I thought this post by Mark Manson was neat. He says that over the years he’s gotten questions from something like 50,000 people:
When you hear about life problems from Kenya, Serbia, India, Brazil, and New York, all in the same afternoon, you’re able to start zeroing in on what’s universal about the human condition and what is not.
And this has been my biggest lesson that I have learned from all of you, my readers. A lesson that is as liberating as it is shockingly obvious: That while we all appear completely different on the outside, everyone is more or less struggling with the same three or four problems.
He goes on to list those problems:
“I’m unhappy in my relationship but don’t know if I should end it or keep trying.”
“I’m unsure of what to do for my future—I worry that I’ve been on the wrong path.”
“I struggle with anxiety/anger/depression and it’s fucking up many areas of my life.”
“I’m insecure about my money/status/appearance and wish I didn’t give a fuck.”
I still keep up with a suck list. Skimming down my list, I can see that he’s right. All of the things that suck about my life fit into one of those (luckily not the first one).
The rest of the post starts to feel a little salesman-ish but I dug this part:
It’s sometimes amusing to get an email from someone who describes their problem and proceeds to write in it, “I don’t think anyone could possibly understand how I feel.” Meanwhile, there are four other emails in my inbox from people with the exact same problem. Sometimes I want to just forward these people to each other so they can create anonymous little support groups.