creating a life you don’t routinely have to escape from


self-care is creating a life you don’t routinely have to escape from


the words you speak become the house you live in.


I’m both better and worse than you thought.


“I need to escape for a while.” Yeah. How many times have you said this, heard this or read this? Well. Let me say I have heard this a gazillion times. It becomes the impetus for staycations, mental health days and luxurious vacations. In fact, it has bred a humongous industry (industries) offering solutions to this simple statement (basically leeching off your desire to escape).

Maybe we should take a minute and ponder this simple statement of ‘escape for awhile.’

Should people have to escape and is “awhile,” if you actually do need to escape, even a worthy objective? I imagine the answer to the latter is obvious. It isn’t. It’s not an escape, it’s simply a break. But this isn’t about what is a worthy break and what isn’t, this is about why we believe we have to escape at all.

To be clear. Vacations are fun. Family vacations to Disneyland, Pigeon Forge, the mountains, an event, are all good things. They aren’t really a ‘break,’ they aren’t really escaping, in fact, they are more about leaning into life. Getting engaged with aspects of what makes like meaningful. And maybe that is where I begin making my point.

Leaning in because it is meaningful and escaping because, well, maybe meaning has become a bit more difficult to find if not even just discern. Somewhere along the way, in business, people began needing to escape. I honestly do not know when that began. I struggle to believe it has always been this way. Sure. A shitload of people wanted to escape their lot in life. And many of those people truly should have aspired to being a in a better life than the one they were currently living in. But they didn’t want to escape life, they just wanted to get somewhere else. That distinction seems important.

But isn’t there a deeper problem in society, and in business, if more people are seeking to ‘escape’ life?

Speaking personally, I have maybe only had two professional existential periods where I truly sought to escape. I never needed alcohol or drugs because I can honestly say that I loved working and most of what I did. Sure. I needed breaks, but I never needed to escape. I only share that to say business and society may need to do some serious navel-gazing if a shitload of people are ‘escaping’ through increased addiction, increased depression and increased escapism activities. Maybe the problem isn’t people, but the system itself – which means we should stop offering people ‘ways to improve’ and start offering ways the system could improve. Once again, I point out I am fairly sure this particular type of escapism didn’t always exist. And, yeah, its quite possible that industrialization and specialization (a consequence of industrialization) shifted the systems in ways that made feelings of escapism increase, but I also tend to believe that industrialization itself could be crafted in ways that don’t actively encourage escapism. I also believe that industrialization could be designed in ways that don’t actively encourage the need for some of the radical escapism shit that gets thrown at us to fill in the escape gaps – mindfulness mumbo jumbo, life coaches, retreats, motivational exercises and maybe the worst – “productivity hacks” which are this weird “if you work to be more efficient you will have to work less and have more time to escape.” Once again, I would point out that the seemingly unending system coping mechanisms that have arisen are indicators of a larger issue and that maybe we shouldn’t have to embrace the never-ending lists of “things we should do to be better” and rather rebuild the system so we don’t have to seek some unhealthy solutions or always feel a nagging feeling of needing to escape.

Look. I believe the system is a bit screwed up and I believe society doesn’t really have its head screwed on right at the moment with regard to some priorities. And I know the world can be a shitshow sometimes and I know people can be pretty shitty sometimes. Given that escape can seem like a pretty fucking smart thing to do. But maybe, instead, you lean into the shitshow a bit instead of escaping it. Maybe that is the only way the system changes. That said. What I do know for sure is if all of us escape, the system will not change. Ponder.

Written by Bruce