Friday, 19 December 2014

How to think like Sherlock Holmes

We all know that Sherlock Holmes was one of the greatest detective who left an impression on the minds of people. Even though he was a fictitious character, his methods can be applied to real life cases except for some of his obsolete methods which can now be covered with technology. But how can you deduce from so little information ? The answer lies in the fact we are all a storehouse of information. But the problem lies in the fact that most of this information is futile and a waste. Cluttering the mind with such facts will only block the mind towards thinking clearly. Most of the people are not so dedicated towards this but we can still have such skills if we will strive for it. There are few things you must do before going for excellent deductions.
First, meditate. Well you will say Sherlock never meditated but if you will look carefully, he did. Remember when he got stuck on a case, he used to sit in a corner in his chair thinking deeply. Now to think on a single topic requires concentration and to concentrate one must free himself from all thoughts that are useless.

Second, look for information that pertains to your field in which you want your deduction process to be at its peak. No one is perfect, so leave the idea that everyone will have same level of deduction in every field. But this does not mean ignoring the facts that have have no relevance with each other. It always looks like that but if you will look closely everything is connected to every other thing. Let me clarify what is clutter. Clutter actually are those things which will not effect your life in any process that is not useful in your field. e.g. Hollywood and TV sitcoms gossip.
But what is the foremost important thing in deduction is to observe. Observe everything around you acutely. For example take a wall writing that somebody has written something on it. Now suppose the word was ‘Greatness’. Now from outside it means nothing except its literal meaning. But if you will observe carefully, the curve of ‘G’ and all the other curves in word are slightly bigger in the left side will indicate the person is left-handed. Now the height at which the word is written will indicate the height of the person. A person usually starts writing on boards and walls at his eye level. So height can be easily deduced. If the word is going in an upward direction it will indicate his subconscious state which is that of a higher ambition. If the direction is falling down it indicates a state of depression or stress. Also notice the word he is using is 'Greatness' which implies that he want that thing and is currently not in possession of it. Also notice he is writing it on a wall which is accessible to many people which confirms the previous fact that he is not in possession of it.Now let us get back to the wall, if the wall was whitewashed and the letter is still there, carefully scratch the word and check after which layer of whitewash it becomes invisible. Now all you need to know is that when that wall was whitewashed. Check the location of wall and note down the room in which it is located. Also check it up at whitewashing registers when was the house dealt with. Also check the sign against the house indicating its owner at that time. Now you have the name of the family, height of the person, his preferred hand, his mental state and his writing. You can visit the family and ask them their room preference which can be used as a confirmation of your deductions.

So lets’ get back to the starting point, we only had one word ‘Greatness’ and we can deduce from the writing step by step to the person who had actually written that word.

Let us now deduce the process of deduction. If we analyze carefully, we start from pretty small observations which lead to another clue and then it can be connected to a remotely available resource that you have. Exploiting that resource to gain more information may lead to another clue. When you have enough different clues available, club them together to get the information that you want. And when deducing certain things always form a tree of reasons. When one branch connects to the other more easily then that is the final path which you should consider. Usually few branches will connect to the situation more strongly than the other. Stick to it and combine this chain of events to get to the root. Now form a theory which explains the reason of every clue, you may have multiple theories at times. This only indicates that you are still not at the root and you still need few clues which are strongly connected to the root. Reaching a single theory which explains the reason of all clues is an indication of accomplishment of your goal.