The term hack is a loaded one.

It can refer to someone who steals jokes or an untrained, sloppy tennis swing. Turn it into a verb, as the title of this post does, and you’re implying cuts into some object. The kind of activity you’d cringe at in the eleventh sequel to the movie Saw.

In the 90s, the term hacking referred to computer programming (and an awesome movie). The Kinect game system has been hacked worldwide to create the kinds of tools once only imagined by the likes of Gene Roddenberry.

Thanks to lifehacker.com and Four Hour Body, hacking is now attributable to more than just gore and theft. It has come to mean taking “what is” and making it into something more.

The more I meet people who doggedly pursue their passion, and the more I am able to reach out and hug the people I know tight and say, “I love you,” the more I know that my heart has been hacked.

Conscious or not, it was not working right before. It pumped regularly, speeding up during tennis or moments of pressure, and slowing down in those rare moments of rest. Something was amiss, though. Unsatisfied, I began to tinker, like a child with a VCR.

Things got messy but I came out with the equivalent of a streaming Netflix account in its place. And I know I am not alone.

If you have ever taken your heart into your own hands and refused to quit, my hat goes off to you. Especially if you’re still sitting on the living room floor with the VCR in pieces. It will all come together, I promise.