“E” is for Effortless

Last week, I was Effortless in Twitter. I checked out this tool called the Social Effort Scale that measures your effort in social media; they can measure your profile in Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

I had achieved a score of 150 in Twitter, which is a score of Effortless. Go me! This week, I stumbled. Here’s my latest score:

But my Effortless marks are still high! I scored bonus points for sharing Neil Gaiman's tweet.
But my Effortless marks are still high! I scored bonus points for sharing Neil Gaiman’s tweet. Ignore Facebook.

Your score is based on the following:

  • Number of hashtags
  • Percentage of capital letters
  • Amount of emoticons
  • Exclamation marks
  • Punctuation

The resulting score gives you an overall view of how hard or how little you’re trying on social media, plus individual scores for each of your updates. Here’s some advice for an Effortless score: Don’t ever mention yourself (even in a link), keep exclamation marks and hashtags to a minimum, and don’t use capital letters. I repeat, do NOT use capital letters. And, if you retweet someone with lots of capitals, down you go. Or, in this case, up.

Trust me, I don’t take this too seriously, but I’ll admit I got excited when I got the “Effortless” score. Typically, I know I try “too hard.” A visit to a tarot card reader came to mind. It was many moons ago, and a friend suggested it after we walked past the tarot card reader’s window. After turning over the first tarot card, she took hold of my hands, and simply said, “You try too hard.” Maybe it was because I had PMS or that I was planning a wedding on little money, but I broke down and cried. I knew she was right, and it wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I really don’t know what I was expecting. A “How-to Guide” to life? Rainbows? I just didn’t like what she was serving.

My wedding plans had gone haywire; no one was performing their role as I saw fit, asking the wrong questions because they weren’t about me. They didn’t worry about the same things that I did, and believe me I worried; I wrestled with each decision until I could bear the weight of it no longer and released it to fate, a sort of passive-aggressive approach to decision-making. Sometimes it worked, but most of the time I second-guessed my decisions, or lack of decisions, anyway. Oh, how agonizing I was.

Little did I know at the time that I was marrying “The River.” It’s taken me a long time to embrace my husband’s “Que Sera Sera” approach to life. Now perk up. Here’s when my post will take a decidedly more cheerful turn. Enter “The River.”

I thought a visual might help. Feel the flow of the river...
I thought a visual might help. Feel the flow…

Let me tell you a more recent story of my husband’s ability to be “The River.” My husband registered for a conference for Union Educators in Los Angeles, one that required travel and hotel arrangements. He signed up at the last minute, and when he received an itinerary, he simply made a mental note of his travel date and that he would leave for the airport right after work. He never knew the time of the flight, his airline, or the name of his hotel. All that he knew was that he needed to arrive at the airport, which he did, ticketless, of course. Luckily he remembered his I.D., and the airline figured out the rest.

He had hoped he might see a colleague on the plane he knew; he saw no one. So, there he is up in the sky on his way to his conference, having no idea whatsoever where he would go once the plane landed, besides getting his luggage at the carousel. (It’s important to not get too ahead of yourself when you are The River. One step at a time.) At the carousel, who does he see, but the Union President. Oh, what luck! The President ushers him into a shuttle; it’s doubtful my husband expressed any confusion about their next destination. It was now in the hands of the Union President; what better person to run into? Did I mention that the Union President’s flight was delayed, so that it was a complete fluke that my husband should run into him at all? Double luck.

And it continues….

The hotel overbooked the “packaged deal” assigned for his group. Not to worry. There’s an available room in the penthouse. And guess what? My husband is bumped up to the penthouse with a slick view of the city and a balcony! Here, room service delivered free breakfast each and every morning; no phones calls necessary. Unbelievable!

I laugh at this, but then I also think it probably would not have happened this way if I were with him on this trip. I would have stressed, and consequently, caused him stress. We probably never would have ended up in the penthouse.

You have to ask yourself how willing you are to embrace the flow of the river, to indulge in oblivious forgetfulness, to just be in the moment…to be effortless.

Of course, by asking, you defeat the whole purpose of being The River altogether. It’s really a life philosophy and one that is not easily mastered.

I sense that a bigger part of it is letting go of self-absorption and being aware of others first. By letting go, the world around you is invited into your life, and just maybe they will set it on a smoother course. If you’ve broken all your New Year resolutions already, you might try the effortless route. You may be better off. You may even end up in the penthouse.

What about you? What end of the spectrum do you fall…The River or on the side of worry and indecision?

photo credit: Jezz via photopin cc

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