The Upset Game. Want to play?

Apparently, well according to Landmark – the foremost purveyors of personal transformation technology and courses, there are just and only THREE upsets that a human being can experience. They are:

1. The Unfulfilled Expectation

2. The Unexpressed Communication, and

3. The Thwarted Intention.

Yes, that’s it.

The Game we might play here is: can you name any other kind of upset? And to make it more fun, let’s use the comments box for that. As a pointer, I can tell you that I’ve found none other than the three above, but I know that won’t stop the argumentative and curious having a go.

I recently started a blog and named it the ‘Big Upset’. In it, I have and will likely continue to speculate on my feeling that our culture (loosely the Western, materially-minded, neo-liberal, globalised soup in which we’re waving for help) is going to change dramatically, perhaps suddenly, and that will clearly be upsetting.
It will be characterised and made painful by unfulfilled expectations, unexpressed communications and certainly thwarted intentions. 

My ongoing ponderment (I think I might have made that up) is exactly how upsetting it’s all going to be. As well as how we’ll respond in the light of a potentially dark time.

Some, who have some idea of whats at stake here will be preparing for and mitgating their upset. Others, who can’t foresee a sudden disruption to their daily premise and hope of infinite supply in a finite landscape, may be in for a bigger shock.

What’s irresistibly fascinating is how we’ll respond and react as a whole. Whilst some, maybe many, are ‘prepping’ quietly, only mentioning that they are doing so to a chosen few of like mind, the overall effect of the Big Upset is so hard to call.

You might have a stash of water and tinned beans in your loft, but what will happen on your street, in your neighbourhood, in your town square and at Westminster?

I digress. I only wanted to play the Upset Game with you. Can you think of one that’s not one of Landmark’s three?

Find out more about Landmark and sign up for one of their fine courses here:


The Big Upset

What is the big upset?

Upsets are nothing new for humanity. It could be said that upsets are our stock-in-trade; for some, the drama that fuels daily life, for others, the catalyst for growth and development of resilience.

For this blog, as well as it’s social media outbursts, and occasional broadcasts, the notion and context of upset is on a grand scale – a change in conditions so vast, that it will offer both drama AND development.

The frame of reference here transcends the personal, and alludes to an impending shift so great, that it will be global in proportion. However, the purpose of this blog is to offer insight and support on a personal level, as the change, or changes, approach and make themselves felt.

Few would argue that these are turbulent times. Givens aren’t given anymore. Gone are the long, easy days of decades gone by, where we felt as if we could bank on a certain degree of stability. 

Things have changed, been cooked or been processed away from the linear concepts of the steady journey from cradle to grave, where those comfortable in the Western world could improvise, more or less, on a generally accepted theme. 

Our complacency has given way, maybe broken down, into a stark and occasionally terrifying realisation that our planetary exploitation is unsustainable, our economic progress similarly infeasible, and our political ideologies unworkable.

Furthermore, any of these unreliable premises could give way at any time, sometime soon, with devastating consequences. Any of them may soon be a big upset – the big upset – that will reorder humanity, in a way it could not voluntarily manage, even in the knowing advent of such looming destruction.

This of course is a particular view and experience. Some, such as those in Aleppo, those trudging across Europe hoping for a better life, and others who’ve already lost their lot on the margin of society, already know the devastation. Perhaps they are the 1% of the 99%?

The Big Upset will be known by its scale and effect on most of the 99%. And its sheer power, its undoing force, will represent a tipping point, a choice point that we would face now, if only we had the guts to do so.

But as we know, from our human history, we won’t make the changes we know we need to make, we should make. We will make them when we absolutely have to, when the outer world shows no more mercy or cannot hold its line, its comfy denial-shape. Then, the distraught and shocked vacuum that some of us recall from lost love, crushed hope and blunt grief.

It will be awful, but it will also be exhilarating. The Big Upset is upon us, and forewarned will be forearmed, as we learn to dance in devastation AND transformation. It will be a horrible AND great thing. The Big Upset will bear the hallmark of indigestible paradox and tantalising irony.

The paradigms that no longer serve us may well vaporise as new ways emerge in the clearing smoke of cosmic consequence. I predict and suggest that large scale, corporate solutions will not work, will not save us as we hope they might, they will perish on idealistic and silly vines of naivety.

In my view, the only hope lies with the upset and awakened individual who, en masse, will make up the new earth, re-born and reset for an altogether more edifying and fulfilling way of life.

I don’t know which of the current crises – environmental, economic or political – will be the straw that breaks the current cultural camel’s back, but break it will and we’ll be here together caring for each other, sharing what we have and standing in the transformational afterglow of working with, and through, the biggest upset we’ve known in our living memory…