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How to Develop Sherlock Holmes-Like Powers of Observation and Deduction

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https://lifehacker.com/how-to-develop-sherlock-holmes-like-powers-of-observati-30765350

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How to Develop Sherlock Holmes-Like Powers of Observation and Deduction
If there's one spy skill we all envy, it's the Sherlock Holmes-like ability to quickly read a situation and come up with a theory that explains it (like the toothpaste stain that reveals your co-worker overslept, or the nervous twitch that shows your friend drank too much).

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Observing people and situations is an incredibly valuable tool. 

It gives you the ability to notice subtle cues during conversations, job interviews, presentations, and anywhere else so ...

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Increase Your Powers of Observation

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 habit...

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Force Yourself to Slow Down

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...

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Take Field Notes to Focus Your Attentions

If you're really struggling to pay attention and personal challenges aren't working, try field notes: writing descriptions and drawing pictures of what you see.

If you're at work, d...

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Briefly Meditate Daily

Meditation is all about teaching yourself focus.

There's this whole area of mindfulness training that teaches you to pay attention to yourself and what's going through your he...

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Learn to Critically Analyze Everything

Critical thinking is analyzing what you observe closely, and deduction is coming up with a conclusion based on those facts.

When you're a...

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Form Connections Between What You See and What You Know

 It's not necessarily that Holmes remembers more, but that he can see connections that people usually miss. People think Holmes is this paragon of logic, but that logic is inna...

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Increase Your Knowledge Base

It's rarely worth it to condense your knowledge into a specialty.

You should be broad in your knowledge. Holmes says that you should have a clean "brain attic," but he's al...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Systematic approach

Most people jump straight from finding a problem to attempting to solve it.

Having a systematic approach to how you deal with problems, as opposed to just going by gut and feelings, ca...

Study the problem first

Detectives and investigators use the process. They ask both obvious and unthinkable questions.

Get close and collect information about how the problem is manifesting.  Understand where the problem does and doesn’t happen, when the problem started, and how often the problem occurs to generate critical insight for the problem-solving effort.

Question for great answers

  • Don’t look for solutions immediately; Keep redefining the problem until you arrive at the root cause.
  • Don’t try to guess the solution; try to understand how the obstacles, or challenges manifest first.
  • Gather data to analyze all potential root causes.
  • Consider all options, regardless of how irrelevant they currently appear.
  • Find a way to connect the dots. Make better analogies. One good analogy is worth three hours of discussion.

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Deduction and Mindfulness Go Together

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...

All Stories Are Possible — Until They Are Not

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.

Be Relentless

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.

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Think like Sherlock Holmes

“What Sherlock Holmes offers isn’t just a way of solving a crime. It is an entire way of thinking."

"Holmes provides... an education in improving our faculty of mindful thought...

Engagement

As children, we are remarkably aware to the world around us. This attention wanes over time as we allow more pressing responsibilities to attend to and demands on our minds to address. And as the demands on our attention increase so, too, does our actual attention decrease.

 As it does so, we become less and less able to know or notice our own thought habits and more and more allow our minds to dictate our judgments and decisions, instead of the other way around.

Pitfalls of the Untrained Brain

Daniel Kahneman believes there are two systems for organizing and filtering knowledge: 

  • System one is real-time. This system makes judgments and decisions before our mental apparatus can consciously catch up. 
  • System two, on the other hand, is a slow process of thinking based on critical examination of evidence. Konnikova refers to these as System Watson and System Holmes.

To move from a System Watson- to a System Holmes-governed thinking takes mindfulness plus motivation.

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