Hiro Nakamura on Concentration

Hiro Nakamura on Concentration

I’ve been sucked into NBC’s show Heroes, which you can currently watch online from the very beginning if you’re willing to sit through 30 second commercials every 10 minutes. The general premise is that there are a bunch of ordinary people with everyday problems who discover they have incredible powers. Some use this knowledge to further their ambitions. Others see themselves as having a purpose, and believe they are destined to save the world.


There was one moment in Part 6 of Episode 11 in the very beginning, when one of the “heroes”, Hiro Nakamura, is trying to convince Isaac, an artist who can paint the future, to do his thing without shootin’ up with heroin.

"I don't think I can do this""Yes you can!""Concentrate!"

ISAAC: I don’t think I can do this… HIRO: Yes you can! Concentrate!

"Isaac nods...""Isaac concentrates...""Whoa!" Hiro scrunches up his face to demonstrate concentration, then nods encouragingly. Isaac concentrates…whoa! Results!

Concentration is Not a Ritual?

What I liked about that scene was that it was so different from my usual working routine. Getting started on a project, for me, tends to be a ritual of assembling multiple objectives and pressures into a sharp stick that jabs me into action. Sometimes it’s tough, or I’m distracted, or I’m wondering how things are going to end up. Once I get going, though, I’m always surprised at how easily the work flows. Getting to that point has been a continuing challenge.

“Just do it” has more of a serious, stop yer silly daydreaming edge to it, but Hiro’s demonstration of concentration is a variation of “just do it” has a humorous edge to it that I like. At the same time, it’s a good reminder that concentration is as simple as dedicating yourself to it. Duh.


  1. Rick Allen 17 years ago

    <blockquote cite=“David”>it’s a good reminder that concentration is as simple as dedicating yourself to it. Duh.</blockquote>

    Which is exactly why it works with printable cio forms and not with the electronic GTD equivalent (Outlook…).
    Spending three minutes at the end of a day (or beginning of the next) mentally committing to coming days’ tasks by filling in the ETM form is the key ingredient for me.
    Thanks again,
    Rick Allen

  2. Keeran 17 years ago

    Best series available at the moment, IMHO!

    Glad you’re enjoying it too David :)

  3. Wade Campbell 17 years ago

    As a producer for local commercials I could easily get into a rut of cranking out the same old same old just to get to the next project on the list of 20-30 spots that needed to be done (in a week). Creativity would wander and moving to the next project could be hard.

    I found that if I just got started with the ground work that every spot needed (slate, color bars, lay down the audio, choose fonts), I found I was on my way. Just like the ritual you speak about.

    By that point I had started thinking about the whole project and it would flow. The project had enough momentum at that point.

  4. Keeran 17 years ago

    As a side node, I’ve started trying to dedicate at least an hour a day where I pick a chunky task, take my laptop into a quiet room and plug away at that task with no email, IM, mobile phone or internet connection.

    It works wonders and my plan is to increase this ‘disconnected’ time from 1 hour to 3-4+ over the next few weeks.

    It really is a matter of saying to yourself ‘just do it!’…sometimes I add an expletive in there for good measure :)

  5. Dave Seah 17 years ago

    Another component to concentration that I’m lacking is the sense of how it fits into a long-term goal. My long term goals have recently shifted, and because of that I feel like I’m running a bit rudderless at the moment. Hence, the question in the back of my mind as to what dedication and concentration will lead to in the long term. I can muster the focusing energy, without (and this is reminiscent again of Heroes)  the sense of destiny or need, it doesn’t feel quite right and creates hesitation.

    Some advice people have given me recently:

    <li>Get out of myself, and think of other people.</li>
    <li>Make a 20 year goal/story, and a 10 year, then a 5 year, then a 2 year, then a 1 year. They’ll change, but it will engage the problem-solving and sense of purpose against which to measure one’s actions.</li>
    <li>Get back into a social environment with people in it.</li>

  6. Chris Harrison 17 years ago

    I heart Heroes too. Hiro is definitely my favorite and I got a chuckle out of this scene as well.

    As Hiro would put it:
    {{{(>.<)}}} (o.o) (^o^)/

  7. Senia 17 years ago

    LOVE THIS POST!  I digged it.

  8. Rick 17 years ago

    As Hiro would say, “Wooo hooo!” I am hooked on “Heroes”. I’ve never missed an episode yet. It’s a cliff hanger after another and it makes you want to keep watching. You just want to come up with your on theories on why everything is happing. It’s by far the best new show on TV. Heroes was nominated for a People’s Choice Award for Favorite New TV Drama. It’s still one of the two categories you can vote for at http://www.pcavote.com . I’ve voted for Heroes already because I work with the People’s Choice Community and I can tell you this year’s show is going to be good. There have been so many great movies, TV shows and music this year. It’s bound to be a memorable show, Queen Latifah is this year’s host and she’s going to be amazing. Tune in Jan 9th to CBS at 9pm to see who wins. Up Up and away Heroes!