I had to follow my own advice the other day. A hacker figured out my password and sent emails to dozens of my contacts asking for money. Apparently the scam details how I was off in Spain, lost my wallet and needed $3,000. I contacted yahoo, changed my password and have been responding to folks that I’m okay and not to fall for this scam.
Ironically, folks who know me thought this was odd for several reasons:
A: I’m not the type who would jaunt off to Spain and not tell people about it.
B: I would not be emailing people I barely know to ask for a loan. People I know well wouldn't fall for it either. My younger brother, Terry, instantly knew it was a scam because he jokingly replied that I would know better than to ask him or my siblings for money.
C: I would never type a message with such a flagrant disregard of grammar and spelling. I see that assessment as a positive. Some folks might think I could go off to Spain and not tell anyone. I think everyone who knows me realizes I could lose my wallet. But NO ONE believes I would compose a poorly constructed message. I see that as a compliment to my expertise as an author and public relations professional. I’ll take my kudos however I can.
Whenever something goes wrong with my computer or email it is a major nuisance. At the very least it is a gigantic time-sucking experience. However, as the co-author of a self-help book on how to erase negativity, I thought I’d have to come up with a few “silver linings” from this unfortunate email-hacking episode.
One is I have heard from my friends, family members and acquaintances to see if I am okay. Others simply alert me that my email was hacked. Either way, it was nice that people cared enough to check on me.
My brother-in-law Paul joked that I was probably being held ransom in a flamenco bar in Spain and forced to drink mojitos and that drunkenness was the excuse for the pathetic spelling and grammar. This scenario made me think of a potential plot for a script or story. At the very least it made me appreciate Paul’s humor.
This ordeal was annoying, but not life threatening. I’ve had some less than charitable feelings about the hacker, but it’s time to repair, reflect and move on.
The point is that bad things happen at times.
In the preface of my book, Erase Negativity and Embrace the Magic Within, I wrote:
It is impossible to go through life without encountering difficulties. From a baby’s first cry to the last dying breath, the human experience involves a series of struggles. While encountering challenges is an inherent part of life, it is not so much the problems, but the attitude you take while facing these difficulties that shapes how you view the world.
I’m not going to lie and say I face every obstacle with a smile. However, one thing I have learned is that dwelling on unpleasant events do not make them go away faster. If anything they act like a magnet to draw even more negativity into your life.
It takes practice to develop a happier mindset. It’s not something you can do once and say you’re done. It’s an attitude you will have to work on every day for the rest of your life. However, as you continue to do the work it will become easier.
Someone hacked into my computer but I chose not to let them ruin my day. On the contrary, it’s been an enlightening experience. One friend said she immediately began praying for my safety. For others we share a long postponed chat. For those of you who may still get the scammer's request for assistance, please disregard it. I’m not in Spain. I am in full possession of my wallet and I am fine.
But if you want to send me a kind thought or a prayer, I will happily accept that.