Landmark Forum Syllabus: Day One

I.  Orientation and Overview: How The Landmark Forum Works
Participants are given an overview – a sense of what they might expect, as well as tips and ideas for how to get the most value. The daily schedule is reviewed, and there is an opportunity to ask questions.

The stage is set for people to engage powerfully with the material, maximize the value of their participation, and produce unprecedented results in a short period of time.

II.  Already Always Listening™
In the Already Always Listening segment, we visit the notion that while we think of ourselves as open-minded and objective, in fact our approach to ourselves, our circumstances, and others is often filtered and even obscured by pre-existing notions and ideas – by our upbringing, our values, our past experiences.

In this session, we see those filters for what they are – an all-pervasive influence that profoundly colors our relationships with people, circumstances, and even ourselves. An awareness of these filters, and a recognition of the striking limits that they impose, allows for a refreshing freedom. People, situations, and our approach to life alter dramatically.

III.  The Hidden Power of Context
Here we propose the view that in all human endeavors, context is decisive. That is, the hidden contexts from which we live determine what we see and what we don’t see; what we consider and what we fail to notice; what we are able to do and what seems beyond our reach. In this view, all behavior – all ways of being and acting – are correlated to the context(s) from which we live our lives.

When these contexts become apparent and known, we can begin to see the unwitting process by which they were assembled, and the degree to which they govern our everyday lives. We are left, possibly for the first time, with a choice about who we are and who we can be, separate from these contexts. There is a freedom and ability to take action that was unavailable before – even familiar actions produce a whole new level of effectiveness.

IV.  The Vicious Circle™
In the Vicious Circle segment, we suggest that it is a human tendency to collapse what happened; with the story we tell about what happened. This collapsing happens so fast it becomes hard to separate the two, and we think of them as one and the same. Almost immediately, and certainly over time, the story we tell ourselves becomes the way it is – the reality we know. It limits what is possible in our lives, robbing us of much of our joy and effectiveness.

When we are able to separate what happened from our story or interpretation, we discover that much of what we considered already determined, given and fixed, may in fact not be that way. Situations that may have been challenging or difficult become fluid and open to change. We find ourselves no longer limited by a finite set of options, and able to achieve what we want with new ease and enjoyment.

V.  Rackets™: The Payoff and the Cost
In the Rackets segment, we discuss the idea of a racket as an unproductive way of being or acting that includes a complaint that something shouldn’t be the way it is. Often, we don’t notice that while our complaints may seem justified, even legitimate, there is a certain payoff – some advantage or benefit we are receiving that reinforces the cycle of behavior. At the same time, this way of being has steep costs, whether in our vitality, affinity, self-expression, or sense of fulfillment.

By recognizing this pattern, its costs, and how we have been keeping the pattern in place, we have the choice to interrupt the cycle and discover new ways of interacting that lead to new levels of happiness, satisfaction, and fulfillment in areas that are most important to us.

Video Introduction to
The Landmark Forum
with Dr. Nancy Zapolski.