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Sunday, May 21, 2023

Trendy or Trendsetting

Do you joyously follow trends or are you more of a trendsetter? Maybe a bit of both. But what does it entail?


It is likely that you have a stronger (natural) preference for one over the other, being trendy or trendsetting, and that you hold one in higher esteem than another, either by your own criteria or ones you’ve adopted. Yet, both hold merit and both can be challenging, depending on what comes easiest to you and how well you do it.

In the fast-paced world we now live in, following, keeping up with, and anticipating trends, is no simple task. It takes someone alert, quick, prepared, and ready to jump into and grab any opportunity they can to be part of what is currently taking over before it is too late and something else, possibly wildly different, comes along. Not all of us are made for it; there’s a certain dexterity to it and it can go beyond being told what’s hot and blindly joining in. Sometimes, it is a lot more complex than that and merely being able to participate in the trend can be an ordeal. And sometimes, excellent timing and time management are essential. You may have to gather resources, gain knowledge, and/or develop skills, all in a short time frame. Being trendy is not just about buying an item and putting it on.

As for trendsetting, there are a few formulas. Some are quite unorthodox (e.g. unethical marketing and advertising tactics preying on insecurities or appealing to ego, exploiting lack of character, and more). But in its highest form, it is when you’re capable of making or doing something so outstanding and so fundamental that it can’t and shouldn’t be ignored. Something that others wanted or needed but weren’t yet aware of until it came along. Something that they can actually be a part of. And when you pull this off, don’t be surprised when people follow in your footsteps, whether that was your intention or not. Even those that were mocking, criticizing, or reluctant about it could give in or even begin to compete with you at your own thing. This can be especially frustrating if you were only aiming to be different and unique and are suddenly seeing copies and clones of you or what you do. But it comes with the package.

If imitation poses a problem that, all considered, is in your best interests to mitigate, you will have to firmly establish yourself as the original and/or come up with something that can’t or wouldn’t be replicated by many. In most cases, expressing your discomfort won’t do. And enforcing strict rules against it could leave you in a worse spot. But this can take some of the edge off.

If, on the other hand, the point is for more and more people to be and do as you (e.g. living more healthily, fighting worthy causes, doing charity work, etc.), you can continue to be an example to aspire toward and facilitate pathways for it, keeping yourself in check as you take on this role that makes you responsible for others to a degree. It is a kind of power to be careful with and it is bound to be met with resistance, scrutiny, and demands as it grows greater. These may be justified or not, so you must both stand your ground and course-correct.

Trends come and go, but they make history...