Sharpening the Saw and Dongdaemun Design (Day 264)
A day sandwiched between sharpening the saw and wandering around Dongdaemun Design Plaza.
This morning and evening I was “sharpening the saw” as per Dr Stephen R Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” It was the late 1990s that I went on a 7 Habit’s course through work and it had a huge effect on me, the start of my journey into personal and professional development. So this morning and evening, as well as the daily writing (which took quite some time with Tim telling me all about Prince Sado), I was reading “Lesson from my Coach” by Amir Karkouti, who, despite only meeting him via Skype, I regard as a good friend. Since travelling I’ve only done a small amount of coaching. What with moving around a lot and sometimes not having a good wifi signal, it just didn’t feel right to do much until now. I have been coaching since 2005 so perhaps I needed a break. And this had given me a renewed energy and a desire to sharpen my saw; studying, learning from others, reflecting and developing myself, recapping how I can show up and be of service for clients. In Amir’s book, he wrote: “nothingness in a song is just as important as the notes in-between”. I listened to John Lennon’s “Imagine” and noticed the power of the space between each line. This reminds me to give clients and myself space…space for wisdom to create insights and space to focus and deepen these. Ah, it’s good to sharpen the saw, makes sense – well, a blunt one is just not as effective, is it? The middle part of the day, we went for a walk along Cheonggyecheon Stream, this time going east and happened to pass the Portuguese Café again. We remembered the other flavours that needed testing, so popped in for another Nata! We shared a Citron and a Walnut one. We agreed that the original custard ones are the best….but there are a few more flavours yet to try! Our walk along the stream was magical. Hardly anyone around, a couple across the stream waved at us, we saw some massive carp (sounding similar to Ee-Haw in Korean). We crossed the stream over some large stepping stones to come out to the street level and walked along, viewing the tiny wholesale shops specialising in such things as elastic bands – who would have thought there were so many kinds! And then we came to a hat shop! Yes, we entered it and needless to say, despite Tim leaving his trilby back in the UK, he has purchased another similar one. It does look good on him though don’t you think? Rather distinguished. We discovered that beyond the shop was a labyrinth of other speciality shops – wow! Loads of them, selling all kinds of clothing, underwear, belts, pop socks, scarves etc. We wandered down for some time, then stomachs were starting to grumble. Food to find. Outside we came across a large plaza and a fast food chain had a number of their staff doing a dance routine. We had such fun watching and interacting with them and they kindly all joined in for a photo opportunity. After lunch, we walked over to the Dongdaemun Design Plaza. Designed as a cultural hub, this neo-futuristic building is stunning, blending so well with the environment. It is fluid like thick molten liquid forming huge curved blobs with sweeping sides and spaces forming fabulous walkthroughs teasing the pedestrian to see what is next. We love it! It was designed by the British Iraqi Architect Dame Zaha Hadid who was the first woman to win the 2004 Pritzker Prize and the UK's most prestigious architectural award, the Stirling Prize, in 2010 and 2011. We did come across a public piano so I had a quick tinkling of the ivories. I wish I could remember more of the pieces I used to play, but it was nearly 40 years ago! Gulp! Time to get back to our apartment via a supermarket. There are loads of small convenience stores like 7-11 and CU here, however, the food choice is very limited. The nearest supermarket was west of where we are living so we decided to get the metro. Oh dear! We walked for ages. We think that the usual entrance for the metro line we wanted was cut off for some reason, and seemed to be walking around in circles. At least I was getting my daily 10,000 steps and more in! Eventually, we found the entrance and in no time at the supermarket to treat ourselves to some English breakfast teabags and cereal which has less sugar than most (still too much). Back to sharpening my saw and both relaxing with a nice cup of tea.