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Volume # 2 - 4, November 2006                                                                 


Fads, Trends, and Values

    Larry Thompson

A political survey was conducted several years ago to determine what influenced people most when it came to voting.  They learned that three factors were prominent: Fads, Trends, and Values.  The surveyors explained it this way:


When a person looks out over an ocean and sees a wave, the first thing they see is the frothy, white-capping, top of the wave as it breaks.  It's there and it's gone.  That's the fad.


The second thing they see is the wave itself, moving in a certain direction.  That's the trend.


The third thing, which they don't even see, is the deep current underneath the water that's moving the wave in the direction that it's breaking.  That deep undercurrent of water is the values.

Voters will immediately listen and be influenced by candidates who are the hottest thing, talking the talk, personifying the fad.  They will also listen with eagerness if a candidate is evidencing a trend toward a certain truth.  But when they get into the voting booth and pull the curtain behind them, and they're all alone, they vote the candidate with values. They don't vote the fad.  They don't vote the trend.  They always vote the values.  The deep undercurrent of the wave is the most important thing to them.  That’s what touches them the deepest.  That’s what they feel will give them security.  That’s what they feel will give their children a future. 


I tell you this not to influence how you might vote for a political candidate but to suggest that these same factors also apply to the way others perceive and evaluate you.  Ask not who you would vote for but rather who would vote for you?


What do YOU stand for?  What depth of character do YOU evidence?  What values do YOU hold?


Even though you are not running for office, others mentally vote on you every day - in your work place, in your community, in your relationships, and most importantly, in your family. 


Do you speak, interact, work with, and even love others in a way that is faddish, trendy, or valuable?  Are you a person of substance or of the moment?


Every day when you make choices about your life, you choose between fads, trends, and values.  An example is a choice as simple as what you are going to wear that day.  Are you going to wear some low-waisted, designer jeans that seem to really be in style right now with no regard to whether you weigh 200 pounds or 101 pounds or whether you are 22 or 64? The look you have chosen may be a fad, or it may be a trend, but is it of value?  My point being, even when you dress, are you dressing the hottest, trendy way, or are you dressing with values?  Now, you can dress all three and you should.  You dress the appropriate way for the specific occasion.  But, at least, be aware of how you are presenting yourself.  What you choose to wear states who you are and how you feel about yourself. 


The same holds true about whom you pick in your life to associate with or whom you work with.  Fads, trends, and values influence how you feel about everything.  If you're out at a cocktail party or a dinner and someone raises a social issue, before you open your mouth and start having it flap, you might want to ask yourself is it just popular to say, “Oh yeah, let’s do this because everybody is doing it” or is it what you really mean?   Ask yourself, “Is this statement a fad?  Is this a trend?  Is this a value?”  If you speak in a way whereby you evidence to people that your thought process is reflective and that how you feel about life in general and subjects in particular show a deep respect for values, they're going to see you as a more credible person.  They’re going to observe that you are thoughtful and intelligent.  They’re going to witness that you can look beyond the immediate moment. 


When you make choices about anything in your life, be aware of what you're choosing and why because the choices you make will determine the choices others will make about you.


Put your day in perspective, your choices in perspective, and eventually, your life will fall into perspective.  Others will give you a vote of confidence and approval.


Exercise:  Review your old photos and take notice of whom you were with, how you were dressed, and remember the world view you were espousing at the time.  Were you a personification of a fad, a trend, or a value?


Good luck on YOUR election day.  May voters elect you as their choice of one who has shown the best character, exudes the most honesty, speaks with inspired vision, and has a sense of deep values with the sincere intention of helping their virtual constituency and all mankind.


See you on Life's Red Carpet!

Larry Thompson
Global Motivator and Author of SHINE



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