I am a machinist by trade, and in this glorious career of mine, we make parts according to blueprints. The blueprints are drawn according to a “perfect world” scenario. All the pieces fit together perfectly, nothing is out of place. However, to compensate for the imperfect world we live in, (actually making the part/pieces to the whole puzzle), we have these numbers that are called “tolerances”. Tolerances basically communicate to everyone involved in the design, machining, fabricating, inspecting, and assembling departments, how far off a dimension can be from “perfection” and still have the whole thing work. Some tolerances are more “intolerant” than others, one dimension could only be a few thousandths of an inch away from perfection while others have more freedom and could be a foot away from perfection but still work together. This tells us what to pay attention to, what parts we need to work on with special attention, often times working slower, with much more caution. Tolerance communicates the importance of an issue. What’s important to you? In your individual life, in your family, communities and business, seek out and come to agreement on what’s important, what can be tolerated more than other things? In other words, pick your battles, not everything is of equal importance. But to those issues that are of much importance, the things that, if not held to a close tolerance, and not approached with care, would ultimately collapse an entire project, make an effort to communicate these things with absolute clarity and urgency, and perhaps everything else will fall into place.


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