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A few years ago, I had an argument with one of my sisters, about her watching “As the World Turns”. Basically I was trying to discourage her from watching all these soap operas. I gave her many reasons not to. It waste of time, it is petty, and it promotes vanity.

Anyway, after about two hour of sermon she told me she would try to stop. Thinking about the whole discussion, though, I realized that I could have summarized it in a better way: As the World Turns is not something pure.

If you lookup pure in the dictionary, pure refers to things that are free of dirt or pollution, that have a uniform composition, that are complete and sinless. The interesting thing is that this concept can be extended to virtually any field or venture. There are pure movies and impure movies. There is pure talk and impure talk. There are pure people and impure people.

Many people wonder why they’re not happy, even if they are financially stable. Apply the principle of purity to your life and it will become much easier to decide the things you should be doing and the ones you shouldn’t. I assure you will feel better about yourself and your decisions.

Sitting in front of the television watching soap operas or reality shows is impure. It will not make you grow as a human being. It will not make you more conscious. Sometimes, in fact, it will do exactly the opposite.

Have time to spare? Learn a foreign dance. Spend some time with friends and family. Read a good book. Learn how to play an instrument. Practice a sport. These are pure things.

Not convinced that this principle applies to virtually anything? Think about your job. You could always step on other people to rise and make more money. You could always put honesty and integrity aside and do whatever it takes to gain more power.

Is such attitude pure? Would this be worth it? I don’t think so.

In the end it will be only you and a mirror, and usually only pure images get reflected.

Photo by DownTown Pictures

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I’m 30 years old, and I’ve made my fair amount of mistakes in my life. I’m not a big believer in regrets … and I have learned a lot from every single mistake and to this date my life is great.
However, there are a few things I wish I had known when I was graduating from high school and heading out as an adult in life.

Would I change things? Hmm…I’m not so sure. I might never have gotten into a mountain of credit card debt, but then I wouldn’t have learned the amazing satisfaction of getting out of it. I might have made better career choices, but then I wouldn’t have all the work experience that makes me the Senior FedEx CSR and blogger that I am today.

I might not left my parents home to go rent a single studio apartment at $600.00 a month …but then I wouldn’t know how it is to live my own and how to budget my money.

I don’t think I would change any of that. However, looking back, there are some lessons I’ve learned that I would probably tell my 18-year-old self. Do I share them now to share my regrets? No, I share them in hopes that younger men and women, just starting out in life, can benefit from my mistakes and my lessons.

What follows isn’t a thorough list, but it’s one that I hope proves useful to at least a few people.

Control my impulse spending. If there’s anything that got me in trouble financially, its impulse spending. Buying clothes when I don’t need them. Buying gadgets because I gotta have them. Ordering stuff online because it’s so easy. These days I’ve learned to control my impulses, at least a little better. Now, I give myself some time to breathe. I think over my purchases, see if I’ve got the money, think about whether it’s a need or a want. That would have been a useful tool 15 years ago.

You gotta stay active. I was in cricket, cross country and basketball in high school, but once I started working, the running and basketball began to slowly fade away. Not right away — I played pick-up basketball for years after high school. But even that went away, until I became inactive. Playing with my friends outdoors winded me. Am very active now, but I’m still trying to as fit as was in high school.

How to plan finances. I always knew that I was supposed to budget and track my spending, when I became an adult and decide to rent my first apartment. I just was too lazy to do it. And I didn’t have a good idea of how to actually do it. Now, I’ve learned how to plan, and how to stick to that plan. Sure, I deviate from my plan, but I’ve learned how to handle that too. Maybe that’s not a skill you can learn from book reading. You just gotta practice. Well, I hope to teach it to my children before they go out on their own.

Watching TV is a huge, huge waste of time. I don’t know how much TV I’ve watched over the years, but most of it is just crap – except sports of course. Hours and days and weeks I’ll never have back. Who cares what happens on reality TV, when reality is slipping by outside? Time is something you’ll never get back — don’t waste it on TV.

Bacardi white run is seriously evil. I won’t go into details, but it should suffice to say that I had some bad experiences, and I’m not sure I learned very much from them or benefited in any way except to learn that Bacardi is the drink of the Devil.

Here is a bonus! 😀

Forget the Daily drama. Focus on being happy. There have been many things that have happened to me, professionally and personally, that seem like the end of the world. And while these things were bad, they get blown up in our heads so that they become major drama. They caused me to be depressed from time to time. What a waste of time. If I realized that it was all in my head and that I could be happy instead if I focused on the positive, on what I did have, and what I could be doing … I could have skipped all the moping about.

All these mistakes you’re going to make, despite this advice? 🙂 They’re worth it. My 18-year-old self would maybe have read this post and said, “Good advice!” And then he would have proceeded to make the same mistakes, despite good intentions. I was a good kid, but I wasn’t good at following advice. I had to make my own mistakes, and live my own life. And that’s what I did, and I don’t regret a minute of it. Every experience I’ve had (even the barcardi ones) have led me down the path of life to where I am today. I love where I am today, and wouldn’t trade it for the world. The pain, the stress, the drama, the hard work, the mistakes, the depression, the hangovers, the debt… it was all worth it.

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Remember Alex Boylan? The former Amazing Race winner and host of the reality travel series ‘Around the World for Free’. Well, Alex has concluded his travels around the world.

After five months and 45,000 miles, Alex is now back in New York worn out, but still sharing the many wonders he experienced – especially that of Dominica Island.

When asked in his interview with CBS Reporter Chris Wragge ‘Which were the really really great moments?

Destination-wise, Alex chose Dominica to be his Favorite destination by far. Once again Dominica has won the heart of another World-traveler.

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