What if your online password was more than an annoying thing that trips you up because you can’t remember it or makes you feel anxious because it’s so easy to remember, anyone could crack it in a minute?
What if your password were your driving force for the day?
The idea came to Mauricio Estrella one morning when his work computer demanded that he reset his password – again. Eight characters, upper and lower case, one special character, none of his previous 15 passwords… and he had just split up with his wife.
We’ll forgive Estrella for cursing at his machine with what he calls his “angry grandpa grumpy voice,” because the solution he came up with, as he described it in the piece “How a Password Changed My Life” on the site Medium, was inspired: He would use the opportunity to come up with something motivational and healing – “Forgive@h3r.” Several times a day he would be forced to enter this thought on his keyboard until it became a kind of mantra.
A month later, his computer demanded a password refresh. “My password became Quit@smoking4ever,” he writes. It worked. After that, he passworded his way to saving money for a trip to Thailand.
Sally Schneider on her blog Improvised Life describes adapting Estrella’s strategy for creating a “daily digital mantra” and adds that unlike instantly crackable passwords such as 12345678 or your birth date, one that’s made from an unpredictable series of words is hard to decipher. Switch out some letters with corresponding numerals or symbols, and the password is even more secure: an @ for “A” and a 1 for “i,”for example, or text-speak abbreviations.
So, with a hat tip to Estrella and Schneider, we’re passing the torch to you: What is your motivational password for the day, week or month?
A few ideas:
What are yours?