Attitude: Your Key To Success
By Kenneth W. Hagin
Our attitude is our key to success. It is easy to have a good attitude when everything is going well. During adversity, maintaining a positive attitude is more difficult, but it is vital that we do so.
In his book Steps to the Top Zig Ziglar wrote, “The important and decisive factor in life is not what happens to us, but the attitude we take toward what happens.” * I have found this to be true. How we respond to situations around us contributes to our success or failure. That’s why some people come out of tests and trials unscarred, while others are destroyed by the same set of circumstances.
The Apostle Paul encouraged us to “. . . be made new in the attitude of [our] minds” (Eph. 4:23 NIV). The Living Bible says, “Your attitudes and thoughts must all be constantly changing for the better.” The Amplified Bible translates verse 23 like this: “And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude].”
This verse makes it clear that if we don’t have the right spiritual attitude, we won’t have the right mental attitude. And we must maintain the right mental attitude, because attitude plays an important role in determining our outcome in life. Here are three key principles about attitude that we must grasp.
1. Attitude is a choice. Many people mistakenly think that if their circumstances were different, they would have a better attitude. But that’s not true. Attitudes are not determined by circumstances; attitudes are determined by choice. In any situation, we can choose to have either a good or a bad attitude.
2. Attitudes determine who we are and what we can do. Anyone who has known me for very long knows that one of my strongest attitudes is “I cannot be defeated, and I will not quit.” That positive attitude drives me in every area of my life. However, some people have a strong negative attitude and always look at life from a discouraged viewpoint.
You never hear people with a negative attitude say, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13 NKJV), or “No weapon formed against [me] shall prosper” (Isa. 54:17 NKJV). Instead, they constantly say, “I never get ahead,” or “Things never work out for me.” Their negative attitude controls how they look at life.
If only these people would start to meditate on these two verses, their situations could be turned around. Instead of allowing difficulties to defeat them, they would see that they can be victorious through the Word of God.
3. Your attitude has the power to change your life. The most important thing we can do in any situation is to guard our attitude, because that attitude will enable us to win or cause us to lose. In sports, we sometimes have a team that does not match up on paper with the team it is playing against. But the lesser team wins anyway. Why? Attitude.
Many years ago, I coached a group of 9-year-old boys in a city track meet. A little redheaded, freckled-faced boy wanted to run track, but he couldn’t run fast at all. We tried him in every event but he didn’t do well.
Finally he said, “Coach, I’m not fast.”
“I know you’re not fast,” I said, “but can you run that same speed for a long time?”
“Yeah, I can do that.”
So I trained him to run the mile race. While all the other boys were practicing, he just ran laps as hard and as fast as he could. That’s all he did for six weeks. During his final practice run before the city meet, he ran 30 laps.
When we got to the city meet, I told him he only had to run four laps as hard and as fast as he could. And when the gun went off for the mile race, he took off hard. It wasn’t long before he was way ahead of the other kids. The other coaches kept saying, “He’ll wear out.” But I knew better. I knew he could run like that all day long. He finished the race a lap ahead of everyone else. He stood at the finish line and watched the other kids as they ran across.
This kid started out as the slowest one on the track team, and he believed that he would never win. But because I was able to instill a winning attitude in him—an attitude of “I cannot be defeated, and I will not quit”—he won the mile race. That experience changed his life.
The same thing can happen to us. We don’t have to let negative attitudes keep us from receiving all that God has for us. Let’s make a commitment to cultivate a winning attitude every day. As we do, we will prepare for our success tomorrow. Cultivating an attitude of faith enables us to overcome any problem. Cultivating an attitude of love will enable us to deal with any difficulty we face in relationships. With God on our side, we can triumph over anything that comes against us.
Faith In Action
Three things affect our attitudes:
1. the strongholds in our lives
2. our imaginations
3. our thoughts
When we cast down thoughts contrary to the Word of God, we are refusing to allow strongholds to develop in our minds. And we are able to maintain a positive attitude, knowing that God is well able to get us through any adversity. Look it up!This principle comes from Second Corinthians 10:4–5.