How Can a Password Change Our Life?
Twenty years ago a young man brimming with hope and enthusiasm applied for a seat in a top Business School. The course and the college
What is your computer’s password? You must be wondering why I am asking you this question. What if I told you that your future depends on it?
July 6, 1946. Due to a wrong gynecological procedure, a boy was born with one side of his face paralyzed. Born to a migrant family that had landed on the shores of North America just 16 years back and almost penniless, his father was a modest hairdresser and his mother had taken up astrology to make some income for the family. Within a year, his anxious parents had come to the painful realization that their little boy also suffered from slurred speech. At school, due to his middle class social background coupled with facial paralysis, he was always made fun of by classmates and seniors. He started body building to frighten off those who bullied him. As his body began to shape up and attract admirations from all, the young lad had dreams of making a career in movies. He took up acting and writing lessons to nurture this dream. His budding enthusiasm was untouched by the realities of the harsh world of cinemas and glamor. Around 1974, after years of trying and failing, with a pregnant wife, a dog he loved dearly and lots of bills to pay…success in the movie business had missed knocking his door.
The only thing he had going for him, was a strong belief in his dream and a clear idea of how it will appear when fulfilled. It was just a matter of time. Soon a time came when he was broke…so broke that he had to sell his wife’s jewellery and ended up homeless, sleeping at a New York bus terminal for 3 days. He was so poor by this time that on a cold New York morning he had to choose been his dog and paying the heating bills. Heartbroken and the fire of achieving his dream still burning strongly inside, he sold his best friend for a mere $50. Two weeks later, something inspirational happened as he was sitting at home watching a boxing fight between Chuck Weppner and Mohammed Ali. Weppner was getting absolutely slaughtered but kept holding his ground and coming back for more. This underdog was really fighting for it despite the slim chance he would even get close to winning.
This inspiration from Chuck Weppner spurred him to write the story of a boxer with a ‘never-say-die’ attitude. For over 24 hours straight this young man sat and poured his ideas on paper, writing down the entire script. After nearly fifteen hundred rejections, eventually he found a production house that loved it and they agreed to do the movie. They offered him $125,000 to sell the script. Despite his pregnant wife, pains and the lost dog…his dream was to star in that movie. But his facial paralysis and slurred speech clearly made him a wrong choice for the lead actor’s role.
They declined and told him he was a writer not an actor. He disagreed and told them he was an actor. The offer kept rising just so he would sell them the film without playing the part. The price eventually got to around $400 000 and he still declined. He was certain that he was actor and that was it, there was no compromise.
Eventually they offered a measly $25000 so they weren’t throwing their money away by having him as the lead role. He accepted. Then the first thing he did was go to buy back his dog.
He waited 3 days for the guy to come by and finally there he was with his dog. He offered the guy $150 to buy back the dog, the man declined. The offer kept rising, but again, he knew his outcome and kept pursuing his goal. It ended up costing him $15000 and a part in the movie to buy back his dog.
Incase if you haven’t guessed already, the movie was Rocky and this man in its lead character as Rocky Balboa was none other than Sylvester Stallone. Released in 1976, Rocky went on to become a legend, nominated for 10 Academy Awards including Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay for Stallone. It won the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Direction and Best Film Editing. The rest, as we all know, is history.
I have a question for you. Take a deep breath and remember a time in your life when you wanted something so badly that you dreamt about it all day and even started leading a life assuming it was already available to you…and after sometime, as if by magic, it came into your life for real? Yes, all of us have been through some experience of that sort some point in time – a precious toy, a tough exam paper that HAS to go well, landing into that dream job, a college degree, a dream holiday, having someone special in our life…and so on.
For several decades now, psychologists have established a clear link between what we achieve and how strongly we believe we can achieve it. Some people call that the power of positive affirmations. The power of wishing something so clearly, seeing it unfold so vividly and believing in it so strongly that the entire Universe conspires to make that happen.
But what makes that happen?
It is widely accepted that our unconscious mind is the powerhouse behind everything we achieve. (it is also behind all that you fail to achieve, including your limiting beliefs and negative attitude) Modern research has isolated a critical weakness in the unconscious mind – its inability to distinguish between reality and imagination. Put simply, anything you fantasize in a manner that is as real as it gets, makes the unconscious mind lose the ability to distinguish between fiction and reality. It assumes the dream as real. Haven’t we heard that “you live every experience twice: Once in your imagination and once in real life”.
When uncontrolled, this phenomenon could have positive as well as negative fallouts. For example, when was the last time you woke up in the middle of the night from an unpleasant dream? Or when you wanted to sleep a bit more to lead a delightful dream to a beautiful end? Well, that’s what we are talking about! The reason why you woke up with sweaty palms, shallow breath and thumping heartbeat is because your unconscious mind assumed that dream to be real.
Here’s the point: Just as every weakness has an inherent hidden strength, you can train yourself to exploit this weakness of the unconscious mind by producing rich imagination and experiencing your goals and aspirations as if achieved.
In one of his books Antony Robbins explains a wonderful trick to create rich imaginations of our goals. He suggests that we describe a goal just as we would describe a lost article or pet to a police officer. For example, if your car was stolen would you describe it as: ‘A silver BMW Series 3’? And if you did, would the police officer be able to find your vehicle? I suppose, you would attempt to describe it in as much detail as possible, right? ‘a BMW 310i, silver colored, specific list of scratches and scuffs at specific places on the body, color of the seats, type of wheels, any stickers affixed, engine and chassis numbers, miles run, contents of the glove compartment, any other marks on its body…anything at all that would uniquely identify your lost vehicle from amongst the thousands plying on the streets. Right?
If you can go to such level of detail for your lost vehicle, what stops you from doing that for a cherished dream? The more detail you get into, the more your unconscious works to help you achieve it.
Where do you start? Positive affirmations are a good place to start, revisit and continue to revisit to help the unconscious mind track and seek your goals.
You see, though an affirmation usually is a one-line sentence, it captures the energy of your dream and helps steer mid-way course corrections as you progress towards it.
“I am always smiling”. Say this mantra 200 times each day for next 4 weeks. I encourage you to try this, even if you doubt.
A mantra is a classic application of the body-mind connection. You see, when we force our mind to repeat a mantra (which at that point is a physical activity, at best), the mind begins to believe it as true. All physiological and mental energies begin to magically align with your our mantra. The body nudges small progressive changes in the mental state whilst the mind pushes the body into physical congruency.
Chant your mantra anytime you are free; while travelling in the bus, driving the car, walking, jogging, before or after meals, washing dishes, even first thing in the morning after waking up and last thing before going to bed.
Create your own simple mantra. Keep it short and simple. Talk aloud…feel the tension in your vocal chords, vibrations in your jaw and the sense of exhaling air as you talk.
What’s your computer Password?
Now that leads me to another interesting and (almost) ubiquitous aspect of our life. For most people, the day begins and ends on their Computer. As soon as you switch on the computer, you are required to enter a password. And, if you are working in the Corporate world, chances are your password needs to be refreshed every 30 days or so, isn’t it? Coming up with a new password doesn’t seem to be big deal, unless you work for an organization that demands complex rules such as (i) a mix of alpha-numeric characters, (ii) uppercase and lowercase mix, (iii) atleast one character as symbol, (iv) atleast 8 or 10 characters long and (v) not repeating the last 3 or 6 passwords you had used….sounds familiar?
For many of us, inventing a new password that is also memorable, is an incredibly frustrating experience. The pain of forgetting it and getting the IT team to reset it all over…is even more irritating. So, how about converting this frustration and irritation into a life-changing experience? How about inventing passwords that are Positive Affirmations you punch in each time you login to your computer?
- Quit smoking and set a password: Quit@smokng4evr
- Cultivate an exercise regimen with: Myg00dhea1th@2015
- Rejuvenate that relationship with someone special: f0rgive&Liveagain
- Release yourself from toxic emotional baggage: Letitg0&Relax
- Sustain your momentum and enthusiasm with: ImAwes@meNow
- Working to loose weight? Try: ImSlimmer@2day
- Getting past a negative experience? How about: Moving0n[n0w]
- Feeling depressed? Try: F0ck_Dpress_i0N
- Having a bad phase in life: Shit#HappenS
And…if you were an aspiring actor like Sylvester Stallone: iamanactor@hollyw00d
- Make use of your password to pull you towards your dream…since you are using it many times in the day…and every day for atleast 30 or 45 days, make it count. Surround yourself with positive affirmations that propel you closer to your goal.
- Important: Make an advance list of HOW changes would look like as you progress towards that goal…and revisit this list each time you change your password. Compare the changes in your behavior against this list…
- Take time to introspect how far you have progressed in the direction of your goal and what needs to be done from here.
- Set new passwords that align with your progress and the way forward…use your new passwords as guiding milestones towards creating a NEW you.
Anything you use over and over again can be easily converted into a positive affirmation to propel you towards your goal. In today’s technology-driven world…log-in to a new life using your password!!