Tempo Giusto

Italian has given me many excellent words. Words like chiaroscuro, to express the worth of our darker sides. Words like sprezzatura, the codification of effortless coolness that is so damaging to the process of growth.

And now tempo giusto. It means: Just the right speed.

Because we have a little problem, as humans on this big blue ball of mud: Things aren’t happening fast enough. 

Unless they are, in which case we want everything to slow down. 

I do this all the time. I’m flat-out terrified of getting too busy, because if I do, the things I enjoy most about my life are the first things to go out the window. I sometimes feel like I have one foot on the gas and the other on the brakes. It’s a weird sensation, this “Let’s go! — — just not too fast” mentality.

That’s why tempo guisto is such a great concept. Instead of having to choose between “overdrive” and “driving on a donut” you take a deep breath, and go at the speed that seems right.

Simple concept, complex execution, I know.

Still, now we have a name for the target we’re aiming for. Tell me I’m prim, but being able to articulate your goal helps, I find.

Your turn:

How do you walk the line between, too-fast and not-fast-enough?


3 thoughts on “Tempo Giusto”

  1. I find that I’m usually vacillating between the two, and feeling some sense of guilt when things are “slow” and I don’t feel like working. There’s always stuff I know I can work on, but sometimes I just feel like reading nerdy stuff on lifehacker. I think the challenge for me is feeding myself important work at tempo giusto so I don’t get burnt and switch to the time wasters. 

    1.  @ethanwaldman I usually console myself with the concept of the natural cycle… dormancy is a necessary period before the explosive growth of spring. But you’re right, part of that is just a disciplined approach to important work, instead of giving yourself a deadline so as to apply pressure. 

  2. Pingback: When in Doubt, Part 6: Average a Book a Week, Or, Be Voracious | Taste Life Twice

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