This equation will change the way you look at your life

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Grant Pettegrew


Millennial Entrepreneur and creator of GenYAlive.com. He is passionate about helping other Gen Y entrepreneurs.

AC x PR = G


NOTE: This is very carefully worded and I urge you to read the entire article to understand how the entire equation works in your favor. If you ignore any aspect of this equation, it will not help.

However… If you take the time to fully read and “digest” the information below, I guarantee you will become more purposeful within your life, your time, and/or your projects.

Are you ready for the definition now? Good.

Applicable Challenge x Purposeful Rest = Growth

The basis of this equation is a physiological truth. Challenge x Rest = Growth. Think about exercising. You challenge your muscles capabilities with weight lifting, you then allow them to rest and they will grow (literally and functionally).  You challenge your aerobic and metabolic systems by running further and faster. You rest and your running functionality and abilities grow.

Think about your skin. The sun “challenges” your skin during the summer, you get out of the sun via shade or night (rest) and your skin gets tanner (growth).

Think about drinking. If you drink consistently (challenge) AND allow your body to appropriately metabolize it (rest), you will increase your alcohol tolerance (growth).

Think about your brain. You read, learn, and practice new ideas, whether it is a math concept or journalism interview technique (challenge), take a break by contemplating it’s application or take a break entirely (rest). The result: Your brain builds new neural pathways, so you can access the information quicker in the future (growth).

But I think you get the point by now.

Challenge x Rest = Growth. But we can make it more accurate and taking it one step further. So let’s define the elements of the equation.

Growth (as you choose to define it)

Let’s start with the simpler side of the equation: The G.

To become more purposeful with your project, time, life, etc. you need to clearly define what form of growth you desire. Do you want physical, mental, emotional, spiritual growth? monetary growth? You can grow as a business owner, a parent, or as a mentor. You can grow/improve your ability to listen, cook, or golf.

So ask yourself: How am I growing as a person? Am I growing into the person I want to be? How is my business growing and changing? Is my business growing into the organization I want it to be? In order to achieve what I desire, what form of growth/improvement is needed?

From there, you can decide what forms of “challenge” and “rest” you will use. If you want to lose weight and become stronger (physical growth), then you need to challenge your body with exercise. But you start with an idea of the end product in mind.

Obstacle: As promised, when you join challenge and rest, you will obtain growth. BUT you may not obtain the exact form of growth you desire.  But be open to this! It is amazing what you can learn via struggles and failures. Even if it is frustrating at first.

For example, if you desire income growth, you will challenge your business and marketing skills. BUT in your first attempt, you may not get the exact monetary results desire. Instead you may improve your knowledge, your decision making skills, etc. The key is to but mindful of the growth you have acquired and move forward from there.

Do your best to envision the growth desired, but be open to all potential forms.

Let’s move to the other half  of the equation…

Applicable Challenge

Random challenge may be effective for growth, but it is exponentially more effective when you apply the correct form of challenge. Or, as another way to think about it, you become intentional with your challenge.

Applicable challenge refers to the challenging action being directly related to the growth you desire.

Try your best to match the challenge to your desired growth. If you want to improve your golf swing, you wouldn’t go play basketball. If you want to improve your writing skills, you wouldn’t sign up for a math class. Instead, the golfer would go to the driving range and the writer would sign up for writing class. Common sense. But think about the actions you take: Are they aligned with your goals? Are you challenging yourself in the right way?

Important idea: Repetition is a great way to challenge yourself. Repeat the things you want to get better at. That repetition will set you apart from your competitors, much like an athlete.  If possible, repeat your most important challenge daily. The aspiring writer should write every day.

In addition, you ideally control the form and amount of challenge placed on you. Going back to the skin tanning example, sunlight will challenge your skin and make it tanner. However, if you get too much sun (without rest), you will burn. So to maximize your results, make sure that you apply the correct dosage of results too. I wouldn’t recommend that the golfer spend 17 hours on the driving range. Be aware of overkill and challenging yourself too much.

Let’s move to the final portion of the equation…

Purposeful Rest

Have you ever taken break from a difficult problem, only to have the solution be perfectly clear when you return? This is the power of rest at work. Rest gives your body, your brain, and everything else a chance to recover and move in the correct direction. It is a time for ideas to re-set, sink in and become truly understood.

I assume you rest, because I assume you sleep. However, that may not be enough. Your rest needs to become more purposeful and more varied.

And rest is not just limited to sleeping. Rest is any activity that gives you a break and chance to grow. Variations of rest include but are not limited to:

  • Sleep
  • Contemplation
  • Meditation
  • Writing
  • Exercise (yes, exercise can be rest in the right context)
  • Discussion with others

Purposeful rest is a planned action, post applicable challenge. It is applying the right variations of rest in the right context.

What kind of purposeful rest do you need?

If you want to grow your comprehension of a business topic, say marketing, then I would recommend a purposeful rest session (post-challenge of course) of contemplation/meditation where you take 10-15 minutes to think about how the material specifically applies to your business and your life.

Or write down the key points in a personal notebook and reviewing them.

Or create a discussion with others who have studied marketing

Or plan long run or bike ride if that helps you think and digest the information.

Get creative with your rest! 

A couple other key points:

  • Rest does not have to be long, but it does need to be purposeful. Even a minute of silence in the right situation can go a long way.
  • The enemy of rest is distraction. Distracting yourself from your thoughts and your goals can and will harm your growth. A good example is our phones and social media. If after reading a good book or article, we immediate go to check our email or our Facebook page, we never give our mind a chance to rest and digest, thus not giving us a chance to grow. Recognize your distractions and use them as a reward for after your purposeful rest



(Examples of the equation in work) 

AC x PR = G

You want to grow sales

  • AC: Change and test new marketing and sales systems.
  • PR: Time to see results directly from our target market. Give it time to reach a viable conclusion, not hastily shutting down the campaign. This rest gives you hard data.
  • G: Either increase in sales or increase in knowledge of what doesn’t work. Either way there is growth. (Remember: growth may not always be what you desire)

You want to improve your knowledge of social media

  • AC: Read books and take e-courses on the specific forms of social media you want to improve.
  • PR: After completing the book or course, take 10 minutes, turn off your computer/phone and think about applying the info. In addition, you may write important notes and review them in a day or two.
  • G: You better understand social media and how it can help you. You have knowledge/notes you can refer to at any time.

You want to become a better dad to your daughter

  • AC: Spend time with daughter, listen to parenting podcasts, ask your parents (mentors) tips, schedule 1 dad/daughter date per month.
  • PR: Discuss results with wife. Take 3 minutes before you go to bed and think about how your relationship improved that day.
  • G: A stronger, more personal relationship.

I want to GenYAlive to be an engaging and valuable website for millennials. I want readership and engagement to increase each month.

  • AC: Time block 1 extra hour a day for research on value and engagement. Write 6x/week. Challenge myself to connect personally with at least 10 millennial entrepreneurs by the end of year.
  • PR: Take 1 day every month to review data. Ensure I am meeting goals and objectives. If not, take 5 minutes on each failed objective and think about why it was missed and how to improve it for next month. In addition, I will turn off the radio in the car 1x/week to have planned thinking time on my drive home.
  • G: Increased engagement and value for GenYAlive Insiders, as well as increased readership.

You want to learn Japanese

  • AC: Take Rosetta Stone Course. Listen to language. Read language. Intense repition.
  • PR: Sleep and time away from the course. Thinking about the positive value learning Japanese will bring you.
  • G: You become competent, if not fluent in Japanese


The idea of “challenging yourself for growth” is NOT an original idea. I know that. But what I hope you now understand and you put into action is the simple idea of being intentional. With your challenge. With your rest. And with your growth/improvement.

Be aware of the challenges that surround you daily, take the time to rest and learn from them, and you just may be surprised with how much you grow.

Now take the time to figure out your perfect equation! What challenge do you want to take on? How are you going to rest and recover? What growth/improvement are you aiming for? Write out your own application of this equation.

But first things first! Take some time to digest this article in your own personal way. It will be your purposeful rest.

Let’s get to work,

– Grant Pettegrew

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