Everyone has problems.
If we look at problems objectively and weight them against one another, it’s easy to judge another person’s problems relative to our own, or against some arbitrary measure.
- Of course starvation is a larger problem than waiting an hour for your brunch to arrive.
- Of course, drought or an ebola outbreak is more serious than your shitty assignment at work, or your relationship problems.
But problems aren’t actually felt objectively.
We don’t feel the weight of another person’s struggle, we only feel our own. Burdens are subjective.
Sure, we can try to empathize. We like to think we can imagine what it’s like to not have clean drinking water, or worry about being bombed in our sleep, or being kidnapped by a regional warlord and sold into slavery. The truth is, most of us can’t imagine what that’s like.
We each only feel our own problems and work through our own struggles.
As a result, all problems are of a comparable weight to one another.
What seems like a minor problem to you, could feel like the weight of the world to another, and what you perceive is insurmountable, may not seem like such a big deal to someone else. The human threshold for experiencing stress is relatively constant.
It’s important to remember this…as a marketer, a business leader, and as a human being.
The problems you are solving for someone else might be the biggest stressor in their life. It may seem simple to you, and when compared to the bigger problems in the world, it may seem inconsequential. But you really never know how stressful that problem is for someone else.
Everyone has problems. If you really want to help, don’t judge it, don’t compare it, don’t measure it. Accept it and appreciate it.