In the material world a genuine effort, with full intent and a positive approach is required to get desired results. It is said — ‘hard work pays’ — and so it does. But in the world of spirituality effort has no importance because gains are made through awareness and building up one’s soul consciousness.
When we make an effort at doing our Guru’s work then we are not doing it at the soul-level, as effort is physical and involves our personal interest or ego, then the result of your ‘effort’ will never be the result which your Guru or spiritual master expects. While performing Guru-karya (Guru’s work) do it selflessly with the feeling that you are only an instrument of the Guru-energies and your work will happen without any effort on your part. Connecting to the collective consciousness of the Spiritual Master gives you a subtle boost and support, help and guidance comes from unexpected quarters as the seemingly impossible tasks get accomplished effortlessly!
Even while meditating I have seen people with furrowed brows which give rise to deep lines on the forehead indicating an effort at trying to stop one’s thoughts. The idea of practicing meditation is to relax and let go of everything, the very fact that you get deep furrows in your brows, your brow screws up means that you are making an effort at stopping your thoughts. This invariably has a negative impact, because the more you bottle up or try to control your thoughts, the greater the speed at which they start hitting you after some time — this is exactly like a pressure cooker, the steam builds up inside and when the pressure is too much the whistle blows! A better way is to observe the thoughts and watch them like you are watching a movie. After a period of time, gaps between thoughts will increase, those blank moments are your state of thoughtlessness, with time these gaps increase and with the increasing gaps between thoughts you sometimes find yourself going into deep meditation.
Here, effort is not required, just witness and go with the flow — that should be the approach to life. Become like the flowing river, the water just splits when a rock-like obstacle comes in its path and it continues its journey as if the rock wasn’t there. That is how we should flow — effortlessly — completely oblivious to life’s shortcomings, live joyously, while spreading joy selflessly.