Unclutter your ‘brain attic’ and learn to think like Sherlock!

Photo courtesy: PBS

“I’m not a psychopath, I’m a high-functioning sociopath. Do your research.”

No fictional character is more renowned for his powers of thought and observation than Sherlock Holmes. But is his extraordinary intellect merely a gift of fiction, or can we learn to cultivate these abilities ourselves, to improve our lives at work and at home?

Now you can learn how to think like Sherlock Holmes from the book Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes” written by Maria Kannikova. From her analysis of Holmes’ behavior, any Sherlock fan can reverse engineer how he acts and thinks to be more like him. Deductive in nature, Sherlock hardly ever falls into the terrible thinking such as cognitive biases and logical fallacies.

Kannikova teaches you to learn how to not commit any biases or fallacies through pure practice and mindfulness. Metacongnition can help you understand your thinking faults and how to correct them. Mindfulness teaches the art of staying in the present moment and learning how to concentrate and how to focus your mind so that it really can avoid any distractions, can avoid anything that might kind of get it off track.

Konnikova, a columnist for Scientific American and a doctoral student in psychology, explores the latest science to dissect the inner workings of the iconic detective’s mind. The premise of Konnikova’s book is to put Holmes’ brain power to use in the workplace, the classroom or social situations.

This “scientific method of mind” makes use of the brain as an “attic” in the sense that the space in the brain is a finite resource. The brain attic, Holmes’s own metaphor for how we store information and organize knowledge, provides the premise to begin to think like Sherlock by optimizing your mental resources. You then must figure out how you can take the things you’ve stored and access them in a way where you can “see the bigger picture and not just these random components” that you put there.

The three basic steps to thinking and acting like Sherlock Holmes are, to avoid fallacies and biases, to practice mindfulness, and to never stop learning. If you can accomplish these for the majority of your life, you will undoubtedly become extremely successful. Learning how to deduce, and deducing successfully can be very exhilarating and quite addicting. Learning to be mindful in your thoughts and applying mindfulness in your life can be super beneficial to your overall health and well being.

If you’ve ever wondered what it was that separated Sherlock Holmes from his long-suffering friend and side-kick Dr John Watson, now you know! It’s….elementary.

In: Odds & Sods