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Productive Stress

A New And More Accurate Way To Think About Change and Homeostasis

Homeostasis is often conceptualized as the desire of an organism or system to stay the same. This is thought to be true whether one is talking about the body, the mind, a single individual, or an entire species. One of my favorite writers, George Leonard, puts it like this in his book Mastery: “Every one…

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Consistently Good Enough Beats Occasionally Great

“Good is the enemy of great” is one of the most popular self-improvement expressions there is. It’s the first sentence of an international bestselling business book, the title of another self-help book, and a mantra that NFL superstar J.J. Watt has used in press conferences. It sounds appealing and rolls off the tongue nicely, but there’s a good chance it’s downright…

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The Simple Equation That Will Make You Better at Everything

As an athlete, if you want to improve something—your 100-meter time, say, or your deadlift PR—you’ve got to apply a challenge, some sort of “stressor,” and then follow it with a period of rest and recovery. Too much stress without enough rest and you get injury, illness, and burnout. Not enough stress plus too much rest and…

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