When it comes to the size of a big why it matters a lot more than you think. The advantage of a bigger why is an effect often overlooked by both people and companies.
In our attempt to be down to earth and navigate reality we often sacrifice the bigger why for a smaller why. We think it’s more concrete and realistic and find it easier to relate to.
The problem is that a big why is not supposed to be realistic. It’s not supposed to be part of reality. It’s supposed to be on the edge of reality. Out there for you to strive towards, but never actually reach. Like the flower strives towards the light, but never reaches the sun.
Value based why
The reason is that a big why is a value. Not an action. The only action involved is the action you take in trying to reach the value of the big why. If you make your big why too concrete and realistic, it becomes an action, and then it stands in the way of the actions you should take in order to reach the big why.
Why is this a problem? Because the moment you take your big why to market reality hits it like high speed train, and whatever plan you have fails. No plan survives the meeting with reality, and if you don’t have a big enough why you simply won’t be able to adapt to circumstances and come up with a new plan.
Doubt kicks in
Let me give you an example. Many people and companies make their big why oriented around a product, and then they go to market. Usually the market reacts to that product differently than expected, and as a result you start doubting not just the product, but your entire endavour. Yourself even.
That’s about as bad as it can be, because then you have lost the game before it ever got started. If a product fails, so be it, it’s just a product. Happens all the time. You will just develop a new product. But if you fail because of self doubt, it’s game over. You cannot come back from that.
The bigger the why…
That’s why you need the big why to be value based. A value can be manifested in endless ways, and so if your product fails it’s no big deal for you to carry on and create a new product, because you have that value, that big why, that you follow. Your second product will be a new version of that value, but the value remains the same.
So you see, the principle is simple. The bigger the why the easier it is to strive towards it, and even though you should also be careful of having too big a why, it’s a lot better to have a bigger why than a smaller why.