Yesterday, my kids treated me with an Escape Room experience for my birthday. Our goal was to solve riddles in a lost Mayan Temple before time ran out (one hour).

As we were driving home after our hour of pretending to be Indiana Jones, our conversation turned to all the cool things we did together, locked in that room.

This talk reminded me of my daughters’ favorite mission to collect a series of souvenirs when we take road-trips — the “Advice From…” bookmarks.

The “Advice From…” inspirational series from Your True Nature, sold in National Parks and bookstores, dispenses a list of pithy life lessons from nature along with a pretty picture.

For example, one bit of Advice from a Mountain is to “Climb Beyond Your Limitations.”

Then, I brought up the idea for us to come up with an Advice From an Escape Room bookmark.

So here it is:


  1. Every Puzzle Has A Solution
  2. Work as A Team
  3. Gather All Valuable Clues
  4. Don’t Get Sidetracked by Red Herrings
  5. The Answer is Right In Front Of You
  6. Crack the Secret Code To Win
  7. Time is Precious

Every Puzzle Has a Solution

Going into the Escape Room, you are told that it is solvable, so no matter how challenging a puzzle might be, there is a solution…if you can find it.

Life’s problems can be so daunting as to seem impossible, but knowing that there IS a way out gives you the power to figure it out and empowers you do to so.

Work as a Team

My first Escape Room experience was with 8 people, none of which had any strategy or plan of attack. Therefore, we wasted too much time being unorganized.

This time, the three of us worked together and communicated with every discovery and idea.

It was astounding how much faster we solved puzzles as a team with a plan.

Gather All Valuable Clues

The first task in an Escape Room is to search around and find anything and everything that might be useful in solving a puzzle.

Before you tackle any challenge it’s a smart idea to do some research about your task versus simply starting with no information or tools to help you succeed.

Don’t Get Sidetracked by Red Herrings

Some clues you find in an Escape Room are just props that serve no purpose, will not help you solve a puzzle and make you waste time — they are red herrings.

Getting sidetracked by time-wasters that do not help you is a salient feature of the Internet Age. It may seem like you are doing valuable work, but all you did was spend an hour finding out that the egg did indeed come before the chicken.

The Answer is Right In Front of You

When you collect all the clues in an Escape Room, it’s a good idea to put them in one spot where you can figure out how they fit together.

The answer is right there in front of you, staring you in the face, beckoning you to see the connections and have that “AHA!” moment when you see, clear as glass, how to solve the next puzzle.

Your answer is (probably) not in China, India, Africa, Europe, South America, or even on the East Coast. More often than not, you have everything you need right here to solve your next life challenge, so stop looking for exotic solutions when your answers are under your own nose.

Crack the Secret Code to Win

Escape Rooms contain secret codes you must decipher to unlock a puzzle, We had to unlock a code just to be able to enter the room!

Rather than starting anything from scratch, you will make faster progress when you can crack the code to your puzzle.

When you understand “what it takes” to succeed, you can use your code to bypass any and all obstacles in your way.

Time is Precious

In an Escape Room you are working against the clock, usually one hour.

If you obsess about the time ticking down, you won’t focus on solving your puzzles. The ticking timer may cause you so much anxiety that you cannot think straight.

Knowing that time is precious reminds you to not waste one moment and get moving.

So, what are you waiting for? Time is Precious, and when it’s gone, it’s gone, there’s no overtime.

If you want to escape some prison life has trapped you in, NOW (No Opportunity Wasted) is the time.

So Do It, Do It Now.

P.S. We almost escaped, we would have escaped had not one of our clues been placed all the way in the slot, we would have escaped had time not run out — We Didn’t Escape. 🙁 

Maybe the third time will be the charm.