Trends or Lifestyle?



BY BRITTANY M. ORIE LEAK

What do we want out of life? Do we want to impress others or do we want to live for our own purpose? What is going on in the world? What things are popular and what things do people make into a lifestyle? With the media buzzing with the hottest trends to “try now,” it’s no wonder why most folks eventually abandon those trends and hop on the next boat that sails along. Trends don’t last long, and they are rapidly changing with the speed of technology.

Some trends are healthy for us, while others are either unhealthy or just catchy. But are some of the trends swarming around nowadays worthy of adopting as a lifestyle? If so, how do we make those trends a lifestyle? Why do we follow trends at all and why do we get over them so quickly?

“BUT EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING IT…”

Sure, while growing up we wanted to gain admission to the cool table. We applied by adopting the latest trends, trying to convince the executive board members of that cool table that we deserved to sit with them.

We follow these trends because it’s easier to do what is currently promoted. Though some folks will argue, a lot of inhabitants in this world would rather follow current trends and be more relatable to the person next to them. They want to sit at the “cool table” of life by doing things that are popular. Growing up in school, we often see other kids being teased because they are the outliers of the student body. They don’t quite fit the mold of normalcy and are picked on for being too quiet, too artsy, too nerdy, et cetera, et cetera. We sometimes tell ourselves, “Man, I don’t want to be on the receiving end of that!” So we try our best to follow the crowd and put a guise on anything that sets us apart. But many of us believe that stage of our lives is shoved into the high school vault of our memories.

But have we really matured out of that stage? I believe this world is only an advanced version of that stage because so many people are still trying to sit at the “cool table.” Perhaps it’s because we genuinely want to keep up the latest trends and fashions, or because we are afraid of getting the public side-eye for being different?

WHEN THINGS BECOME TOO TRENDY…

Nowadays, there are amazing lifestyle habits that are becoming shallow trends. Social media is great at capturing and promoting these kinds of trends by having everyone doing a “monthly reading challenge,” the “30-day vegan challenge,” or the “healthy hair challenge.” The problem with these trends is that they tend to die out and change as quickly as the latest fashions, hairstyles, and technology. This is because the hype over these trends are short-lived and just like tangible trends, people get excited about the next big thing and gravitate towards it.

Promoting such positive habits as trends causes us to look at deeper behaviors superficially. This is problematic because we miss out on the value of actually engaging in these habits and don’t quite enjoy the fruits of taking them on as lifestyles. Do we do this to impress the world by putting on a certain image, or is it something we truly believe will benefit us and add quality to our lives?

FROM TRENDS TO LIFESTYLE

There are actually plenty of trends that are worthy of adopting as a lifestyle. Eating healthy, reading daily, and getting more educated, meditation, and going makeup-free are all quality trends that are capable of becoming a part of our lifestyle. But how do we find the willpower to do this? It begins with knowing ourselves: knowing what we gravitate towards, what repels us, and distinguishing between what we need versus what we want (sometimes what we want is not what we need!). We need to ask ourselves: “Should I change my hair?” “Should I express myself more with my clothing?” “Should I read more books?” 

Sometimes trends speak to us, other times they’re just for enjoyment. Be intentional about what trends you make into a lifestyle!

 


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