Sometimes you just feel weak. It’s those periods when the life just seems to drain out of you and the very thought of all you have to get done pins you to the floor with the weight of wet sand. You’re not going to quit. You’re just feeling weak. You know you’ll eventually feel strong again, but today, you shake yourself and find nothing.

This happens to me too. People often write me asking, “C. J., how do you stay motivated all the time?” The short—and honest—answer is, “I don’t.” I’m just like anyone else. I have my good days, and I have my bad days. Nobody is special in this fight of life, and anyone who says otherwise is lying.

The difference is how long it takes me to bring myself back to a strong and motivated state. What helps me keep that time period short is the principles I’ve learned over the years, and one in particular is the power of a single strengthening thought.

Happy Thoughts Won’t Help

There’s a difference between “happy thoughts” and thoughts that breed strength. There’s a difference between positive thinking and being infused with ideas and outlooks that inspire you to overcome all things.

For too many, they think of Peter Pan’s flying through Neverland because he thinks “happy thoughts.” I’m actually more attracted to the outlook of Captain Hook. He had a plan to dominate. He counted all costs. He was willing to face anything to take control of Neverland. For him, happy thoughts meant nothing. He had one thought: knowing exactly what he wanted and the willingness to sacrifice in order to get it.

Of course, I’m not endorsing something evil when I offer Captain Hook as an example of personal achievement. I’m just trying to destroy the commonly held belief that thinking happy thoughts is what strengthens you. It doesn’t. What will truly empower you to overcome the obstacles life throws at you is when you’re reminded of the great purpose that you’re serving.

It’s not a happy thought that empowers the great warriors of ancient civilizations—it’s the thought of knowing their life and strength is dedicated in service of king and tribe. Their heads will lift higher as they’re reminded of the noble blood in their veins. Their spirits are quickened when they look upon the deadly beauty of their armor.

Their hearts begin to race when they flex their carved muscle and see the hordes of warriors that eat and sleep at their side. Finally, their breath quickens and a scream leaves their throats when their commander tells them they’re fighting for their women and children at home. It is these collective thoughts that strengthen the warrior’s soul, and this is not positive thinking. This is a worldview, and it’s what puts iron in their blood.

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Life is War. Never Forget That.

As the Metal Motivator, I’m not trying to create positive people—by that I mean people that are so positive they’re blind to reality. I’ll leave that task to the hundreds of other “motivational speakers” clamoring for the coveted spot of being a “keynote speaker” for any corporation that’ll hire them. I’m not following anybody’s course on “how to make a six-figure income by being a motivational speaker.” Screw that. I’m here for a higher purpose.

I want to create overcomers, conquerors, and warriors that understand they are serving a greater purpose when they maximize their resources, achieve their goals, and transform their lives. Life is not the friendly place that some would like you to believe. The world is a messed up place, and life will steamroll you if you just sit there and do nothing.

That’s why you need strength. That’s why you must be reminded of all the reasons why you’re fighting, so that when those days come that you feel weak, you will find renewed strength. It’s the whole picture that you must see. A happy thought won’t cut it. You must be transported to the grand vision of you as the self-sacrificial warrior whose life is dedicated to the greater purpose.

Who Are You Anyway?

So long as you continue to live below the clouds with your mind governed by pop culture, you’ll continue to be rocked off your feet by every wave that slams you. If you want to strengthen yourself, then you must have an outlook on life that’s greater than a happy thought.

Happy thoughts don’t create the kind of warriors we see in stories like Rocky, Rudy, Braveheart, or 300. Happy thoughts don’t inspire sacrifice, or move the wounded warrior to disregard his pain in order to win the day. For that, you need something higher. Something greater than yourself.

You’re not just a single mom. You’re a caretaker of little warriors whose future lies in your care. You’re not just a wandering student on a college campus. You’re a soldier of life preparing to master a skill that will help inspire others and maximize your greatness. You’re not some middle-aged do-nothing with no meaning to their life. You’re a sage—a wise one—who will take their life experience and finish their limited years by exceeding the first half of their life.

Now, are you still sitting there, or can you feel the iron seeping into your blood? Good. Now tell me in the comments below what you plan to do about it!


Are You Ready to Get Out of Your Rut, Take Your Life Back, Achieve Your Goals, and Launch a New Season?

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C. J. Ortiz
C. J. Ortiz

My mission is to help equip people to maximize their resources for a purpose greater than themselves. That's what my own mentors and teachers have done for me, and I'm paying it forward. Life can be merciless, and the world can be a messed up place, so what's needed is a stronger people that can both endure and overcome in life. My motto is, "In whatever you do, don't suck! Metal up!"

Leave a comment! Let me hear from you!

    38 replies to "Iron Blood: The Warrior’s Way to Personal Strength"

    • Pouyan Mohajerani

      I can tell you one thing those ancient warriors were NOT after: “inner peace”. Killer article.

    • C. J. - The Metal Motivator

      True that. Thanks, bro.

    • CourageIsAChoice

      Kill or be killed! Great article

    • C. J. - The Metal Motivator

      Thanks, Courage

    • Darlene Steelman

      I loved this post so much, I tweeted it.
      You’re right. The world is a messed up place. Life isn’t fair sometimes, but I have to suck it up. I have to get back up. Every time.
      And I killed my pizza!! moo ha ha.

      Thanks again for a great post, CJ.

    • C. J. - The Metal Motivator

      LOL! Thanks, Darlene!

    • Tarnya Damen

      So needed to hear this today. Thanks CJ

    • C. J. - The Metal Motivator

      Thanks, Tarnya!

    • AL

      Thanks C.J. I love the outlook on life you give in the last paragraph.

    • C. J. - The Metal Motivator

      Thanks. We’ve got to “dress up” life or it becomes mundane.

    • Ricky

      Great article—-I’m 55 years old—tatted up old biker who became a drug counselor 20 years ago after I couldn’t kill myself–LOL…You are so right on with the reality of life and what it takes to stay the course….3 years ago I hooked up with a brother of mine and started playing bass…I’ve been in a band now over 2 years and we are going strong and I’m having the time of my life….We have to look forward or we are just waiting to die and I refuse to do that….I’m grateful I found this site….love it…..Ricky

    • C. J. - The Metal Motivator

      That’s kick ass, Ricky! It’s an honor to have you here, my brother! Thanks for writing.

    • Trey

      My true strength, my true happiness is my true life power. Achievable
      by all.

    • Gsajenn

      great article… like I always say stand tall and ROAR dammit!

    • Awesome! Thanks.

    • Drew Wallen

      Inspired words. I’m listening.

    • Thank you, Drew.

    • Mo

      QUOTE:
      “You’re a sage—a wise one—who will take their life experience and finish their limited years by exceeding the first half of their life.”

      Damn $#$$%^ right!!!! I’m about to kick some major ass before I die. PERIOD!!!!

    • Awesome!

    • Yuriy Kalistratov

      Very good article! Totally agree!

    • Zack Southwell

      My question is how do you not work yourself into a frenzy constantly thinking about that? I’ve known for months, if not longer, that I need to make changes to improve myself but I keep falling back into old habits not making any actual change. it’s nerve-wracking

    • Jen Garisson

      I loved all your other articles but not this one. I would never want to become a vicious, competitive person with a survival mentality, even if they are more successful, because I would lose sight of myself. How can someone contribute something meaningful or create beauty in the world if they feel like they’re going to war, everyone’s an enemy and the world’s out to break them? There’s got to be another way to have success and fulfillment than turning into a hardened person. Those types lack empathy and don’t care who they hurt. I want to find a way to reach my dreams with integrity.

    • Julie

      How does standing strong, protecting loved ones, and self-sacrifice for a greater good make one vicious and hardened? ” Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 Love and strength are not opposites!

    • C. J. - The Metal Motivator

      Sweet Jen, have you ever heard of the term “metaphor?” Because that’s all this is. I said nothing about being competitive or any of those other things. It’s not about being hardened. It’s not about being angry. It’s none of those things.

      However, this is METAL Motivation, right? Don’t you see similar use of visual language in metal songs?

      It’s about serving a purpose greater than yourself which is what motivated the ancient warrior.

    • C. J. - The Metal Motivator

      Exactly, Julie, and since you’re quoting the Bible, I know of no other book that does more with “visual” language to describe life principles than the Bible.

    • C. J. - The Metal Motivator

      This way of thinking works for me. If you haven’t made changes yet, then there’s something you still find pleasurable about what you claim to hate. Otherwise, you’d change it.

    • Jen Garisson

      Thanks for your responses. I still don’t agree but I appreciate the time you both took to try to explain.

    • Anonymous

      Jen, integrity is what you will do when no-one is watching…If you want
      to deal with integrity in all situations, toughness and not hardness is
      a prerequisite. Toughness with integrity will not harm others but
      hardness will,(think trampoline) so it is completely possible to achieve all your
      dreams(if you convert them to planned and sequenced daily goals) with
      integrity and a complete peace with a clear conscience… remember first be, then do, then have.

      And actually do something focused in line with your goal. Rocking chairs are great for movement without direction….

    • Michel

      Inner peace comes from knowing one’s true strength and being safe in knowing it is there should the need arise, but not needing to parade it for all others to see. It is not smelling incense and thinking happy thoughts, but rather, being a warrior ready should the fight ever come your way!

      Once again CJ, your way with words is an inspiration!

    • bob

      I’m going to drink more beer. Then I’m gonna get to work!

    • Kenn Youngar

      Great stuff again brother!

    • C. J. - The Metal Motivator

      Thanks, Michel!

    • C. J. - The Metal Motivator

      I’m with ya!

    • C. J. - The Metal Motivator

      Kenny! Let’s get together again, bro.

    • Erin Simmons

      Finally a speaker I can relate to! Life is NOT all sunshine and lollipops. Life’s a bitch sometimes. Keep the inner fires going CJ. You got me riled up. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Fay Hébé

      Finally someone down to earth saying the true things!!! I’m kinda sick of the ”fluffy-bunnies-and-butterflies” mentalities that are completely delusional, and wanna make you all soft and submissive and ”happy” without feeling accomplished, so that they can keep control of you like a little puppet. Time to get into combative mood and break walls to get a real life. It is indeed a war outside, and if i don’t do that, i’ll never get a life – especially as a handicapped woman, since it’s even harder for me to not be considered as a simple waste in society. It’s not because i walk with a cane that i’m not worth anything and i should be pushed aside or worse (some people think all handicaps should be put to death, can you imagine that), and it’s definitely not with a fluffy-bunnies-and-butterflies mentality that i will fight my way to success. I’m awakening the shieldmaiden in me and putting on my combat boots and soon i’ll be kicking asses… with my cane 😉 And it’s not about being wicked with people and mean and so on like some might think – it’s about standing for yourself and fight for your place in life. Cause nobody’s gonne give it to you for free.

    • C. J. - The Metal Motivator

      You’re welcome, Erin. Thanks for writing.

    • C. J. - The Metal Motivator

      Damn right! Thanks for writing, my friend.

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