Friday, August 19, 2011

Gremlins

For those of you who have never seen the 1984 classic "Gremlins", I highly recommend you rent it and get a good laugh (and also watch how incredibly silly we were back in the 80s). This movie is about a young man named Billy who gets a gift from his father of this cute-cuddly looking "Mogwai" that he names Gizmo (no this is not a euphemism). Gizmo comes with three simple rules:
  1. No water
  2. No food after midnight
  3. No bright light
Of course this movie would be boring if the Billy followed the rules, so they get broken and little Gizmo starts multiplying other furry fuzz balls like himself (I think they were just left over tribbles from the Star Trek set.). The duplicated fuzzies start eating nasty food and turn into these ugly Gremlins set on human domination. Hilarity ensues.

Those of you who have read my blog before know where I'm going with this... ☺

It is not unlike our health lifestyle struggles, is it not?

Imagine Gizmo as the goal, the dream, what we're working towards. Whether that may be losing 10 lbs, eating more fruits & vegetables today, or running a marathon.

Gizmo = our goal.

He's cute, he's fuzzy, he gives us a warm ooey-gooey awesome feeling. We like having him around and we want him to stay sweet forever and ever... cupcakes and rainbows and all.

The Gremlins, however, are the antithesis of Gizmo. They are the roadblocks in front of us that we have to fight through. They are "the stressful day at work so we don't want to work out today", "the leftover cheesecake in our refrigerator", "the injuries that prevent us from training". Whatever deters us from finishing that Gizmo Goal.

Please note that they are all "Mogwai". That is to say Gizmo and the Gremlins come from the same "fuzz balls." So our goals and our deterrents come from the same source. Think about it? If you make the goal, then anything that comes in the way of that goal is there because of the goal you made.

Gone crossed eyed? Let's use an example.

Not so long ago I set a goal of hitting 170lbs, well... I haven't hit it. Various things such as running, plateauing, etc. have prevented me from getting there, but plateauing wouldn't happen if I didn't first set a Gizmo Goal of wanting to hit 170lbs. By setting a goal 170lbs, I'm inviting in things that will deter me.

Gizmo Goals have roadblocks.
If they don't, then they're not really goals, are they?

It's pretty evident that without the goal, there wouldn't be any of the stuff stopping us from reaching it. So in a way Gizmo and the Gremlins are ying and yang. The two cannot exist without each other. So why not just get rid of the Gremlins, you ask? Oh I wish it were that simple, but the Gremilns live inside Gizmo. They keep coming back! (which is evident from Gremlins 2: The New Batch.) In order to have Gizmo Goals, you gotta put with his rules and that potentially means Gremlins.

So let's talk about these Gizmo rules. How do we interpret them? Look at it this way, if we follow these "rules" we end up having the happy, fluffy, cute-sounding Gizmo (pooping cupcakes and all) and none of the Gremlins. But the second we break them, Uh oh! Here comes the mean nasties!

It is pretty evident to me that the "rules" are our guidelines. (And note that I say guidelines, I'm a firm believer in not setting hardcore dietary or fitness rules). These guidelines help us to stay in the warm fuzzy place of working towards that goal, but when we stray or falter, we have to battle the Gremlin.

Having a roadblock towards a Gizmo Goal isn't preventable, it's inevitable.
(Just like the Gremlin movies.)

So lastly, what does Billy represent in the movie? He's given this gift of a warm fuzzy Gizmo (or goal). It's handed to him.
"Here, take it!"

What does he do with it?

Billy = us.

We all have Gizmo Goals, and it's difficult to not have one (...or two ...or three). And we love them and cherish them and really want them to be happy and successful, but the "rules" we have to follow... the guidelines which we have to adhere to... they sometimes throw up those roadblocks (Gremlins) and we're forced to battle the little annoying suckers.

If we remember that both the goal (Gizmo) and the roadblocks (Gremlins) are from the same source (Mogwai), we realize that its our own responsibility (Billy) to follow the guidelines (rules) we've set forth. In other words, we're not victims here, we set the goal, we fight through it. And in the end everyone is happy-go-lucky, happily-ever-after and all with a cute little furry creature that sold an estimated $11 million in the box office in 1984.

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