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To stand strong during opposition, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties, you must first discipline yourself to spend time before God in prayer. That is how you build strength to be effective and to finish. Make no mistake about it, all of us need strength during these unprecedented times.

As you move into your forties, fifties, and sixties, you will tend to become more sedentary. Many people joke about this phase of life and middle-age spread. You’ve probably heard some of these. The driver who has a bumper sticker on his car that reads: “I am pushing fifty, and that is enough exercise for me.” The woman who when asked about her lifelong fitness goal said, “not to sweat.” Funny stuff, but as we age, we need both physical and mental strength to finish strong.

Mental preparation creates a mindset that lets you consistently perform up to your capabilities and talents. Amy Morin, a psychotherapist and author of the bestselling book, “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do,” says that the reasons why some people thrive under pressure while others seem to crumble is because they are not mentally prepared for high pressure situations that place heavy demands on people. When you are in a challenging state, the key is to increase levels of self-confidence and perceptions of control as well as to focus on success.

Visualizing a successful performance instills confidence in your ability to perform at your best. Visualize yourself after you have successfully made necessary changes in your life and remember the saying, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.”  When you have made a change remember to recognize your strength.  An important part to mental preparation is celebrating the small victories along your journey.

In these unprecedented times, you must envision yourself and your circumstances as if you have already successfully made the changes that you want to finish strong with any endeavor. Spend some time analyzing how you navigated through the effort you had to put forth to be successful. Doing this can mentally prepare you for the next unknown trial that you will encounter.

There is a great encouraging scripture in the Bible from Paul who said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” His message speaks to every person in pursuit of a successful life. And for those stretching toward your golden years: Never Give Up! Never Give Up! Never Give Up!

By Chaplain Ghosten