Zero-day Vulnerabilities

In the computer programming world there is something called “zero-day vulnerabilities” which is a concept that refers to a new product or patch that has just been released. The developers have tested everything they can think of to make sure there are not any problems. However, like most things in life, there are unknown areas where limitations and problems occur. It is this very moment where most vulnerability is found as there hasn’t been any time allowed to correct the issues.  Emmanuel Carabott explains it like this:

Zero-day vulnerabilities, as the name suggests, are new vulnerabilities that have been just discovered.  As such, a zero-day vulnerability will have a period of high exploitability until they can analyzed.

Programmers often use terms to describe their work. A quick generalization might be like the word update: which in this context means to use the known, up-to-date, information within the program for release to others. Hacking or to hack often means technical adeptness and a delight in solving problems and overcoming limits. Patches usually refer to the idea of fixing an error in the software. These ideas are easily cross-applied to how one would deal with change within their life.

When considering change within yourself, zero-day vulnerability might be an important concept to use for better understanding your process. Let’s say that you are working on becoming a more emotionally direct person. You consider areas where you want to share more of your feelings with another person. You have assessed that doing so will bring you much more connection, intimacy, happiness, and all over more positivity for your life. You look at all of the areas that you could or could not share vulnerabilities and with whom you would want to share such details.  You choose your time and begin to disclose your feelings.

It is within that very moment that you are most likely to feel scared, nervous, afraid, and well… vulnerable. The other person can misunderstand, misdirect, misinterpret, dismiss, or even reject the very thing you are so carefully and cautiously expressing. There is a risk no matter how many precautions you have taken. Just like with creating new software there are always inherent areas that will be a bit raw. It is impossible to know exactly how the other person will respond.

What happens when you are pouring your heart out and sure enough – BAM! the other person reacts poorly. You have holes in your approach and your delivery method sucked. All you wanted to do was share your feelings and turns out you have huge emotional mess on your hands. You could just totally shut down and never venture forth with emotional expression again or you could consider what developers do when these things happen once they have produced something new. Dave Piscitello discusses the best method for dealing with these vulnerabilities as:

Make sure you have mechanisms in place that can allow you to take quick corrective action should you become aware of a Zero-day vulnerability. Prepare a plan to initiate recovery and restore systems to a known most up to date state and then reconfiguration.

This appears to be sound advice even in the personal change arena (hacking your own psychological process). When you come across this area that you are looking to shift, it makes sense to have a plan of action ready just in case it doesn’t work out as you had planned. Back to the example of sharing your emotions, if you find that it is unfolding in a way that isn’t as you had hoped you can easily do what developers do. You can begin to save the discussion by letting the person know that you are going to stop the conversation. Then you can explain that the discussion was not coming out as you had intended and that you need some time to regroup. You would then come back to your emotional center and find a secure place to talk about this subject (a patch for fixing the areas you are not secure within yet). You would still keep in place the higher level changes you have made in regards to sharing your emotions. However, you would take a bit more time to look at how you want to take a second pass at sharing the feelings.  Let the person know when you would like to try to share on the subject again and give it another go (updated software that you feel comfortable with others viewing).

Hence development of personal software is going to be vulnerable to hacks just like anything else.  The developer is in large part creating the program for the benefit of themselves. While they do care about feedback, changes, and problem areas… they are mostly sharing with the hope and expectation that they will enjoy the rewards from their work as the creation is coming from a desire to connect. In a sense they do it for themselves beyond whatever risk they take.  You as well, begin to make changes within your life because you want to benefits those changes bring about. You will feel vulnerable, you will experience problems, however the rewards you will obtain from the shifts you make in your life far outweigh the zero-day vulnerabilities.

And just in case you are not feeling comfortable enough to take the risk all on your own. You can seek out social-engineers to hunt down the vulnerabilities and help you strengthen your work. In other words, you can get into see a therapist who can help you hack your own system and make the changes necessary to reach your goals quickly and safely.


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