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From Mistake to Marvel

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From Mistake to Marvel

November is the month we celebrate thankfulness, gratitude, and appreciation. Lately, in my neck of the late autumn woods, we’ve been talking story about mistakes, and how we should appreciate them.

What? Be thankful for mistakes?

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Absolutely. Let’s really think about this with an open mind.

Mistakes are part of the learning process. If you aren’t making mistakes, you probably aren’t stretching enough, learning enough, or embracing the catalytic converter action sequences that your mistakes can help you get comfortable with.

You’ve made a mistake. Did others miss that you made it, or did they knowingly allow it to happen, and have it be okay? When you are in a safe environment in which first-time mistakes are welcomed as the germinating seeds they are, and they do happen frequently as part of the evolutionary process of the work culture you are in (work, family, club or otherwise), you are fortunate indeed: You are in an atmosphere of trust and trustworthiness.

Think of your first-time mistakes to be petri dishes of the future breakthroughs that they potentially can be. Think of them as right-reason idea-experiments gone awry. Think of them as those times you don’t have to know all the answers yet, because you knowingly want to push the envelope in testing the variables. Think of them as a short-term way to test a better long-term decision.

Enlist others to help so the worth of the idea you’ve tested isn’t lost, and enlarge your connectivity with others. Let’s say you’re stuck, so you ask for help. You have to articulate your vision for others, and be willing to lead with the insights of your experience with this thus far. You have to be open-minded, and willing to let others enlist in your mission and make significant contributions, understanding that if they are to help you make this happen, it must be a win-win for everyone concerned. Way more learning and growth is involved here than just about the mistake itself!

Let’s say you fail at your efforts the second time around. The way I look at it, you’ve made the concept of “failure” an evolution of sorts, for we’re no longer talking about a mistake, are we. We are talking about the intent to succeed with a potentially rich idea. We are taking about your purposefully creating your future instead of being satisfied with circumstance and happenstance. Now how cool is that?

Admittedly, there are good mistakes (they help us learn as we live) and bad mistakes (the careless or chronic ones that plague the thoughtless or irresponsible). We each need the awareness that every mistake we make can potentially go down either road. Give yourself a break, and don’t beat up on yourself when you have a misstep. Take the path on which your mistakes are only good, and they become the marvels they can be.

Thank you for reading, I’ll be back next Thursday. On every other day, you can visit me on Talking Story, or on www.ManagingWithAloha.com. Aloha!

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Rosa Say, author of
Managing with Aloha
, Bringing Hawaii’s Universal Values to the Art of Business

Article references/ Related writings:
This article was exclusively rewritten for the readers of Lifehack.org today. The following reference articles were written for managers, urging them to create a safe environment in which learning from mistakes can flourish:
Article 1: Mistakes are Cool
Article 2: Let’s Talk Story about GOOD Mistakes

Previous Thursday Column:
Make Mine Personal.

More by this author

Rosa Say

Rosa is an author and blogger who dedicates to helping people thrive in the work and live with purpose.

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Last Updated on November 25, 2021

Protecting Your Online Life With Secure Passwords

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Protecting Your Online Life With Secure Passwords

With all of the recent online services and companies falling under attack to hackers in the past few months, it seems only fitting to talk about password creation and management. There are a lot of resources out there discussing this, but it never hurts to revisit this topic time and again because of its importance.

Password management isn’t necessarily a difficult thing to do, yet it does seem like a bit of an annoyance to most people. When it comes to password management, you will hear the famous line, “I don’t really care about changing my passwords regularly. I have nothing important online anyways.” Let’s see if you have nothing important online when your PayPal account gets taken over because you thought the password “password” was good enough.

In my opinion, it is an “internet user’s” responsibility to make sure that they keep secure passwords and update them on a regular basis. In this article we will discuss how to make your online presence more secure and keep it secure.

The easy fundamentals

First thing is first; creating a strong password.

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A strong password is a mixture of alpha-numeric characters and symbols, has a good length (hopefully 15 characters or longer), and doesn’t necessarily represent some word or phrase. If the service you are signing up for doesn’t allow passwords over a certain length, like 8 characters, always use the maximum length.

Here are some examples of strong passwords:
* i1?,2,2\1′(:-%Y
* ZQ5t0466VC44PmJ
* mp]K{ dCFKVplGe]PBm1mKdinLSOoa (30 characters)

And not so good examples
* sammy1234
* password123
* christopher

You can check out PC Tools Password Generator here. This is a great way to make up some very strong passwords. Of course the more random passwords are harder to remember, but that is where password management comes into play.

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Managing your passwords

I know some people that keep their passwords in an unencrypted text file. That’s not a good idea. I suppose that if you aren’t doing much online and are decent at avoiding viruses and such, it could be OK, but I would never recommend it.

So, where do you keep your strong passwords for all the services that you visit on a daily basis?

There are a ton of password safes out there including KeePass, RoboForm, Passpack, Password Safe, LastPass, and 1Password. If and when I recommend any of these I always count on LastPass and 1Password.

Both LastPass and 1Password offer different entry types for online services logins (PayPal, Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, etc.), credit cards and bank accounts, online identities, and other types of sensitive information. Both have excellent reviews and only differ in a few subtle ways. One of the ways that is more notable is that LastPass keeps your encrypted password Vault online where 1Password allows you to keep it locally or shared through Dropbox. Either way, you are the holder of the encryption keys and both ways are very secure.

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LastPass and 1Password both offer cross-platform support as well as support for Android and iOS (LastPass even has BlackBerry support). 1Password is a little pricey ($39.99 for either Windows or Mac) where LastPass has free options as well as premium upgrades that allow for mobile syncing.

Upkeep

You should probably change your passwords for your “important” accounts at least every 6 weeks. When I say “important” accounts I am referring to ones that you just couldn’t imagine losing access to. For me that would be Gmail, PayPal, eBay, Amazon, all my FTP accounts and hosting accounts, Namecheap, etc. Basically these include any account where financial information could be lost or accessed as well as accounts that could be totally screwed up (like my webserver).

There is no hard and fast rule to how often you should change your passwords, but 6 to 8 weeks should be pretty good.

Alternatives

You may think that all of this is just too much to manage on a daily basis. I will admit it is kind of annoying to have to change your passwords and use a password manager on a daily basis. For those people out there that don’t want to go through all of the hub-bub of super-secure, encrypted, password management, here are a few tips to keep you safe:

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  1. Create a unique and hard to guess “base password” and then a pattern to use for each site you logon onto. For instance a base password could be “Ih2BaSwAa” (this stands for “I have two brothers and sisters who are annoying”). Then you would add something “site specific” to the end of it. For Twitter Ih2BaSwAaTWTTR, Facebook Ih2BaSwAaFCBK, etc. This is sort of unsecure, but probably more secure than 99% of the passwords out there.
  2. Don’t write your passwords down in public places. If you want to keep track of passwords on something written, keep it on you at least. The problem is that if you get your wallet stolen you are still out of luck.
  3. Don’t use the same passwords for every service. I’m not even going to explain this; just don’t do it.

These are just a few things that can be done rather than keeping your passwords in a management system. Personally, with over 100 entries in my password management system, I couldn’t even dream of doing any other way. But those out there with only a few passwords, having a simpler system may be beneficial.

So, if you want to be a “responsible internet citizen” or you just don’t want to lose your precious account data, then creating and maintaining strong passwords for your online accounts is a must.

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