How to Be as Cool as Castiglione – What is Sprezzatura?

I think this attitude might have had a lot to do with why artists were so skillful, smart and multi-talented back then (during the Renaissance), and perhaps shed some light on why the majority of us are NOT these days…

“I have found quite a universal rule which in this matter seems to me valid above all other, and in all human affairs whether in word or deed: and that is to avoid affectation in every way possible as though it were some rough and dangerous reef; and (to pronounce a new word perhaps) to practice in all things a certain sprezzatura [nonchalance], so as to conceal all art and make whatever is done or said appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it.”

~The Book of the Courtier

Basically what is being said here that everyone should carefully and intentionally avoid affectation, which is “behavior, speech, or writing that is artificial and designed to impress.”

Don’t try to impress people with your words, and you will have to with your actions. That’s the way to be awesome, and not lame.



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