Hustle, disruptive, people first, productivity, self-starter, drill down, and so on.
What these buzzwords do is cause your brand to be generic.
For example, let’s take a look at a mission statement and first bullet point listed as a vision for this company:
To refresh the world…
To inspire moments of optimism and happiness…
To create value and make a difference.
People: Be a great place to work where people are inspired to be the best they can be.
What’s more refreshing than a Coca-Cola? If you guessed that it was Coke, then you probably drink a lot of it since in this case, and with many other brands, you could piece all these buzzwords together and mix-and-match as you go.
This is not setting any brand apart from their competition.
It’s understandable for a brand as large as Coca-Cola to do this since their product is mundane and for the masses. But when it comes to a smaller or more cause-worthy brand who is doing the same thing, it’s tragic.
Tragic because a these other types of brands can’t afford to be generic and mundane as Coke can. Tragic because whoever started the company has lost a sense of the uniqueness as to why they started it, or maybe, it’s the people who run the company just following protocol.
I think there are many individuals who do this in their personal life as well.
They conform to a standard based on their scene or situation, acting a certain way to fit in with their peers. Which is understandable since no one wants to be socially isolated.
But what it does is something soul piercing and brings about a dogmatic existence. You learn to be not as you are but become a person based on what others tell you.
The world becomes this place for “finding your passion” and you sometimes wonder why the thing you’re doing isn’t working. The answer is: because you are not the person you are trying to fit in to be.
While you continue to conform to other’s standards, all you’re doing is suppressing the beautiful and creative energy that is inside you.
You wake up confused, go to work unfulfilled, and go to sleep “just fine.”
Being “just fine” isn’t just fine. You deserve to feel enriched and with a pep to your step. Why else would you exist?
I believe that people will often watch the Kardashians and similar shows because they’re bored. Just like the buzzwords in a mundane mission statement, if you’re bored it’s because you’re conforming to a life you don’t enjoy.
Once you realize that you are both the cage and the bird, there’s a good chance that through the same effort you give to conformity, you can open the cage. Eventually, you can even make the cage disappear.
First, however, you need to recognize the issue: Do you use buzzwords and are you conforming to the culture? Or are you defining yourself (and your brand) so that the culture conforms to you?