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The Lounge


Chasing Sophistication December 18, 2016

It’s been a while since I’ve last posted something and for that I apologize. I was trying to do too many things at once and as a result simply lost focus.

Life apparently becomes impossible with a lack of focus and clearly nothing gets done without it, so I had to find a way to regain mine.

In my quest for focus I remembered one man who’s so calculated, so controlled and so obsessively focused that I decided that he, and he alone, was going to be my source of inspiration.

His name? Dr. Hannibal Lecter.

I realize that he’s perhaps a little controversial as a role model, and yes I do have a fascination for those who use their intellect for evil, especially when they’re as stylish and well-mannered as dr. Lecter, but that’s besides the point. Let’s take a step back and think about this, rationally.

He always has a clear goal in mind, which is the first step to getting something done. From thereon each move, each conversation and each thought he has gets him one step closer towards reaching that goal, regardless of whether this is preparing dinner, creating art or committing a murder. Though in all fairness, for him those acts are most likely the same thing.

There are lessons to be learned here. First of all, he’s meticulously organized and this helps with decluttering the brain as well. I translated this into cleaning my desks, both at home and at work, after which I decided to move all my furniture around. Breaking patterns activates the brain by effectively forcing ourselves to turn off our autopilots, which in return means that we actually have to think about what we’re doing. It’s almost like waking up.

Then there’s the planning. He always has a bigger picture in mind and is always thinking a few steps ahead before making a move, very much like a trained chess player. So I decided to take a look at some of my larger tasks and started cutting them up into smaller pieces as well.  Dr. Lecter would approve. The benefit of dissecting bigger projects is that each piece in itself will be far easier to digest and the whole experience will be a lot less overwhelming as a result.

And finally there’s the music. I’ve managed to find a Hannibal TV series playlist on Spotify, which greatly helps me concentrate. I try to imagine myself as Hannibal and how he would focus on the (slightly less thrilling) task at hand. Ironically, that makes me more like the chaotic-minded Will Graham than Hannibal, but still, it works for me.

Oh, and just to be clear, I do believe that most of the times we can complete our targets without killing someone. Most of the time.

Bon appetit.

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