The Power of a Made-Up Mind

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

In my role as a career coach, I coach many job seekers and there is one quality that seems to determine their success more than all other personal qualities combined.  It is the power of a made-up mind.  Job seekers with a made-up mind are highly successful.  Their minds seem to be a force of nature that knows few equals.  These individuals can climb mountains, finish marathons, and complete the toughest obstacle courses anyone can imagine.

When Noah made-up his mind to build the Ark, he faced many obstacles.  All his friends and associates laughed at him.  He had a tremendous building project in front of him.  He had the procurement challenges of finding hundreds of thousands of feet of lumber.  He had the logistics challenge of gathering hundreds of animals.  Finally, he had the leadership challenge of holding together a boat construction team that was ridiculed for supporting him.  Noah would have never been successful without a made-up mind.  For Noah and us, our faith in God helps us build and sustain a made-up mind.

I was just 17 years old when I learned the power of a made-up mind.  I had applied for an electrical apprenticeship program that had over 300 applications for just 20 positions.  My interview was in front of a board of apprenticeship directors at a big large conference table.  Most 17-year olds would have been intimidated with all the seasoned construction veterans seated at the table firing questions, but I was not intimated in the least.  One question was definitive, “Son, what are you going to do if we don’t let you in this program? You know there are over 300 applications for just a few slots?” I replied in a confident but respectful tone, “Sir, I have my mind made up. I am going to be an electrician whether this board lets me in this program or not.”  When the final decision was made, I was selected in the top 3 of 300 candidates.  The power of a made-up mind tipped the scales in my favor. 

A large part of what I do as a career coach is helping people determine their path in the face of challenges. Some people may have been laid off or aged out of an industry.  Others are just trying to find their first job after school or after having spent time taking care of loved ones.  Finding a true career path is both a head and a heart journey.  If both your head and heart are aligned with faith and a desire to work, you have set the stage for a made-up mind. 

Many job seekers are just looking for anything that pays well.  This may be a good short-term strategy that is necessary for survival.  However, in terms of long term, our financial needs should be combined with our purpose for living.  According to Ephesians 2:10, we were all created for a special purpose. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” 

If we can find that purpose, make it both a heart and head journey while seeking the assistance of coaches, mentors, and counselors that can help guide us in the right direction; we will be successful in our journey.  The power of our made-up mind will prevail!

Author: Keith Henson

Keith Henson has been married to his wife Tina for 30 years. Together they have 2 children and 3 grandchildren. He enjoys teaching at Sunday school, fishing, and reading. He gained valuable coaching education at Rice University and from the Professional Christian Coaching Institute.   This education gave him the opportunity to transition his career from project management to a full-time career coaching position with WorkFaith in January of 2019.