Listening to Life – Living Beyond the Story: A New You Begins With Understanding Just Who ‘You’ Are…

Self help sometimes seems to be the new religion. Publishers love this field, as they sell the dream of a better/richer/healthier/sexier you – in affordable and portable packages (which, incidentally, make them millions). But all the books in the world are not going to make a difference if you don’t know who the ‘self’ you are helping really is, and even then, they are only so many words on paper; the only way to learn to waltz is, well, to waltz. So when learned about a course in Kraków that offers such self-enlightenment and hands-on learning experience in a single weekend, sent our greatest sceptic along to find out if such a thing really is possible…

Make things happen, concept words draw on blackboard.

We have all seen many things that we know are not and cannot possibly be true, yet we have accepted them. Generally, we are in cinemas or in front of the TV set at the time, and have made a conscious decision to suspend disbelief and say, for the two hours or so that it takes ‘yes, this is so’.

If that sounds simplistic, consider this. If you are of a romantic bent, when would you ever say: “I almost cried when Humphrey Bogart kissed Ingrid Bergman”?

It’s highly likely that the answer is ‘never’. What you would probably say is: “I almost cried when Rick kissed Ilsa.”

In short, you’re in the story, and you have made the decision to believe what is set before you.

And that is not all.

Romantics queue round the block for the latest incarnation of Casablanca. Western fans saddle up with the gunslingers, and horror buffs cower behind their popcorn at their choice of psycho/slasher flick. Why? Because we base our choices on past experience; ‘this’ kind of movie provoked a response we seek to reproduce, so ‘this’ is the kind of movie we go to see.

And it goes yet deeper, because we move in and out of the movies we see, and so have an outside vantage point from which we can recognise them as stories (even if, at times, we’d love them to be real). Just imagine the whole scenario transferred into real life – and permanently…

It’s a useful analogy for understanding the starting point of the Doowise Listening to Life course. Beginning with this natural human response to life – that is,  to follow past experience and become entangled in a story, course leader Dr David Norris attempts to expose and unpick the stitching so that participants recognise and understand  the true nature of the director (or misdirector) of their lives and learn how to see through a different kind of lens.

The course takes up two and a half days, beginning with an introductory session on a Friday evening. Here, Dr Norris outlines the framework of the course, and its goals.

These are to twofold. The first is to understand that, while innovation may be the key to success, finding a new place from which to think is more important than what those ideas actually are. The second is to get to know the motivations of the person – that’s you – who is having the ideas in the first place.

Continue to part 2


This article is published in partnership with Doowise, sponsor of Made in Poland at