Must work life balance suffer in the quest for greatness?

Today is my birthday, but this post is less about age and more about the depth of passion and focus at any age which exalts ones career and sends one soaring above the rest. I wonder, must work life balance take a back seat – even for a short time – on the road to greatness?

Yesterday I attended a recital at the Coe Hall Mansion of Planting Fields Arboretum. World renowned pianist Ching-Yun Hu, born in Taipei, Taiwan,  performed in what is the ballroom of the mansion surrounded by story-high bookcases, windows adorned with long heavy red vintage drapes and a few dozen of us galvanized by her performance.

The passionate pieces of Chopin and Beethoven were elegantly played.  But it was the passion and focus of Ching-Yun Hu that threw me into a self contemplative mode of inner inquiry. Ching-Yun’s vibe manifested into something tangible in that ballroom. The dramatic focus on her craft showed in her face and her body movement, impacting the audience on a visceral level. The creative juices of her talent flowed throughout the room touching everyone there. One might be gifted with such talent, but it needs to be cultivated and nurtured to be born in physical form. It reminds me of a quote from my mentor, Rick Jarow Ph.D.:

“Your life is a work of art a craft to be carefully mastered. For patience has replaced time and you are your own destination.”

What moves you? How do you contact that inner juice? Is the formula passion and focus? And must any work life balance go out the window as a sacrifice for greatness? Watch Ching-Yun Hu and weigh in:

  • Cali Yost


    Sounds like a terrific event! What struck me, as it always does, is the inadequacy of the word “balance’ to describe her reality. Does she “work” a lot at her craft? Probably. But it sounds like the way all of the work is “fitting” into her life overall gives her great joy and fulfillment. So it’s not a sacrifice even though from the outside it might look that way to others.


  • Annie Blachley

    Interesting, well-chosen words on the concert. Thanks for crystallizing a few of the thoughts I–and others, I’m sure–gleaned from her performance.


    P.S. Hope your headache went away. Here’s another remedy: dried lavender or feverfew (tiny flowers that when crumbled release a scent that sometimes knocks out the pain). I used to grow both plants when I lived in Southern California (they will survive here); you can purchase dried feverfew at the drugstore.