I learned a new word today, sprezzatura, courtesy of Ftrain.com. It’s an Italian word from the high renaissance that means, roughly, the art of making the difficult look easy. It also implies a certain spontaneity and nonchalance in the execution.

The Beatles certainly had sprezzatura, but you know those guys worked hard at what they did – John Lennon said something to the effect that they thought of themselves as craftsmen, going in to work every day to practice getting better at their craft. Or Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., who writes as if he’s speaking off the top of his head, but I know from an interview he did many years ago that for some of his more complicated novels, he actually graphed out all of the characters and events against a timeline on the back of rolls of wallpaper.

My personal mission statement begins with the overall mission, ‘To move easily through the world as a man of good conscience,’ and I love that image of just breezing on through it all. Sprezzatura!

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