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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

How To Realize Your Dreams and Improve Your Life

WB spoke to John Hanley from his office in Northern California and asked him to tell us more about the Lifespring training seminars and the book these seminars have spawned.

WB: How did you come to start Lifespring in 1974?

John Hanley: I'd been out of college for about 3 years after graduating with a Bachelor's degree in economics, and I was working for a company called Mind Dynamics, one of the first large-group awareness training programs in the country. Mind Dynamics was getting people off of automatic pilot that so they could begin to recognize the whole person-physical, spiritual, emotional, and intellectual. There was a demand for such a program because people who were becoming adults were asking, "Where does one learn how to take on the responsibility of adulthood and how does one make things happen for himself in his public life and in his relationships?" There seemed to be an enormous void in this area of personal growth. We didn't learn those things in school, so ultimately everyone was left coachless to figure out on their own what was important to them and what direction they should take.

WB: So you decided to create a new program to help people with these issues?

John Hanley: Yes. We saw that this new territory existed and we felt we could do a good job when we looked at what else was available to people: Dale Carnegie on one side of the spectrum and Michael Murphy and the humanistic psychology movement on the other. We thought there was some real value in showing people how to experience oneself and become more aware of oneself and to integrate that awareness into one's everyday life. We decided to create our own awareness techniques and make them available to the everyday person. We put a stake in the ground and simply announced that there was a group of 20 of us who had a way for people to come to a training for 5 days and get what might take them 5 years to figure out on their own. We had an enormous response to the first couple of seminars and, before we knew it, Lifespring had really caught on. People felt-and still feel-that there was a lot more inside of them than they were contributing. Their question was, "How do I access what's inside of me?" Lifespring went into the business of helping people access that potential.

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