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Nov 11

The World Doesn’t Work Anymore| Part 4 Wake Up Calls

This article is dedicated to pulling a Royal Straight Flush…at least once in your lifetime!


In the poker game of life you have to play the hand you’re dealt, even when the dealer is a mean and cold-hearted SOB.  What’s more, you’re not allowed to fold.  With a three, nine unsuited you need to pray for catching something on the flop or the river.  Three more threes take you from the outhouse to the penthouse.  Even two threes and a nine look huge.  In life you just have to wait and see which cards fall.


Typically our lives go along in routine fashion.  We establish our patterns and enjoy the illusion of security and control that they provide.  Few are adventurers or large risk takers.  Most people admire those who take chances and succeed, mock those who risk and fail, but choose more conservative paths for themselves.  In a world that no longer works well, safe bets are good ones.  Anyone who lived through and lost on the techno stock insanity of the late ‘90’s and early 2000’s would definitely agree.


From time to time our routines are upended by turmoil, trauma, and tragedy.  Our illusions of being safe and protected can be shattered like a windshield.  As I write these words, somewhere nearby a phone rings with bad news.  Chaos will rule for quite a while.


Implied in our stopglop model is that we can limit chaos by healthy choices.  We believe the data that there is a significant correlation between glopful behavior and hurtful consequences.  Glopful abuses lead to health, legal, relationship, financial, and other trauma.  Glop makes a mess all over our lives.  In a world that no longer works, messes become messier.


There is no denying that messes can occur even when we take care of glopful business.  Some are just unavoidable and independent of a person’s habits.

Three examples:


·   A person who never smoked, develops lung cancer.  That sucks!


·   A safe and cautious driver is hit head on by a drunk.  Safety man dies.  Drunk lives.  That really sucks!



·   A person who avoids glop, exercises regularly, has remained a faithful husband, father, and friend, arrives for a breakfast meeting in Windows on the World at the WTC at 8:15 AM on 9/11/01.  That really, really sucks!


Sometimes the poker game of life seems pretty unfair.  Sometimes it makes the StopGlop philosophy seem ridiculously self-denying.  If our life can change traumatically or end in a microsecond of time why sweat the glop stuff.  Might as well just eat it, drink it, smoke it…


No way.  We can only support that if you can know exactly when your trauma turn will come.  If it is soon and irreversible, have a blast.  If it is someday and who knows what, then it behooves you to try your very best to influence your outcomes protectively, proactively and positively.


How’s Your World?


If you have read Parts I, II, and III, you may have made some modifications to your life.  The likelihood is that you have not.  It would be so nice if words of wisdom moved us toward healthier goals.  In that case the first self-help book would have been the last.  In some people they do.  In the majority they don’t.  It’s just the way we are built.  It’s not our fault.  It is our mission to ultimately over correct for these gaps in our programming.


What does catch our attention are wake up calls.  These tend to hit us hard and push us toward healthier choices.  People are remarkably adaptive when faced with serious consequences.  The very same people who have lived in denial for years face reality when the wake up call rings.  Admittedly, not everyone wakes up, but the majority do-at least initially.  Five examples:


·   I was a glopmeister until my angioplasty in January, 2001.  It woke me up quickly.  I lost 50 pounds, stopped drinking hard alcohol, stopped playing racquetball, cut my practice in half and walked in the park or beach and worked out at the gym as often as I could.  I lowered my cholesterol rate from four point something to one point something.  I finally woke up to my genetic potentials and unhealthy choices.  What was I (not) thinking?


·   Sally’s husband left her for a younger woman in his office.  She woke up and lost 75 pounds and is down to 180 with a goal of 125.  She exercises 3-4 times a week and eats weight watcher healthy.  She doesn’t want her husband back, but she’s proud she is getting her SELF back.


·   Sally’s husband Robert just got fired for sloppy work habits and other inappropriate behaviors.  He is committed to change his way so he shows up early for work at his new company.  He’s stopped all drugs and partying on the weekends.  He is focused on producing positive results, stays off the internet at work, and is extending himself to be social with his colleagues at work in appropriate ways.  Being fired woke him up to making healthier, glopfree choices at work.  He even regrets hurting Sally.

·   Richard is a successful entrepreneur.  A few months ago he got his second DUI.  The good news is he can afford a driver.  The not so good news is his pride bank was depleted by this incident along with the numerous black outs, frequent scenes of embarrassment and inappropriate behaviors fueled by glop in glass.  These include losing $40,000 in one night in a casino, totaling two cars from which he ran away, making some poor business decisions and sexually harassed an auditor reviewing his company’s books which cost him a sizeable out of court settlement.  The first DUI woke him up- for a month or so-and then he slowly went back to drinking.  The second is a wake up call for life.  The next would mean jail time and ruination.  He’s doing ninety meetings in ninety days, has himself with a life coach/therapist, and is committed to sobriety.  He is finally listening to the alarm.  It may be late, but it is never too late.


·   Russell has just begun psychotherapy.  He has had panic attacks off and on for many years.  Typically they came and went for no apparent reason.  For the most part he just suffered through them denying their significance.  This time he has said to himself, “Enough is enough!”  I need some help here! I am a stuffer of feelings.  I had a difficult childhood.  I don’t want to suffer anymore.  I want to be healthy.”  The likelihood is that he will be now that he is seeking help, understanding, and support.


These examples reflect what happens to people who finally listen to the wake up call, burst their denial bubble and enter reality.  Reality demands a reckoning.  Reality pushes us toward taking a more responsible, adult position.  Reality interferes with our more impulsive parts that can be so self-indulgent.  When reality rules so do we!

Wake up calls come in many different forms.  Here is a list of the most popular:


Wake Up Calls


·   Doctor Visits


·   Health Problems

·   Upcoming Event

·   Deaths

·   Partner Separating, Divorcing, Cheating

·   Legal Problems

·   Financial Failures

·   Anxiety Attacks

·   Feedback from Someone Close

·   Body Feedback

·   Self Feedback

·   Higher Insurance Premiums

·   Airplane Seats

·   Scales

Obviously, preventing the wake up call is the healthier choice.  Listening to it is healthier than ignoring it.  Ignoring the wake up call, like the woman who chose to continue drinking glop in a glass after Hepatitis C was diagnosed, is the worst choice of all.  Sad and frustrating to say, our compulsions don’t die easy.  They have a way of lingering and/or returning in ways that allow them to rule.


These patterns of addiction and impulsivity were present even when the world worked better.  They have haunted humankind since Adam bit the first forbidden fruit, which tastes just as sweet now as it did then.  The difference is that being vulnerable in a world not working very well is a set up for horrible happenings.  Our goals is to avoid the medical maze, legal loop de loop and financial freak show.  It’s gonna cost you time, money and large outlays of emotional angst.  It is bad enough when you get blindsided, even when you are following glopfree strategies.  That is a bummer itself, though unavoidable sometimes, in the poker game of life.  It is much, much worse when the problems could have been avoided by following healthier and more self-protective strategies.  Don’t believe us.  Just ask…lots of famous people who have the shame and legal bills to prove it.


I speak from experience here. There is no more powerful feeling than lying on a cold, sterile table having your arteries cleared with the techno equivalent of a pipe cleaner and feeling oh, so dumb for being oh so careless and out of control.  This is especially true when you have wasted so much time being fearful of losing control, in so many unimportant and irrelevant areas.  That I woke up is definitely a pride bank deposit.  That it was late in coming still sits in my shame and blame account-especially because of the work I do helping others challenge their glopful ways.


Take A Closer Look

I encourage you to take a closer look at you-right now.  Is there a glaring glop of exposure in your life?  If so, are you willing to wait till the wake up call rings?  Might you do something now to prevent that exposed and costly position?  Can we or our colleagues help you to try and get there?  If so, give us or someone a call.  Attend our STOPGLOP half day workshop or visit us individually for a consult.  Or go to a support group meeting or sign up for a program to help you stopglop.  Take action aimed at strengthening your motivation and potentiating your adult voice of reason and protection.  Glop is promoted by your unhealthy little boy or girl parts.  You have the power to override those impulsive driven voices by replacing them with your adult voice of choice.  We can help you to accomplish that, once and for all and forever!


Horror Stories No More!

You might be wondering why I haven’t shared any world not working horror stories in this article.  You might even be wondering if I’ve had a smooth time in which everything worked just fine.  Fagettaboutit!  I could fill a loose leaf with the last two months alone.  So could you.  Big Deal!


The reason I’ve left those tales out this time is they no longer serve a purpose.  I used my tales of woe to illustrate what I meant by the world not working.  To continue to air this negative energy would be indulgent and toxic.  In addition, it would not be consistent with the objective positivism goals of a healthier language or the desire to focus on times the world works fine or least makes up for its failures.


The point is there is no point to bemoaning our fate, bitch and moan fashion.  The point it to accept the good and not so good of our times and work on ourselves.  Strengthening the gaps in our glopful ways protects us from added suffering in our world and prevent or at least lessen the likelihood of having to hear the raucous alarm of a wake up call.  You can achieve this goal in your lifetime.  I sincerely hope that you will.  By the way, you know the guy who didn’t show up for our first meeting, but I stayed with him anyway.  He came through.  It’s all good!


All Good Things Must…

This is the last of this series for now.  I hope you have enjoyed it.  I plan to move on to other projects that are needing completion.  Please check out our website periodically for other writings, workshop schedules, and coming soon, the STOPGLOP Shop.


Most importantly, recognize that all of us will come to an end eventually as well.  That pain filled thought should be enough to get us to stop or reduce glop which in turn would increase our life span potentials.  In that context, take yourself seriously and never sell yourself short.  Protect your SELF at all times, for you are worthy of protection.  Respect yourself at all times, for you are worthy of respect.  If you can’t, then call someone for help and it will be on the way.


Good luck in all your battles, especially your glopful ones!


The Center for Self-Control

Helping people conquer hurtful

habits once and for all and forever

(954) 475-1371 x1

(561) 361-1898


We offer individual phone and group coaching, counseling, and psychotherapy to help you:


  1. •Eat healthfully
  2. •Stop smoking
  3. •Stop drug/alcohol abuse
  4. •Eliminate sexual addictions
  5. •Control gambling
  6. •Not abuse the Internet
  7. •Manage anger
  8. •Control worry and anxiety
  9. •Better manage your life
  10. •Improve relationships

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