11 September 2008

Inside a Landmark Forum weekend

The Landmark Forum is a penetrating, challenging inquiry into issues that determine our personal effectiveness, says the brochure. Health24 went through the intensive three days.

Most people are striving towards something, believing that when they achieve one thing, happiness, or at least contentment, will naturally follow - "when I get that job… ", "if I could lose 10kg…", "when I earn that much…", "if only my kids would listen…"

But this is what makes us human, you may argue, our ability to improve ourselves and our situations.

happier, is stopping us from being happy right now?

What is the Landmark Forum?
The Landmark Forum is, well, a forum or discussion, where the Landmark philosophy of "achieving an extraordinary life" is shared. The company presenting this forum is called Landmark Education - an international training and development company that has been around for almost 18 years. Since its establishment, more than a million people in 25 countries have participated in the Landmark Forum.

What on earth can they talk about for 42 hours?
Well, actually if you subtract all the breaks it adds up to about 35 hours. "Still, what on earth can they talk about for 35 hours?" you may ask.

you would be able to achieve if you let go of past fears – or whatever topic is under discussion. And they do the same with you.

The C-word
Round about now the C-word is probably going through your mind. And the answer, from someone who’s just been there, is no, Landmark is nothing like a cult. The company is aware of previous accusations and rumour, and dismisses them emphatically.

What do they teach?
The Landmark Forum challenges common ways of thinking and behaviour. Without us realising it, these thought patterns and behaviours inhibit our experiences, relationships, and other aspects of our life.

what happened + meaning/interpretation = an issue/fear/way of thinking/baggage, or whatever you want to call it
(loosely translated this equates to: David cheats + Maggie decides David did that because he thinks she’s fat = Maggie feels insecure about her body, this influences future relationships, and she hates skinny girls)

So: issues = expectations = limitations

what happened – meaning/interpretation = just what happened

David cheats – Maggie’s interpretation that she’s fat and insufficient = simply the fact that David cheated on her (without all the extra meaning added)

x + y = z

syllabus and for a brief video on what The Landmark Forum is about, watch this introductory video.

Method to the madness
Their methods of teaching really interest me. Their discussion-method makes concepts easier to grasp and having to share your own story really brings it home.

My experience
I took a lot of valuable lessons from the Landmark Forum. I honestly feel that I have more insight into my life – I now understand how and why about a lot more. Before I kind of felt like a victim of destiny – I was dealt a bad hand and there was just nothing I could do about it. Ag shame… But with my new-found knowledge, when looking back at my life I can see that it wasn't just a sequence of random events, but determined much more by myself than I ever could have imagined.

Coming from a very Calvinistic background, where being polite and proper are considered way more important than something like self-expression, I've found that throughout my life I often didn't get what I want.

For more information on the Landmark Forum, contact Landmark Education at 021 404 1200 or visit the website at


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