the fml project
The Power of WHY and The Law of Diffusion of Innovation
By: Tor Erik
Categories: Mindset

The power of WHY is vastly underestimated, When I speak to people, I share my personal thoughts and ideas as to what they could look into, given their situation. And often times, I find myself repeating myself, because a lot of the people I speak to share the same problem. They might feel

  • Stuck
  • Unmotivated
  • Fatigued
  • Lost
  • Unsuccessful

Sometimes they even use the same words as the majority of those sharing their problem. Why? I tend to see a lightbulb go off when I start talking about the law of diffusion of innovation and the importance of “WHY”.

I’ve said it before and I’m probably going to say it many more times, in as many ways as I can, because this is very important.

You need your “WHY”. You need your dream and your purpose to resonate with you to such a degree that not doing anything about it physically hurts you. Simon Sinek, a brilliant man, talks about this. He describes the problem perfectly and he has a model to demonstrate what he means. How your “WHY” is the most important thing there is.

The Golden Circle

This is a very interesting concept. It demonstrates the power of an idea and a dream, and shows how easily it could fall apart or come true, by just switching it up a bit.

Most companies sell their “stuff”, because they want people to buy it. So they say things like

“Get this! We make the best stuff there is for this and you absolutely have to get it in your life, it will make everything better”. Even if that might not be the case.

The point to such a statement is that the recipient gets told what to do right off the bat. “DO THIS.”

The Power of WHY

If you switch things around however, then everything takes a different turn.

“You might feel stressed or overwhelmed during your day, finding it hard to keep up with all of the tasks and chores that you have to do. We dream of a world where people can live more free, so by eliminating these problems and making it easier for you to go through your day, you’ll be able to do what you want to do. Do you want such a thing?”

It’s a remarkable difference, but both examples sell the same thing. But where one company goes for the sale, the other goes for their dream. They have made something that helps their “WHY” and their dream come true, by helping others.

The Golden Circle starts with why. Work from your dream out. Not outcome in. That’s where a lot of people fail in getting customers. They are focusing on the outcome(i.e the money), instead of working towards a dream they have in their life. Something worth fighting for.

Again, Simon has a great story for this, too good to not be shared.

The invention of the airplane and the man that time forgot

The Wright Brothers had a dream. Piloted aircrafts. This was science fiction in the late 1800’s and a very ambitious dream to chase. They operated a bicycle shop, where they got spare parts for their prototypes and they usually brought 5 sets of spare parts to the testing site, because they knew that they had some crashes in front of them.

Every day, they were hard at work, trying to create the first piloted flying machine. Everyone knows that they succeeded, because we have airplanes and The Wright Bro’s made that happen first.

But why haven’t people heard about Samuel Pierpont Langley?

You see, Samuel were working on getting the first aircraft to the skies too at the same time as The Wright Bro’s. He was even put on the job by the Smithsonian Intstitute and had remarkable experience within science and engineering. He was the perfect candidate for making this happen. Because of his results, in 1898, he received a $50.000 grant from the War Department and a $20.000 grant from the Smithsonian. In other words, in the late 1800’s, this guy was set for success and loaded like few others. The New York Times followed him everywhere, documenting every step of his journey towards manned flight.

But have you heard about him?

He did it for the fame. For the money and the position he’d get when he made it. He worked from the “WHAT” of the Golden Circle.

Meanwhile, on a field in North-Carolina, The Wright Bro’s worked from the “WHY”. They had a dream and they kept at it, despite not being followed by the media or gaining attention. They showed up on that field in Kitty Hawk and got their butts smashed by gravity over and over again.

Until one day, December 17th, 1903, they flew for 4 miles in a piloted aircraft. They had made it. Their dream was a reality. And the rest is history.

That’s the immense power of “why”. You have somthing to fight for, something to wake you in the middle of the night because you have to work on it. Something that drives you and motivates you. A true superpower without equal.

But what happened to dear old Samuel? Well, a few days after The Wright Bro’s took flight, he quit. He couldn’t take the defeat. That is what happens when you work from “WHAT”.

If you set yourself a goal of making $1.252.583 by X date, what do you think will happen when and if you make that money? Your dream is over. You’ll have nothing to work for and often times, people fall into deep depression when realizing that. You need a dream. A fire that fuels you.

You need a powerful “WHY”.



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