Jackson Chavarria is a manager at Cross Roads Escape Games, has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and is working on his Master’s degree. Here is his take on interesting things he sees in our escape rooms through his psychology perspective.
There is an array of names for those in any skill, hobby, or job who put in much more effort than is “required” for the task. Inside a professional environment such as the Olympics or televised sports, these people are praised and set upon a pedestal as pinnacles of greatness, dedication, and the epitomes of hard work. However, in everyday day-to-day life, these people are often criticized for their overworking habits and are called “try-hard,” “sweat,” “show-off,” or are known to take the activity “too seriously.”
No one person cannot be the best at everything, hence why a wide variety of people from diverse backgrounds accomplish world records. While these people are often role models for us, it is unrealistic in most aspects of our regular livelihood. To aspire to be the best in all parts of your life is impossible and negatively affects you. Living this way has been shown to decrease self-confidence and lead to depression or isolation, putting all this pressure on yourself and feeling like a letdown when you can’t live up to impossible standards.
Acquiring a record is no easy feat, but many people strive for it. The trait of wanting to hold some form is usually seen in individualistic countries (i.e., USA and Europe) instead of collectivistic countries (i.e., China and India). Individualistic countries uphold the singular person so that everyone aspires for their success and individually gets the rewards or repercussions. Collectivistic countries focus more on the success and betterment of the entire family, as one’s success or failure is tied to the whole family.
As members of an individualistic country, we can quickly grasp that the singular person must stand out. We all want to be highlighted, recognized, or unique, preferably in a positive light. Since we were little, it was all about what we could do, how fast we could learn, how high of a grade we could get, and doing our best to outdo those around us.
If you’re stuck under the pretense that you need to be on the escape room leaderboard, you’ve misinterpreted the point of a well-designed escape room. The phrase “too much of a good thing” realizes itself in this concept. It is not inherently bad or wrong to want to strive for any record. This mentality can often lead to incredible feats of human capabilities that could never be realized. However, some moments or memories are meant to be experienced with a flexible mind, not a rigid one.
All we have left once a moment has passed is the memory of it. That memory may be photographed, drawn, or symbolized in another way, but there’s no comparison to what it was truly like to live in that moment. There is something beautiful about escape rooms; they bring people together, accomplish a group task, and expand the brain’s potential for problem-solving, all in one place. Try not to be too preoccupied with getting the best time, end up missing it, and let that ruin what could’ve been a positive memory for years to come. Instead, embrace the escape room for what it offers, solve some puzzles, and congratulations if you get a record! If not, you became smarter, strengthened friendships, and balanced work and play!