There are lots of things you can practice so that you can get to the level of the famous Sherlock Holmes.
A healthy dose of skepticism helps you to not take things as they seem. Being curious about what others say can illuminate areas they may not be 100% truthful.
It is also important to be skeptical about your own thinking because we get into patterns of thought which may cloud our judgment. Be aware of how outside influences can change or guide your thinking and try to be objective when assessing the situation.
Try to overcome biases, but don’t forget them
We all have learned biases we need to learn to move past. With practice, you can rewire your brain to be more objective about the situation in front of you. However, don’t forget about biases. Learn how they have affected you and think about how others learn them and how they may affect their behaviors.
Observe first impressions closely
Trust your gut. If something sets off your instincts, don’t let it guide your reaction but don’t forget about it. It may be indicative of a character trait or behavior which you can’t yet put your finger on just yet. Consider their confidence, or lack thereof; how they are dressed, or what seems slightly off.
Examine things holistically
To really think like Sherlock Holmes, you must examine things holistically. Don’t just read a note, read between the lines, examine how it looks, how it smells and what this could mean.
Things are never quite what they seem on the surface, and everything gives more information than it seems to. Use all of your senses to evaluate the situation completely.
Engaging in a situation properly will help you to control your automatic responses which can cause us to miss important information. Give situations your full attention, if though you may seem laid back in your responses. Keeping your mind attentive will reveal things you may not have noticed otherwise.
Look at the bigger picture
There is always more going on than what there appears to be. It is easy to focus on the small aspects of a situation, but if you want to learn how to think like Sherlock Holmes, remember there is always a bigger picture. Try to consider what may be influencing decisions and behaviors rather than just what is happening at the moment.
The most important practice for those who want to sharpen their perception is constant education. Sherlock Holmes is careful to constantly educate and challenge himself, and this is what makes him such a successful investigator. You never know what might spark your genius, so stay educated and mindful of maintaining healthy habits.
You may think you know something by simply observing, but this can limit your understanding. Writing things down is the key to thinking like Sherlock Holmes. Reviewing notes can help you recognize patterns and inconsistencies before reaching a conclusion.
Practice active passivity
When you think like Sherlock Holmes, it is not all about what you do do, it’s also about what you don’t do. When you talk to someone, give them your full attention, observe everything. Don’t be playing with your phone or distracted by words alone.
Speaking is not all about the words, it is about how they are spoken and the non-verbal signalswhich come along with them.
Talk it through
Holmes talks everything through with Watson and it is talking things through which helps him find clues he wasn’t aware of before.
When you talk things through, it forces you to clear your thoughts enough to vocalize them. By doing this, you may find that something clicks into place somewhere and find the logical connection between two disparate events.
The key to thinking like Sherlock Holmes understanding that it is not just an internal process, it is also about adaptability. Holmes does not approach every situation in the same way. Instead, he is careful to observe others and take an approach which will get what he wants out of them.
Like anyone, Holmes knows that all brains need peace in order to function properly. Taking the time to rest gives our brains time to process information and make connections. It’s not all about the investigation, it is also about reflection.
Only give energy where it’s needed
It is not necessary to be constantly energetic. In fact, managing your energy properly is one of the key aspects of thinking like Sherlock Holmes. Recognize which tasks are more menial than others and let your gut tell you which characters are more suspicious than others.
Practicing these steps can be a challenge. It can be difficult to see the secret picture behind a situation but, with a little practice, you, too, can learn how to think like Sherlock Holmes.