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Reflections: J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge

· Life Lessons

Yesterday, I was part of the J.P Morgan Corporate Challenge. Such an exhilarating experience! As I surveyed the crowd, I realized some participants were solely determined to break a record time while others were there to clearly socialize and enjoy the overall experience. In my scenario, I was part of the latter group. This afforded me the opportunity to post videos on Snapchat while running (amazing times!) and cultivate genuine relationships prior to and after the race. As soon as I crossed the finished line, I began to reflect on my overall experience and five distinct lessons came to mind.

1. Change your mindset, change your life. I did not train extensively for this race. So when it started, I imagined myself as Usain Bolt. Although this may rather sound witless, that mind shift allowed me to feel like I belonged and helped me power through successfully. I once asked a mentor and friend why she is so driven. As an avid runner, she shared that whenever she laces up her shoes to run, there is no looking or turning back. She has carried off that mentality into business and it has continuously propelled her to climb the greatest heights.

2. Whether you feel equipped to pursue something or not, you can ALWAYS push a bit harder. As I crossed the finish line, I realized something was missing; I did not give the race my all. Although my main goal did not pertain to breaking a record time, I hoped to feel challenged by my very first race. Life experiences may be worthwhile, however, if you are not being challenged or pushed by these experiences, you are not essentially blossoming.

3. It's perfectly okay to not blow up fast. As a matter of fact, consistent progress each day is ultimately the best approach to thriving. It encourages you to really comprehend the process and humbles you in times of despair. However, when you do accomplish that goal or blow up, you will cherish the moment even more.

4. You cannot do anything substantial alone. This is hard for most people to accept, including once myself. There's an African proverb that goes, "If you want to travel fast, go alone. If you want to travel far, go together." Until you learn to tap into the power of your community, the finish line will always grow distant.

5. Drink more water. I was welcomed with dehydration during mile three. With or without water, my Usain Bolt character was not going to allow me to quit. However, drinking a cup of water helped me feel a transformative shift in my energy levels. On average, our bodies are composed of anywhere from 55% to 65% water, there's room to drink more. Benefits include a better skin complexion, flushing out toxins (the negativity in your life), and energy increase (women lie, men lie, energy doesn't).

6. Fail. One thing that separates successful people from unsuccessful people is the former sets goals, the latter doesn't. My goal was to run this 3.5-mile race in under 30 minutes while socializing (quite illogical, I know). I ended up crossing the finish line at 34.19 minutes or so (not impressed). I know I said five distinct lessons but in life, you need to give yourself permission to fail. Just like I did here and in the race. On to the next race!

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Jephthah Acheampong

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