Today marks the 100th edition of my newsletter. I have written about the 99 newsletters with the intention to help and inform you. But for the 100th edition, I’d like to share what you’ve taught me instead.
I started my first blog in 2007. By 2011, writing and publishing online became my full-time job. By 2013, its articles were being read by over a million people each month. The exact numbers have fluctuated over the years, but it’s still true.
As you can imagine, early in my career I was both grateful and surprised by the fact that so many people were reading. my idea. How cool was that?
But as the years went by, I started to understand what it was actually My situation is special: a unique ability exposed to so many other people’s thoughts and experiences.
It is estimated that over the past 15 years, about 50,000 people have been questioned and learned about their lives. It targets people of all ages, from elementary school students to people in their 90s. They traveled from America to Europe, India, Japan, Africa and back. They come from all races, religions, genders, sexual orientations and socio-economic backgrounds.The sheer diversity of people who have turned up in my inbox for advice over the years is staggering I am truly blessed to have been able to meet so many people in so many different fields.
In fact, I sincerely believe it’s insane width Of the exposures that have had the greatest impact on my work. Hearing about life issues from Kenya, Serbia, India, Brazil and New York in the same afternoon can help you start focusing on what is universal and what is not about the human condition.
And this is the biggest lesson I learned from you, my readers. A lesson as liberating as it is strikingly obvious:
Indeed, circumstances change, cultures vary, and everyone’s life story is necessarily different.
But at our core, everyone — a precarious teenager from Quebec, an overworked woman from India, an anxious grandma from Texas, a desperate immigrant in Australia — They seem to suffer from the same small group of stressors and anxieties.
“I’m unhappy with my relationship, but I don’t know if I should end it or keep trying.”
“I don’t know what to do for my future. I’m afraid I’ve taken the wrong path.”
“I’m battling anxiety/anger/depression and it’s ruining many areas of my life.”
“I’m insecure about my money, status, and appearance, and I’m glad I didn’t care.”
And here’s what’s even more amazing.Most of these people I’ve heard feel like they are weird Because they have a problem that they do. An Indian woman is uncomfortable that she feels this way and she is hesitant to tell anyone. Just like my grandmother in Texas fears it. she Weird, like Quebec teenagers feel he strange.
Sometimes it’s funny to get an email from someone who describes their problem and writes, “I don’t think anyone understands how I feel.” In the meantime, 4 emails have arrived in her inbox from people with the exact same problem. You may want to transfer these people to each other so that you can create a small anonymous support group.
Early in my career, I used to stress about each of these emails. I couldn’t see the commonalities yet, so I stuck to the details. Indeed, being a teenager in Quebec means he is different from all other teenagers in the world.
But as time goes on, not only are these struggles and anxieties perfectly normal for the human condition, most of the time the best thing I can do is find out that these people aren’t actually weird. They began to realize that their problem was neither unique nor special.They are should do it Please talk to someone about it.
Because after all, I don’t know their lives. I don’t know their relationship. Often I don’t know their culture. But what I do know is something very important that most people have never seen firsthand. that they are not alone.
That’s why I structured my online course the way I did. The online courses are based on the same five or he six questions that people hear over and over again: relationships, purpose, emotions, resilience, life planning, and habits. rinse. repeat.
Because while our values, culture and living environment change, our core struggles as human beings remain the same. Relationships are difficult, but necessary. Trauma is inevitable, but healing is possible. Emotions cannot be overcome, but must be accepted and managed. You can’t find a sense of purpose, you have to create it.
These struggles never cease to be struggles. You may understand your relationship today.
You may have some sense of purpose today, but ten years from now your values will change dramatically and you’ll have to pick it all up again.
You may feel like you’re in control of your emotions right now, but an unexpected tragedy will one day knock you down again.
And when that happens, you must remember that the uniqueness of your problem is an illusion, and the feeling that you are somehow strange and abnormal is an imagination. As you go through life, everyone around you is just doing the same thing.
This is why vulnerabilities are so important and powerful. Not only will you be able to express your pain and shame, but doing so means giving permission to others who remain silent to express their pain and shame. Because it heals not only you, but everyone around you.
Or email me And I will tell you what I am telling you. you will be fine You should actually talk to someone in your life about it. Tell them what you just told me. ”