A Life You Don’t Need to Escape From

by Ryan M. Healy on September 18, 2012

If you could do anything right now, what would it be? Would it include your work? And if not, why not?

I remember back when I had a job, there were many days I wished to be somewhere else, doing something else.

But ever since I became a freelance copywriter, those thoughts have been extremely infrequent.

That’s because I’m a writer. If I wasn’t working as a freelance copywriter, I would still be writing in some capacity.

It’s who I am. It’s what I do.

Most days I don’t wish to be anywhere else or doing anything else. I truly enjoy my work.

But if you feel differently about your work, then consider this pithy quote from Seth Godin:

“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” -Seth Godin, Tribes, p. 101

Most people have lives they want to escape from.

  • They can’t wait for their next holiday.
  • They can’t wait to quit their job and move on to the next one.
  • They can’t wait for school to start again so they can hand their kids off to the public school for the next 9 months.

It’s kinda sad when you think about it.

And this kind of thinking affects millions of Americans.

That’s why I think Godin’s advice is so timely and relevant. Create a life you don’t need to escape from.

If you can do that, it’ll make all the difference in the world.

-Ryan M. Healy

About Ryan M. Healy

is a direct response copywriter. Since 2002, he has worked with scores of clients, including Agora Financial, Lombardi Publishing, and Contrarian Profits. He writes a popular blog about copywriting, advertising, and business growth, has been featured in publications like Feed Front magazine, and has been published on sites like WordStream.com, SmallBizClub.com, and MarketingForSuccess.com.

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Joseph Ratliff September 18, 2012 at 9:14 am

Amen Ryan!

For years I wasted my life in the retail “corporate grind,” working 50 plus hours a week… adding stress to my life… wanting to escape for the 2 – 4 weeks they would “let” me.

In 2001, I realized that had to stop.

Ever since, I’ve NEVER wasted a minute of work, in fact I don’t call it work anymore. Sure, there have been bumps on the road, as no situation is perfectly enjoyable… but I DO NOT want to escape from it.

Ryan M. Healy September 18, 2012 at 10:18 am

Nice, Joseph. :-)

John Thomas September 18, 2012 at 9:46 am

Hey, Ryan,

Reminds me of the advice that Trump gives on thinking like a billionaire: #1 Don’t take a vacation.“what’s the point? If you don’t like your work, you’re in the wrong business.”


Planning on becoming a billionaire? :-)


Ryan M. Healy September 18, 2012 at 10:18 am

Haha… well, I wouldn’t object to being a billionaire, but it’s not one of my goals. :-)

Jerry Bures September 22, 2012 at 7:50 am

But remember…

Anyone who has ever created such a life, a life you don’t need to escape from, spent some time in a life they thought they wanted to escape from.

We must not mistake challenges for a “need to escape”, but see them as the opportunity for growth and discovery in what we truly love.

Thanks Ryan for the great insights!

Ryan M. Healy September 24, 2012 at 7:38 am

Good observation, Jerry!

Gogo September 28, 2012 at 10:30 am


I really like Jerry’s point. I think the real challenge with issues like this has to do with the “thin line” principle.

It’s sometimes a thin line between a genuine “growth opportunity/character builder” (challenge) and a “life you should escape from”. The true value for individuals is finding personal insights that help differentiate one from the other.

For example, your insight about writing (“It’s who I am. It’s what I do.”) is a clue for someone struggling to tell the difference. Deeper self-knowledge gives context to the conflict and clarifies whether a particular job, career, challenge is actually a growth opportunity or “a gaol” of a situation – one to be escaped from.

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