A friend of mine recently sent me this article from Mauricio Estrella which I just had to reblog here!
“How could she do something like this to me?” said a voice in my head. All the time. Every day.
Here is the horse-shit: The server forces us to use at least one UPPERCASEcharacter, at least one lowercase alphabetic character, at least one symbol and at least one number. Oh, and the whole damn thing can’t be less than 8 characters. And I can’t use any of the same passwords I’ve used in the last 3 months.
I was furious that morning. Tuesday, 9:40 a.m. -It was so hot that my torso was already sweaty even though I just got to work. I was late. I was still wearing my helmet. I think I forgot breakfast. Something tastes like cigarette in my mouth. I need to get shit done before my 10 a.m. meeting and all I have in front of me is a huge waste of my time.
Then, letting all the frustration go, I remembered a tip I heard from my former boss, Rasmus. Somehow he combined to-do lists with passwords, and I thought to use an augmented variation of that.
It was obvious that I couldn’t focus on getting things done with my current lifestyle and mood. Of course, there were clear indicators of what I needed to do -or what I had to achieve- in order to regain control of my life, but we often don’t pay attention to these clues.
During the rest of week, I had to type this password several times a day. Each time my computer would lock. Each time my screen saver 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.
In the following days, my mood improved drastically. By the end of the 2nd week, I noticed that this password became less powerful, and it started to lose its effect. A quick refresh of this ‘mantra’ helped me. I thought to myself I forgive her as I typed it, every time. The healing effect of it came back almost immediately.
And guess what happened. I shit you not. I quit smoking overnight. I have a ton of witnesses who could not believe how I did it. I had tried books, e-cigarettes, patches, etc. Nothing worked, but this one trick did.
Seeing how these positive affirmations and reminders helped me to materialize my monthly goals kept me motivated and exited. I’ll admit this: It is difficult to come up with your next goal. Sometimes it’s hard to identify what we need to change, or where we need to walk towards to.
In its simplest form, a password enables you to get somewhere, in your digital world. Say, to copy a file, to unlock a computer, to email somebody. This feeling of micro achievements, this thought of ‘my mantra helps me to get things done’ can build up a momentum that motivates you to stay focused on achieving your monthly goals. It’s a tiny habit that transformed me.
- Forgive@her ← to my ex-wife, who started it all.
- Quit@smoking4ever ← it worked.
- Save4trip@thailand ← it worked.
- Eat2times@day ← it never worked, still fat.
- Sleep@before12 ← it worked.
- Ask@her4date ← it worked. I fell in love again.
- No@drinking2months ← it worked. It felt great!
- MovE@togeth3r ← it worked.
- Get@c4t! ← it worked. We have a beautiful cat.
- Facetime2mom@sunday ← it worked. I talk with my mom every week.
I still await very anxiously each month so I can change my password into a phrase that motivates me to focus on something that I need to get done.
This method has consistently worked for me for the last 2 years, and I have shared it with a few close friends and relatives. I didn’t think it was a breakthrough in tiny-habits but it did have a great impact in my life, so I thought to share it with you all.
Give it a try! Write these statements with the right mindset and attitude, and you’ll change your life. Let me know how it works for you!
Remember, for added security, try to be more complex with the words. Add symbols or numbers, make it longer, and scramble a bit the beginning or the ending of your password string. S4f3ty_f1rst!
Pass the tip to those who might need it.”
Love and Respect,
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