How a password changed my life

Original author: Mauricio Estrella
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“How could she do this to me?” I asked myself. Everyday. All the time.

In 2011, when gradients were still popular, and AI OS icons set the direction in design and people used deodorants, I was depressed because of my divorce.

Fortunately, I was resourceful enough to get out of it. (The wonderful people who surrounded me also helped me.)

* * * * *

Once, I came to the office and looked at my monitor. Everything was cool until I saw this message:

Your password is out of date.
Click on the “Change Password” button to change the password.

Come on! And I thought the “Change Password” button is for something else.

I read this stupid message to myself in the voice of a grouchy old man: "Damn password is out of date."

At my work, Microsoft Exchange Server required thousands of employees to change the password every 30 days.

It was complete nonsense: it was necessary to use at least one uppercase letter, at least one lowercase letter, at least one character and at least one number in the password. The total number of characters should have been more than eight. And I could not enter the password that I used in the last three months.

I was furious this Tuesday morning at 9:40. It was so hot outside that I was sweating before I even got to work. I am late. I was still in my helmet. I forgot to have breakfast. The mouth tasted like a cigarette. I had to deal with this before the meeting at 10 o’clock. Ahead of me was the need to spend a ton of my time on this.

* * * * *

So, that was it - the input field with a blinking carriage, waiting for me to come up with a password that I will use for the next 30 days and enter it again and again several times a day.

Soon, having calmed down a little, I remembered the method I had heard from my former boss Rasmus . He combined the to-do list with passwords. And I decided to use an extended version of this method.

I decided to use a password to change my life.

I could not concentrate on achieving my goals with my current lifestyle and attitude. Sure, there were pointers to what I needed to do to regain control of my life, but we often do not pay attention to these tips.

My password has become such a pointer. He reminded me that I should not be the victim of a recent unpleasant situation and that I was strong enough to overcome this.

And I set the password Forgive @ h3r (forgive her).

At the meeting, I was still thinking about what I just did. A smile appeared on my face.

During a week's rest, I had to enter this password several times a day. Every time my computer was locked. Every time her photograph appeared on the monitor. Every time I came back alone from lunch.

It sounded like a mantra in my head: I did not enter a password, I reminded myself to forgive it.

* * * * *

All this changed my attitude towards my ex-wife. It constantly reminded me that I should forgive her. I accepted what happened to my marriage. I have a new way to deal with depression, in which I was.

In the following days, my mood improved significantly. But by the end of the second week, I noticed that this password became less effective and it began to lose effect. Improving the current mantra helped me, now it sounded like this: "I forgive her every time I enter this password." The healing effect returned almost immediately.

* * * * *

A month later, dear Microsoft Exchange Server again asked me to change the password. I was thinking about what goal should be achieved next.

I set the password Quit @ smoking4ever (quit smoking forever).

Guess what happened. Frankly, I quit smoking the night before. I have a bunch of witnesses who could not believe how I did it. I read books, used electronic cigarettes, plasters, etc. Nothing helped, but this method worked.

It was not easy to write this password for a whole month, but it helped me reach out to myself. It motivated me to reach my goal this month.

A month later, I set the password Save4trip @ thailand (save up for a trip to Thailand).

Guess where I went after 3 months. Yes, to Thailand.

Thank you password.

* * * * *

The realization that these instructions and reminders help me achieve my goal every month motivates and excites me. Sometimes it is difficult to determine the following goal. Sometimes it’s hard to understand what we need to change and in which direction to move.

* * * * *

So, I realized that I can really change my life if I set my goals correctly. I keep doing this over and over again, month after month, and I have excellent results.

Here are some passwords that I have used over the past two years. From them you can get an idea of ​​how my life has changed thanks to this method.

Forgive @ her (Forgive her) ← dedicated to ex-wife, it all started with
Quit @ smoking4ever (Quit smoking forever) ← worked
Save4trip @ thailand (Save up for a trip to Thailand) ← worked
Eat2times @ day (there are two times a day) ← did not work, stayed in my body
Sleep @ before12 (go to bed before 12) ← worked
Ask @ her4date (Invite her for a date) ← It worked. I fell in love again
No @ drinking2months (Do not drink for 2 months) ← worked. I feel great
MovE @ togeth3r (Start living together) ←
Get @ c4t worked! (Have a cat) ← worked. We have a wonderful cat.
Facetime2mom @ sunday (Talking to mom through FaceTime every Sunday) ← worked. I talk with mom every week.

Now this password stands:

Save4 @ ring (accumulate on the ring) ← Life must change again

* * * * *

I am still excitedly waiting for the new month to come up with a new password that will motivate me to achieve my goal.

This method has helped me for the past 2 years and I shared it with close friends and relatives. I do not think that this is some kind of breakthrough, but it had a dramatic impact on my life, so I decided to share it with you.

Give it a try! Choose your goals correctly, take them seriously and you can change your life. Share your experience with me!

Remember to use complex passwords for security. Add at least one character or number to it, do not make it short, mix the words in the sentence. S4f3ty_f1rst! (Safety comes first!)

Share the method with whoever it can help.

* * * * *

Updated June 21, 2014. She said yes.

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