A Game of Inches

A goal is an important key component in our lives, it’s a game of inches. The unfortunate side effect is the lack of accountability and the abandoning the set goal because of the perceived overwhelming size of the objective.

game of inchesThe advantage of goal setting is obvious. This is taught ad nauseam and continuously demonstrated everywhere. On the flip side, the grander of our objective creates fear and helplessness for many. For these reasons few goals come to fruition. Fear replaces the planning and analysis required for the journey to accomplishment. Taking a step back and looking at our goals from a different vantage point creates actions that stimulate forward momentum.

We can review the history books and discover time after time, people have reached pinnacles in their respective lives that everyone would wish for. Examples of individuals that overcome life defeating events to move on and reinvent their lives and flourish in the face of adversity, are displayed universally. Declining economies and collapsing markets reveal the rise of entrepreneurs and leaders that use the opportunities to reinvent themselves and the industries, that face devastating recessions, into new frontiers.

Illness, accidents, job loss is only a few personal barriers that so many face during this pandemic. These are still not valid reasons to stop any of us from achieving greatness, even in times of crisis. When we set goals, the most important aspect is to acknowledge that we don’t climb a mountain in one giant leap unless you’re Superman. Achievements, goals and life plans are reached through established milestones one step at a time, one inch at a time.


“Well-being is realized by small steps but it is no small thing”_Zeno


Steve Jobs was fired from the company he created. That didn’t stop him. He created the computer company NeXT and sold it to Apple in 1997. This marked his comeback to Apple when they were nearly bankrupt. The rest is history, iMac, iPhone, iPod, iTunes. Being fired from your company you founded, is a crushing blow, it didn’t stop him from achieving his dream.

Terry Fox is a Canadian athlete who lost his life to cancer. His right leg was amputated in 1997 after he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. From a young age, Fox developed a stubborn dedication to whatever task he would commit to. In junior high he tried for the basketball team but was told he would be better suited to be a distance runner. Fox didn’t take no for an answer. He spent the following summer practising his favourite sport one step at a time and made the basketball team the next school year. His determination was also reflected in his 14-month training plan, telling his family he wanted to run and complete a marathon with only one leg and a prosthetic. But his real plan was to run the entire length of Canada in the hope of increasing cancer awareness, one step at a time. Terry passed away before completing his objective. But every step he took left a legacy of The Terry Fox Foundation dedicated to cancer research.

stay homeThese examples and others demonstrate time and again the value of taking one step at a time. We must all implement this mindset into our lives, there is no question about it. You maybe have lost your job to the COVID-19 pandemic. Or your retirement investments have bottomed out. You closed your business or declared bankruptcy. Whatever the reason of our misfortune, our journey back to the top will always be possible and will require our focus on the steps placed before us.

Our life is a game of inches. Like in football, the strategy to win the game is to move up the field an inch at a time. When we get kicked to the ground and everything comes to a grinding stop, our journey back is built from one small bit of progress after the next. The inches we need are all around us. The progress required to move forward is six inches in front of our face. We don’t need to look any further. The top of the mountain will be reached one inch at a time.

The power of small actions is powerful and add up over time to create success. So, let’s identify and take the first step required to live our dreams. Yes, it’s cool to look at the top of the mountain and gaze with amazement. It’s even better to look back down once you’ve reached the top and contemplate the view from the summit.