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What Does It Take To Become Effortless?

Hello and welcome back to The Joy Within’s podcast. Today I want to talk about what it takes to be effortless.

I know that might sound a little odd, because we don’t usually think of effortlessness as a personality trait, or as an ideal we can develop in ourselves. We tend to think that effortlessness only really applies to things outside of ourselves – to the things we have to do. A task can be effortless, but a person? Less so. But, this common thinking only arises because we tend to think of effort in terms of work. . A job that takes you 10 hours requires more effort than a job that only takes 8.

We see it as something fixed, something we can’t influence. But that’s not entirely true.

How big a task is, or how long it takes, has very little to do with how effortless it is. When we look closely, we can see that the struggle, the toil, the “hard work” is always a product of the mind.

That means that effortlessness is a quality we choose. We choose to struggle through some tasks and enjoy working on others.

Think about it, have you ever had to do something that you really didn’t want to do? What happens? You procrastinate. You stress about it. You build it up in your head. You might even start to dread it, or be worried or afraid in some way.

This can happen even with little things. The actual work might only take an hour, but if it is the most miserable hour of your year, it is chock-full of effort. Something else – something you enjoy or something you’re simply not stressed about, might take 10 times as long, but it can feel easy. It can feel in flow. It becomes effortless, even if it actually requires a lot of “work.”

So when we’re faced with a task that requires a lot of effort, we have to learn how to let go of whatever thoughts or beliefs are creating that struggle. If we can let go of that inner struggle, the “tough tasks” would become easier. We would be able to flow through them more. They would become more effortless.

We don’t even have to enjoy the work in order for this to happen. It’s just about not fighting against the work, not fighting against ourselves. It’s a form of surrender. A sense of presence.

When we become present, when we are in flow, we become effortless.

And I think that presence is important as we become effortless, because it highlights our role in the process. It’s not outside of us. It’s not someone else’s fault. Effortlessness is our own, individual responsibility, no matter what situation we might find ourselves in.

So why don’t we do this? If effortlessness is something that is within our control, why do we ever struggle? Why do so many people just sort of “get through” each day?

Well, the short answer is because our thoughts stop us from entering into that effortless flow-state. We interpret. We judge. We worry. We think we “shouldn’t have to be there.” We complain.

There are a million stories that we tell ourselves, every single day and those stories keep us stuck in our heads and out of the present moment.  And the more dug-in we are – the more involved we are with those stories – the harder it is to see there could be another way to live.

When we’re not present, we can’t truly flow, so the action feels like a struggle. We manufacture effort from the unconscious thoughts we think.

Usually these thoughts are just the tip of the iceberg. We usually have deep-seated beliefs behind our thoughts and judgments, and those beliefs pay a major role in whether or not we think something is hard or easy.

For example, one super common belief most of us have is that work is hard. The very word seems to imply a lot of struggle. We think in binary terms. There’s work, and there’s the life we get to enjoy. And most of us have a barrier between them. This means that – for most people – work wears them down. It takes a lot of effort and even if they like what they do, they still see the day to day as a grind. It’s hard, not effortless, because fundamentally there’s this deep mental block, based on beliefs that seem like they’ve always been there. And most of the world reinforces those beliefs.

But, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are many people who love every minute of their work. They’re passionate about it. They find it inspiring. They can get into the zone, everyday, so work becomes effortless.

Changing those deep-seated beliefs won’t happen overnight, but you can start today to question them, and to reframe how you think about tasks you think of as being hard and require a lot of struggle.

So, without actually changing any of the actions you’re taking, just start to ask yourself guiding questions.

When you’re faced with a tough task, ask: how can I make this more effortless?

Asking that question puts you in a new frame of mind. It changes your focus. You will automatically start to look for ways to make things easier on yourself. You will look for ways to find the flow.

Even if there’s something else you’d rather be doing – perhaps especially then, ask things like:

How can I be more effortless?

Can I choose to be full present during this?

How can I flow more easily?

I guarantee you, if you start asking these types of questions as you go about your day, you will find that effortlessness maybe isn’t so far out of reach, after all.

Kyle Greenfield

Kyle Greenfield is the Founder and CEO of The Joy Within, where our mission is to help you win the fight against stress and negativity by harnessing the power of your natural, inner joy. Kyle has been teaching on meditation, mindfulness, and how to eliminate negative thoughts since 2016. He currently resides in London. You can follow Kyle on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

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