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The Founding of Lifespring

Reflections on the Worth of Lifespring

The Business Acceleration Workshop

The Basic Training In Federal Prison

How to Realize Your Dreams and Improve Your Life

A Graduate's Story

The Founding of Lifespring, A History by John Hanley - Page 2

After the training, I talked the company into hiring me in Milwaukee. Since they had nothing there, I told them, the worst I could do was get their name known. They gave me the job. Reluctantly. Nine months later, on the basis of my results in Wisconsin, they promoted me to National Field Director. One year later, shortly before resigning to establish Lifespring, I was named Executive Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors.

I'd proven my worth all right, but in many ways I remained totally unconscious. In those days I had the awareness of a brick. Before joining the human potential movement, I had decided the last thing I wanted was to know more about John Hanley. I was afraid of what I'd find out about me. I was afraid I wasn't as good as everybody else. I thought people wouldn't like me, that I wouldn't like myself. I feared a lot of dreams I'd set for myself were unattainable. I think a lot of people feel that way.

I got hooked on self-awareness merely as a byproduct of my job. I witnessed some awesome results being created in the lives of the thousands of people who participated in the seminars. Where originally I became involved for business opportunity and money, by 1973 this totally reversed itself. Just before starting Lifespring, I was no longer motivated by money. I had created this feverish desire to produce seminars that worked and to grow in the knowledge of myself.

What I discovered, painfully at first, was that "I" was an illusion, fabricated by belief systems and perpetrated by presenting a fraudulent image of myself to myself and other people. Beliefs accompanied me from childhood. I had been taught that hard work is good. I considered myself a hard worker, but, in reality, I was an unproductive worker. Most of my time was spent pushing the throttle to the floorboard and getting nowhere. Beliefs also burdened me with guilt. To be a good father, I thought, you must spend every night at home with the kids. My dad did. But work kept me from it, so I condemned myself to thinking I was a bad father.

By separating myself from beliefs and image, I soon began seeing what was real for me. I learned that things I didn't know about, things that were scary or unclear to me, I would make wrong automatically. I would make good looking people wrong, for example. I would make rich people wrong, and intellectual people wrong. The fact was, I was afraid of them, so I'd work to find holes in them. The justify and invalidate game. It seems true for all of us: the things we are threatened by we make wrong in hopes they'll go away.

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