zentanu writes "It's said that if you want to be happy, be a gardener. What about IT security professionals? Having worked as an IT security consultant for several years, I now wonder if my job has a negative influence on my happiness, because it constantly teaches me to focus on the negative side of life: I always have to think about risks and identify all sorts of things that could go wrong. As an auditor I search for errors that others have made and haughtily tell them. As a penetration tester I break systems that system engineers and administrators have laboriously built. I assume inside threats and have to be professionally suspicious. The security mindset surely helps me in my job, but is it good for me on the long run? What kind of influence has being an IT security professional had on your general attitude towards life? What helps you stay out of pessimism and cynicism? Is protecting existing things really as good as building new ones?"