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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 - Page 2

WB: Tell us about the seminars: how do they work?

John Hanley: We get anywhere from 150 to 250 people at each seminar, which would run on a Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evening and all-day Saturday and Sunday. Each course has one instructor. We also have a fantastic volunteer group made up of specially-trained Lifespring graduates. The most potent part of the program is transformational training.

Our notion is that each individual has his own philosophy or understanding of what life is and that it's our interaction with that philosophy that ultimately determines our effectiveness in the world. In the Lifespring training course, we ask people to look at how they see themselves and other people and what their attitude is. We're asking them to look at the bag that the groceries come in rather than the groceries themselves. You see, most of us are very busy. We have a lot of existing commitments. We don't spend much time reflecting on what we're up to. The Lifespring training offers people opportunity to reflect on the direction they're headed and to see if what's important to them is supported by their daily actions.

WB: Give us an example of one of the exercises in the course.

John Hanley: One of our exercises is to focus on the distinction between being a victim and being accountable. We ask people in the training, and in the book, to think about situations where they felt as if something were done to them where they really felt put upon or wronged or victimized. We ask them to interact with another person and share every detail of this victim situation. A person might say, "I've been working really hard at my job and for the third time my boss has overlooked me for a promotion. The person in the next office is making 20% more than I make, and I'm here late every night. It doesn't seem fair." The person will really get into the victim situation for a good 10 or 15 minutes. Then we'll talk about accountability and ask people to look at the same situation as if they had something to do with the way it turned out.

The same person might say, "The boss has always said he had an open-door policy about raises but I really haven't taken the time to set up an appointment to go in and plead my case. And there was an assignment that the boss asked all the employees to do for extra credit, but I chose not to do it." At this point, the person begins to see how, in fact, he is accountable for how things have turned out. We're asking people in Lifespring, "Who are you in the matter of how your life turned out?" Once people see that they do have something to do with how their life turns out, in almost every situation, they're immediately more powerful.

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