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Everyone’s a critic, but nothing is effortless

I was just thinking the other day that everyone’s a critic, but if you don’t try to do it, you can’t understand what it feels like.


As someone who watches a lot of reality shows and competitions like Top Chef among others, it’s easy to say:

She should have done this!

He should have done that.

You totally missed this!!

..but hindsight is 20/20.

I get that in the heat of the moment, I am thinking: NOOOOO!! Don’t try and make that dish in 3 hours, you won’t make it!!

It’s hard to think on the fly, and it’s hard to reach the level of talent that these people have reached. What we’re seeing is only half an hour that barely represents their years of work.

Sometimes, I do get annoyed, and I have to say out loud (to myself):

Have YOU tried doing what they did?

Do you know what it takes to even reach their level?

That shuts me up pretty quickly.

Of course I have no idea.

Until I have stepped in their shoes and tried to do the task, I can’t say anything.

(I tried acrylic painting the other day, and realized I shouldn’t quit my day job.)


I’d never be able to do what they do, let alone do it in 4 hours or half an hour.

Another flippant remark that really irks me is:

Oh that’s easy.

…but that person has no idea what goes into this effortless-looking task.


Case in point: Just the other day, I was trying to explain what I did to a friend of mine.

He’s a bit of a know-it-all* and wanted to flex his “my brain is bigger than yours” muscle.

(*As I am a bit of one myself, so I can recognize my own kind..)

It was a something really complicated and technical, and after trying to explain it for a while and noticing him getting even more frustrated, I said:

You know what? Don’t feel bad.

We’ve only been talking about this for half an hour.

It took me 3 years to understand these 4 sentences.

He couldn’t let it go.

He simply couldn’t believe it would take 3 years for someone to learn something that seems so simple.

I think he also thought it was because I’m a girl, and technical stuff doesn’t come easily to GIRLS. *rolls eyes*

…so he tried to prove to me via a multitude of emails filled with examples, wasting my time, trying to get me to validate that he could, in fact, learn something in less than 3 years.

After 3 weeks of being annoyed by constant messages, I told him to STFU and leave me alone by saying:

What the hell does that prove if you can think you can learn something in a month, that took me 3 years to master?

It’s not even your job.

I said that even if he learned what I did, knowing how it works as a concept and in theory, is VERY different from reality.

Putting it into practice, is the hard bit.

It took me a month or so to “get” the idea in theory, but once I tried to apply it, all of what I thought I knew, went out the window.


People to whom things seem to come very easily and look very effortless, have spent years honing and perfecting their craft to reach that point.

Until you can actually do what they do at a very basic level, we should all really STFU and take a step back to appreciate and admire the hard work that went into attaining that level of success.


  • Jess

    So true. We probably all do this on so many levels without realising. I have to be mindful of this, no matter how trivial or small it is.

    I had a similar thing with my previous job. I think I did an excellent job and made it look effortless, even though I actually went above and beyond my role and did so many things that were tedious and MANUAL (when I shouldn’t have to because the system should have just worked, but it didn’t). When I did my handover before I left, my colleagues and managers just could not fathom what I had been doing to make the job work. I hear how they are going now and they aren’t doing nearly half of the things I used to do. Which makes me feel proud of my accomplishments but also frustrated that nobody gave me half the credit I deserved because I made it look easy.


      I completely agree with you. This happened at my last project. I made it looks too easy and effortless and as a result it was considered too easy..

      I should have bitched and moaned more.

  • Karen

    So true. I had that mindset when I decided I wanted to become a group fitness instructor. Going through the training and the first couple of years after being certified was one of the hardest things I went through emotionally, mentally and physically. I struggled with it and now here am I still teaching, 7 years later. I’m so glad I decided to not give up even though I felt like quitting many, many times. So many times, my members have said to me, you make it look so easy and effortless. It was definitely not easy and effortless to get to that point. Lol.

    Same thing with blogging, I thought oh, that’s easy, I can make a ton of money right off the bat. (I don’t know what possessed me to think like that). Even though my blog has experienced slow growth, it’s still a struggle, but you just have to keep on going. 🙂

  • Ramona

    10 years ago. I was still a happy radio DJ, with a nice salary and my own daily show. Being a woman, it was pretty outstanding, since for many years the media industry in my city had only few ladies. I was one of these.

    I was also doing web design on the side, earning my salary with one project. Which was amazing, since I’d not have to work for an entire month to finish a web design project and yet the money was great.

    One of my colleagues tells me: oh, lucky you, you earn another salary with your web design business.


    I earned more than a salary with this and today I earn way more than I could have imagined.

    But it didn’t come out of the blue. Even back then, I already had at least 4 years of INTENSIVE web design work. And I mean it: at least 10 hours/day. Every day. Reading, learning, doing. I’d read about web design even during my show (one has to do something while the music is playing), work and try to better myself.

    While most 20 somethings were out to party, I was in to follow my passion.

    So, yeah, it’s indeed only luck 😀

  • Izabela Michalska

    Yes, every problem is easy when you know a solution, especially to somebody who doesn’t have to solve that problem.

  • ArianaAuburn


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