Skip to content


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.


The Value of Doing Something Real in the World

Topic: ,

I can’t even remember what it was, but long before the Bill Gates news broke (i.e., that he was chumming it up with Jeffrey Epstein on the regular; that he had questionable, at best, office behavior at Microsoft; that he…

Stop Comparing Yourself to the Performative Junk on Social Media


You’re standing in line waiting for those in front of you to order their favorite drink from the local coffee shop. Or maybe you’re sitting in the movie theatre, waiting for the ads to end and the main feature to…

When Everyone Is Headed In the Same Direction, Look the Other Way


When Michael Jordan clinched his first NBA championship, teams averaged 7.1 three-point attempts per game. Fast forward to today and the average NBA team is taking nearly 35 three-point shots a game. Even the team that shoots the fewest amount…

Money is Not the Best Motivator (Here’s What Is)


Anyone who tells you that money isn’t important is either delusional or has so much money they’ve become blind to how important it actually is. That said, above a certain amount—between 75K and 100K with adjustments in both directions for geography,…

When Something that is Supposed to be Easy Feels (Really) Hard


On Thursday, June 22nd, Jim Ryun ran a mile in 4:07. In his training log, he wrote “was hard.” The mile race was the prelims for the AAU National Championship. Ryun had advanced to the final. But as someone who…

Overcoming Extremism (In All Areas of Life)

Topic: ,

Fact: the oldest parts of our brains evolved to make quick judgements. “That’s a big snake. Bad! Run away!” “That’s an attractive person of the opposite sex! Good! Pass along the DNA!” Not only did snap judgements help our species…

The (Unfortunate) Power of a Story


At the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam, women were allowed to run the 800m for the first time. Up until that point, women were restricted to the short sprints, while men had a full plate of events to contest, ranging all…

Want to Do Better and Feel Better? Pay Attention.

Topic: ,

I’ve been on a bit of a George Saunders binge. For those who don’t know, Saunders is an American writer most known for his short stories and, more recently, novels, including the popular Lincoln in the Bardo. In his latest book, A…

The Science of Freaking Out

Topic: ,

Acute stress can be debilitating. It can cause professional baseball players to lose the ability to throw a ball 30 feet, something they’ve been doing since elementary school. In theater, it can cause stage fright, freezing, and forgetting lines that…

The Limits of Growth and When Smaller is Better


For myriad reasons, the culture of the past two decades has been obsessed with growth. I am going to call this the growth era. In the growth era, it doesn’t so much matter what you are growing—your company, your audience,…

What 6-Year-Olds Can Teach Us About Handling Adversity


Adults often look down upon children. Not in a mean-spirited type of way, but more so in holding the belief that kids are fragile and need of protection from the harshness of life. Yet, it’s often the other way around.…

A Brief Guide to Developing a Deep Reading Habit


Deep reading, or full engagement in a book, is an absolute joy. It is good for mind and spirit, and it is also a competitive advantage in today’s knowledge-based economy. Increasingly, people struggle to pay attention to just about anything,…

Hard Work Is Necessary, But Not Sufficient.

Topic: ,

As I peruse the self-help book aisle or stumble upon the latest entrepreneurial guru on YouTube, I’m often met with a simple message: work hard. There’s truth to that message, of course. If you want to get better at just…

Self-Absorption on Social Media is Making us Sick


In one of his more popular short stories, on “The Depressed Person,” David Foster Wallace wrote that they are “far too self-involved” to form nourishing and meaningful relationships. The story goes on to argue, and quite convincingly, that perhaps the…

Getting Better Gradually, Not Miraculously


At the 2012 London Olympics, the home country put on a show. Team Great Britain captured 29 Gold medals, trailing only the US and China in that regard. It was their most successful Olympics in over 100 years. There was…