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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.


Categories Like Depression, OCD, and Neuroatypical Work Until They Get in the Way


There seems to be two camps, or at least two vocal camps, on categorizations related to identity. There is the category defines me and my view of the world and is everything camp. And there is the categories don’t matter,…

Growth Comes From Struggle


When it comes to getting better in sport, many of us walk around with the idea that we need to push until failure. To grow our muscles, we lift until they are Jell-O; to improve endurance, we run until we’re…

3 Psychological Qualities that Prevent Attachment to External Validation


Whether it’s a boss’s praise, a book or song hitting a bestseller list, or a ranking in sport or chess, we humans crave external validation. As a social species, this is part of our hardwiring. The more liked and valued…

Stop Talking About Your Values If You Aren’t Acting On Them


Nike released an advertisement this week that was well-presented, with an incredibly powerful and much-needed message. The ad featured a montage of pregnant women exercising and moving, with the uplifting message that they, too, are athletes. We see video of…

Is Technology Alienating You From Real Life?

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A new technology drops. Some people immediately adopt it, assuming all that is new is good. Other people immediately shun it, assuming all that is new is bad. Neither of these approaches is ideal. There is a middle—and better—way. It…

Stop Comparing Your First Draft to Someone Else’s Final


Writing a book is a long and arduous process. It takes months, if not years, of researching, exploring, and outlining before you even get to the actual writing. When you finally sit down to write, you’re left with an inevitable…

Stop Hiding Behind Complexity—It Can Be a Soul Sucking Barrier to Progress


Complexity is a way to avoid facing the reality that what really matters for most things in life is simply showing up and doing the work. Not thinking about it. Not talking about it. Not dreaming about it. But doing…

What’s Old is New Again


In the late 1990’s, there was one constant in America, an item you could find just about anywhere: from grocery stores to Barnes and Noble, from the back of cereal boxes to attached to steaks. Over one billion America Online CD’s…

The Importance of Hardiness


Hardiness is a psychological trait that motivates you to respond to stressful circumstances in ways that produce resiliency. It is a key to cultivating the existential courage that facilitates the ongoing search for meaning in life. Hardiness has three major components.…

Crisis Reveals Character


It was 46 degrees. I had athletic pants with running tights on underneath, a thermal long sleeve top with another long sleeve shirt and a hoodie over the that, two pairs of socks, and about three blankets over that. My wife…

The Key Factor Behind Fierce Self-Discipline


Something I see all the time in my research and writing and talk about frequently in my coaching practice is the need to marry fierce self-discipline with fierce self-compassion. Self-discipline is pursuing what one thinks is right despite temptations to…

Competing When All Hope Is Lost


Competing is easy when you’re in the mix. When your goal is within reach, when you have a shot at winning, finding that extra ounce of energy, that burst of motivation, comes naturally. It’s not hard to be a ‘tough’…

The Benefits of Focusing on Principles Instead of Goals


Goals are helpful—so long as you can kill your attachment to them when you need to. Having a plan is good, but being able to evaluate that plan and change it—or even leave it altogether if necessary—is critical to well-being…

How You Do Anything is NOT How You Do Everything


“You’re lazy.” I heard this a lot growing up. My older brother, who was much more academically inclined, would constantly get on me about rushing through my school work and doing the bare minimum to get by. For example, in…

Think Again: 8 Lessons on Intellectual Humility


Intellectual humility is understanding that you don’t know everything, that you are often wrong, and that it’s okay, even a good thing, to change your mind when new evidence presents itself. Needless to say, intellectual humility is a quality that…