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7 Ways Thinking like a Detective Will Make You Smarter

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 initial statements. The detective deconstructed what happened — piece by piece.

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7 Ways Thinking like a Detective Will Make You Smarter

7 Ways Thinking like a Detective Will Make You Smarter

https://medium.com/personal-growth/7-ways-thinking-like-a-detective-will-make-you-smarter-90c7ec688cc1

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Key Ideas

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.

Seek for the Aha! Moment

Detective Humphrey Goodman is very clumsy. He often forgets things and usually finds himself with nothing to take notes on.

Humphrey has a knack at being able to solve murders by making sense out of small details

An obsession with small details helps trigger an Aha! moment. Connecting what seems unrelated. But, when all the pieces fall into place, the solution ends makes sense.

Being Vulnerable Is Being Smart

By being authentic, Clarice disarmed Dr. Hannibal Lecter’s intellectual superiority. Instead of trying to compete with him, her vulnerability made Hannibal more cooperative.

Being vulnerable reflects the best on you and others. You don’t need to outsmart others to find a great solution. Vulnerability is not a weakness, but a superpower — what we reflect comes back to us.

Follow Your Intuition

Father Brown’s methods tend to be more intuitive rather than deductive. The Catholic priest is a detective in disguise.  He overplays appearing clumsy, and naive. Brown uses empathy to get inside the criminal mind. He can see what others can’t — that’s how he solve crimes.

Brown reminds us that you don’t need a formal title or expertise to be good at solving problems. His life as a priest turned him into an intuitive human behavior expert.

Find Your Sidekick

Sherlock had Watson. Linden has Holder. Ellie Miller is Alec Hardy perfect sidekick. She counterbalances his rational and relentless spirit.

A great duo is where both parts can complement and balance each other. We all need a partner in crime to help us see what we miss. Our sidekick is an accountability partner — it increases our chances of success.

Solving problems is about embracing different mindsets

Finding the solution is not enough — you want to eliminate the problem.

As P. D. James said: ‘What the detective story is about is not murder but the restoration of order.”

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Holmes practices mindfulness

Mindfulness means focusing on only one problem or activity at a time.

Our brain cannot do two things at once. “What we believe is multi-tasking is really the brain switchin...

Organize Your Brain Attic to remember more

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.

Take a brain break if you want to be more creative

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.

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Aboriginal Memory Palaces

Australian Aboriginal memory palaces are associated with the land, structured by sung pathways called songlines. A songline is a sequence of locations that orientate or contain valuable resources. ...

Indigenous Portable Memory Aids

Rock art and decorated posts are famous aids to indigenous memory, but far less known are the portable memory devices. Incised stones and boards, tools, collections of objects in bags, bark paintings, birchbark scrolls, decorations on skins and knotted cords have all been used to aid the recall of memorised information. 

Memory Palace

A memory palace, or a method of loci, is an imagined physical palace where one piece of information is placed in each site, allowing one to mentally stroll through their memory palace drawing out information in the required order without missing an element.

There is ample circumstantial evidence that many indigenous cultures around the world have been using it for at least 40,000 years to store, in modern terms, absurdly large amounts of knowledge. But our dependence on writing has eroded this skill. 

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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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