Effort-Averse: The American Myth of Overnight Success

I find it fascinating the cultural resistance we have toward looking at the harder tasks that are our responsibility to take on.

In America, we are effort–averse. We’re trained to be that way. In the old-world business arena, the more you could gain with the least amount of work you put in, literally made you a genius. Nevermind the fact that all the work was still generally being done by a pool of other people, while the person acting like they’re doing very little work then takes all the credit.

That is the old-world boss and pool-of-secretaries model, that has created the illusion of the “self-made man”.

The fact is, we do not see results without putting in the work. Pretty much ever, unless you’re on the other end of a miracle, and in that case, there’s usually been quite a bit of emotional sweat, blood, and tears that hit the mat before that miracle comes to us.

Yet I am literally floored (and I mean floored—I’m sitting on the floor right now) by the amount of Facebook ads I am seeing for “smart lazy coaches like me“ and, “make $1 million by doing these two easy things that no one knows how to do“.

Does this actually attract people?

Do we, as a society, actually believe you can put in zero work, and make $1 million bucks? Or try something only once, and make a zillion dollars?


My God. Come on people. We’re priming ourselves for extinction here, with that attitude.

Not only are we effort-adverse, we only want to hear success stories.

I understand that success stories are very motivational. I get that! Sheesh, I’m a pretty classic GenXer, and I’m motivated by success stories, too.

However, for every success story, there are 10 stories of trying again and again and again, to make that success happen. And I think there is far more value in hearing the stories of perseverance, rather than simply the end goal of success, although a good positive ending never hurts to punctuate the fact that hard work pays off!

I see this need to display a result, and not talk about the gritty work that it took to gain the result, quite a bit—especially in the metaphysical community. We want to hear the feel-good stuff. (Heck, I want to hear the feel good stuff!) And certainly, perspective dictates our view of the world. If we believe the world is garbage, it’s garbage. If we believe the world is amazing, it’s amazing.

Ultimately, our reaction to the world is more our reaction to what we perceive the world to be—what we believe.

There’s a fine line between sharing our 10 stories of trying, and seeking attention at every turn for everything we’re doing. It gets to be a bit much when Facebook or Insta or Twitter become someone’s diary. There’s “being authentic”, and then there’s just verbally vomiting into the public to receive a lot of attention and feedback.

But I suppose we all do what we do for whatever reasons we see fit. Yet I digress.

The point I’m making is that there is no easy fix, and the answer is not always going to be positive. And when it’s time to get gritty, many people have a big problem with that.

Let me use my own experience as an example.

When money becomes tight, people began to see the world through a desperation lens. They begin to see the world through a limitation lens, where someone has something that they do not have. When this desperation lens begins to impart itself, peoples behavior towards one another changes.

This is where we see people getting competitive with one another, trying to knock others out of the professional sphere, attempting to get ahead, and the list goes on. The metaphysical field is no different. I even see this behavior here, in my tiny little hometown of Billings, Montana, in our tiny little metaphysical community, where I can’t tell you how many stories about me that have gotten relayed back to me, over the years, from concerned people—stories that rather surprise me as to the people who would be talking about me in that way, expressing their disdain/jealousy/whatever, for what they perceive I have obtained, or what I have achieved, or that I am “not all that,” and someone else is so much better, if they only had a team, or that I “took” what was theirs, bla bla bla—and honestly? It literally makes me shake my head.


Because it goes right back to what I’m talking about, putting effort into the heavy lifting. Instead of observing that I’ve spent thirty years in entertainment, eating a bunch of crapola along the way and face-planting so many times, I’ve basically had to rebuild my own nose out of tequila and sheer will, with twenty of those years working on this particular career path I am on currently—and instead of observing that there’s been a lot of failure stories there in my life, as well as success stories—all folks see is what they want to see: a very successful person who has everything. Who gets to charge whatever she wants. Someone for whom things happen “effortlessly”.

Except none of that is true.

None of it.

The truth is unglamorous, laborious. I work/ed my butt off. I still do. I have for 30 years. End of story.

Yet it’s so much easier to create a story, say around someone like myself, where it seems like “success” is instantaneous, so that we as a culture can continue our incipid addiction to the mythology of getting to have everything, with really no elongated lessons, or failure, or stress, or self-questioning, or soul-skinning sacrifice, or hard work.

We would rather believe in an illusion than do the work in this reality, and actually change our lives.

It is literally more important in the American culture to hang onto illusion, than to apply the self in the world, and just deal with the unsavory stuff that’s right in front of us, and do our best with it.

We would rather commiserate and talk about all of our opportunities that have been “stolen”from us, that are lost to us, when really, we just don’t freakin’ hang in there long enough to let success come to us.

We get tired. We get discouraged. And that’s all fair. And yes. Bad things happen to good people.

But honestly? And this especially goes out to all of my friends who are of generations that were born after the world became so virtual—

I will tell you that absolutely no change will come to anyone in this world, unless you apply yourself, actually, over and over again—in the WORLD.

Not simply online.

Not simply on TikTok.

Not simply on Live Meta, or Insta, or Twitter, or Snapchat, no matter how many filters you have or use.

“Likes” aren’t indicative of success. They are a temporary drug that make us all feel good once in a while. Shoot, who doesn’t like getting a bunch of likes? Hey—I sure do! (That’s an awesome human thing we all share.) Yet those likes are simply a snapshot of someone’s emotional scape in that moment. Though edifying, they’re a metric of how someone feels, not of our impression into the world.

The bottom line of this post is that there are no shortcuts.

There. Are. No. Shortcuts.

And not everything is going to be positive.

Not everything is going to be in a position to receive a “like”. Or to be noticed. In fact, some of the most impactful stuff I’ve ever done in my life, only a few people know about, and that’s because they were in it with me.

Not everything is going to be happy. Not everything is going to be easy.

And right now in the world, we have a lot of heavy lifting in front of us.

We cannot sit back and simply meditate our way out of the work that is ours to do. Meditation of course eases all things, and makes for a much easier energetic environment. However, the changes we are being beckoned to bring forward are in the actions of each one of us.

We must change how we bring ourselves to the world, and we must apply ourselves to the world. Not just fighting for a cause. Not just “fighting”. We must bring our brilliance and our change to this world, and let those changes flow through our hands, and become actual items that we build here in 3D.

It could be as simple as planting flowers in your front yard so that when people walk by, their mind is put at ease for a 10th of a second. Changing the world is not what we’ve been made to believe that it is. Sure, it can be a Marvel movie. Yet more often than not, it’s teeny, tiny actions, consistently, every day.

It’s doing more than just wishing you had what somebody else had. And it’s doing more than being disgusted with the fact that we have not ascended into some multi-dimensional reality, that’s actually here, yet we can’t see it.

The issue is our lens. Not the perceived dimension we’re dwelling within.

This ruminating and wishing and striving for 5D and 7D and 9D is a deep form of escapism, much like very deeply rooted religion, and it’s not helping the situation down here.

We have bodies for a reason.

We have brains for a reason.

We are on this planet, in physical form, for a reason. And that reason is not to escape being human, and it sure as heck is not to escape our lessons that are here for us.

Our hearts are drawn to one another in common compassion, for a reason. It’s because we’re supposed to apply ourselves, right here, in the dirt, in this gritty place that we call earth—not in some 11D or 25D or 350,000D perfecto-sphere where, just like a video game, we circumvent all of the pain and all of the hardships, and cheat our way to enlightenment.

We live in the Garden of Eden, and we paved it and put up a parking lot, as the song says. Yet we have so much opportunity to get back to that Eden. And it’s not about being so positive it makes everyone throw up in their mouth. It means literally seeing people for who they are. And loving them anyway. And having compassion for their journey anyway. And not pinning them up crucifixion style for their weaknesses, yet working around those weaknesses so that the whole will strive, as they figure out their own crap.

Humanity, we have two choices:

1. We can be present, and roll up our sleeves, and get our hands in the dirt, and throw a big barbecue for each one of us and invite everybody, and start to work it out with one another, and not get butt-hurt when some people don’t wanna hang out with us, and realize that we all share this planet, and we can all make money, without ruining the sphere on which we live, or oppressing others so we mai rain our advantage, or—

2. we can literally pretend that someone else is going to handle all of this, and that someone is going to come save us, and some god or some alien or something is going to intervene at the last minute and make our decisions for us, so if we just go to church every day, or we suck on a crystal every third full moon, or we spin in a circle with an incantation, we can literally change the world—but only if it doesn’t inconvenience us all that much, because isn’t that new Johnny Depp and Amber clip streaming now?

Many of you have been asking me for predictions. I told you, I’m not really into the big prediction game anymore, because it’s not about “outcome”.

My work is about the present.

It’s about the decision we make in THIS JOURNEY. That’s the exercise right now—being PRESENT.

For those that are addicted to outcome, I will tell you that the outcome will be absolutely devastating if we don’t get our crap together.

So perhaps let’s focus on getting our crap together? (Because that’s what we have control over.)

We have control over whether or not we apply ourselves. And that doesn’t mean that we have to join some crazed extremist army. (This is not the timeframe of extremes. Extremes will be locked out in this energy of attempted healing.)

It means that we must bring our common sense, and consistency, and our GRIT, and our well-being, and the best that we are, and even sometimes the not-so-best that we have, yet it’s all we’ve got to give—and right to this very plain old three-dimensional existence in which we live.

And then light that puppy up like a bonfire. And invite everyone to sit at that bonfire. And should someone decline your invitation, bow and bless them and thank them for that authenticity. Because your fire is not the one they should be sitting next to, and that’s OK too.

We are capable of incredible things. Yet by doing nothing, by ignoring the work in the world that is ours to do, we will literally bring on an outcome that everyone fears. So let’s change it up. Let’s get back to being in the real, beautiful world, and not the clogged-up virtual one.

Talk to your neighbors. Talk to people. Let them feel your heart even through differing opinions. Because that’s where our true connection lies. That is the gift of this great mother we live upon.

Let’s get back to being real in ways besides fighting in the streets. Let’s become joyful, and go to street dances, and invite people you kind of know, but always wanted to get to know more, to your place for a barbecue. (I’m big on barbecue right now, because the weather is getting nice. Now I want a blackened sirloin. Dang it.)

This is not the timeframe for “easy“. It’s the timeframe for all of us to see how magnificent we are, by doing that which may challenge us.

It’s not gonna be easy, you guys. Not at all. Yet it’s completely doable if we just stop running.

At some point we’ve got to stop running from ourselves. We have to stop running towards this idealist America that, God bless it, really honestly—has never actually existed.

We don’t need to create a fake illusion and live inside of it to be safe, gang. We don’t. We can leave our house. We can leave the safe confines of our mind. We can bring ourselves out to the world and shine. The world is happy to have you. Sure, it’s a challenge. (But who the hell came here to be bored?)

“3D” is not a dirty term. We disrespect the great mother we live on, acting as though real life is something to be escaped from. It’s a great planet, and this great mother has given us everything we need. This great universe, this great God, has instilled in us everything to get through these tough times together.

And our task? It’s to come together, and if we can’t come together, it’s our task not to kill one another over our differences. (We’re not two bands of chimpanzees fighting for one banana, people. Remember that. And also remember that there are people in the USA who are very vested in you believing that there’s only one banana, because they actually do want you to kill people for them. Please don’t be manipulated in that way.)

So yeah. I don’t post a lot of predictions as of late. Because it’s pretty black-and-white right now.

We do, or we don’t. To quote Yoda—there is no try, only do.

We quit escaping in our own mind and collapsing under what we don’t like, and we begin doing the hard work of creating what we do like. And that goes way, way, way past protests and petitions and online this or online that.

We acknowledge that we’re grieving; we acknowledge our hearts are broken; we acknowledge we’re scared because the west is drying up; we acknowledge all the things.

Yet we choose not live in the haze that is grief.

We do not make a diet of despair.

We acknowledge, we give it space—and we move forward.

It is in the moving where our ingenuity takes light, and our working together becomes collective genius, and our hearts for one another are sparked again, and our belief in one another is restored.

Yet—none of that happens if we don’t happen.

The Universe is asking us to come out of the closet and back into the garden, with all it’s paved parking lots, to bring our gifts and talents to the world, right now. In good old 3D. To be seen by your community, and everybody, for who and what you are, the good the bad and sometimes, the ugly, everything—yet leading with the heart that wishes to be present.

Every single one of us has a seed, an invention, a thought, a desire in our heart scape. That seed is planted by the Universe, and our job is to water that seed and give it root, and let it grow, instead of running to the next best thing, the next easiest thing, the next get-rich-quick thing, and pretty soon, 10 years later, our life is exactly the same as it was, 10 years ago.

Only we grieve the time that we have sacrificed to the illusion of our progress.

So let’s stop trying to drive one hundred miles forward by looking in the rearview mirror, and then complaining about at the fact that we keep ending up in the ditch.

And writing blogs about “ditch life”.

And watching TikTok‘s on the shape of ditches.

All the while, claiming we are an innovator, an influencer. A ditch expert. (How full of awe all the earthworms must be.)

The best news ever is that we are capable, if we’re willing to be. Shake off that “trapped” mindset.

That’s the illusion.

About danielleegnew

Named "Psychic of the Year" by UFO's and Supernatural Magazine, Danielle Egnew is an internationally-known Psychic, Medium and Angelic Channel whose work has been featured on national TV (NBC, ABC, TNT, USA) as well as in the Washington Post and Huffington Post. She has provided content consultant services for the CW's hit series "Supernatural" and the blockbuster film "Man of Steel". Danielle is also an author, teacher, and TV / radio host in the field of metaphysics. She anchors her private practice in the Big Sky Country of Montana, residing with her wife and their daughter.
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4 Responses to Effort-Averse: The American Myth of Overnight Success

  1. Jeanne says:

    Thak you for saying what is ” needed to say”
    I hope that your insight is Heard by All
    We all need to be Reminded
    We are part of the Whole

    • LeeAnne says:

      Grateful for your insight, wisdom and rally cry. It’s time to shine and be the best part of the whole we can be in the now perfectly imperfect as God made us to be. We need to heal and be healed, strive, uplift and be uplifted in love, faith, humility and grace. We need to strive and be tenacious and believe in the health and abundance and beauty of humanity and our beautiful planet. We need to recognize that we are all connected and there is blessing and abundance when we consider the whole. Christ consciousness. The present moment is all we’ve ever had. Believe.

  2. virginia says:

    thank you for this writing. personally timely for me. time to get back to work.

  3. Mira Furth says:

    Spot on! I have been a fan of your messages forever. Totally admire your honesty and caring. And of course calling out the illusion seekers…we are indeed on this earth to live in our bodies and minds and hearts and souls. We came to do the work. It’s not an either or universe but a yes/and universe. Meditation and movement. Btw, Lissa Rankin and you have a lot,in common in calling out the metaphysical community for a whole lot of hypocrisy. I could write more but it’s too early on Sunday morning! Also this new format is much easier to read, and share so thanks for that.

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