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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.


Listen to Kobe: Spend Time Alone in Your Head

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“How do you negotiate with your self. That’s the biggest thing.” — Kobe Bryant. When one of history’s greatest basketball players tells us about the power of navigating your inner world, we should listen. We all intuitively know this. We…

Infinite Games vs. Finite Games and Giannis’s Failure


A few weeks back, the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. The Bucks entered as the one seed. The Miami Heat, the team who beat them, entered as the eight seed. In the immediate…

Why We See Threats Everywhere

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Go for a walk around your neighborhood during the day. Are you constantly stressed, on the lookout for potential danger around you? For many of us (though certainly not all), we can mindlessly walk the sidewalks, daydreaming as we mosey…

How to Regulate Your Nervous System


Take a big inhale, hold your breath for five seconds, and release over three seconds to regulate your nervous system, posts a large Instagram account. If your attachments aren’t secure, your nervous system won’t be either, writes a psychologist on Twitter.…

Finding Your Optimum Zone to Perform to Your Potential


This curve is helpful for a variety or pursuits. It outlines the relationship between stress (or physiological arousal) and performance. How do you get in the best place to perform? You find the goldilocks of physiological arousal: too little and…

The Difference Between Judging Your Experience and Living It


If you stop whatever you are doing and ask yourself, Am I happy? odds are, you won’t be as happy as you just were. The worst way to be happy is to ask yourself if you are happy. Same goes for all…

The Dangers of Going All-In


By all accounts, it seemed like a success story. At 17 years old, he’d bet on himself. He and his brother packed their bags and moved from the comparatively affluent New Zealand to Kenya, home of the top runners in…

A Better Way to Optimize


Setting a goal on the edge of your comfort zone and letting it consume you can be as meaningful and invigorating as it gets. Whether it’s a big creative project, an athletic feat, or falling in love, there’s something to…

The Key to Peak Performance? Love.


A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to moderate a panel at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, Lessons from The Edge: Understanding Peak Performance. The panel featured Olav Aleksander Bu, the Norwegian triathlon coach to Olympic gold medalist and…

A Weight Gain Theory of Everything


By now you’ve probably heard about a new class of drugs called semaglutides. They were recently approved by the FDA for weight loss. In clinical trials, participants lost astonishing amounts of weight. And so long as they continued taking the…

Untangling Success: Does the Cream Rise to the Top?

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“The cream rises to the top.” Our world is littered with aphorisms and sayings that all point to the same message: the quality of our work and our chances of success are deeply intertwined. If we produce good work it’ll…

The Key to Happiness is Living in Reality


The past week has been filled with wild news about artificial intelligence—its rapid advance, lingering pitfalls, and serious risks. What struck me most about all the AI takes was a common theme that users had to repeatedly remind themselves that…

Don’t Let Your Strengths Become Your Downfall

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Read enough business or self-help books and they’ll inevitably tell you to identify your strengths. This is a good starting point. Understanding what makes you good at what you do allows you to take on the right challenges. It enhances…

Faith in the Process


My first job out of school was at a white-shoe consulting firm. We’d be tasked with solving big and thorny problems for clients. In just about every project, we’d reach the three-week mark and still have no idea where our…

Balancing Competitiveness and Letting Go


Michael Jordan’s competitiveness is legendary. There was the time when at one of Jordan’s basketball camps, OJ Mayo, who was then 17, told a 42-year old Jordan that he couldn’t guard him. Jordan stopped the camp, sent everyone to bed, and…