Who said “easy” is the same as “effortless” ?


(It’s so easy,) You’ll barely have to lift a finger all week to get meals on the table.”

– A marketing team, trying to promote an article published in a cooking magazine

At times,

it feels like the reality of “what’s easy” has been mixed up with that of “what’s effortless”,

between two meal-plan ads.

All while the people who mixed things up were trying to do something that had to succeed;

getting someone to care about their work.

Truth is,

you might not have to “lift a finger” to get the meals on the table,

per say,


You’ll still need to go places,

move stuff around,

and use both your hands to…

… check if the meals plan goes along what you,

or your family likes to eat.

… compare the ingredients each recipe calls-for with those you have on hand.

… make a list of what’s missing.

… get to the grocery store,

and buy everything that’s on your list.

… prep all the ingredients,

for each recipe,

once you’re ready to cook.

… do the actual cooking.

… put every meal in separate containers,

once they’ve cooled down.

… put each container to rest in the fridge,

or in the cupboard (syn: kitchen cabinet, vf: armoire de cuisine),


… and all wash the pots,


and kitchenware you’ve used to get these meals ready.

All of that,

before the time to eat comes.



you’ll have to do way more than “barely lift a finger”.


Where else can we also see this sort of “confusion”,

between “easy” and “effortless”,

you and I?

In the way most products and services you can think of are advertised.

For instance…

In a computer,

that “you don’t need to press a “power button”,

to turn on (anymore)”.

In a washing machine,

that “you don’t have to turn a dial,

to set the water level it will need,

to clean the amount of clothes you’ve put in”.

In a car,

that “fastens your seat-belt,

for you,

once you’ve sat in and closed the door”.

In a radio player,

or a TV,

that “you can leave,

and it will turns itself off,

after a while”.

In a software,

that “will update itself,

without you having to check,

every now and then,

if an update is available”.

In a phone app,

that “remembers the words you use,

so it can auto-correct whatever you write,

next time around”.

In a doorbell,

that “tells you if someone is at your doorstep,

at home,

while you’re at work”.

In a beauty cream,

that “repairs your skin and removes your wrinkles,

all at the same time,

while you’re sleeping.

In a pizza joint,

that “let’s you have a pizza delivered to your door,

in less time than it takes to bake on in your oven,

or it’s free”.

In a shoe company,

that “let’s you take 365 days to return your shoes…

if unhappy with them…

and both,

question and shipping-cost-free.”

In a bank,

that “let’s you withdraw money…

or deposit checks…

outside its business hours.”

In a social media platform,

that “allows you to inform all recruiters in your domain that you’re available,

for a new job,

without having to send your resume to 20 or 50 companies,

one by one”.

And the list goes on.


If it’s all true,

where has effort gone,



what’s “effort” even mean?

For a person,

an effort is…

at its roots…

an action he or she takes towards a specific goal.

Either physically,

or mentally.

Whether in a conscious,

or unconscious way.


when we lean over,

and listen to a person up close,

in a conscious way.

To give us a chance to hear and understand what she’s saying.


when we keep breathing in and out,

in an unconscious way,

while sleeping.

To avoid choking and dying (from lack of oxygen in our system).

Any effort…

physical or mental…

taking a certain amount of all the energy we store in our body,

from the food we eat.

Based on this,


what does “effortless” comes to mean?

It’s “an action that doesn’t require,

or ask much effort”.

Not “what doesn’t require no effort at all”.

As it’s often thought to be.

Take this for an example:

At first,

someone with no experience in sales,


spends a lot of energy,

“puts a lot of effort” into learning how to talk to a person walking into a dealership,

looking to buy a car.

It’s demanding,

and he,

the “car rep” gets tired fast.


he has a hard time making it to the end of his day of work.

But after a few weeks…

maybe a few months…

and a lot of (sales) pitches that went wrong,

that same “rep” goes on to walk around the car lot,

with clients,

with more confidence in himself.

By the time he gets to the end of his 3-months probation?

Without giving you any sign of getting tired soon,

even when it’s 4PM?

On any given day?

You’d never guess this guy has started out knowing nothing about sales,

when he filed a job application.

Just a few months earlier.



you wish he had less energy,

and wouldn’t be that good at knowing when a buyer is “ready to buy” from “not”.

Cause you,


are running out of “fuel”.

Trying to catch up with him,

in terms of sales numbers.

Feeling he might even take your spot,


As the person new clients asked to talk to.

“Cause I’ve heard by a friend that he was really helpful,

and even got my friend a good deal.”


what does “effortless” looks like?

It’s having gone through “putting a lot of effort in doing something new…

like “closing car sales”…

and reach the point where he,


gets the hang of it,

and doesn’t get tired while getting things done, anymore”.

How do you define “easy”,


In part,

by its flip-sides.

Words like “hard”,






and maybe the most telling;

“mind boggling”.


and realities that have nothing to do with “an amount of effort to put out”.

At least,

when you break them (and their definition) down.

But more with the idea of a “process”.

With the “how-to” you’d use,

if you wanted to go from “closing no car sales per week”,

to “selling 2 cars a day”,

for instance.

At first,

this “car sales process” might be “hard” to wrap his head around,

for the new guy.

And “complex” to go through.

Because of the number of steps that need to be taken with a client,

and the paperwork involved.


as the he repeats that process with different clients,

and gets coached on “how to get better at each step”,

“closing a sale” comes easier to him.

It might not require the same “amount of effort” than it did the first time.


It’s not “effortless”.

That “car rep” still has to “put some energy in each sale”.


In many ways,

people love when they can remove a hardship from their life.

Can get rid of something they struggle with.

In part,

cause it gives them more “free time” in their workday,

leaves more money in their pocket,


in the case of “getting meals on the table, for a whole week”,

it takes some (not all) of the hassle out.

Even if,

many of these “quick to set up”,

and “easy to use” solutions that are available,

don’t end up being “free”,

and “effortless”.

Through all this,

one fact remains,


“What’s easy” and “What’s effortless” might have been mixed up between two meal-plan ads,

but no one can’t take “effort” out of “trying to do work that matters”.

No matter how hard you’d like it,

and how much energy you’d be willing to put into it.

The fun part?

Knowing you can’t take “having to make an effort” out of your workdays,

you get to decide where you want to put, both,

your energy,

your skills,

and your experience,

and try to use them to make an impact.

That is,

if you’re willing to dare.

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