I hate getting to the movies on time. Why? Because being on time is actually arriving way too early. It means sitting through interminable numbers of coming attractions while eating most of my popcorn before the show starts. Obviously, I’m a slow learner when it comes gauging arrivals.

But, like many situations in life, occasionally an error can lead to an unanticipated benefit. On my last cinema sojourn, as I delved deep into my maize bucket, I heard this sentence as a preview rattled on:

“I’m learning how to let go of the destructive parts of my character”

Perking up instantly, I borrowed a pen from my startled wife while fumbling for the nearest piece of paper – my movie ticket. I jotted down the above quote which advertised the unknown film.

“Newsletter topic!” I blurted. The couple in front of us inexplicably moved from their seats to another location.

So that’s the origin of this week’s newsletter. That may not matter, but the pearls buried within the “coming attraction” message is. How many of us are captives to personal traits that scuttle our life progress? Like barnacles attached to our hull, they slow us down and corrupt our structure.

And where did these dictums come from? Parents? Critical peers or toxic relationship partners? It really doesn’t matter. Recognizing their existence and choosing to reject or overcome from does, however.

As I contemplated the original quote, I’m inclined to add a little four letter word to the original line. That tiny word is “self.” Let’s re-write (and re-read) the original quote:

“I’m learning how to let go of the self-destructive parts of my character”

As children, we can be victims of the toxic and destructive messages that we heard years ago. They were harmful, mostly because we accept and believe them as adults. We adults have the ability to reject those intonations. Progress, as the quote implies, flows from learning how to discard them.

Homework: Pretty simple. Search your consciousness for emotionally powerful, but rationally inaccurate thoughts and beliefs. For example, were you told that you were lazy, shy, sloppy or a procrastinator as a child? Are you? If not, then unburden yourself of that negative thought that plagues you.

If you are lazy, shy, sloppy or a procrastinator then recognize that your lack of productivity lies in that belief, and not in the objective reality that any person can choose to move in any desired direction. If you can speak, you have the ability to overcome shyness. If you can move, you have the means to end laziness or procrastination.

Let the searching and scouring begin!