31.08 20140

The Critical Inch

By: michelemuse Categories:Agile

We all have choices to make. The most important one is what to do with the day that is before us. Will we ignore those around us in favor of living in the past or dreaming of the future, or will we seize the day? If we are all food for worms, what will you do with today to make it matter?

Are you always stressed to meet a new goal or distressed about past performance? Are you excited and alive about the work you are doing today and the relationships that you are enjoying? Could you engage more with those around you… take the time to go to lunch with coworkers and get to know them a little more, put the extra effort into the mindless tasks of your day, or make time to engage those personal relationships that you neglected for far off ambitions?

To the inch worm, his largest goal is the inch in front of him. Eventually he makes it across the room but only one inch at a time. If he focuses too much on where he is going, he becomes overwhelmed. If he focuses too much on where he has been, he becomes discouraged. He must make every inch count as he spends his life moving inch by inch from one place to another. If there are enough fulfilling inches, then we have a fulfilling life. It will be worthwhile because we have filled it with what matters… the interactions with those around us within our critical inch.

The critical inch concept ties back into the first value of the Agile Manifesto… individuals and interactions. All agile work is driven by this value. Our largest ambition or most distant goal is realized everyday on the team level with the daily standup, one task at a time. The interactions and relationships we build with the team are not only what leads to ultimate project success but also ultimately what leads to a fulfilling work life for those on the team. Instead of worrying about past problems or stressing about potential challenges, learn to be present to the moment you living and be present to those around you who are living it with you. Our lives are lived in the moment…not the past nor the future.

My wish for you I take from Jonathon Swift, “may you live all of the days of your life.”




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