It’s (nearly) October. A month of moving into the slow, huddled chill of the impending winter months. A month of big meals and trick-or-treats. A month of big excuses, hiding out indoors, and watching the impending season of sloth creep back. In retaliation, I present Hacktoberfest, where the duty of all struggling fit-o-philes falls to pushing back the autumn slump and hacking their mind, bodies, and souls into better beings. Hack on, my dear readers. And read along each day as I do the same.
I am not a revolutionary. I’m just a guy. A guy fighting the inevitable creep of age and the entropy of a too-sedentary life. In this effort and through the past (almost) forty years of that life I have always observed the nuances and intricate workings of my mind, body and soul.
hacker [hak-er] noun
1. one who hacks;
2. one who exploits weaknesses in systems to undermine or change the standard functions of those systems;
3. one who renounces abstract objectives and seeks maximum literal payoff with minimal effort.
Alas, self control and willpower are hard.
Generally, I want to play by the rules. But often I bend and break the rules.
So, I have thought a lot about –written a bit about– the art of self hacking: looking into your core, unraveling the standard functions of your brain and your body, and bending the rules so that those standard functions work in favour of long term improvement of the self.
But hacking isn’t fast and it isn’t always successful. It’s a process.
Have you even seen a computer hacker in a movie. They always seem to be under the gun, on the ever-ticking clock, down to a wire as they frantically type on a terminal filled with manically scrolling text. Hack: go! And the plot gives them mere minutes to unravel the workings of some complex security firewall, break through a web of information, and unlock the secret backdoor that deactivates all the lasers or whatever. Real hacking is not like that.
Want to picture a real hacker? You probably can’t.
Want to picture a real hacker? You probably can’t. There isn’t a stereotype that adequately covers the concept. Hackers are just smart people who use their knowledge to exploit systems. Maybe for good or maybe for evil. Maybe in an instant of opportunity or maybe over many months of careful reading, planning, probing, and practice. Maybe successfully or maybe with frequent failure and refinement.
Again, it’s a process.
And that’s the point of this month: Hacktoberfest. For the month of October I’ll be thinking and writing about the kinds of hacks –mental, physical, emotional, and otherwise– that I can try in an effort to build fitness and be a healthier, happier person.
It’s a process of trial and error. It’s a process of reading, planning, thinking about, and implementing. It’s a process with a high likelihood of many failures… but the possibility of some successes, too.