Password changes are becoming a regular part of our on-line lives. They are a necessary and increasingly complicated inconvenience as we all work to stay one step ahead of hackers looking for our credit card numbers and other personal information.
Many websites and applications require periodic password changes, and if you access lots of sites, you know how frequently these changes can come up! It’s difficult to keep track of them all – even with a password manager. Not only that, but many sites now require a password of a certain minimum length that includes numbers, letters, and special characters.
And as password requirements become increasingly complex, it’s next-to-impossible to come up with ones that you can actually remember!
So I was pleased to come upon a piece on Medium by Mauricio Estrella titled “How a password changed my life”. The title immediately caught my eye, and as I read, I wasn’t disappointed.
The fundamental idea here is this:
We can take the password challenge and make it into a positive exercise in personal power.
It reminds me of the way that reCAPTCHA took a security challenge and made it into a way to digitize books and newspapers that would otherwise not be available on the web. Mauricio Estrella’s idea is equally creative.
He was going through a difficult time in his life – a divorce to be exact – when he was confronted at work with a required password change. What he did, after some grumbling, was come up with a password that would have powerful meaning for him every time he typed it.
His first password? “Forgive@h3r”
I had to type this statement several times a day. Each time my computer would lock. Each time my screensaver with her photo would appear. Each time I would come back from eating lunch alone.
… That simple action changed the way I looked at my ex wife. That constant reminder that I should forgive her, led me to accept the way things happened at the end of my marriage, and embrace a new way of dealing with the depression that I was drowning into.
What Password Will YOU Choose?
Mauricio went on to choose other passwords that helped him focus on goals or reinforce behaviors. Making use of passwords, he was able to change habits and achieve milestones that were important to him.
All with the small, constant reminder of a password!
So, what are some things that you’d like to change or affirm in your life? Why not start making a list for yourself? Then the next time you need to change or create a password, you can use this powerful idea to make good use of what can otherwise be an annoying nuisance.
Now, I call that a win/win!
© Copyright 2014 Paula Eder, Ph.D.