Little to say for myself

Monday, December 15, 2003

I thought I'd be brainwashed. But how wrong could I be...

At last - a mainstream article in yesterday's Observer about Landmark Education from the perspective of someone who has been there and done it, rather than from a cynical outsider:
It claims to be about self-improvement but it's been accused of exploiting the gullible, even of being a cult. Others say it transforms their lives. So what is the Landmark Forum? And what does it do? Amelia Hill decided to find out. What she discovered about the Forum - and about herself - will surprise you
In fact (and this is just a small niggle) it never "claims to be about self-improvement". It actually claims that there's no need for "improvement" because we're all great the way we are. It's just that we invent a whole load of stuff about ourselves and our lives that holds us back. That nit-pick aside, it's a well-balanced and believable account, taking us from a cynical/sceptical outset (where most assessments stop) to a true reflection of the experience of the vast majority of graduates.

I particularly like the way she addresses the "cult" charge:
Landmark has faced accusations of being a cult, but I saw nothing of that. Far from working to separate us from our families and friends, we were told there was no relationship too dead to be revived, no love too cold to be warmed.
I invite you to read the full article, and especially the 7 "commandments" at the end. Not only that - I invite you read them in a particular way. Rather than look at them and think "My God, what a load of motivational/pretentious/American/Self-help gobble-de-gook", try looking at them and thinking "How would it ACTUALLY be to live a life this way?":
  • Be Racket-Free: give up being right - even when you know you were.
  • Be Powerful: be straight in your communication and take what you get.
  • Be Courageous: acknowledge your fear (not necessarily get rid of it) and then act.
  • Be Peaceful: give up the interpretation that there's something wrong.
  • Be Charismatic: give up trying to get somewhere. Be entirely fulfilled in the present moment.
  • Be Enrolling: share your new possibilities in such a way that others are touched, moved and inspired.
  • Be Unreasonable: in expectations of yourself and others beyond what you would think they are capable of.
I can tell you, it's amazing when I manage it.

posted by Plig | 14:13 |

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