Life has many ironies, and they can either upset or amuse you. This man, even if overwhelmed by frustration, opted for the second option:

While serving in the British merchant marine during World War I, actor Herbert Marshall participated in an operation that required everyone to wear life jackets all the time.

You can imagine that the conditions of the job, the sweat, the soil over days and then weeks made the vests not only uncomfortable but foul smelling as well. At some point he even seriously thought that drowning would be a better outcome than wearing the darned vest again.

But things went relatively good and then finally got to port safely. Almost immediately upon disembarking, the man grabbed the vest and threw it into the water, happy to get rid of it at last.

You can imagine his face when the life jacket, that was supposed to be his safeguard in case of going overboard, sank to the bottom of the pier instantly.

The only thing he could do was laugh.

Well… life jacket or not, and despite some grave setbacks that I’ll touch on future writings, we got to enjoy his performances in movies like “The Letter”, along Bette Davis.

As for the vest, it should still be at the bottom of the Pier, if it hasn’t disintegrated yet. We are talking about 100 years ago!

But that useless item is important. Because dropping something that is a burden to you must be the right thing to do, right?

After all, if something that should help you is instead holding you back, you’d better get rid of it as soon as possible. That is just common sense.

But I will tell you something about human nature: once we hold on to something we think we ‘need’, that thing can get rotten, foul-smelling and even impair our performance.

And I’m not talking about those old, worn-out jeans you’re thinking about! nope.

I’m talking about beliefs.

Not only beliefs, but also patterns of thought, heuristics, or anything that you believe about the world or about yourself.

I’ll give you a personal example: When I left Venezuela in self-exile, my current character was ‘full’ of patterns of thought that were pretty much useless already.

But… they had worked fine in the last five years, they should work fine now, right?


Because it was a different time, in a different country, with no support whatsoever for me or my family.

And yes, I made the fatal mistake of keeping the same thought patterns. I failed to become liquid and flexible. I failed in becoming a novice again. Of embracing the apprentice state of mind.

And I paid a handsomely painful price for it.

But the thing that helped me the most was dropping some preconceived patterns about myself.

Now I’m always attentive about my own thoughts and patterns to spot anything that could be dragging me down.

Like Marshall’s life jacket. It’s a good thing he never had to ‘use’ it, by the way.

Everybody says that life should be a constant process of learning.

Nobody talks about the constant process of un-learning.

Of dropping the dead weight, the old processes, the old beliefs when they no longer serve you. When your circumstances have changed. When your aspirations have shifted. When you have clearer goals and a sharper grasp on your own values.

Take time this weekend to clean up your house.

And by your house, I mean your mind.

Throw the useless life jacket overboard, watch it sink, and laugh.

I promise your journey will be jolly!

Much Love and Bliss,


P.S. Body Language will help you in that journey. Download my free 100+ body language tips here: