We had the good fortune of connecting with Steven Norber and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Steven, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I’m not sure where the imprint came from, but the principal of paradox and learning how to learn (hence, making learning a lifelong practice) has helped me to accept that in cadence with balance, an inherent imbalance within life exists–and no matter how much I might idealize the concept of balance, it remains an intellectual concept separate from my day-to-day experience. I mean, the body I live in is not balanced or symmetrical. I have one lung that is slightly smaller to make room for my heart (just like most of us). And it is easy to see the difference between notes written with my right hand versus left.
As the owner of two businesses and co-owner of a third, there are slow times and busy times–and while not absolute, there remain seasons, or predictable times throughout the year where I can anticipate greater and lesser activity (with more time for chess).
And then there are the surprises, like right now, when I have more orders to fill during a time (summer) when the audio business is typically slower.
Needless to say, I remain grateful for the business.
I consider myself lucky to feel like much of the work I do happens to feel like play.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I make it up, day by day. I suspect the function/dynamic of attachment and non-attachment helps keep me engaged with an ongoing process of living and learning–but this does not mean I am without desire for a particular outcome.
Indeed, I have in my “mind’s eye” a goal, be it the sound of an audio product (loudspeakers & amplifiers), or an effective therapy for a client–and it all starts with listening.
I’m not sure what the meaning of easy is, but I know there are others who suffer to a far greater degree than I may ever have the capacity to understand.
As one who struggles with language following a bicycle accident (and consequent head wound) and according to the Meyers-Briggs indicator lands more on the introverted side of the scale, I have less interest in “branding and story,” and more interest in encouraging others to honor their intrinsic capacity to discern, to trust their inner knowing.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If I had a week off with a friend, we would likely spend less time in the city and more time in the hills: hiking and motorcycling in the snow-free months, skate and tele skiing when it falls. That said, the mornings begin with fresh ground/ brewed coffee (70% decaf, 30% caf) at home, followed by a walk to the neighborhood park and some PBY (park bench yoga).
If we were to remain in town for the day, lunch would be at J’s Noodles and New Thai, followed by a visit to the Clyfford Still museum. Other museums in the area would receive our attention, too.
Given music plays a significant role in our lives, my friend would want to play–and attempt to teach me how to play.
As much as I wish this friend would want to play chess, I might have to settle for wishful thinking.
Dinners could be prepared at home (maybe a Beyond Meat burger), or if I had my way, multiple additional visits to J’s would be in order. Taco de Mexico and El Noa Noa would make their way into the week, too.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
From Edison, Tesla, and Patanjali, to current day friends, teachers, and supporters: Dan Pauli, Ying Tan, Todd Garfinkle, Fred Church, BKS Iyengar, Francois Raoult, all former, present, future students, clients, customers, my family, etc–the shoulders upon which I stand are too numerous to list.
Of course, the woman to whom I’m married, Kelly Moore, has been a pillar of unwavering support in all aspects of my life since we met in 1998.
And recently, after listening to several reel-to-reel tape recordings from 1956, courtesy of Richard Brown, I felt a debt to the music industry unlike any I’ve felt before; one I’ve yet to understand how to respond. . .
Our culture’s mythical hyperindividual remains just that, myth, in contrast with the reality of our nature as a social nature and one of interdependence.
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