Part 1 is an overview of a person’s three strong suits as Landmark theorizes. Strong suits help us succeed in life and are our primary ways of being. Part 2 is a description of when and how they develop. They occur at three specific time periods as the result of a traumatic life event. Part 3 is my first strong suit of social that resulted from me feeling I couldn’t compete on smartness. Part 4 is the monster Roller Skating Rink story and my decision to be independent (strong suite #2). Part 5 describes my decision to become cautious and analytical after being told by my boss that I was suffering from Delusions of Grandeur.
This final post is the mindmap created in the weeks after reviewing the Landmark Forum in November 2013. In this post I examine the mindmaps meaning. I discuss creating it in Nov/Dec 2013 and what it means to me today. Finally, my summary thoughts about a person’s strong suits and the nature/nurture argument.
Creating the Mindmap
On day two of the 3-day Landmark Forum, we were sent home with a simple assignment – identify your strong suits. Since it was after 10pm when I arrived at the hotel, I simply went to sleep. But I did put my head on the pillow asking, ‘what are my strong suits?’
The next morning I awoke to the aha moment. I pulled out my iPad and started what would become the mindmap.
|The 3 Stories||The 3 Strong Suits|
|Smart was Already Taken||Social|
|Roller Skating Rink||Independent|
|Delusions of Grandeur||Analytical|
It all became crystal clear to me at that moment.
Over the next few weeks, I completed the rest of the mindmap to include the data that confirms these stores and strong suits. It all seemed to fit together and make perfect sense.
There were other stories that I had uncovered from the initial work I did with Landmark back in 2009. But I decided those stories were secondary or subordinate to these three. Those other stories seemed important initially – and they were significant life events – but I decided they were symptoms of the three main stories.
Examining the mindmap, the left side (the positive) are examples and reasons each strong suit brings success into my life. The right side (the negative) are the frustrations that arise when I’m attempting to be a certain way – they are the anger and disappointment I experienced over and over. They were the phrases I used to express that disappointment – over and over. Today I understand them as having occurred from being unaware (i.e. blind spots).
Meaning of the Mindmap
When I look at the mindmap today, I see three things:
- Ways I used to be – but am free from today
- Areas that I still need to be actively aware
- My default settings that will kick in automatically when I’m not paying attention
When a story is a secret and contained only in one’s head, it’s powerful and will subconsciously affect everything a person does.
When a story is shared openly it looses it’s power. Hence the phrases:
- Shed some light on it
- Come in out of the darkness
When I created this mindmap almost three years ago, it was scary, dark stuff. Today it’s just a story.
Nature or Nurture?
Are human beings born a certain way or are we affected, formed, and molded by our environment? … that is the question.
I believe Landmark’s view of strong suits is a nurture theory:
- A dramatic event occurs in a person’s life
- As a direct result of that dramatic event the person takes on a way of being to cope with life
- That way of coping becomes the person’s strong suit
Today – three to seven years after this skeleton closet cleaning exercise took place – I have a modified belief.
I think I was born with certain skills and strengths.
- I was born a social creature
- I was born as an independent person
- I was born a thinker and analytical
The traumatic events that occurred prompted me to double-down on those innate strengths I already possessed. Prior to the decision to double-down, I dabbled using those strengths but hadn’t really committed to them. After the traumatic events, I doubled-down. I became 100% committed to being social, independent, and analytical.
So it’s a combination. It’s both nature and nurture.
Landmark’s theory and teaching helped me come to this conclusion. I’m grateful for that.
And today – I’m free to be other ways when necessary and appropriate. I’m no longer blind.
Note: This series has been a description of what I learned and how I benefited from attend attending the Landmark Forum. It was not meant to precisely replicate what Landmark teaches – it’s what I learned. The strong suit concept is one of several unique theories that participants learn during the 3-day seminar. I encourage all to attend and benefit in your own special way.
Here are the links to the rest of this series:
- Part 1 – Strong Suits
- Part 2 – When & How They Begin
- Part 3 – Smart Was Already Taken
- Part 4 – Roller Skating Rink
- Part 5 – Delusions of Grandeur
- Part 6 – Mind Map & Summary