See, “trying” does not always lead to success. In fact, more often than not, “trying” for something leads to failure, or at best, very little success.
As the great Yoda once said “Do or do not. There is no try.”
The harder you try, the more results you’ve come to expect. But those results are not guaranteed, despite all the effort you may have invested.
When you “try” something, you put in lots and lots of effort into it.
The textbook definition of effort is “a vigorous or determined attempt”. Vigorous, like a hardcore energetic push to accomplish something.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I barely have enough energy to get out of bed, yet alone actually do something productive. So I don’t want to “try” to do anything. I’m not saying I don’t want to be productive and get results though. I’m just saying I don’t want to put any effort into said productivity.
I don’t want to be “vigorous” in anything I do, man. I want to take it nice n’ easy, ya dig?
Getting things done without sweating hard is the way I like to do things. I’m lazy. Like if I can complete a project that would normally take 15 hours in say, 2 hours, I’ll do it. In other words, I don’t want to put in any more effort than I absolutely have to. I’ll do just enough to get what I want.
I mean, there’s something to be said in getting what you want without even trying. Look, who’s cooler? The guy who is tryhard, making big moves, pouring his heart and soul into something (or someone for that matter) to get what he wants or the guy who barely lifts a finger at all and still manages to achieve the same result?
I’d reckon the latter. The guy who does a whole song and dance to earn something is seen as a bit of a clown, yet the guy who sits there and shrugs, without a care, without effort, is seen as awesome and powerful.
Laziness is a superpower. With laziness, you can get what you want out of life, without performing a whole song and dance like a court jester or schlepping all day to yield some crops as a peasant. Laziness gives you the power to remain cool and laid back, without over-exerting yourself.
The jester juggles, does a little jig, and pies himself in the face to maybe get a few laughs, to get some sort of approval from an audience. The peasant works his ass off from dawn to dusk out in the fields, and though through his effort, the peasant manages to own his own land, the fact of the matter is, the king sits his lazy ass in a throne and gets a massive applause as he rules an entire kingdom. Big results, little effort, you see.
You can either try hard and get little results or try hard and get big results...or try little and get big results.
I suppose you could also try little and get little results too. But that’s not lazy. That’s just stupid. Work smart, not hard.
Laziness at its core is the ability to minimize effort and maximize results.
The king is lazy, even in the animal “kingdom”. The lion king naps all day, feasting on the catch of the hunt. But it’s not anything he hunted himself. Oh no. He’s too lazy for that shit!
It’s the female lion that’s a bit of a huntress, out running around, chasing and catching prey to feed the pride. The dude lion is definitely “the Dude” lion. I mean, most of the time, he just lies around doing a whole lot of...nothing. The Dude lion abides.
Sure, he’ll go out and hunt down an antelope or two if the situation calls for it. He’ll put in the effort if he absolutely *needs* to. But for the most part, he lives a life of leisure. He barely even tries, yet rules over the pride.
Certainly he’s hungry. He wants to eat. Yet, he rolls over, [gives it a yawn] and thinks to himself “I’ll eat when i want to, if I want to.”
It’s not that big of a deal. It’s a total non-issue. He’ll hunt if he has to, but won’t go out of his way racing after a gazelle just for shits n’ giggles. [Someone else can do that for him.]
It’s important to have hunger, desire for something. You must have enough hunger to want to eat without starving yourself, nor too much hunger that you’re gluttonous and making a fool of yourself.
That is to say, you must have *enough* desire to want to achieve something without going overboard in your efforts to do so, nor allowing the opportunity to achieve it slip by so that you’re only left with desire (hunger) and no results (food).
Putting in the least amount of effort and yielding the biggest results is admirable, royal even. It’s living like a king. It’s being a lion.
...And that my friend is called “Sprezzatura”.
Sprezzatura is an Italian word essentially meaning “doing things effortlessly”. It's "not giving a fuck" in Italian.
Baldassare Castiglione 1528 in The Book of the Courtier, where the word first appeared, defines it as "a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it"
It’s a vital part of being lazy. After all, the fact that things take effort is why we’re lazy to begin with.
Doing chores takes effort. Going to work takes effort. Being social takes effort.
Ideally, you want to sprinkle a little sprezzatura in all aspects in life and get what you want done, without trying hard to get it, or seemingly without trying hard to get it. You want to create the appearance that you aren’t trying hard. Embrace your inner-sloth and don’t make it look like it’s a lot of effort to climb up a whole damn tree. That is to say, reaching the top of your goal, just like climbing a tree, may take a lot of effort to do, but does the sloth even look like he’s trying? Heck no! He’s a lazy mofo. While it may legitimately take effort to climb a tree, the sloth does so effortlessly. He just does it. There is no try.
See, in practicing Sprezzatura, it’s not so much about avoiding effort entirely, but about being effortless. There’s a difference.
Avoiding effort means you don’t even take a shot. It means being Impulsively Idle, giving into your emotional fear or guilt and refusing to move at all.
Being effortless, on the other hand, means you take away the extra step of “trying” to do something and skip straight to doing it, like it doesn’t even matter, like it’s really no big deal. It’s removing “try” from the entire equation of pursuing your goals, no matter how big or small, and cutting straight to the chase. And by cutting to the chase I mean mostly leaning back and going with the flow as opposed to furiously rushing to do whatever possible to see things through. You do move but do so slow n’ steady.
Every move you make is deliberate. You don’t “try so hard to get it right”. You do something and make it right.
Going for some sort of rehearsal or interview is not your “chance to shine”. It’s whatever.
Asking someone out is not a big opportunity to “find true love”. It’s just a date.
Practicing Sprezzatura means not being overly eager. It means toning down your enthusiasm and adopting the attitude of “Honey badger don’t care”. It means tying yourself down rather than looping around in knots. It means walking one step at a time instead of sprinting to your destination. It means, in short, taking it easy.
A person with Sprezzatura has the mindset of “this is easy” at all times, no matter how difficult the task or situation may actually be. He’s quite simply unfazed by the sheer idea of difficulty.
“It’ll happen one way or the other” is the mindset. No need to complicate things or make it out to be harder than it needs to. It’s no trouble. He doesn’t worry.
When you try, when you “vigorously” put in the effort to do something, you make it a struggle for yourself. You are literally turning your goal into some sort of battle to fight for, rather than just that -- a goal.
It becomes this absolutely huge undertaking, instead of just a small task. You turn an otherwise “no big deal” into an overencumbering burden.
“Trying” is defeating yourself. It’s a “worry mindset”, where you approach a situation as if it were a conflict rather than an opportunity. You basically make things hard for yourself by “trying”, a hell of a lot harder than they really need to be (or truthfully are for that matter).
“Trying” to lose weight becomes this arduous quest to battle against your fat-eating habits and exercise
Losing weight (without the try) is simply living healthier.
“Trying” to ask a girl out becomes a tireless pursuit to win her attention through elaborate displays of affection like flowers and letters.
Asking a girl out (without the try) is simply stating your intention to her and building rapport.
“Trying”to start a business becomes a mission to build a shining enterprise from the ground up.
Starting a business (without the try) becomes finding a way to make a profit off what you do anyway.
Simplify and don’t try.
The key thing you have to keep in mind when adapting a Sprezzatura lifestyle is that things are NOT a big deal.
The guy who gets nervous when he even thinks about talking to a girl and spends minutes hesitating walking up to her, trying to come up with the perfect one liner serves no shot in actually getting her number. But the guy who confidently, and rather nonchalantly, approaches her with a simple “hey” then asks for that number has a chance at adding her to her contacts.
He may not get it all the time, with every girl, but whether he does or not, it’s no big deal. It’s no big deal in asking. It’s no big deal in getting rejected either. He just does it, without the try.
When everything is like, a really big deal, it creates a nerve wracking experience unnecessarily..
Relax and don’t make things out to be a harder trial than they really are. Whatever you’re about to face, there’s no sense measuring it out to be a gigantic thing.
“Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s all small stuff.”
It’s better to underestimate the significance of something than to overestimate it.
It’s captivating when someone has people surround them yet, it doesn’t come across like they’re trying to seek that attention. They just...get it.
That’s what you want to achieve, and it goes without saying you don’t want to “try” to achieve it. Just make it happen.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the investment you put in, it’s the lack thereof that’s attractive.
The prom queen ain’t going with the dude who leaves love notes in her locker, compliments her every day, and sends her sweet little snaps (read: lots of investment). No. She’s going with the football jock who barely even offers her a passing glance in the hallway (very little investment). He may be a jerk but he does have spezzatura. It’s like he just expects her attention, like it’s a given. And guess what? He gets it.
A lot of people have this idea that they have to prove themselves in order to win friends and build meaningful relationships.But you don’t have to prove anything.
In fact, the harder you try to prove how cool or attractive you are, the less cool and attractive you’ll be. No one likes that friend that’s trying to fit in and be cool. There’s just this awkward aura. Like dude, chill. Stop.
Someone “socially awkward” at the core is really just trying way too hard to win the approval of others.
The “life of the party” is typically not the one making crazy dance moves, but the person who’s easygoing and approachable - the person everyone wants to talk to. It doesn’t take elaborate (dance) moves to win people over.
Stop aiming to impress others and instead aim to have others impress you
Brian Regan in part of one of his stand up routines perfectly illustrates how try hards are so unlikable, because they’re trying to earn approval and impress others. Yet the ones who don’t try, the ones with sprezzatura, are the most charming. He says he would like to be a man who walked on the moon so he could top anyone at parties.
There’s always an egotistical guy who gets up and pounds his chest, bragging about all his accomplishments shouting ME, ME, ME -- talking about how great he did at this and how awesome he was at that and people will roll their eyes at him… but a man who walked on the moon? He can lean back, say what he did and easily capture the attention of the room. Barely say a word. Barely lift a finger.
Doesn’t matter if the other dude rode elephants, fought tigers, scuba dived with piranhas, whatever. It just doesn’t
But it’s not just the fact that he walked on the moon, it’s that he did so nonchalantly like it was no big deal.
I mean, the man who rode elephants, fought tigers, scuba dived with piranhas could be impressive, but he tried to hard to be impressive.
It’s only impressive if you try not to impress. See, in every relationship dynamic, ever, it basically is set up as an exchange of investment. Ideally, you both have an equal effort to reward ratio. When that balance is skewed, it makes one person unattractive to the other.
While you may put in a ton of effort, you want to make it look like you barely had to lift a finger. That’s charming as hell!
The man who walked on the moon has sprezzatura. He has this charm of seemingly little investment with big return.
Granted, here really was a lot of research, planning and time involved in heading to the freaking moon -- a lot of effort. Being a part of that is actually a really big deal.
But he makes out to be nonchalant. Like it just happened. Whatevs.He put in the appearance that it was no effort and got lots in return.
The man who spent all this time bragging -- He worked himself up. He put in a HUGE amount of effort...and got very little in return.
Walking on the moon is quite a big deal and, in all honesty, so is scuba diving with piranhas for the matter.
The difference is the amount of fuss, the amount of “try”, you make it to be unique, to be a big deal.
Be a unique big deal without making a fuss about it. That’s sprezzatura, baby!