Thoughts on Style
This post was inspired by watching and playing soccer in Brazil. Brazilian soccer is known for its graceful flow, creative combination of touches, smooth and quick movements, and a visual aesthetic equivalent to dance. In Brazilian soccer, there is an emphasis on style. Brazilians have a term for style, as it pertains to soccer: Joga Bonito means “play beautifully” and Jogo Bonito means “the beautiful game.” Both refer to the artful expression through the game. I hope the ideas here inspire creativity in any medium.
• Original style is easy. It is easy and inherent to the individual expressing it.
• Style is art. Style is expression. The highest level of style is the purest expression of art.
• Style feels good to express.
• Style looks good. Style is attractive. Style is graceful. Style has a sense of humor.
• Performing with style is a winning game, because true style always embodies function, quality, and consistency.
• To do something with style is to do it YOUR way…and to be proud about it. That very pride feeds your style, it gives you the confidence to act most naturally and efficiently.
• Style is craft…
• Style is also a wormhole, a shortcut through the universe of creation. Style can break all the rules.
• Style absorbs information faster, and views the world in greater detail.
• Style is not merely ‘in the moment’ – style is having a real time conversation WITH the moment.
• Children can have style before they care about function, or before they care about style itself.
• Style is not a luxury, pursued at the end of a long journey. It must be cultivated along every step of the journey. It is omnipresent.
• Style is like gravity… its forces are playing out, whether you are aware of them or not.
• Style is difficult to define but easy to identify.
• Style is the language of the intuition.
• “The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.”
• Style does not play the game of winning and losing. Style always wins, and feels good about it.
• Style operates above the plane of rules, regulations, cliches, memories, and logistics.
• Style is not new… but it is not old either.
• Style is a silly thing to think about, but an excellent thing to put into practice.
True style is the full expression of everything that’s tangible and intangible, for all to see. Style is what makes people smile and appreciate. Style is a natural ripple resulting from someone doing something their own way, creating their own solution. It is also a goal to steer towards, through the journey of progress. Style does not passively imitate, it actively creates.
Style = a particular way to do something. Our own style is with us from the beginning, and it stays with us throughout the entire learning process. Style often gets abandoned or forgotten about because we think that our way of doing something is inferior, or another’s way of doing something superior.Mastery is an accumulation of experience and full embracement of one’s own style.
Function comes first. A job needs to be done, something needs to be accomplished by a person. A beginner is slow, but becomes faster as one learns and integrates motions into habit. Once function is achieved, the goal becomes quality: to do the job better. Once we can do something with quality, we strive to do it with consistency: to do a great job, as often as possible.
We are often ‘stuck in our own heads’, trapped in logical thought – focused on function, or quality, or consistency. We should instead be focused on style.