Thursday, January 10, 2013

Firecrackers and Pilot Lights

As we’re now a little more than a week into the new year of 2013, I have to admit that the sheer number of television and radio commercials dedicated to weight loss products and services is a bit overwhelming.  In addition, retailers are on the proverbial bandwagon as well by putting all things workout-related on sale this month.  It’s as though the whole country starts a collective diet and exercise plan about the time the last of the Christmas dinner leftovers have been eaten or thrown out.

While I’m obviously a strong advocate for eating healthy foods and exercising, and sincerely applaud anyone who decides to make healthy improvements in their life, I can’t help but think of all the money that will be spent for gym memberships that will only be used a few times and forgotten about, and all of the trendy workout clothes that will be purchased only to be donated to the local thrift stores in a few months.  So many people go into the new year with the best intentions for their “resolutions” of diet and exercise.  Sadly, a majority of those resolutions go unfulfilled.

The way I see it, a person can make a resolution regarding changes they want to make in their life, and they’ll either become like a firework or like a pilot light.  Let me explain…

Fireworks are exciting!  They are typically displayed at important times of the year, most often during the holidays or at a big celebration.  Fireworks go off with a “BANG!” and because of this, they draw a lot of attention.  They get the “ooohhh’s” and “ahhhh’s” of onlookers and infuse the air with energy…but only briefly.  You see, that’s the thing about fireworks.  After the initial flash, they sizzle through the air as the spark burns out and they fade away.  There's no long-lasting comittment with a firework.  Fireworks are the perfect example of the expression, “well, it was great while it lasted”.

A pilot light, on the other hand, is not very exciting at all.  Honestly, most people don’t really think about a pilot light all that much.  It’s small and usually hidden away underneath or behind an appliance like a hot water heater or a stove.  No one boasts, “Hey, have you seen my pilot light lately?  Come on out to the garage a take a look!”  The beauty of a pilot light, however, is that it has an ongoing job to do and it just keeps on burning.  Did you catch that?  It just keeps on burning…

Resolutions can be like the exciting, but temporary firework, exploding into the new year with lots of pizzazz but forgotten about rather quickly.  Resolutions can also be like the ho-hum, yet continually burning pilot light that stays committed to getting the work done, day in and day out.

Me?  I’d rather be a pilot light than a firework any day!

(Just a reminder/disclosure…I am not a medical professional or certified trainer, so anything I write in this blog is not intended to be taken as advice, guidance, or recommendations.  It is simply a journal of my own personal experiences.  Thanks!)


  1. I'd much rather be a pilot light than a firecracker! Great analogy and inspiring post.