The Hacking Project: Failure and Wasted Time

October 30, 2020

This week I have been doing CTFs on hacker101. When this week started I thought this post would be about that. But it will have to wait until some other week. Instead I will write a few words on the topic of failure because the week hasn’t felt good at all.

There is a wonderful quote that a learnt through the book “Expert C Programming” by Peter van der Linden:

Only people that die very young learn all they really need to know in kindergarten.

– Wendy Kaminer

This quote captures the essence of what caused my headaches.

I’ve had quite good results so far. Lots of new discoveries, learnt a lot. But this week I have felt stuck.
When looking for inspiration I stumbled on a presentation on how someone had found a security flaw in Googles search field - probably one of the most well guarded services on the Internet. Obviously, all of it was way above my head.
Here my mood sank. I realized how much I have yet to learn. I also started to doubt myself. The whole hacking-thing seemed like a mistake: Maybe I’m just wasting my time? Maybe I should have done something completely different?

I think the root of these thoughts is that I got competitive and started to compare myself with others. This is not the way I should behave as my results doesn’t matter. I even wrote it myself a few weeks ago.

My mood is better now but it took a few days to recover.
If the thoughts return I will take few breaths, remember the quote, remember this update, and say something I hold to be true: > > As long as I stay true to myself, by staying present and not compromising my integrity, there is no failure or wasted time. >

Then I will be nice to myself and do whatever I like.