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Published On: Tue, Jun 6th, 2017

Living Outside the Box: How Landmark Forum Provides a Road Map to Personal Transformation

“It’s impossible.” “I can’t.” “There is no way. ” Landmark Worldwide wants its students to delete phrases like this from their vocabulary.

Landmark firmly believes it can give people the power, resources and tools to help them achieve personal and professional goals. The San Francisco-based growth training and development company conducts a series of seminars, like The Landmark Forum, which are designed to help people live their lives at an optimal level and to redefine — and realize — what’s possible. These educational programs are geared toward people who want to grow professionally and those who want to change something — whether it’s themselves or the world.

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photo/ Michael Jarmoluk via pixabay.com

What Is The Landmark Forum?

The Landmark Forum seminars consist of intensive three-day sessions plus one evening session. They’re structured to teach participants how to break the mold of their old rigid ways of looking at themselves and the world. Throughout the three-day course, students are urged to achieve a breakthrough that sparks a fundamental shift in their approach to life.

Landmark’s methodology for catalyzing these breakthroughs includes building an awareness of the structures in which people think, learn and act. From that awareness, they can shift to a place where they begin to think and act beyond those frameworks.

The courses aim to foster creativity and new ways of thinking. Composer Alan Menken, who has taken Landmark seminars, calls it “basic training for the mind, the heart and the soul.”

Key elements, according to the Landmark Forum course syllabus, include learning to recognize the pre-existing ideas people carry with them from their past, their upbringing and the values that have been passed along to them. They learn to recognize those filters and the negative impact they can have. They’re taught to recognize thought patterns that blind us to possibilities and potential and to move beyond the limits created by fear and anxiety.

The courses, in short, help people redefine the concept of choice: not in the conventional sense of picking one choice out of a set of options, but the ability to create new options.  

Landmark Forum graduates can attend a series of advanced and specialized Landmark courses focused on self-expression, leadership, communication, creativity, money, relationships and creativity. The Landmark Forum for Young People and Teens offers instruction for ages 8 and older. Parental permission is required. The company also offers personal and family coaching sessions.

The History of Landmark

Landmark was founded in 1991 by a group of people who had worked with Werner Erhard, a pioneer in the field of personal development and transformational models. Landmark’s training is an outgrowth of Erhard’s work in the field. Erhard founded Erhard Seminars Training, better known as est or EST,  in 1971: the company offered popular personal growth training seminars in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Today, employee-owned Landmark Worldwide has revenues of more than $90 million, with more than 2. 8 million people in 22 countries having taken part in its programs.   

photo/ ClkerFreeVectorImages via Pixabay.com

What Makes Landmark Unique  

Landmark programs such as the Landmark Forum are based on the transformative learning model. While traditional learning consists of adding new knowledge, information and skills to one’s repertoire, transformational learning is built on creating an awareness of how we think and act.

“This educational paradigm is distinct from the traditional education that most of us are familiar with,” said Dr. Joe DiMaggio, director of Landmark’s research, design and development division. “Its aim is not the delivery of new information that needs to be remembered or applied, but…to produce unprecedented and lasting breakthroughs in people’s lives that become part of their natural self-expression.”

While many self-help programs claim to help people change old habits and attitudes, Landmark programs are instead centered around transformation or the creation of something new and different.

Who Are The People Who Attend Landmark Programs?

Landmark draws students from all walks of life, but they’re primarily professionals and business leaders. High profile alumni include radio personality Robin Quivers, longtime co-host on “The Howard Stern Show,” who hosted a free introductory seminar for African Americans in 2016; Kevin Bass, head of labs at Motiv Space Systems and former robotics technician for NASA; and Chip Wilson, founder of clothing retailers Lululemon Athletica Inc. and Kit and Ace: both Lululemon,  Joey Restaurant Group  and Panda Express pay for employees to attend Landmark seminars.     

Most program participants say the experience has been a game-changer on many levels. For some, it has paid off in the form of increased earnings. According to a Harris Interactive survey of more than 1,000 Landmark program graduates, one-third experienced significant earnings increases after taking the Landmark Forum, and 94 percent believe the seminars directly contributed to the increase. Some say it has made them more marketable to employers: “I was more focused, less distracted, and more self-motivated,” one respondent said.

Employers who offer Landmark services to their employees say they notice improvements in vision, leadership and performance. Landmark’s Vanto Group subsidiary’s corporate clients include Apple, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Lockheed Martin, Mercedes-Benz USA, NASA,  Reebok International Ltd. and Walgreens.

Actor, filmmaker and writer Luis Moro has attended multiple seminars, and has sent his two daughters to the Landmark Forum for Young People. “You learn distinctions to create and produce the results you want in all areas of your life,” he wrote in a recent Huffington Post article. He’s committed to working toward world peace using these practices. “You first start with yourself, then your family, your communities and the planet.”

Like Moro, many Landmark alumni share a common trait: they want to make the world a better place. They’ve used insights gained through the program to launch community projects around the world: Landmark Forum leader Josselyne Herman-Saccio founded United Global Shift, a nonprofit devoted to helping people and leaders who work to improve global problems like poverty and discrimination.

For others, the results are less tangible, but no less meaningful. “Post-Landmark, I do notice changes. Work worries, relationship dramas all seem more manageable,” Amber Allinson wrote in a first-person account of her experiences with Landmark in The Mayfair Magazine. “It’s not about me anymore, it just happened and now we have a choice to move forward or not.”

Author: Dennis Atkinson

About the Author

- The generic Dispatch designation, used primarily for press releases or syndicated content, but may be used for guest author requesting a generic nomenclature

Displaying 9 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Gabriel says:

    Just goes to show you you should never say “I can’t.” People have no idea what they’re really capable of!

  2. […] fields, like information technology and software development. It’s an opinion that others share. How Landmark Forum Provides a Road Map to Personal Transformation. “It’s impossible.” “I can’t.” “There is no way. ” Landmark Worldwide wants its […]

  3. Victor Young says:

    I have depression and self medicated with alcohol for over a decade before attending a landmark seminar and discovering what was really at the root of my unhappiness. Now I see a therapist regularly and try to solve my problems instead of just avoiding them.

  4. Justin says:

    I’ve always been shy, but lately I’ve been worried my lack of assertiveness was holding me back professionally. Landmark gave me the tools I needed to stand up for myself at work and ask my boss for a well deserved raise.

  5. Elliott J. william says:

    After publishing two novels I found myself with a crippling case of the dreaded writer’s block. Landmark Forum helped me to recharge my creative batteries and develop new work habits, which has actually been very helpful.

  6. Jacob Mor says:

    In college, I was the victim of date rape, and I’d never really moved past the experience. It took a toll on all my relationships because I didn’t trust anyone. After attending several seminars at landmark, I began to realize I wanted to trust people, I just didn’t know how. As a result, I’m more able to can open myself up to intimacy. I’ve recently gotten involved with a wonderful guy who’s helped me realize I’m worthy of love and respect!

  7. My employer sent me and a few colleagues to the Landmark Forum. I’ll be honest, I didn’t want to go, and I was resistant at the beginning of the weekend. By Sunday night, I was singing a new tune, and Monday morning I returned to work with renewed focus
    and more enthusiasm for my job than I’ve had in a long time. Really helped take me out of my comfort zone and see how I can be more an asset to the company.

  8. Joy Garratt says:

    I’m a realtor who wanted to energize my career. After 10 years in real estate, I felt like I was just going through the paces and not really advancing myself. At the Landmark Forum, I learned to never say never when it comes to what I can achieve if I put my mind to it and want to succeed badly enough.

  9. Charlotte M. says:

    Thanks for this info on Landmark Forum.

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