I published a newsletter yesterday wherein I admitted to telling my life story a good amount. Upon reflection, I have to confess that’s not entirely accurate. Obviously, there are some things about my life I won’t talk about (like how much ice cream I eat in a given week), but there is something I’ve chosen not to talk about that might be helpful for others who’ve gone through or are currently experiencing, something similar. After all, I did say, “our stories and experiences have value.”

Okay, enough build-up—here it goes: I get sad and anxious sometimes.

I know that’s shocking to hear from someone who looks visibly sad and anxious all of the time. Growing up, I don’t recall having a single conversation with anyone about mental health. I’m not sure I heard the term until my mid-20s. It’s something we all deal with, some of us more than others, and I think it’s just fine that society seems to be talking about it more openly these days. Grandpa would’ve told me to rub some dirt on it. (Rub dirt on what? Enough questions—you’ve got chores to do.)

We live in the age of worry. Don’t take my word for it; no greater authority than John Mayer has been singing about this phenomenon for years. (I personally lean toward Yebba’s cover of the song). Of course, who could argue the point? There’s a lot to worry about these days. Add the holidays, your fraught relationship with [Fill In The Blank], the general doom and gloom emanating from every corner of the world (what did Putin say about nukes bringing an end to humanity this week?)—and well, no wonder we can’t help but feel a bit down sometimes.

A study from 2014 suggests CEOs get depressed at more than double the rate of the general public. The study delves into the effects of gender, job authority, and navigating the ever-changing cultural landscape. That’s quite the depressive cocktail.

Close your eyes and clone yourself
Build your heart an army
To defend your innocence
While you do everything wrong

Don't be scared to walk alone
Don't be scared to like it
There's no time that you must be home
So sleep where darkness falls

According to Deborah Serani, author of Living With Depression, “major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability in the United States for ages 14 through 44. However, only a fraction of those suffering will seek treatment; 25 percent will seek treatment for symptoms. Stigma claims the other 75 percent, wedging depressed individuals into a life of silent suffering.”

Alive in the age of worry
Smile in the age of worry
Go wild in the age of worry
And say, "Worry, why should I care?"

In Utah, where I live, we’ve lost several incredible entrepreneurs, CEOs, and leaders to depression. I lost my best friend to it soon after we graduated high school. No doubt, you’ve lost someone close to you. It affects all of us at some point.

Earlier this year, I met a man named Joe Tuiaanna. We were both speaking at an event. He told a story of how he’d been driving his girls to a soccer game. They were running late, and it’d been a chaotic and stressful morning. As he was driving on an overpass, his daughter noticed a man had climbed up to the top of the railing, with his feet dangling over the side, and his face looking down at the busy freeway far below.

Joe stopped. He told his daughters to call the police and remain in the vehicle as he slowly walked to this man repeating four words over and over: “I love you, bro.” He kept saying it louder and louder. The man noticed him, started looking at him, and started crying. Joe didn’t stop saying, “I love you, bro,” with his arms open wide. The man said nothing, he just looked at Joe with tears falling down his face.

Somehow, Joe managed to climb the fence and bring the man down to safety. They embraced in a long, tight hug as Joe kept saying the words, “I love you, bro.” They hugged until the police came. Joe never said anything other than those four words to that man that day.

Joe saved his life. It’s amazing what one person can do with four words and love in their heart.

Know your fight is not with them
Yours is with your time here
Dream your dreams but don't pretend
Make friends with what you are

Give your heart then change your mind
You're allowed to do it
'Cause God knows it's been done to you
And somehow you got through it

I recently talked to Joe in detail about this experience on a podcast. His actions saved a life, but the experience completely changed Joe’s. He’s since founded the I Love You, Bro Suicide Prevention Project and dedicated the rest of his life to combatting suicide.

There’s something beautiful about simple acts. It matters whether it’s an act of service, a kind word, or a small gesture. It matters because you matter, and who you’re being from one moment to the next has an effect outside of you. Spending your days on social media tearing down others or working to better yourself and those around you—both have an effect outside of you. How you choose to live matters.

You matter.

Alive in the age of worry
Rage in the age of worry
Sing out in the age of worry
And say, "Worry, why should I care?"

Written by

's Profile Picture Clint Betts

CEO, Founder | CEO.com