Healthy mind and body of hacker

Yeah, tittle sounds a little like coach, who want to tell (sell) you how to live healthy. As this blog is my personal place, I would like to mix sometimes technical topics with the reflections on life, and tips for other people like me. I got a lot of questions, how to become a hacker, where to find a knowledge, how to develop skills and other similar. I think if you read my articles, each of them is helpful to answer all these questions and if not, many I will write in the future will complete missing parts. As it is impossible to write just one article on how to become good at something.

body and mind

At the beginning of this month I received interesting question by email from one of the readers (best regards Galen). In short it was something like: what pushed me to do what I do, what pushes me to develop my skills.

I probably went too deep with the answer (lol), but this question made me realized that I have never stopped and thought, why I am doing this, what I want to achieve, why hacking, why blogging etc. I mean I always plan things, and know exactly why, from technical perspective, but never from general overview. I think it is a matter of dependencies and implications. If you start doing something, you like it, you develop yourself, it is some kind of a path and levels to achieve that was already delineated by someone in the past.

I finished technical college, worked in some shitty places, then took engineering studies, completed engineer thesis, worked in first IT company, then took master’s studies, then master thesis, first good IT work… but before I get there I was also thinking about philology, so a humanistic path than a technical one. I was also a local punk rocker when I was teenager, with own band and friends interested in music, art, cyber punk etc. I enjoyed movies about hacking, comics and sci-fi books. I was good at basketball and athletics, I used to skate. I thought I could be a sportsmen. Every now and then I thought I would be someone else in the future. Also who I am now is what my parents learned me, they were forward-thinking rather than emotional. I hated that in the past, but now I fully understand it. They always told me to learn and do stuff which will make me stable financial in life, because then I can have time and money for all the stuff I love, own band, family, or read tons of sci-fi books I loved so much as a teenager, or even start writing my stories and books.

But, if I would choose non-profit things from the beginning like be musician, or teacher, or book writer (and I would not have enough luck or talent), maybe I would be happy, but poor and probably starving :P Of course I did a lot of mistakes in my life, but also I always did what I liked. All these great speech from famous people who tell you, you can be whoever you want to be, and do whatever you want to do, is truth, but this what people who made a success tells you, I would add there, that you also need to have people around you who will help you, or just support you in achieving your goal, and you need to support these people too in their goals.

So I was always an IT guy, I was good at it, and IT is so huge field of knowledge that I had to narrow the subject, so 3D graphic designer, IT support, then IT admin, then forensic guy and a lot of different paths. I found that I enjoy security most, and then in security, I understood that I would like to be a red teamer and not the blue one. And the more I think, read and learn, the less I seem to know. Because new topics keep popping up one after another. And since I have no talent, but am still learning, I am an average, and I always think about myself like that. And probably I am. But what does this mean? Nothing, as for some people I am awesome, even if I am average :)

I’m still starting guitar playing from scratch, learning to be able to play something better than punk rock. I still hope to write and publish a book or a sci-fi story in the future. I still think I can build my body to have better shape and condition. But to achieve all of this I am living here and now learning these things or things related to what I want to achieve. I do not think about the past as I can’t change it, I do not think about fears of the far future as nobody knows if it ever happen, and I am trying to find easiest way to learn all that stuff, not making mistakes that other people already did. Finally, I am starting to learn on others mistakes and not my own, that’s speed up a lot.

But don’t let you think I’m a super human, I’m lazy and grouchy, and through it all I lose masses of time thinking about how lazy I am or just dabbling.

I try to organize my time, sometimes it goes better sometimes worse. When I have a million ideas per second, I note them down and prioritize them. Also I am doing a lot of lists what I would like to do, sort them from most interesting to most boring and then I focus only on top 3 from the list, because life is too short (or too expensive) to do everything I would like to :D or I am not rich enough.

I am not a super hacker and also have my own idols, which are also just a regular humans, but I put them on the place where I think: oh my god they are awesome. But who knows maybe they are stupid, but lucky :)

When I was a kid I used to know the world only from television (now we all know TV lies), and thought that everything on the west of where I lived was wonderful, people are wise and mature and me and my country fully backward. Then one UK manager told me something like: people are just as stupid all over the world. Not only in your country. Then I traveled around the world and worked with people from different countries and it turned out that stupid people can be found everywhere on the planet. And my country is not so backward as I thought it is.

Yeah, but this article had to be about something else. About healthy mind and body. We all know that training brain is very important. Read books, learning new things, task solving, entertainment, it all helps you to have a clear mind to the very end of life, but we forget about the body. I mean all technical people forget about body. You can sit and hack or do IT stuff for many hours then eat, sleep and repeat. For how long? As long as your body will tell you fuck you. I was always physical active, but I also found that more I sit in front of PC, or books I am getting weaker. That’s logical. What I just want to say, don’t forget about your body, do exercises every day. Cycling, swimming, gym, running, simple exercises at home. Your brain and mind rests best during physical activity. Would be awesome if physical workers rest reading books and watching theater spectacles, but yeah, then they would realize that physical work is shitty, lol.

I can see from myself that my mind relaxes when I do physical activity. After physical activity, I sit better in front of the screen when I think with strain. I do not say you need to look as Arnold Schwarzenegger, but don’t ignore your body, as you not ignore your mind. Sports are not for everyone, I know this very well, but light exercise, yoga, stretching, eating well, walking, all these things support your body and mind. Add to this intellectual entertainment like a good movie, book, theater opera, concert of your favorite band and you will also satisfy your spirit. Well, and whether you are an introvert or not, meet people, surround yourself with people who support you, and support them yourself, avoid toxic environments and people who only take without giving anything back, have hobbies, don’t live only by work, don’t get discouraged at the first problems, do things systematically, and you will become good at everything you dream of. Only practical and systematic approach will make you good at something. Best regards for lazy people.

This article as about nothing or everything, non technical, more like a story about one guy in forgotten by god country. I strongly believe that each human evolve every 7 years. I am now in the 35-42 years: “Mid-life crisis” stage. Lol. It’s not a rule and a lot depends on the individual, but I used to dislike mayonnaise and now I love it ;) Evolution is a wonderful thing.

Have a great day, and wait for the next article, I will get back to more technical, as my mid-life crisis probably ended.