1/8″ Matters…Thoughts on Measuring Change

Over the month of July we have been building our new shop metal/wood rack. This has required a lot more metal than I had envisioned and I’ve been calling Salina Steel weekly ordering more!

We’ve typically been using 1/8″ gauge square tubing for the frame. Yet, we had been using 1/4″ gauge angle iron for the horizontal supports. When I ordered the last batch of metal last week, I thought I had ordered the right size of square tubing…till it showed up on the Friday truck. It was definitely 1/4″ square tubing…

On the phone I realized I must have had a Freudian slip and said 1/4″ square tubing.

One wouldn’t think that an 1/8 would matter that much, then you haven’t tried to lift a piece of square tubing. 1/8″ square tubing I can handle, lift off the ground and carry alone. 1/4″ square tubing meanwhile, I’m struggling to get a side up and dragging across the shop floor…shuffle mode. All the difference…1/8 of an inch…

In life we feel that change, “real change”, needs to happen in radical earth moving steps. Yet, we need to ask ourselves, are we looking to create short-term chaos or long-term sustainable growth?

Often, we freeze in taking any action because we feel that those first steps toward adapting and change are too small to be worth it. We keep hunting for the “big one” that idea that will not only shift the needle, but break the scale…

Let me say, I’ve fallen for this trap in my life numerous times. I’ve simply been content waiting rather than acting on the small steps I can do today. As I prepare for my backpacking trip to Colorado next week I am reminded that I do not complete the 30 miles in one single leap…but steady steps accumulated to create a journey.

Measuring change on the initial size of the shift is not the way we should approach this, but rather looking at change over the continuum of time. There is a great analogy about the ‘one-degree’ of difference. That further extends this conversation about how small changes can make big differences down the line, check out the link below:


We’re definitely making do with the metal we recently got, but it taught me a very real lesson on that an 1/8″ can make a HUGE difference.

Let’s ask ourselves:

  1. What is the 1/8″ shift we can make for ourselves in a habit we’re building?
  2. What is the 1/8″ shift we can make in our families this coming week?
  3. What is the 1/8″ shift we can make in our organizations we work at this year?

1/8″ can make a difference…what will ours be?

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