This is Why “Think Big” Is A Wrong Advice

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This is Why “Think Big” Is A Wrong Advice


have flattered around with the aspect of being a pastor for several decades in my life. Not that I have shelved this, it still beats benignly at the recesses of my heart. Back in the day, the fire and unction was so great that I was ready to quit College and venture into “full-time ministry”. Of course after consulting with my mentors, I was advised to do the opposite: Study to the greatest level imaginable and then venture into ministry.

There is one incident that has been indelibly printed at the psyche of my heart, it will never be forgotten as long as I live. One day I was watching Christian TV. A preacher came on and he was preaching a storm about “great men in America” He said that the greatest men in the country were not the men bouncing a ball on a basketball court under the cheer of the crowds….you get the picture. He said that the greatest men were those who were making an impact in others’ lives, however small the number.

Then he did something eternally significant. He made an “altar call” where he invited men and women who knew deep in their hearts that they were called. He insisted that numbers were not anything to go by. He insisted that the most important thing was faithfulness. He wanted to pray for those who would answer the call. I will never forget that day…because alone in the house, in a region bordering the slums of Nairobi, I stood and answered that call. I prayed with him even as tears rolled down my eyes. I meant every single world I spoke.

To date, you will still find me unmoved if I do not have a microphone in my hands, cameras and lights in my face. For as long as I can serve my purpose, that is OK with me.

The Calls to Think Big

Perhaps one of the most common stories we hear in the motivational speaking industry is the story of a golf club. Whether is story is true or false, it has served the purpose of motivating the masses to “Think Big”. The story goes something like this (at least the version I remember) : A rich prince visits his friend in Europe and he loves the hospitality. Naturally, the Prince wants to pay back. He knows that his host loves to play golf and so he decides to buy him a gift.

One day, the host gets a message that there is a gift for him from the wealthy Monarch. He is told that it is a golf club. However, upon receiving his gift, he finds that it is not a club to pat a golf ball with: He finds that it is actually a whole real estate of a golf course–the whole club!

Benefits of Thinking Big

The message normally is that we need to think big, and think big like a King, or a Prince for that matter. Granted, there are numerous benefits in thinking big. Mainly, thinking big is a recipe for growth. Marrianne Williamson said,

Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us”.

There is a great message in her quote above. Also, if you are to look through history, you will find that “Big Thinkers” are the people who made notable impact in society. The list is endless. My favorite human is Apostle Paul. Then we have others like Abraham Lincoln and JF Kennedy. JFK thought BIG about getting a man on the moon, close to 10 years before his country could have the capacity to do so.

So do not get me wrong, there are massive benefits in thinking big.

Where we drop the Ball

However, when we embrace the gospel of thinking big just for the sake of it, we err greatly. Several years back, a mentor of mine would mess up my thinking all the time I would visit him. I would leave his house thoroughly challenged to the core about my life. One day he asked me, “Lawrence what stops you from owning an airline?” I squirmed from side to side in my seat, smiling sheepishly and trying to accept the challenge. Of course the doubt was written all over my face as I let out o dry laugh.

Needless to say, that kind of thinking challenged me to the core. However, let us see what Steven R. Covey said:

“If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.”

Another version of his statement goes like this: There is nothing as wrong as climbing the ladder of success all the way to the top only to find that it was leaning on the wrong wall!!

And here is the downfall of thinking big: What if the efforts expended were out of purpose in the end?


Here is the downfall of thinking big: What if the efforts expended were out of purpose in the end?


The solution therefore is simple: Instead of thinking big, think purpose!


The solution therefore is simple: Instead of thinking big, think purpose!


That should precede thinking of any kind. Not everything created is supposed to be seen in grandeur. Not everything that is not operating in the grandeur is less effective in function.

The beauty of life is not in complexity and vast impact. It is not in intricate design and grandeur. It is rather in simplicity of purpose.

[ictt-tweet-blockquote] “The beauty of life is in Simplicity of purpose and not in the pompousness of reputation” #Purpose[/ictt-tweet-blockquote]

  • That is why we can now cherish the importance of Divine Defects (I am writing a book on this). Purpose precedes thinking, planning and action of any nature. The end result as intended at the beginning is more important than anything else.
  • That is why the overall picture of God’s Purpose negates the fact that all that matters are things of grandeur. A little toe is as important in function just as the big toe. In fact, if the big toe is not functioning on purpose, then it is useless as compared to the small toe. The most important thing is functioning on purpose.
  • That is why numbers, great impact and pompousness cannot be used to judge the purpose or impact of an individual or an object.

So as you can see, Purpose is of much great importance than thinking big, don’t you agree? You would rather think on purpose than think big, because in the end, purpose matters more.