Over the holidays I stumbled on the story of Rob Stewart. Rob was a Canadian filmmaker and shark conservationist known best for his critically acclaimed documentary Sharkwater (2006), a film that highlights the key role sharks play in the ecosystem, and humankind’s mass destruction of shark populations worldwide. Last January, Rob died while filming the sequel to his 2006 movie in an attempt to film the elusive sawfish; a cartoonish creature with the body of a shark and a chainsaw-like beak that lives deep in the ocean.  

After his death, Rob’s parents carried on their late son’s mission, and took on the monumental task of finishing his movie, Sharkwater Extinction (2018). A large reason they were able to finish the film was that they accessed Rob’s extensive film notes, diagrams, and sketches that were found on his locked computer. 

The password that Rob’s parents guessed to unlock their son’s computer: “Gratitude.”

Gratitude: the quality of being thankful.  

Rob’s choice of password speaks volumes to the type of person he was; this was a man who was truly thankful for all the beauty that life has to offer.  And every time he logged onto his computer, he reinforced this outlook. 

Every year around the holidays and new year, millions of people create laundry lists of goals and aspirations for the year ahead.   Some want to be more grateful, others purposeful and mindful. Some want to stop hiding behind fear. Some want to forgive.  Others want to start to live. 

Let’s take a lesson from Rob and reinforce what we strive for and what we believe in, and change our passwords.  No more random sequences of letters and numbers that do nothing but frustrate us. Let’s embed our core beliefs, mantras, and aspirations into our passwords.  If you’re like me, you type a password at least twenty times a day. That’s twenty time a day that you could be reminding yourself of your mantra, your word, your purpose, or your resolution.  

By changing your password, you will unlock the power of your chosen word or phrase. It will serve as your daily reminder, it will center you, and you will move throughout the day with increased sense of mindfulness.

Thank you, Rob, for your work and inspiration. My passwords have been changed.

If you want to read more about Rob and his work, visit: https://www.sharkwater.com

If you want to connect with me: @levin_jared on IG or [email protected]