All right, here’s another review of the Landmark Forum that popped up on Yahoo voices. The reviewer talks about his experience of going to a Landmark Introduction wondering why everyone seemed so happy, as if they were pretending to care about his life, to registering for the Forum with the help of his friend, to showing up at the course late, to being surprised at the openness of the people attending, to the results he’s had in his life over the last five years since he’s taken the Landmark Forum. Go to Yahoo Voices for the whole Landmark review.
March 15, 2012
January 12, 2011
Just read a rather gushing review of the Landmark Forum – what I found most interesting, perhaps because it captures the essence of what I personally got out of the Landmark Forum, is the recognition of the reviewer that the challenging issues that he was going through weren’t personal – everyone deals with stuff.
You know that person in your life who either hurt you or just annoys the heck out of you? Their behavior isn’t personal; it’s just them doing their thing. We know this intellectually, but we don’t act like it – we still take it personally. I think more than anything, people realize in the Landmark Forum that nothing they are dealing with in their life is truly ‘personal’ – it doesn’t imply anything really bad about them; they’re just a human being dealing with life.
Here’s the gushing review.
September 9, 2010
I was just reading a story about a very moving proposal a man made at the end of his landmark forum to his girlfriend. The man writes how he saw in the landmark forum that it made a huge difference to get beyond that voice of doubt in our heads that tell us something isn’t possible.
He had a dozen friends at the end of his course, including his girlfriend, and he took them all aside after the forum completed, told them all how much they meant to them and what future he saw that he could have together, and ended by proposing to his girlfriend, who of course tearfully accepted. My summation is a terribly clumsy recap of this moving story – read for yourself the story of Monica and Mark.
August 17, 2010
A woman recently blogged about a breakthrough she’d had in a Landmark Education course that struck near to my heart – the willingness to give away a responsibility rather than doing it all myself. Those of us who are control freaks often fear to surrender even the most basic tasks to others for fear they’ll muck it up.
Now, this is what I call a perfect example of a ‘blind spot’ that you see in the Landmark Forum – something others can see about you, but you can’t, or maybe you can see it but you don’t get the full impact of it and you don’t see away of changing your behaviour (“that’s just the way I am”).
In this post, the woman shares about seeing what it cost her to do everything herself, and how it led to a total breakthrough in her delegating things. I won’t try to explain further: at her suger coat it blog, read for yourself.
June 21, 2010
The most recent Landmark Forum review I read debunks Myth #124 about the Landmark Forum (one of the more amusing ones), which is that it’s some sort of multi-level marketing or pyramid scheme. I’ve taken some of the Landmark courses and know people who have done every leadership program and there’s no kickback for recruiting people, no upstream, no nothing. People simply recommend it if they want to or not. I think the myth comes from the idea that if someone is passionately speaking about something, they have to have a self-interest. Our cynical antennae kick in.
This review does a fairly good job of describing the course, and how she got past her initial cynicism to get a lot of value out of the Landmark Forum. This is what I consider the most interesting line:
“I agree what he spoke about was pretty much what I was aware of, but it was probably something I didn’t give much thought to. I mean I had it at the back of my mind, but I didn’t think it would be possible to put it into action.”
This doesn’t sound so spectacular, but I think it’s the key to the Landmark Forum. Hearing something that you’ve always known to be true, but you didn’t always act upon – the course inspires you to actually to take action upon the ‘wisdom of your better angels’.
Read the review at the just for kicks blog at the link above.
May 24, 2010
This latest, detailed review of The Landmark Forum has an amusing reference to the classic American movie, Citizen Kane, which I think gets a mention in the Forum itself these days.
I don’t have a lot of time today, so I won’t give all my opinions about the whole post, but read it yourself – it’s really quite moving. The writer is willing to share their realization that they threw away the most valuable relationship they’d ever had in their lives for superficial reasons.
Go check out the Still Alive and India blog and you’ll get a sense of what someone looks like when they are fully alive.
March 23, 2010
All right, since I’m feeling rather lazy today I’m going to simply direct you to a blog post that gives the experience of three people regarding the Landmark Forum. It’s a great post, particularly since it doesn’t indulge in the kind of intellectualizing I’m often guilty of – it simply shares the impact the course had on the day-to-day lives of three people in concrete terms.
One person shares about how they had opinions about everything in the world but never actually bothered to do anything about it; another about how they were in about to quit taking flying lessons because they didn’t like the instructor; a third that they believed they were unwanted by their parents. In all three stories, the people shared about taking a different action based on something that made a huge difference for them in the Landmark Forum. Read the whole thing at Solid Gold Creativity.
March 17, 2010
I find it amusing that someone recently started a website about personal development programs that they titled simply ‘It’s Not a Cult‘. While the site itself has a pretty extensive description/review of The Landmark Forum, I like it especially for the sentence which begins to describe the site:
In navigating the vast world of self development programs, we think that there are better questions to ask than “is this a cult?”
Calling something a cult is a conversation ender. It’s the organisational equivalent of calling someone a racist – it casts a dark shadow that is hard to dispel. It implies that something is nefarious, insular and strange and brooks no argument. Most of the random internet folks I’ve seen calling a personal development program a cult aren’t really interested in making a serious case for this; they’d simply like to scare you into not looking to something. The ‘cult alarmists’ usually have a few things in common:
1) They argue that one should should trust so-called ‘experts’ (random people like themselves on the internet) instead of one’s own experience – people are too vulnerable/weak/stupid to judge things for themselves.
2) They believe people should be afraid, very afraid – bogeymen exist everywhere trying to con you, to steal your money and your soul.
3) They believe any personal development that exists outside their personal paradigm of choice – religion or psychology, usually – is dangerous hogwash.
Fact is, I’ve seen a whole lot of personal development courses of all shapes and sizes, some I’ve liked and some I didn’t, but I’ve yet to encounter one that I would call a cult by the true definition of one. There are a whole lot of good questions to ask about any self help course – what are the intended goals, what are the methods, is this company’s a philosophy a match for what I wish to accomplish – but, as this website says, “Is this a cult?” is rarely one of them. It’s like going to an auto dealership and asking “Will this car explode when I attempt to drive it?” – probably won’t help you find the auto you’re looking for.
Anyways, the review above is worth reading – it gives many details about the landmark forum that would answer someone’s more reasonable questions.
March 2, 2010
I don’t think there is any idea in the Landmark Forum that is both more powerful and more misunderstood than the idea of being unreasonable. A Facebook page about Landmark led me to this blog, which shares how the idea of being unreasonable made a huge difference in his life when he was dealing with having cancer.
The way we usually mean it, calling someone ‘unreasonable’ means someone who refuses to recognize reality – someone who is unfair or blind. That’s not what’s being said here. Rather, it literally means being someone who isn’t run by reasons.
You could say that our minds are brilliant analytical machines. They can look at a hundred pros and cons of a situation, and give you seventy good reasons to do something and thirty good reasons not to. When we are being ‘reasonable’, our actions are dictated by the weight of what the most ‘good reasons’ tell us to do. In general, this is a very useful way to operate; it’s probably what’s had us survive and thrive as a species.
However, there can be a couple of problems with this approach to life. One is that our minds are excellent at coming up with reasons to support our current worldview. For instance, if I want to do something but I’m afraid to do it, our mind can come up with a thousand reasons to justify our fear, to say why it can be done later, and generally justify why we should keep doing what we’re doing. You could say one of our mind’s jobs is to have us avoid danger, so if something looks in any way risky, our mind will find many reasons not to pursue something.
So while the mind is good at maintaining things the way they are, the reasons our mind comes up with are often not useful when you really want something outside of the way things are predictably going. In such a case, being ‘unreasonable’ is what’s called for. This doesn’t mean ignoring reasons and facts, but simply not being a slave to them.
To put it in real world terms, the blogger was dealing with an aggressive course of chemotherapy for his cancer and barely had the strength to walk. Nonetheless, as soon as his course of treatments were over, he registered for the Ride To Conquer Cancer, a 260 kilometre ride to raise money for a Cancer charity. His health gave him a host of reasons not to do this, but it was what he wanted, for such a bold act filled him with excitement and optimism and gave him a future.
He hired a personal trainer, went to work, and had a life-altering experience, a new sense of what he could accomplish, as he crossed the finish line. It never would have happened if he was a slave to his reasons.
I would go so far as to say that when we get really inspired by someone, it’s because they went beyond what they thought they were capable of, beyond what one could reasonably expect of them to achieve something extraordinary. This is why I find Olympic athletes so inspiring – they have a dedication and commitment to extraordinary performance that goes far beyond what would be considered an acceptable or ‘reasonable’ effort.
Go read Tim Stringer’s blog for yourself.
January 8, 2010
There’s a story that all of you should read that eloquently expresses the power of taking a stand for something, telling the truth to yourself, and focusing on who you are instead of just what you’re doing.
This blogger tells two stories: the first is a nice little piece about New Years resolutions and why they almost never work. Her point, and it is an excellent one, is that simply trying to change one’s behavior without altering any conception of who one actually is tends to be futile in the long run. This is because who we are pulls for a certain kind of behaviour, or doing, and what we try to alter what we do while being the same person we’ve always been it’s like swimming upstream.
Take this example: you know you’re a fat lazy slob who’s 20 kilos overweight. You don’t like this about yourself so you make a resolution to eat less and exercise more. You go to the gym – it’s hard, you don’t want to, but you force yourself, and you force yourself to eat less as well. At some point, you give into temptation and oversleep and don’t make it to the gym or eat that piece of chocolate cake because just one won’t hurt, and then you’re done for. Now you know yourself to be a fat lazy slob who’s 20 kilos overweight and is too weak-willed to do anything about it.
What went wrong? You tried to alter your behaviour without altering your being. You still were for yourself a fat, lazy person who hated exercise, and that made if excruciating to take actions. Willpower only gets you so far.
This is where the power of taking a stand comes in – declaring oneself to not just do something different, but be somebody different. Get inspired by the kind of person that you could be. Actions then tend to alter by themselves, more naturally.
The second part of the blog post talks about fooling yourself. Sometimes we don’t take a stand because we lie to ourselves. She talks about going to a Tony Robbins event, and realizing she was lying to herself about being a smoker, and that telling the truth gave her the freedom to take a stand and quit. Take a look; it both embodies a lot of why I got out of Landmark Education and is quite well written. Plus I love Tony Robbins and the story about him is excellent!