A game of inches… you may have heard phrases such as:
Business is a game of inches…
Life is a game of inches…
Football is a game of inches…
Software development is a game of inches…
Faith is a game of inches…
Pick your favorite activity and add the phrase “is a game of inches” afterwards; you can probably find this phrase applied to just about anything in life.
It might as well be a “game of paper cuts” because doing activities by the inch seems just as painful! It sounds like a tedious life at best.
I know. The thought behind the phrase is pragmatic, practical in its application. It usually means:
- Keep focused
- Keep doing the little things and big things will happen
- Keep moving forward, before long, you will have moved a distance
- Keep doing the detailed work; it will help you achieve something bigger
It seems so common, uneventful, uninspiring. Is that what it all comes down to… just inches?
I don’t believe so. Or, I really don’t want to subscribe to that philosophy by itself.
If we are just focused on inches, we are always looking down and just seeing a very limited view of what is possible.
The preamble to “a game of inches” needs to be “the big step, the big idea is…” This delivers the purpose to which the “inch” activities can be applied. It creates the inspiration for the perspiration.
No matter what we do or want to do, we need to know the “big idea” or the purpose that is driving us forward or motivating us onward. It is what delivers meaning to living our life as well as setting the direction.
- A game of inches applied to any activity without a clear purpose is drudgery.
- A clear purpose without an “inches” plan is frustrating.
- A game of inches applied to any activity with clear, accepted purpose is energizing.
Only accept a game of inches when a meaningful purpose and direction are tightly wrapped around the actions necessary.