No matter how old you are, you’ll have a set of problems.

Little kids don’t want to eat their broccoli and would gnaw their left arm off to stay up until 9:30pm.

Teenagers rage against their parents and educators for compelling them to fill most of their days doing stuff they hate and see as pointless.

Young adults struggle to find their place in the world; figure out a career, sort out your relationships, make money, and so forth. Their forebears apply unrelenting pressure to make decisions that will ripple out for the rest of their lives.

Those of middle-age deal with burnout, the regret of unrealized ambitions and dreams, and the growing awareness of their own mortality. Dissatisfaction is overwhelmingly common.

The elderly deal with declining health, insecurity from dwindling finances, and wondering why their ungrateful kids don’t visit more.

Obviously these aren’t universal experiences, but I think we can all agree that they’re hardly rare.

But you pluck any bored random person out of their milieu, you’ll find somebody with so many enemies to fight that they just… don’t have it in them.

(As a bloke making the transition to middle age, I can speak to this directly.)

The thing to remember is that most people aren’t dealing with a single challenge. There’s not one large dragon that needs slaying—they (and we) face several.

If you want to be a hero, help somebody slay just one of them.

Here’s why this is important:

After you slay one dragon, you don’t feel quite so powerless against the others. You rediscover a sense of confidence and strength that sat dormant, probably for a long time.

You also feel alive. Vanquishing an enemy gives you a surge of vitality. Ask somebody who has successfully shed 20 pounds, quit smoking for good, or paid off their damn student loans.

Armed with this knowledge, your job now is threefold:

Do this right and three things will happen:

Go and do likewise.