In 2005 I took the Landmark Forum. It was an incredible three-day workshop.
The Landmark Forum is an extension of the est seminars from the 1970s. (If you are too young to remember Werner Erhard, founder of est, then read about him here. For the full treatment, see this book.)
If you take the Landmark Forum, the first thing that you will be told is that you are forbidden to take notes on the workshop.
This was too much for me to resist.
I took notes. In fact, I have many pages of notes on the Landmark Forum.
Following are selected quotations from those notes:
We live absurd, small lives based on suppressed emotions, irrational decisions, hiding what we truly think and feel, and a total absence of integrity—that is, on making promises and consistently failing to keep them.
We live with a constant fear of looking bad in front of other people, and then we pretend constantly that we aren’t afraid.
Our whole existence is based on pretense and being inauthentic; on failing to keep our agreements; on settling for reasons, rationalizations, and excuses rather than results; and on irrational decisions we made as children.
We make up stories about what happens in life, and we use those stories to justify breaking our agreements, holding back, and avoiding risks.
We are not human beings. We are machines that are based on automatic reactions—complex chains of stimulus-response pairs.
We don’t choose our response to events; we just react to them. And we can easily be manipulated.
This is only the tip of the iceberg—a statement of the problem and not the solution. If you want more, leave a comment on this post and let me know.
I will say this, though: During the Landmark Forum, I learned to not fear what other people think of me.
This was liberating.