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Holmes sees his new acquaintance's symptoms of tropics, sickness, and injury, and is able to see how they fit together and offhand claim: "You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive."
When Holmes famously quips that the solution of a case is "elementary," he's not simply dismissing the detective work as easy. Rather, he's talking about elements, the essentials of a situation.
"Whatever the specific issue, you must define and formulate it in your mind as specifically as possible — and then you must fill it in with past experience and present observation," -- Konnikova writes
Konnikova's take: "Holmes ... focuses all of his faculties on the subject of observation ... He listens, as is his habit, 'with closed eyes and fingertips together.' ... He will not be distracted by any other task. As passive observers, we are not doing anything else; we are focused on observing."
If you're out there detecting all the time, you need to give yourself breaks.
Watson, who writes of his friend: "I knew that seclusion and solitude were very necessary for my friend in those hours of intense mental concentration during which he weighed every particle of evidence, constructed alternative theories, balanced one against the other, and made up his mind as to which points were essential and which immaterial."
Here's what he said when Watson begged him to eat:
"The faculties become refined when you starve them ... surely, my dear Watson, you must admit that what your digestion gains in the way of blood supply is so much lost to the brain. I am a brain, Watson. The rest of me is a mere appendix. Therefore, it is the brain I must consider."
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Mindfulness means focusing on only one problem or activity at a time.
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The “brain attic” is Holmes’s analogy for the human mind and how we store information. Just consuming information leads to mental clutter that gets difficult to access when you need it.
We are more likely to remember something if we connect it to a sensory experience or previous action, like writing or connecting memories to smells or sounds.
Holmes plays the violin, because it takes him out of his thinking mind and places him in a purely physical state.
“Taking mental holidays can be incredibly productive for creativity", even something as simple as taking a walk in the park during your lunch break instead of eating at your desk.
Sherlock Holmes observed facts without being judgmental. He would construct a hypothesis about what he believed happened. He would then search for more evidence to logically validate his ini...
Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot encourages everybody to tell their story. Stories help Poirot comprehend what kind of person the victim was. And to uncover the murderer’ motive.
Storytelling is powerful to uncover insights, not just the truth. Design Thinking — a process for creative problem solving — leverages the power of stories to detect human desires and needs.
Sarah Linden is the least self-aware television detective.
Her dedication to her work and stubbornness are unbeatable. She never gives up. Even though she fails in many aspects of her life — like being a mother. But, she keeps showing up and trying to do better. She tries again, fails again, and fails better.
Learn how to notice small details.
It's not a superhuman ability. It's important to note when talking about Holmes that he has spent a lifetime cultivating the habits of mindfulness. So it's not like he was just born with this ability to be in touch with the world. What we choose to notice or not notice is a way of framing it in our own mind. We have a lot of bad habits in our mind, and we have to retrain ourselves to really notice the world. Everything we do rewires the brain, but we can rewire it in a way that mindfulness eventually becomes less of an effort. -- Konnikova
Give yourself monthly or daily challenges to form a new habit of observation.
Ideas could include trying new foods weekly and writing about them, noticing the color of a co-worker's shirt every day, or even just looking at a new piece of art closely once a day.
The idea is to gradually teach yourself to notice small details in your environment and daily life.