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  • life coach - An advisor who helps people with problems, decisions, and goal attainment in daily life.
  • empathy, sympathy - Empathy denotes a deep emotional understanding of another's feelings or problems, while sympathy is more general and can apply to small annoyances or setbacks.
  • gravity - Comes from Latin gravitas, from gravis, "heavy, important"—and it can apply to situations and problems as well as to people.
  • insoluble - Can be applied to problems that cannot be solved as well as substances that will not dissolve in liquids.


  1. As rust eats iron, so care eats the heart —Auguste Ricard
  2. Being a new employee … it’s like picking up a screenplay and starting to act your part, only it’s Act Three and you have not been in Acts One or Two —Carol Clark, New York Times, July 28, 1986
  3. Burdensome as a secret —French proverb
  4. Carry your problems with you from place to place like a Santa Claus sack —George Garrett
  5. Ceased to be an apparent problem … the way crumbs swept under a rug cease to be an apparent problem —Rick Borsten
  6. Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body —Seneca, The Elder
  7. (Doubt … ) dug at his peace of mind like a broken fingernail —F. van Wyck Mason
  8. (The electronics-crammed production booth is beginning to) resemble the bridge of a destroyer under air attack —Michael Cieply, writing about taping of a Bill Cosby television segment that ran into problems, Wall Street Journal, September 26, 1986
  9. Face a problem with all the joy of a team preparing for a game it expects to lose. —Anon
  10. Felt speaking about one’s personal problems was rather like talking about one’s surgery scars … a subject of consuming interest only to one’s self —C.D.B. Bryan
  11. Heading toward disaster, as certainly as a four-year-old behind the wheels of a Maserati —Vincent Canby, New York Times, February 28, 1986
  12. He was like a mathematician with an abstruse problem, worrying over it, but worrying very calmly and impersonally —James Hilton
  13. I am a man smothered with women and children, like a duck with onions —Sir Charles Napier

    Napier made these comparisons when he reflected on his life in England after retiring as commander of British forces in northern India.

  14. An international crisis is like sex, as long as you keep talking about it, nothing happens —Harold Coffin, Reader’s Digest, September, 1961
  15. It’s [being on a losing streak] like a little time box that’s going to explode —John Pennywell, football player on Columbia University’s Lions, New York Times, November 8, 1986
  16. (I was) living as if I were squeezed in an iron hand —Honoré de Balzac
  17. (The whole of) my life has passed like a razor … in hot water or a scrape —Sydney Smith
  18. (My immediate) problems … as untouchable as a raw wound —Norman Mailer
  19. The problem stayed in the front of his mind like a sheer cliff he could not begin to climb —Ken Follett
  20. Pry at the mousehole of a solution like a cat with infinite patience —Bill Granger
  21. Second-hand cares, like second-hand clothes, come easily on and off —Charles Dickens
  22. Sign of trouble … like seeing a cannon muzzle poke out of the woods —James Sterngold, New York Times, March 22, 1986
  23. The solution rushed on him like a fire storm —T. Coraghessan Boyle
  24. They’re [troubles] piled on my head like snows on a mountain top —Bernard Malamud
  25. They would gnaw on it for days like two puppies with a rubber bone —Charles Portis
  26. Troubled as a plane with one wing —Anon
  27. Trouble … fell across her shoulders like a cloak. It was as if she had touched a single strand of a web, and felt the whole thing tremble and knew herself to be caught forever in its trembling —Ellen Gilchrist
  28. Troublesome as a wasp in one’s ears —Thomas Fuller
  29. Troubles visited from above like tornadoes —Marge Piercy
  30. Weaponless deterrence is like bodiless sex. It gets you nowhere —James Morrow
  31. Women like to sit down with trouble as if it were knitting —Ellen Glasgow
  32. Work like an antitoxin … before the complications come —Clifford Odets
References in classic literature ?
Cornelius's Receipt Book as if it were a mathematical exercise, working out the problems with patience and care.
If he can, then is it as marvellous a thing in him, as if a man were able simultaneously to go through the demonstrations of two distinct problems in Euclid.
Now he said it a third time, and Ona drew a deep breath; it was so wonderful to have a husband, just like a grown woman--and a husband who could solve all problems, and who was so big and strong!
a solving of all moral problems, by an unanswerable wisdom
I slowly paced the floor, pondering scientific problems, and heard this conversation:
The parent who is obliged to feed and clothe seven children on an income of fifteen dollars a month seldom has time to discriminate carefully between the various members of her brood, but Hannah at fourteen was at once companion and partner in all her mother's problems.
Happily these interior problems are not infrequently resolved by quite exterior forces.
The studious young ladies at Alton College, elbows on desk and hands over ears, shuddered chillily in fur tippets whilst they loaded their memories with the statements of writers on moral science, or, like men who swim upon corks, reasoned out mathematical problems upon postulates.
This was, perhaps, the most weird and mystifying of all the telephone problems.
Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.
Yet for the sake of the young and inexperienced, who may perchance infer -- from the two simple instances I have given above, of the manner in which I should recognize my Father and my Sons -- that Recognition by sight is an easy affair, it may be needful to point out that in actual life most of the problems of Sight Recognition are far more subtle and complex.
It was one of these insoluble problems that rose up unceasingly before my mind!

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