BY Ogaba Agbese
I want to talk about a three letter word often neglected. A three letter word brings clarity when used in the proper context. A three letter word, which has changed the world in its own paradigm shifting way. A three letter word often associated with negativity.
I want to talk about the three letter word “not”. Self-help books and gurus have often urged us to do away with this word. It is negative. It is bad for you. It will dampen your potential. It will restrict you. What they don’t mention is the context this word powerless on its own should be used in. The focus is often on “can” and “not” which is not all bad in itself but it has become an excuse for people to remain in their comfort zone.
When “not” is combined with “why”, the dynamics change. It becomes so powerful the world revolves around it. An absent combination of ideas begin to form to answer that question lodged in your cortex. The “idea bulb” glows so bright. A question as simple as “Why not?” has been the cause of world changing revolutions. Slave masters wanted people to remain slaves, Lincoln asked why not give them freedom.
Larry Ellison had the first version of Oracle’s software and he asked himself “Why not ship it as version 2.0?” The folks at IBM made computers that were hard to use, the folks at Apple asked “Why not make a computer as easy to use as a toaster?” Gandhi was urged to result to violence and he asked “Why not peace?” People said the world was flat, Galileo asked why not spherical?”.
The phrase if you may brings assertion of conviction with it which intimidates people. It tells people “look, I’m here for business.” It is little wonder why they try to beat it out of you in school. The student that asks “why not?” is opposing authority. A trouble maker. People preferred horses and carriages and thought cars were of no use Henry Ford asked “Why not?” It carries along a critical mindset. A mindset bent on testing out alternatives to find a solution that sticks. There are many ways in “why” falls short.
Everyone is asking “why?” Only few people have the audacity to ask “why not?” The greatest of success have been founded on “why not?” You may disagree with me on this but all you have to do is ask yourself “Why not?”
Ogaba Agbese is an architecture student with an extreme interest in everything digital and awesome.