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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 20,000 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, along with tips for day-to-day application. Our goal is simple: to help you do better and be better, whatever your craft may be.


Two Simple But Underused Rules for Progress in Anything

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My family just got a new puppy. An adorable, little—for now, anyways—German Shepherd. Sleep hasn’t been great. Ananda needs to go out at least once in the middle of night, and sometimes more. This is the first time since my…

Fake Work is Easy and Alluring, Real Work is Hard


When you are a writer and you sit down at your desk with a massive project ahead of you, all sorts of alternative items that you could work on arise. Your deadline isn’t for months, but you know you need…

Best Books of 2020 For Success and Well-being


Welcome to the annual reading list. If you’re familiar with our work, you’ll know that it integrates ideas, research, and practices from diverse domains. People always ask us how we do this. The answer is simple: We do our best…

A Minimum Effective Dose for Sustainable Success


Let’s start with a simple fitness story, and expand from there: About two years ago, for a wide variety of reasons—including time, mental energy, and a calf that becomes painful and explodes with repetitive motion—I decided to shift my armchair…

4 Rules for Running Fast


When it comes to exercise, we often get extremely complicated. For strength training, we get lost in the exercise type, the sets and reps, and the speed of the bar. In running, we look at different speed or intensity zones,…

Mistaking Complexity for Understanding


Let’s start with some science: The athlete’s aerobic glycolysis occurs via mitochondrial biogenesis delivered via ATP phosphorylation… Wait, before you stop reading, what does that mean? Nothing. I threw together some exercise science jargon. Every field has its own jargon,…

A Better Way to Think About Exhaustion and Rest


One of my coaching clients, who I’ll call Jenny, is a 39-year-old entrepreneur. Lately, she’s been struggling with fatigue, nothing too severe but a general sense of exhaustion, or, in her words, “not feeling as sharp and energetic as I’d like.” The first solution that…

The Simple Reason That 2020 Polls Were So Wrong


First off, rather than you make assumptions and have implicit bias, some facts: I’m an independent person who voted for Bush two; then Obama—barely the first time (Sarah Palin swayed me), and enthusiastically the second time. I would have voted…

Driven Apart or Coming Together: It’s Our Choice


In 1954, two separate groups of 11-year olds arrived at a sprawling 200-acre Boy Scout camp in Oklahoma. Both groups of children arrived at the camp, unaware of the existence of the other. For the first week, each group spent…

Three Experiments That Show We are Born to Belong


Imagine for a moment that you are sitting in a chair at the center of a room, with dozens of your peers surrounding you. All eyes are on you, as the boss-man standing across the way begins to speak. “You…

How to Stop Technology from Taking Over Your Life

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A good friend and fellow creative and entrepreneur recently eliminated all social media from his life. About his experience, he wrote the following: It’s really eye-opening just how much of our lives many of us “live” on social media, trapped…

Hurt People Hurt People


It is often the people and communities that are the most dismissive of things like therapy and vulnerability that need those things the most. The tragedy is that instead of embracing and working through tough emotions such as fear and…

The Benefits of Having a Difficult Conversation


What do you think matters more for your child? Option 1: Joining the PTA, coaching their peewee football team, or volunteering at their school to help out. Option 2: Talking to your child about complex social issues. There’s little doubt…

You Can’t “Goal-Set” Your Way to a Breakthrough


When I was a 17-year-old high school runner spending my summer days quite unproductively running nine miles in the morning, watching movies all day, and then running another eight miles in the evening, I would often go into a day…

The Meaning of Life (Perhaps)


Over the past few days, I’ve been immersing myself in the work of the early twentieth century poet, Rainer Maria Rilke. Now seems like as good a time as any for this. Not to stop taking productive action, but to…