Walk the Path: Never Give Up on Your Purpose and Mission

“Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it. No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one will. We ourselves must walk the path.” – Fake Buddha Quotes

walk the path

My Father “Walks the Path” that lies before us on a beautiful Spring day in the mountains

The reality of our current culture and state of society is that in order to survive we must have water, food, shelter, and our own preferred lifestyle comforts. In order to meet these demands of survival we need a certain amount of money or ‘means of exchange‘ to secure them.

Unfortunately, the basic necessities of life aren’t given to us freely… or are they? (Air, Water, Sunshine, Vegetation, Love) Okay, well maybe some very important ones are provided to us by the Universe. Yet, we still need some cold, hard cash to purchase the good things in modern society. 😉

For most of us, that means defaulting to a JOB. (Just Over Broke).

Now maybe you were born into a wealthy family, and never had to work a day in your life! Or perhaps you’ve found a job and career that you love and enjoy doing. The former means you’re a lucky bastard, while the latter means you’re pretty bad ass and I’m really proud of you!

Unfortunately, for a vast majority of people in this world, our job doesn’t necessarily interest us, or fulfill us in the way we would prefer. So in the end, we either settle, or we go seeking for a deeper meaning and purpose for our life.

Deep down, I believe, that we’d all like to get paid to do what we love and enjoy! Myself included, and that’s why I’ve started this website.

However, at this point in my life, I still have to work at a job to cover my expenses. Sometimes you’ve just gotta do what you’ve gotta do…

Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out

“Once I lived the life of a millionaire. Spent all my money, didn’t have any care. Took all my friends out for a mighty good time. Bought bootleg liquor, champagne and wine. Then I began to fall so low. Lost all my good friends, I had nowhere to go.” – Eric Clapton, Down and Out

I’ve worked a lot of crappy jobs in my earlier days (fast food burger flipper, crooked car wash, nauseous perfume factory), and immediately after college (accounts receivable, collections, finance). I’ve been fired, laid off several times, and dreaded going to work.

In fact, after graduating college with a Business degree in 2000, my first “real” job was in the finance department of an electrical and communications company. Things were going fairly well until the Dot Com Bubble burst, and our company took a major hit. They began laying off employees and eventually it trickled down to my department.

I had to file for unemployment and begin searching for a new position.

my old band

My old band, Malice Intended rockin’ out circa 2001

The failed dream for my life was to become a rock star… not to work at some lame, boring company.  Yet, as fate would have it, my band broke up in 2002. All of my dreams came crashing to a halt as reality kicked me square in the face.

After filing for unemployment, the band breaking up, and then being let go from several temp jobs – my confidence and belief in myself was at an all time low.

My hubris had finally caught up with me. It seemed life was now providing a much needed lesson in humility.

One of my “office jobs” was so crappy that I didn’t even have an office!

All that I was given were the following items: a phone, a few pens, a little table on wheels as a make-shift desk, and a list of people I had to call to collect money from.

Since I didn’t have an office of my own, I had to share space with the real employees of the company. One day, the lady who’s office I was sharing asked me to wheel my table down the hall to another vacant office.

She claimed that she wanted her privacy back, but I think my highly toxic protein powder farts (from my bulking up days) might of had something to do with it!?!?! 😛 hahaha

Every day at lunch I would go sit in my truck and read a book called, “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Zen Living”. I pondered how I ended up in this scenario, and prayed for a way to make it through this. I had to find my new path and purpose in life.

The only thing I could do was surrender and accept that this was my current predicament, while I kept striving to improve myself, and find something better. In an attempt to widen my options, I told my representative at the financial temp agency to keep me in mind for other positions besides “accounts receivable” or “collections” work.

She said she would see what else was available for someone with my experience and background. I thanked her and then got back to work reading books, and brainstorming for business ideas, and strategies that could eventually help me win my success and freedom.

Then in 2004, after much reflection, self-improvement, and fourteen or more unfruitful interviews – I finally caught a break!

The temp agency called and said they had set up an interview for me with a little financial firm in Burlington, NC. She had thought of me for the position, since I mentioned that I was looking for something different.

After having honed my skills on so many unsuccessful attempts, this interview felt like a breeze. Even so, I sent them a thank you note, as I had read it’s a good practice to follow.

It paid off BIG TIME!  Not only did the company hire me, they mentioned the “thank you note” as one of the “little things” that set me a part from the other candidates interviewing for the position. I was the only person to send one, and they said it spoke highly of my character.

You Don’t Just Step Inside to 14 Years

“But it’s been fourteen years of silence. It’s been fourteen years of pain. It’s been
fourteen years that are gone forever, and I’ll never have again.” – Guns N’ Roses, 14 Years

Suit up

Suit up!!!

For the past fourteen years, I’ve worked for that same financial planning, and wealth management firm. I’ve watched it grow from a small town practice into a firm with over $3 Billion in Assets Under Management, locations in Greensboro, Raleigh, and Charlotte, North Carolina, and run by a team of 25 highly motivated, intelligent, and generous people.

It’s been an invaluable opportunity that’s pushed me to grow and further develop myself as a person and member of the team.

It’s taught me about investing, financial planning, and has given me an insider’s look into how a highly profitable enterprise is run.

The company is led by a team of multi-millionaires, and principal’s that value respect, honesty and integrity. They promote a culture of teamwork, commitment to excellence, and getting things done, efficiently. Under their guidance and leadership the company has become one of the premier wealth management firms in the southeastern United States.

Life is good! I owe this company a great deal of appreciation for the generosity and impact they’ve had on my life. It’s sort of one of the best things that’s ever happened to me, and yet also my cage… a nice, cushy cage! haha

I only joke about it being my “cage”, mainly because I’ve never really considered this job to be my ultimate passion, or calling in life. I’ve always envisioned myself in a more artistically inspired profession.  None-the-less, I’m extremely grateful for the experience, and the opportunity to learn, and work with some of the top people in the financial services field.

The CEO has been a kind, inspiring mentor to me, and a great example of philanthropic leadership.

Brandon's work

Standing in front of our new office building where I work for a Private Wealth Management Firm

Life is strange in that way; sometimes we don’t get what we desire, but rather what we NEED for our own growth and evolution. In retrospect, this position has been one of the major blessings in my life, and an integral part of making me the man I am today.

“There are many things given to us in this life for the wrong reasons. What we do with such blessings, that is the true test of a man.” – Gannicus

On the one hand, this position has been a godsend for me; by providing me with the favorable circumstances to get my act and life together! Yet on the other hand, I don’t believe that it’s my true purpose in this life. Deeper within my heart, I feel I’m being called to do something more. To be something more…

Prior to coming to work for the firm, I was an aspiring entrepreneur who dreamed of starting his own internet business. Remember when I was working for that crappy job, sitting in my truck on my lunch breaks, and praying to find my new path and purpose in life?

Well, starting an internet-based business, and becoming an “Infopreneur” was the idea that came to me! I had big dreams of creating an informative website, helping and inspiring people, and making a true difference in their lives. Yet truth be told, I didn’t have a clue, or the confidence, and dedication to make it happen at the time.

In the back of my mind, I felt like a failure in life who hadn’t actually achieved anything worthwhile.

“Who am I to help others?”, I thought, and “Why would they listen to me?”  My diminished inner confidence, crippling self-doubt, and fear of failing again were holding me back from taking the very actions that I needed to take in order to succeed.  There were many life lessons that I still had to learn.

Despite the trials and tribulations, I’ve never given up on my dream, my ultimate purpose, and my mission for freedom! Beyond the limitations of these inner demons, I know I am meant for greatness (as are we all).

We must start from the reality of were we are, and WALK THE PATH to our destiny!
Or forever see it slip from our grasp…

Going from Good to Great to F*cking Awesome!

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller

Chen Style Taijiquan at Sunrise

Practicing Chen Style Taijiquan at Sunrise on the beach in Charleston, SC

Over the past decade, I’ve spent a lot of time, and money studying successful people, researching how to run an internet business, and creating and designing this website with my brother in our spare time.

This blog is actually our third website, and of them all, it’s the cream of the crop!

I’ve wasted enough time “dreaming” of the life I want to live, and not enough time DOING what it takes to make it manifest.

I firmly intend to turn my ‘passions into profits‘, by sharing the lessons, insights, and tactics I’ve learned over the years with YOU!

Now, whether you want to call it my purpose, my passion, my mission, or whatever….

The reality I envision for myself is to create the freedom to live my life, my way, and to do the things I truly enjoy on a daily basis. It’s just one of the major dreams I have for my life. I’m getting FIRED UP just thinking about it! 😀

My life purpose is to help you Unleash the Power of Your Ultimate Potential. To help you transform your body, master your mind, and cultivate your spirit into that of an Awakened Warrior. I’d like to share with you the practical principles I’ve learned throughout my own life journey. I want to help you rise above anything that’s holding you back, and live the life you’ve imagined for yourself!

Together, we’re going to go from good to great to f*cking awesome! We’re going to live the lives of our dreams, and experience the best that this life has to offer. Together we’ll walk the path to greatness by fulfilling our mission and purpose in this world.

First, you have to GET CLEAR about what you truly want out of this life.

Secondly, you have to BELIEVE without a doubt that you can make it happen.

Finally, you must TAKE INSPIRED ACTION each and every day until you make that vision your reality!

In order to unleash our ultimate potential, we’re going to have to grow and evolve into the men, and women that will never give up on their purpose and missions in life. We must become the men, and women who know that they can achieve anything they put their minds to. We’re going to have to adopt a higher level of drive, dedication, and determination.

If you want it badly enough, then choose it, and let’s relentlessly go after it! As the Stoic philosopher, Epictetus wrote in his treatise on The Art of Living:

“Now is the time to get serious about living your ideals. Once you have determined the spiritual principles you wish to exemplify, abide by these rules as if they were laws, as if it were indeed sinful to compromise them. Don’t mind if others don’t share your convictions.

How long can you afford to put off who you really want to be? Your nobler self cannot wait any longer. Put your principles into practice – now. Stop the excuses and the procrastination. This is your life! You aren’t a child anymore. The sooner you set yourself to your spiritual program, the happier you will be. The longer you wait, the more you’ll be vulnerable to mediocrity and feel filled with shame and regret, because you know you are capable of better.

From this instant on, vow to stop disappointing yourself. Separate yourself from the mob. Decide to be extraordinary and do what you need to do – now.” 

Unleash Your Ultimate Potential,

Brandon Cook

About Brandon Cook

Brandon Cook is the founder of Awakened Warriors.com, a website with the sole-purpose of helping one million people Unleash the Power of Their Ultimate Potential. Brandon has been studying the principles of success, philosophy, optimal nutrition and fitness training for almost two decades. Additionally, he has a bachelors degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Banking and Finance. Brandon has worked for one of North Carolina's premier Financial Planning and Wealth Management Firms for over fourteen years. His main hobbies and passions include singing and playing the guitar, motorcycles, martial arts, and exploring the great outdoors.

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