuing. Our self-talk can be a strange…

Letting It Happen Versus Making It Happen

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Sometimes the best thing you can do is get out of your own way. I like to think about this as transitioning from making it happen to letting it happen—whatever the proverbial “it” may be. Making it happen, or pushing…

A Simple Formula for Responding Not Reacting

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When you react to a situation you fuse with it and become it. Going from one reaction to the next is an emotional roller-coaster.

Success That Doesn’t Crush Your Soul

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In the summer of 2019, I began to notice a concerning trend among my coaching clients—high-ranking executives, successful entrepreneurs, physician leaders, and elite athletes. Whereas I used to spend most of my time with them discussing high-performance habits and routines,…

What I Learned From Being Out of Shape

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I did my first real workout in years this past weekend. It was not impressive. It was “slow” by all measures of my past performance as an elite runner. And it hurt. A lot. The workout: four times three minutes…

How to Create Space Between Stimulus and Response

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The space between stimulus and response is an important one. Philosophers have said it is in this space that our freedom lies. When something unexpected happens—for example, an accident, a pandemic, a competitor acting unpredictably, and so on—people generally go down…

Are You Nervous or Excited? It’s Up to You

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In the 1960s, two intrepid researchers took their subjects and injected them with adrenaline. They saw the typical physiological effects: an increased heart rate and an increase in tremors or “jitteriness” from the participants. All to be expected. Next, the researchers…