Answers In Love

Winning at Life God's Way

How to Think Your Way to Success

My life got busy recently and I lost hold of important disciplines. Does that happen to you?

A baby was born, a hurricane developed, our basement leaked water and a series of meetings and related work occurred in rapid succession. Amid these distractions I failed to exercise regularly and ate too much unhealthy food for a period of weeks.

I felt bad physically and mentally because of poor choices so I determined to get back on track by walking my favorite trail. I wanted to complete the course at my usual pace but that came hard after time away. I believed I would need to slow or rest.

To make things tougher I passed several inviting benches waiting in scenic places. I thought a lot about pausing to sit on one, enjoy the scenery and do some pending work using my phone.

In the end I didn’t slow or sit but finished my route in target time. I gained two rewards:

  1. physical benefit
  2. a feeling of success

My small success happened for one reason –  I changed my thinking. Changed thinking can open the door to big successes too.

Transforming Thoughts

The apostle Paul explained that transformation comes from a renewed mind (Rms 12:2). My mind renewed when I remembered the passage of Scripture I read at breakfast:

 “do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” (Heb 10:35-36).

Busted! I was throwing away my confidence by thinking I couldn’t finish my walk in good time. Distracting benches tempted me to forget my purpose (fitness) and miss my rewards.

I recognized the counterproductive nature of my thoughts and rejected them. Instead I embraced confident thoughts, considered ways to keep going, remembered my purpose and contemplated rewards. My changed thinking transformed me into a confident, determined and successful trekker.

The Renewed Mind

The passage in Hebrews suggests four thinking patterns that lead to success. These include:

Confident Thinking

Confidence comes from thinking, “I can.” Satan wants us to believe “I can’t,” Paul teaches us to say, “I can do all things through Christ” (Phil 4:13).

Of course we cannot literally do all things. I cannot run 100 miles with my friend’s son Shane or up a mountain with my son-in-law. Paul means that with God’s help we can do God’s will in all situations.

Endurance Thinking

I persevered toward my goal because I stopped thinking about how much farther and focused on putting one foot in front of the other. That helped me keep going.

Disciplined thinking helps us persevere. We feel stronger when we focus on the next step, when we think about today  (Matt 6:34).

Purpose Thinking

Those benches had a siren call that almost led me to forgot my purpose (fitness). Remembering my reason for walking helped me move past the benches.

We exist to glorify God (Isa 43:7). There are many worthy ways to do that. Success comes when we find and focus on God’s purpose for our unique life – the purpose that best fits our abilities and situation.

Reward Thinking

I motivated myself by thinking on expected rewards. I envisioned sinking into my comfortable car seat and driving home for refreshment feeling physically good and knowing I did the right thing.

God promises rich rewards now and in the life ahead to those who do His will (Phil 4:4-8; Rev 22:5). Thinking on rewards spurs us toward victory.

So What are You Thinking?

Hebrews 10:35-36 helped me assess my thoughts. It can help you too. Here are four questions to ask yourself next time you want to succeed but know you need to renew your mind:

1. Am I telling myself “I can” or succumbing to self-doubt?

“do not throw away your confidence…”

2. Am I thinking about today or looking too far  ahead and feeling overwhelmed?

“you need to persevere…”

3. Am I focused on my God-given purpose or getting distracted?

“so that when you have done the will of God…”

4. Am I think about rewards or focused on my hardships?

“you will receive what He has promised.”

Just thinking…


About Cheryl Savageau

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor

One Reply

  1. Kristen Kain

    Excellent post and congratulations on the new grandchild!

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