Inspired to sew on a button by the designer of the world’s first driverless car!

I have been inspired to sew on a button, by listening to an online fireside chat with Tom Chi – the man brought in by Google X to head up the design and development of the world’s first driverless car. Talk about the sublime and the ridiculous!

How can one talk about sewing on a button and ironing, in the same breath as designing such a piece of technological wizardry??!! Well, I suppose it depends on one’s definition of sublime and ridiculous. After all, I cannot imagine how much it cost to produce this car – or even to pay for Tom Chi, for that matter, but I was struck by his comment in this interview that when he thought about how much the car would cost to purchase, he realised that anyone who could afford to buy it, would equally be able to afford an ‘ordinary’ car!

On the other hand, the button I sewed on (after a about a year of procrastination, I confess) and the ironing I did while listening to the interview, enabled me to put to good practical use, some garments I love wearing, and which made me feel really good, but which had for months been rendered useless.

So which is sublime……..?

My point is this – there are those extraordinary individuals like Tom Chi who develop extraordinary things and then there are the rest of us who sometimes need inspiration to complete supposedly ‘ordinary’ tasks in order to help us function in our lives, so that we can bring our own creativity and inventiveness into whatever we wish our lives to be.

I am so excited about this! I was brought up in Zimbabwe with a mother who did most things for us, and servants who did everything else. For years, whenever I read Life Coaching type books which asked the question ‘If there was one thing you could change in your life, which would make a difference to everything else, what would it be?’, the answer for me was always

‘To be able to keep my house clean and tidy!’

I have no trouble with creative thinking, with the dramatic and overtly inspirational stuff. What I have had trouble with for much of my life, is in giving time and energy to the ‘boring’, ‘ordinary’, details which support the dramatic stuff, and provide the background stability, constancy and tenacity which enable to creative aspects to flourish and grow over the long term. For me, sewing on the button, and doing the ironing while listening to something inspirational, is concrete evidence that I have changed, and am continuing to change, that one thing that has undermined me for so many years!


Then again, this interview with Tom Chi took place on a ship – he had given a month of his time to a ship full of entrepreneurs who were sailing round Malaysia while inventing new and useful stuff. He had given up his high powered job as a result of a near death experience resulting from overload. It would be good to find balance in our lives without the near death experience, but that is the subject of another blog!

And PS, while I was looking for an image for this blog, I discovered just how sublime sewing on a button can be!


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