Skip to content


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 Point of Meditation is Not to Relax

Topic: ,

    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

Topic: ,

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

Topic: ,

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…

Three Layers of Identity


Identity has been a large theme in our work over the past few months. One of the many paradoxes of passion and performance is when your identity becomes connected to a certain endeavor—be it running, writing, leading a team, pursuing some other vocation, or parenting. It’s…

When Someone Guarantees Success Look the Other Way


  Whenever I take on a new coaching client, I always give a spiel to dampen down expectations: “I can’t guarantee that I can help. I can’t make any promises as to whether you’ll improve or win some big race.…

Broscience is Not Real Science.

Topic: ,

​  Earlier today, CNBC published a story on the top “biohacks” of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Along with things like cold-showers, infrared light, and 7-minute high-intensity interval workouts on the list was that Dorsey only eats one meal a day—consisting of…

Overcoming Fear So You Can Perform With Ease and Freedom


 “What if I fail?” This singular thought can be debilitating, preventing you from stepping foot on the starting line or pursuing your passion. You may carry around this idea that if you fail, you’ll be exposed as the fraud you…

Do The Work. Do The Work. Do The Work.

Topic: ,

 I recently watched the HBO documentary The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley. It chronicled the downfall of Theranos, a biotechnology company that promised to change the world with a cheap and noninvasive blood test, and it’s founder, Elizabeth Holmes. The…

What Do You Control? What Controls You?


Do you control your passion or does your passion control you? When we set out to write The Passion Paradox, our original intention was to explore the obsessiveness we saw in ourselves. Both of us are consummate pushers. We experience a…

Swimming Upstream in the Current Ethos

Topic: ,

Robert Pirsig, George Leonard, and Erich Fromm are three of my favorite thinkers. They each have had a large influence on my life. They each embody a compassionate masculinity. And though they used different words and approached the topic from different angles, they were…

Inner Strength

Topic: ,

Fake toughness, or the facade of having it all together and being a badass, is rampant. Over the past five years, we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the proliferation of the fake variety, and what the real variety…

Catching Anxiety


“Watch coaches during the warm-ups,” a fellow coach and mentor advised me early in my coaching career. I didn’t quite understand his point. Did he want me to see what different athletes did for their warm-up drills so that I could…

Really Caring About Something Can Be a Gift or a Curse

Topic: ,

Really Caring About Something is Hard The single most important thing when it comes to performance and fulfillment is care. If you care about what you are doing you’ll be present for it. You’ll put your all into it. You’ll…

Ongoing Practice > Goals

Topic: ,

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


(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,…