5 Ways to Win at Life

What to do when you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired

We often find ourselves defeated because we don’t understand how our spirit, soul, and body are interdependent and all require continual strengthening. I didn’t know this until I fell into a pit of despair I couldn’t dig my way out of. I’m sharing my hard-won lessons on how to battle adversity and overcome trials to lead the life God intends for you. In other words, I want to teach you how to win at life.

If you want to win, you have to stand strong. You don’t stand strong by accident. It requires deliberate effort on your part. Knowing what areas to develop and how to grow in them is the key to success. Read on to learn 5 ways to grow stronger so you too can win at life.

Stand firm, and you will win life.

Luke 21:19, NIV

5 Fronts of Fortitude

There are five basic areas of your life that will, at one point or another, come under attack. How well you fortify these battle fronts (as I like to think of them) will determine whether you experience victory or defeat when adversity comes knocking.

You are made up of 3 main components: body, soul and spirit. The soul can be further subdivided into mind, will, and emotions. Together, this gives us five areas to concentrate on strengthening: spirit, will, mind, heart, and body. This is how we win at life.

CONNECTED: The Power of a Strong Spirit

Anchoring an Untethered Faith

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

John 15:4

Having a strong spirit is the most important one of all. If we want to have a fruitful life, we absolutely must remain connected to the Source. A strong spirit can trump weakness in all the other areas but a disconnected spirit cannot ultimately win at life even if the other 4 areas are fortresses. Just as a lamp must be connected to power in order to shine, so you must be plugged into Jesus to experience true and lasting victory.

We get connected to Christ through salvation and we stay connected to him through prayer. Prayer is not as complicated as we make it. It’s simply talking to God. The more often and transparently you have conversations with God, the more connected and stronger your spirit becomes.

We get connected to Christ through salvation and we stay connected to him through prayer. #salvation #prayer #jesus Click To Tweet

It is critical to remember that the connection of the spirit grows through grace not works. We can’t earn anything from God. Our best is still filthy. All we can do is freely receive the grace he offers and then live a life of thanks for the gift we don’t deserve. But we tend to get it flipped around. We try to earn God’s favor and approval by our actions. It doesn’t work that way.

Our goal is to reproduce the fruit of Christ we experience in lives of others. God never blesses us so we can hoard his gifts. He has blessed so you can be a blessing to others.

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COMMITTED: The Purpose of a Strong Will

Building an Undeterred Resolve

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.

Galatians 6:9, NLT

Developing a strong will is necessary to buckle down and do the others. The problem is that our will to win grows stronger as we struggle against defeat. It’s just like working out in the gym. Your muscles will get stronger only if you ask them to do what they’ve never done before. If you only do what’s easy, you’re wasting your money on that gym membership.

Similarly, if you stick to what’s comfortable and familiar and easy in life, you will coddle your wimpy will instead of developing it to be strong. The most rewarding, fulfilling, and meaningful parts of life lie outside your comfort zone. So you gotta give up a little comfort if you want to be strong enough to win at life.

The most rewarding, fulfilling, and meaningful parts of life lie outside your comfort zone. #doitscared Click To Tweet

Step one is to take your will and submit it to God’s. If your will is moving opposite to his, you are caught in a rip current. You can swim as hard as you can, but you’ll never reach the shore you’re fighting for.

A key part to submitting to God is worshiping him. When we worship God, we are in essence saying, “You are God and I am not and that’s a good thing.” This will get your heart and mind lined up in the right direction in so many ways. It seems contradictory, but there’s real power in surrender when you surrender to the right One.

After this, there is much to be said about committing to a goal, persevering through trial, and rising up again after a fall but I don’t have room here. I can recommend a great book though. Check out Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. {Amazon affiliate link} It’s a great read!

You may also enjoy: 3 SIMPLE STEPS TO OVERCOME SELF-LIMITING BELIEFS

RENEWED: The Peace of a Strong Mind

Pursuing Unclouded Thoughts

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 2:2, NIV
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God clearly tells us in Romans 2:2 that we are not to conform to those around us. Rather, we are to be a transformative force in our world. Don’t conform. Transform. If only it were as easy as it sounds!

In order to transform the world around us, we must first be transformed from the inside out. This is accomplished by renewing our mind.

Every day, our minds get fed junk-food thoughts from the world around us, things that sound appetizing but are horrible for our mental health.

You become equipped to transform your world by starting with how you think (about God, about yourself, about your relationships with others around you, and about your world)

Fortunately, God has given us all the tools we need to renew our minds in his handy-dandy book called the Bible. It’s all in there, folks. Everything we need to live a winning life. (2 Peter 1:3, 2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Here’s a super quick shot at how I renew my mind with God’s word:

  1. Read – You can’t know what God says about life until you read it for yourself.
  2. Recognize – Think about what you’re thinking about.
  3. Reject – Pitch anything rattling around in your brain that doesn’t line up with God’s character.
  4. Replace – As you reject negative and unhelpful patterns of thinking, replace them with truths founded on God’s word.
  5. Reap – Enjoy the benefits of a clear mind. This technique is one of the primary ways I have used to overcome anxiety.

You may also enjoy: OVERCOMING ANXIETY BY PURSUING PEACE

GUARDED: The Protection of a Strong Heart

Shepherding Unruly Feelings

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

Proverbs 4:23, NLT

God tells us to guard our hearts because everything else flows from it. But what does that even mean?

An unguarded heart lets the emotions in the driver’s seat. Our emotions are incredible, God-ordained gifts to us, but they are intended to be indicators, not dictators. Often, our emotions make bad decisions when we let them lead. Let truth guide your thoughts and your thoughts influence your emotions. This will allow you to experience a much more stable and joyful life.

We must also guard our hearts against destructive forces. The phrase “garbage in = garbage out” holds true here too. If we saturate our mind, will, and emotions with garbage, our lives will start to stink. We must learn to protect our hearts, not by shutting other people out, but by setting healthy boundaries on what we will and won’t allow to influence us.

When your life takes a hit, and it will, whatever is inside you will spill out on to those around you. If you are filled with bitterness, then you will throw out rage and blame on those closest to you like a terrorist throwing acid in someone’s face. If you are filled with grace and gratitude, then forgiveness will splash soothingly onto the brokenness of those around you.

When your life takes a hit, and it will, whatever is inside you will spill out on to those around you. #guardyourheart Click To Tweet

Don’t blame your circumstances or other people. They didn’t do this to you but only revealed what was already within you. You can’t choose what happens to you, but you can choose how to respond and how you will and will not treat other people. Here are a few great responses. Can you think of more?

  1. Be grateful for as many details as you can think of rather than grumble about what you don’t like.
  2. Find something to rejoice about in every situation.
  3. Ask God to help you see others the way he sees them.
  4. Remember that hurt people hurt people. Almost all anger, at its root, is profound pain.
  5. Be gentle with prickly people. There’s probably a reason they’re like that.
  6. Make real connections with others. Do life together. We were created for community.
  7. Forgive freely, remembering all that you have been forgiven. Don’t be stingy with the grace that was lavished on you. There’s plenty to go around.
  8. God never runs out of second chances. Don’t let a mistake in your past keep you from doing the right thing today.
  9. Be gentle with yourself, know your identity, and love yourself.
  10. Remember the golden rule. Love God and love people. The End. That’s all you gotta do!

Just as the technique I shared with you in the mind section keeps my anxiety in check, the attitudes above are how I guard my heart from depression. I have battled hard with both. I hope the lessons I have learned can help you avoid these pitfalls as well.

Want to learn more about living victoriously?

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READY: The Opportunity of a Strong Body

Nurturing an Unhindered Vessel

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Everything we’ve talked about so far is somewhat intangible and together, they are what make us each a unique individual. They are the part of us that endures. Our physical body, however, is the opposite. We can sense it with all 5 of our senses but it runs down and eventually wears out.

Basically, our body is the vehicle (or vessel) that carries around the rest of us and keeps us neatly packaged here on earth. Once the body quits, our work on earth is done

The health status of your body impacts your ability to serve. When I’m over-tired, I’m grumpy and I make mistakes. I don’t serve well. I had hip surgery a while back and it limited my ability to help out with children’s church. When I’m sick, it’s not safe to interact with others, and I don’t feel like it anyway.

I’m sure you could list several more ways a weakened body could hinder our ability and desire to serve well. Your body is a gift from God. The least you can do is take care of it. Nothing about caring for our bodies is rocket science, and yet, it’s often quite challenging to do.

Your body is a gift from God. The least you can do is take care of it. #nourish #fitness #motivation Click To Tweet

Basically, it comes down to giving your body what it needs and withholding anything harmful. Doesn’t sound too hard, but it goes against many of our natural cravings. None of this will surprise you, but here are several ways we need to care for our physical selves.

  1. Motivate – Before you can do any of the rest of this, you gotta find your big WHY. You’ll need that to persevere on the hard days.
  2. Food is fuel – Use it for nourishment.
  3. Avoid “nonfoods” – You know those tasty things that are mostly chemicals? Yeah, steer clear! Don’t fill your tank with junk. You don’t even do that to your car!
  4. Hydrate or die – Water is critical to every single body function down to the smallest cell. Don’t skimp on water. No, soda and coffee don’t count!
  5. Move your body – You weren’t designed for immobility. If you don’t use it, you lose it, so find something you enjoy doing and go do it.
  6. Sleep – Sleeping seems boring, but your body needs that time to fix and reset things. Give it what it needs. Some need more than others.
  7. Stress – Stress is like water in that it affects EVERYTHING! But it’s bad, so it’s more like anti-water. If something stresses you, figure out a way to Drop it or Delegate it. If you must power through it and you can’t change it, then change the way you think about it.
  8. Safety – Avoidable injuries are painful and can sideline you for a good bit as well as make you feel foolish. Use good judgment and safety equipment when you’re working or having fun.
  9. Be Present – Being present in the current moment frees you to concentrate on soaking up all the tiny blessings and miracles the present has to offer. You’re not regretting the past or worrying about the future. You’re fully engaged with the people you’re with.
  10. Laugh – Laughter has been shown to have numerous positive impacts on physical health. Find ways to do it often. (Just not at others’ expense.)

You may also enjoy: 3 REASONS TO BUILD A STRONGER BODY

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

1 CORINTHIANS 15:57-58, NIV

Are you ready to win at life?

Building strength in these 5 critical areas of life is your road map to a winning life. Weakness isn’t a winning strategy. You win by committing to be stronger than your trials and overcoming adversity.

You may already see an obvious place where you have room for improvement. If not, I strongly suggest you start with strengthening your relationship with God through prayer, Bible study, and worship. You will also be strengthening your mind and filling your heart at the same time as well as getting your will in line with God’s.

My entire website here is geared around helping you strengthen these five areas of your life. To read more in any area, just click on “HOME” at the top of your screen and then select which category you want from the options listed on that page. Or scroll all the way to the bottom and pick a category from the footer.

I’m eager to write the information that serves my readers the best. If you have an idea for a topic or a question you want to be answered, please chat with me from the contact page or shoot me an email at hi@elizabethmeyers.me. I look forward to hearing how I can help you win at life!

A bonus gift for you!

I’ve written a short cheat sheet to help you make progress in these 5 areas so you can start your path on the road to victory today. Just enter your email below and I’ll send it right to ya!

5 Roads to Resilience
How to Win at Life
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