⛅ The one question to ask yourself when feeling anxious

Also Mother's Day, the past vs. the future, sheep vs. lawnmowers, and jumping aboard the ship

It’s Mother’s Day, so I figured I could be a little selfish up top here and wish my own mother a Happy Mother’s Day and tell her how much she’s loved and appreciated.

For the rest of you mothers out there, I wish you the same.

1. Feeling anxious? Here’s how to solve the mystery

Throughout my years learning about anxiety, I’ve discovered that when I feel anxious, asking myself one key question reveals why I feel that way.

“What are you ignoring, Jason?”

Almost always, I can pinpoint one or two lingering issues that I haven’t dealt with that are causing my anxiety.

  • Work that I’m actively avoiding

  • Conversations I don’t want to have

  • Exercise I’m dreading

  • Personal goals that I’m not making progress toward

  • Unpaid bills

In the short term, I can distract myself with video games, TV, and hanging out with friends. However, this does not solve my problems, which means I’m not solving my anxiety - it’s just getting kicked further down the road.

Longer-term, distractions fade and there’s a decision to be made:

Either I face my issues and address them, or I endure the burgeoning anxiety.

You know what the right choice is. The question, however, is will you do it?

2. Don’t forget the paths in front of you

Don’t ruminate too hard about the choices you’ve made in the past or the opportunities left on the table. Today, you have more potential paths to walk than ever. Keep your eyes up and your head forward - the future is where it’s at.

3. Sheep vs. Lawnmower*

It’s about that time of year. You know, when you dust off the ol’ grass cutter, give it a good groomin’, and send it out back to feed on your lawn.

At least that’s what the University of California, Davis is doing this year.

A. Haven Kiers, assistant professor of landscape architecture at UCD, is leading an experimental project to test how well sheep maintain their campus grounds compared to lawnmowers.

“My interest is taking the science on green infrastructure and sustainability and designing it so it’s interactive, beautiful and practical.”

She started off with a three-day pilot (from Wednesday, May 5 to Friday, May 7), with more intermittent grazing planned throughout the summer. With this effort, Kiers hopes to bring a “pastoral” setting to UCD — one still used throughout various regions of France, and even in Central Park and the White House — and perhaps catch the attention of other universities and campuses (just in case they want to follow suit).

If you’re interested in following along, they’ve got a “sheep cam” in the works to watch them in action. Go to @UCDavis_sheepmowers for all the bah’s and baaaaaaahh’s your heart desires.

*No sheep were harmed during the writing of this newsletter.

4. Quote to think about

“It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.”
 Andre Gide, Autumn Leaves

5. Hopping aboard the ship

This month (tomorrow, actually) I’m kicking off a new venture. I joined up with Nicolas Cole and Dickie Bush on their Ship 30 for 30 program. The main goal of the program is to “ship” 30 essays in 30 days and in doing so build a habit of writing and publishing online.

Even though my habit is mostly developed (I’ve published something every day since February), I would like to link up with more like-minded writers, refine my writing, and hone in on a niche I can call home.

The 30-day journey starts tomorrow, and you can follow along with me here on Twitter.

Super excited to board the 🚢.

That’s all for this week’s newsletter. Hope you enjoyed it!


Jason Gutierrez

P.S. Follow me on Twitter for tips and advice on writing, self-improvement, entrepreneurship, and more!