The Subtle Influence of Passwords - Omaha Integrative Care
The Subtle Influence of Passwords

March 05, 2019 | Wendy Pecoraro

“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” – John C. Maxwell

I do most of my work in an electronic health record that requires us to change our password every three months. The specifications for these passwords, while not as rigorous as some, are a frustrating combination of letters, numbers and/or symbols that cannot include English words nor names. You probably have something similar where you work. We can all quickly rattle off any number of seemingly reasonable passwords: Mom’s maiden name, our first dog’s name, the mascot at our high school or the town where we were born.

Since these options don’t meet password security criteria anymore, last year, I started using meaningful words from different languages accompanied by the number for the year to come as a reminder to look forward. My last two were:

  • Meraki2019 – a Sanskrit term meaning, “to do something with soul, creativity, or love; to put something of yourself into your work.”
  • Integrare2019 – a Latin word meaning, “to make whole.”

Admittedly this started as an act of defiance. I was going to use an actual word. If that word had to be from a different language – so be it. But it has evolved into a lovely, daily reminder of how I want my work to feel and look for myself and others. Every three months has become an opportunity to explore rich, new words to define the path I’m shaping. It’s an easy change in daily routine that influences my outlook and makes logging in multiple times a day into a practice of affirmation rather than a meaningless, repetitive act. How are the words you use daily influencing you? Is there a way to incorporate more meaning, even into the most mundane of ways?

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