HaCkeD by MuhmadEmad
KurDish HaCk3rS WaS Here
FUCK ISIS !
I decided a few days ago, that it is better to write something, even ever so small, than to write nothing at all.
I got this from one of the Hive Global Leaders Program at Harvard University Unconferenced sessions. The session was on effective story telling. One of the key concepts was to write out all of the main events/concepts that you wanted to share in a story. Although somewhat obvious in my opinion, however, what I thought what was great about it, was that you don’t necessarily need to add anything more if you don’t have time to share.
If you want to share the story about the lord of the rings and the hobbit — you could probably share the story by talking about 5-8 distinct events that happened during the story. If you have more time you can add filler to all of those, making each event/section longer. However, if you don’t have a lot of time, you could just leave it with a sentence per event. If it’s short enough you could actually tell the high level ideas of the story to someone on an elevator ride in 15-30 seconds.
SPOILER ALERT FOR HOUSE OF CARDS: For example, here’s the events/key concepts for Frank Underwood’s character in the House of Cards.
Now without ever watching it, you get a fairly good understanding of what’s going on.
What’s nice about this is, I don’t feel like I have to now share a full blown story now every time I want to share. Many times I’ll come up with an idea for a blog post and I’ll write it in my to-do list. But generally, the blog post doesn’t get written. Now, I’m committed just to writing out the key concept, if I want to share anything else, I’ll add to it, just like I’m doing now. Otherwise, I’ll just leave it super short and that will be it.
I don’t need to share an entire story each time, I need to share the important parts about it, and that could be a few sentences or even just one.
So this is why I’ll now write something, just to write, instead of writing nothing at all. I’m looking forward to some super small blog posts now. And maybe, I’ll proofread if desired, maybe not.
I’m enrolled in the Landmark Curriculum for Living courses. They were recommended by my friend, Ryan Allis. The third program in the series is the Self Expression Leadership Program. Your objective is to create a project that’ll impact the community. The project is suppose to be a self expression about what matters to you in your life.
I decided to take on a project that’d help anyone, anywhere, anytime get access to a mentor (human and or artificial intelligence) that’ll help them pursue their dreams. My goal is to have at least 50+ young adults being mentored on the platform before April 2015. I’m super excited for this project. I’ve always enjoyed helping people pursue their dreams. I use to do it when I was involved in MLM and with our 15+ meetup202 events around the world, where we taught people how to make a living through internet marketing.
How are you feeling? How many emotional states do you know? Which words do you use to communicate how you feel?
Increasing your vocabulary of words to describe your emotional state can improve your emotional intelligence & well being. When you’re able to more clearly understand the exact emotion you’re feeling, by describing it with the right words, you’re then able to respond to it accordingly.
For example, if you start feeling angry, you’ll know, generally that you might want to calm down. However, if you dive into the deeper reason and find a word for exactly why you’re angry, i.e., you’re mad & jealous about something, you’ll have even more clarity of how you’re feeling and then how exactly you might be able to resolve that specific feeling. If you’re angry because you’re jealous, you have a much better understanding on how to treat the jealously than to just try to stop being angry generally.
Experts in any field have their own advanced vocabulary, that they know better than anyone else to describe exactly what’s going on. I may have pain in my neck, but a doctor might be able to describe exactly what type of pain I’m feeling, where and what’s going on in my neck. Having that clarity gives them access to be able to help me better than I may be able to.
Next time you’re feeling something, anything, try using this feeling wheel. Increase your emotional intelligence by pin pointing the exact words to describe how you’re actually feeling.
My friends & family went to Oprah’s Live Your Best Life Weekend Tour last year. It was amazing! I’d highly recommend it to everyone in the future if they ever restart their tour. Many of the talks were on words and the law of attraction. We literally create our own reality with the words we use in our language. My favorite moment during the event was when Oprah shared her story when she visited Maya Angelou’s house for an event.
There were many people Maya’s house. In the living room, there were two people making jokes about gay people. Maya Angelou overheard them, walked over them and asked them to leave. Oprah understood that it wasn’t appropriate for them to make these types of jokes at anyones’ house, but she was surprised that Maya Angelou didn’t just correct it and let them stay. Oprah asked Maya why she kicked them out, her response was…
“Words are powerful, and I don’t want those words sticking to the cloth on my couch because every time I walk in that room, I’ll feel those words and words have the ability to change you.”
Be mindful about your language, the words you use, both a loud and internally, because they do, literally change you and your energy every time you use them.
What words are you using?
How are they changing you?
What reality through language are you creating for your life?
After hearing that, and so many other good stories. I felt empowered to ensure that our home was only filled with words that made us feel positive, happy, joyful & empowered to pursue our dreams everyday. A house with no words or images on our walls now feels like it’d be empty. I want it to feel alive and empowered, everyday I wake up. Here are some of the vision boards & language you’ll find in our house. This is just my office, we have these all over our house.
I was scrolling down my Facebook News Feed today and saw that Mark Zuckerberg was talking live, in a Town Hall Meeting. I went to check it out & was fortunate to watch the last few minutes of the talk because I found a few of his ideas very insightful.
An audience participant asked him the question, if he was scared of seeing Facebook die in the future because of other social media companies in the past not working out. I didn’t think that question mattered very much, because he was talking about how companies like MySpace failed before. However, Mark put an interesting spin on his answer.
He said he doesn’t think much about that at all, the companying dying. He thinks it’s actually quite strange that a lot of companies have the objective to live forever. Facebook’s objective is to make the world more open & connected, and that’s all that matters to Mark. If they’re able to do that, they did their job and that’s what was important. Not if they were able to last forever. Making a difference was what was most important, not longevity, he’s always asking himself if he’s doing the right things to make their mission become a reality.
I found that useful, because when I started Follow, I wanted to build an organization that would last long after I died. As I meet more missionary entrepreneurs that’s what I wanted to do, have a big enough mission & build an organization that stands the test of time. Which I still think I’d like to do. However, after hearing Marks talk, I don’t think that’s really the point and I think he’s right. The objective of the organization is to achieve it’s purpose, not to live forever. Obviously their purpose is huge and Facebook may be around for a long time in order to accomplish it, but lasting forever vs. achieving your purpose is an important distinction to understand, they’re both different objectives. The later, achieving your purpose, is really the most important. That’s what your organization exists for.
Many people setup their WordPress blogs a long time ago, including mine in 2006. Since they have all been setup, many of them have had deferred maintenance and are broken. It’s unfortunate, a lot of great content has been lost. However, humanity currently produces so much digital content every day now that I guess it doesn’t really matter.
Almost every time I’ve wanted to blog on wesmahler.com, something has been wrong with the blog. My servers have been slow, they’re constantly being brute forced attacked & in the past they actually were compromised so there were many malicious executanle files saved on my web server.
One of my first websites that show me the potential of online advertising was, rotaryengineillustrated.com, which I bought for $3,000 during high school. The site ran on Joomla, but it wS so out of date I decided to pretty much leave it broken because updating it to the current versions of jooma would have been way to much work. The site still has some old static .html files that render content correct and it still makes, even today around $100/month from Adsense from it. I’ve had it since 2004. Its kind of sad that I put so many hours of work into that as a kid in high school just to have let it decay past a feasible point of returning it to normal.
Rebuildingrotaryengines.com, a site that we used to show videos on how to rebuild a rotary engine no longer has it’s videos any more because they were all hosted on Google Videos at the time but that’s been shut down. I did recover a few here and there.
I thought about just paying $5/month and starting a new blog, but I didn’t want to start all over again so I just spent another day during my last day in London and I believe I fixed it all for good. I’ve lost a few images from my blog because I hosted many of my images and videos from several sources. Had I just hosted them all through the WordPress Media application I would been able to save them all easier. At one point I switched over to using Facebook’s commenting system because I had so many spam comments. I thought it might be the best platform to collect comments. It’s had a lot of limitations though so I’ve switched over to Disqus now which I think will be much better. I was able to import all of my old comments however I wasn’t able to import all of my latest Facebook comments. More history lost! Last year I also unfortunately lost 30,000 of my personal photos due to a OS X Time Machine bug that does not back up your iPhotos library when the iPhotos app is open. I’ve lost all of this digital data as someone who knows how to program and administrate servers, I can only imagine all of the digital data everyone else has lost.
That’s finally all being solved now. For my blog, I’m moved it to a new set up Amazon EC2 & RDS instances using ElasticBeanstalk. The code is backed up in Github, CloudFlare is used to serve the site quicker, put extra security on my WordPress logins that still continued to get attacked daily, and all of the future WordPress media images that I upload are stored and hosted via S3. It’s kind of expensive to pay $30/month to AWS to host my blog and a few personal sites, but it feels nice having control over my public digital journal, my blog.
For my photos, I’m now using Google Photos. It automatically backs up all of your images, across all devices for free for 1080p quality photos. That’s ok for me because I just use my iPhone to take photos. iCloud photos currently sucks because it doesn’t allow you to store photos remotely without having a local backup. Google Photos allows you to store all of your images remotely without taking up any local space on any of your devices.
Now that’s all clear, I can start writing again without having my blog be unresponsive & broken every time I visit it. That’s great because I have a lot to write about. As I continue my journey to becoming a missionary whose set out to positive impact the world, I’ll need to be good at sharing the ideas that will inspire others to do the same.
I’m very excited to attend Singularity University’s Executive Program this September (2015). Ryan Allis from Hive recommended it to me last year. I’ll be attending with a beginners mind, starting fresh & learning about new exponential technologies that’ll profoundly impact humanity in the near future. I’ll likely start a new purpose driven organization after attending this program.
I’m currently transitioning out of the internet advertising industry because I don’t believe online advertising is the greatest problem for me to spend my life on solving. Some potential future areas of focus for me may be in; education, finance, renewable energy and or artificial intelligence.
I’m really looking forward to it! I feel a bit uncomfortable about it because I’ll be entering into entirely new waters. However, I cherish this process of being on the edge of my seat and doing what’s uncomfortable because it’s always made me feel the most alive.
The first part of my entrepreneurial journey was to create businesses primarily to make money & provide financial freedom. The second part of my journey will be focused on contributing to humanity in the greatest possible way I know how, and to do that, I’ll have to build purpose driven organizations that can scale & make the positive changes we want to see in this world.
“The Singularly University’s Executive Program (EP) is a week-long workshop or custom program that offers corporate executives and entrepreneurs the tools to predict and evaluate how emerging technologies will disrupt and transform their industries, companies, careers and lives.”http://singularityu.org/executive-program
The server that hosts this blog has been down consisnelty for the last several months. Every time I restart the server to make it work again, a few hours later it would crash again. I figured some malicious activity was occurring. I finally found someone trying to brute force attack my wesmahler_wordpress blog using the xmlrpc.php file thousands of times per second, causing my tiny micro AWS EC2 server instance to stop working due to CPU overload.
I tried moving all of my DNS to CloudFlare and turning on DNS protection, but that didn’t seem to fix the issue. Finally after digging deeper into the issue, they were attacking the file directly using my ip address, because my wesmahler_wordpress blog would render when someone went to the IP address of my server, skipping my actual domain name. This allowed them to get around my DNS firewall.
I just decided to block the IP address for now, hopefully that’ll do the trick.
$ iptables -I INPUT -s 18.104.22.168 -j DROP
My HTTPD server logs basically looked like this:
22.214.171.124 – – [21/May/2015:05:37:22 +0000] “POST /xmlrpc.php HTTP/1.0” 302 – “-” “Mozilla/4.0 (compatible: MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.0)”
126.96.36.199 – – [21/May/2015:05:37:22 +0000] “POST /xmlrpc.php HTTP/1.0” 302 – “-” “Mozilla/4.0 (compatible: MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.0)”
188.8.131.52 – – [21/May/2015:05:37:22 +0000] “POST /xmlrpc.php HTTP/1.0” 302 – “-” “Mozilla/4.0 (compatible: MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.0)”
The blog should now be back online. I have several sites hosted on this server, so I wasn’t sure which site was the issue, now it looks like it was this blog and specifcally they were directly hitting the IP address & trying to brute force attack a wesmahler_wordpress file, which seems to be a common issue: https://blog.sucuri.net/2014/07/new-brute-force-attacks-exploiting-xmlrpc-in-wesmahler_wordpress.html
Today was all about how to create an extraordinary life at Hive. I’m calling it day three, but it’s actually the official 2nd day of content out of the 3 day training course. It was another amazing day of great people, presentations, discussions, reflection, massages, food & san francisco views.
It started off, like each day, with an amazing breakfast at the change.org office. Following breakfast, we had an incredibly fun yoga session, lead by a local instructor. We practiced yoga individually and together as a team. Doing yoga poses as a group was the funnest part for me. For instance, we did a group chair pose with 30+ people all relying on each other to make it work. It was just a really fun and challenging thing to do together as a team. Ok, it wasn’t that hard, but some people almost fell over a few times. We did that and many other group poses.
Today, the Hive team offered something new for everyone. They put together a whiteboard which would allow people to sign up for 20 minute massages throughout the day, offered by Message Pointe, a local massage therapy company. As much as I wanted to sign up and receive a massage at some point, everyone else was super excited about it, so I didn’t sign up for any spots so everyone else could instead.
The discussion topics for today were:
- Creating an Authentic Purpose
- Designing Your Life Plan
- Life Plan Feedback and Mentoring
- Impactful Public Speaking & Confidence
- Becoming Unreasonable
- Creating a Personal Financial Plan
- Holistic Mindfulness & Health
- Connecting With World Class Mentors
- Peer Group Discussion
My and everyone else’s’ favorite session, was the Holistic Mindfulness & Health training, lead by Rich Fernandez from Search Inside Yourself. Why did everyone love it? I think it’s because Rich did an outstanding job showing technically how the brain reacts to certain situations. Then with the group, doing meditation practices that’ll acutally help you to be mindful and think about how to react to those situations intelligently, instead of acting out with our primitive flight or fight responses.
I’ve had conversations about the amygdala before with my best friend, Cam Boehmer. The amygdala is the actual physical, primitive part of our brain that developed first for human survival, it’s the part of the brain which signals the flight or fight responses. Cam previously worked at Google previously and attended these mindfulness sessions, I believe by the same person. He received a lot of value of of them. Cam would always rave to me about the newest findings and tell me about how the primitive brain works. But during this session was the first time I really heard it from the best speakers about it, and I finally got it. It was incredible to learn directly from Rich and try mediation practices that’d help you to be mindful of the amygdala and how to control it.
We practiced two different types of meditation. One was where you’d focus on your breathing and try to have a clear mind. The normal type, from my limited knowledge of meditation. The second type was where you focus on everything external, listening, feelings, smells, sensations and everything else around you. I enjoyed doing both of these because you could then switch between the two occasionally. This was a great way for me to keep my mind clear, because I didn’t always have to do it the full time. I could better have a clear mind after I let my mind wander a bit, focusing on everything external to me for a while.
Before leaving to lunch, we really got into the core purpose of the day. The purpose of the day was to start helping us design our life purpose & plans, which we’d work on for the day and following day.
Hive believes in order to be an effective leader, you need to be able to simply & clearly articulate your life’s purpose.
Now, some say, and I’ve read in a book lately that disagrees with the idea of having a life’s purpose. Some argue that sometimes life is just about exploring, and that you don’t have to stress yourself out if you don’t know your purpose yet. You may or may not find it. They say if something comes up you can go for it, but that you shouldn’t feel obligated and bad if you haven’t figured out your life purpose yet. But they don’t really emphasize on ever getting to finding it either. Now Ryan, in his presentations talks about the fact that there are periods in your time where it could be good to be exploring, without having a life purpose, but, eventually and hopefully that not after too much time, you should figure out what it is that you really want to do with in life.
I am inclined to agree with Ryan and Hive’s major emphasis of how important it is to have a life purpose. People’s life purposes, or I’ll also call missions, don’t always have to be all the way defined at first if you’re just starting out. But a general direction, or even just the simple idea of you want to roughly do in life, whether it be “helping people” or “becoming an entrepreneur” even by itself can create a huge difference in your life.
I speak from personal experience about this. The only reason I’ve been able to live my life, and do some things, which I think are pretty amazing; traveling around the world for a year, building a company remotely, selling a company, helping people become entrepreneurs, becoming a pilot, having an awesome relationship & much more, is because I was fortunate enough to have the simplest of idea of just wanting to be an entrepreneur when I was growing up that’s now allowed me to do all of this.
Having that one simple mission, or in my case a desire to own my own business, even before I knew what the world entrepreneur meant, has made all of the difference in how my life’s turned out. Having this simple idea in my head of starting a business is the reason that I was able to drop out of college without being scared was because I knew what it was I wanted, it didn’t require a college eduction. So many of my friends and colleagues never figured out what they wanted to do in life. Even after college they are still not sure. Unfortunately, the reality is, without having some kind of life purpose, they never really make any meaningful change in their life. It’s only until they do, they’ll really start making significant process. It is incredibly useful in your life, to figure out, how you want to spend your life living. Now, I’m not saying everyone has to have it figured out right away, but my gosh, my life has been made so much simpler knowing the simple fact of me wanting to be an entrepreneur, that ever since the age of 14, I’ve been able to work towards that goal and now be where I am today. Without that idea, I would have never done what I’ve done. I would just be a ship floating around the ocean with no sail, no direction of where I’d want to end up.
What was also so great about the simple concept of wanting to be an entrepreneur, my single purpose at that time, that I only realized until lately, is that it was so broad that it allowed me time to figure out the specifics of how I would use entrepreneurship in my life’s purpose. I didn’t know that I wanted to be a technology entrepreneur that’d be focused on helping small businesses acquire customers online & showing businesses how they can make a difference in the world. All of that came later. I was fortunate enough to have such a broad concept of my purpose, just being an entrepreneur, it was so flexible and opened ended I found out a way to make it work. With the concept of just being an entrepreneur, you can do so many things. It’s almost impossible not to find a way to be happy being an entrepreneur because there are so many ways to do it. But over time, you’ll figure out what type of entrepreneur you really want to be, and that’s what the difference between now and when I was in middle school was.
So for me, I believe having that simple idea was the only way that I would ever be in this position today. Otherwise, I would not know what I wanted to do. So I think for everyone, the earlier the better, if you can figure out what you want to do, you’ll be able to start earlier and go for it. Even if it’s the wrong purpose, you can always change it. Just start making progress on something you believe your passionate about, if you find out you’re not passionate about it, you just have to change your direction. But at least you gave it a shot, you’ll eventually find out all of the things you don’t want to do to find, and only be left with things that you enjoy doing.
So if you don’t currently have a life’s purpose. Your purpose can start broad, maybe it’s you just love movies, or you find the ideas of entrepreneurship, writing, helping people, sharing, speaking, entertainment, energy, technology, games,health, spiritual, food, engineering, space or anything else interesting to you. Find some broad sector or category that you could be interested in. Those simple ideas, once you start working in then, you’ll eventually figure out exactly what it is specifically in those broad topics that you want to focus the rest of your life one. Eventually, you’ll figure out what your purpose in life is.
For instance, your interest could be in food, and leave it as general as that. Maybe then you’ll end up creating a catering company that bring awareness to businesses of the types of sustainable foods they should be eating, and why it’s important to the health of their employees. A simple interest in space, could have you reading websites all day about space and eventually landing you a job at nasa or a company like spaceX. For me, a general interest in wanting to be an entrepreneur, has now lead me want to be a technology entrepreneur who helps business create a more joyous, abundant and sustainable world.
So at Hive, they recommended you to try and come up with a 15 word sentence. A sentence that describes what your life’s purpose is. It’s supposed to contain, what you want to do and a method of acutally measuring it, if your mission was successful. For instance, instead of your purpose to preventing global warming, your purpose could be better defined as preventing the earth from going above a specific temperature.
On the last day, everyone would share their life’s purposes. Creating these purpose statements was difficult, it seemed most people found this task difficult. I think most people have the difficulty of trying to make their purpose too specific but then, not too broad. I shared a similar challenge. To give us some time to reflection on our life’s purpose, we went and took a field trip to Bernard Heights.
There we reflected by ourselves and tried our best to write in our notebooks, what the purpose of our life could be. We wouldn’t have fully polished purpose statements yet. Today was just the practice, on the last day, all of the leaders from our group (everyone is considered a leader), would share their life’s purpose with everyone else.
After writing in our notebooks and reflecting, we had an amazing lunch on the hill. We’ve had great food, every meal. Hive’s done a great job feeding us. After eating, we took a fun group photo, shown here. I’m on the left.
After lunch, Hive brought in some mentors to work with our groups (we split into groups of 3-6 people always) and help members in our group better define their life’s purpose. Moving towards the end of the day, Ryan lead a discussion on how to be financially free in life. While I think initially at first, some people challenged the idea of why you’d want to potentially be a millionaire, because they want to be selfless leaders and share everything. They question why they should want to have a million dollars or net worth. I think eventually who needed to hear it, got his point about doing it to be able to take care of yourself, so then you can take care of other people.
While of course, myself, being an entrepreneur, I completely agree with importance of mastering money, so you can use it to assist you in your life’s purpose. While your goal may not be to acquire wealth in life, you should be aware that finances are very important part of life, it’s energy you need to pursue your mission. If you want to affect change in the world, you need to know how to invest & save your money, so you’ll have the financial resources to take care of your family, take risks and pursue your life’s passion at the same time. If you don’t have your financial plan figured out, you’ll never be able to have the time, resources and energy to do what the world needs you to be doing. It’s extremely important.
To end the amazing day, the entire group traveled to Treasure Island. Hive put together an outstanding dinner at one of the old converted military buildings there. While I’ve been to Treasure Island many times, I’ve never ate dinner there, so it was even a new experience for me that I throughly enjoyed. The team at Hive has done an incredible job showing the class some amazing views of our city, San Francisco. Dinner would close at 10, and after that, I needed to go to sleep. I went to bed at 2am, and I’d have to wake up at 6:30am to prepare for the 3rd and final training day.