Why Pursuing a BHAG is Worth the Struggle

Ethan Steininger
2 min readMay 3, 2023


Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) is a term coined by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras in their book “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies.” A BHAG is a long-term, ambitious goal that can inspire people to work towards a common vision. It is a tangible, specific goal that is challenging and requires sustained effort and focus over a long period of time.

While BHAGs are commonly used in business settings, they can also be applied to personal growth journeys. Setting a BHAG can provide direction, motivation, and a sense of purpose. It gives people something to strive for that is outside their comfort zone and requires them to stretch their limits.

One reason why BHAGs are important is that they encourage people to think big and to aim for something that seems impossible. Setting a BHAG can challenge the status quo and push individuals to achieve more than they thought was possible. It can also provide a framework for decision-making and prioritization, as people can evaluate potential opportunities against their BHAG to determine if they align with their long-term goals.

By aiming for something ambitious, people may need to think outside the box and come up with novel solutions. This can result in new ideas and approaches that may not have been considered without the BHAG as a guiding force.

BHAGs help individuals develop resilience and persistence. Achieving a long-term goal requires sustained effort and a willingness to overcome setbacks and obstacles along the way. By pursuing a BHAG, individuals can build skills in perseverance and grit that can be applied to other areas of their life.

In your own personal growth journey, setting a BHAG can provide direction and purpose. When setting a BHAG, choose a goal that’s specific, measurable, and achievable, but also challenging enough to be inspiring. It should be something that requires sustained effort over a long period of time, but also something that you are passionate about and committed to achieving.

As you work towards your BHAG, be prepared to face setbacks and obstacles along the way. It’s important to stay focused on your goal and to develop resilience and persistence to overcome these challenges. Be open to new ideas and approaches, and be willing to pivot and adapt as needed to achieve your goal.

By setting an ambitious goal and pursuing it with determination and persistence, you can achieve more than you thought possible and develop skills that can be applied to all areas of your life. So, what’s your BHAG?