The character of Sherlock Holmes, created in 1887 by Sir Artur Conan Doyle, has become a myth today. A reference figure of the brilliant investigator, he impresses with his talents of observation and deduction and fascinates with his intuition and his ability to solve the most complex puzzles. Beyond your admiration for this character, you can also seek to develop the same skills as him. Working on your sense of observation, understanding people, learning to trust your intuition or developing your capacity for deduction are all qualities that can be useful to you on a daily basis.
Part 1 of 4: Develop your sense of observation
Step 1. Practice mindfulness meditation
Concentration is essential for observation and deduction. Mindfulness meditation is all about seizing the present moment. It is about visualizing the neglected or even ignored details of one's surroundings by a mental process of active attention. These elements can be visual, sound, olfactory or even emotional.
- Concentrate on your breathing. Essential in mindfulness meditation, it is often neglected on a daily basis because it is considered a mechanical reflex. However, breathing is a powerful factor in concentration and relaxation. Practice abdominal breathing to get the maximum benefit from breathing for body and mind. Combine it with mindfulness meditation paying attention to the movement of airflows and your sensations.
- Mindfulness can be practiced on a daily basis. For example, study each element of your morning routine. Feel the warmth of your carpet when you get out of bed, linger on the aroma of your toothpaste, listen to the sound of the broken eggshell to prepare your breakfast, smell the smell of coffee, concentrate you over the flavors of your food when you eat it, feel the contact of your skin with your scarf or your clothes when you get dressed. If you feel like you are losing focus, force yourself to come back to the present moment. It may seem insignificant to you, but becoming aware of this multitude of details sharpens the senses and improves the ability to observe.
2nd step. Sharpen your senses.
Observing your surroundings is not just visual. It requires using all of your senses. Touch, hearing, smell and even taste should be used to the maximum in order to optimize your powers of deduction.
- Develop your listening analysis. To do this, you can practice recognizing the pieces of music or identifying the instruments you hear on television or in stores. Also remember to vary the sound sources and maintain your auditory memory. If, like Sherlock Holmes, you are also a musician, develop your ear with and without your instrument.
- Work on your sense of smell by performing blind tests. Learn to recognize different simple smells and then identify them in mixtures. Every day, smell each dish and guess each ingredient before tasting it.
- Exercise your sense of taste with blind tastings. Start with foods that are as natural as possible so that you can recognize them in a dish or complex preparation.
- Generally speaking, sight is the most used sense. There are two ways you can strengthen it. On the one hand, pay attention to the details of your surroundings. On the other hand, take care of your eyes. Exercise to maintain their health and avoid tiring them unnecessarily. Take breaks when working on a screen, favor activities in natural light, adapt your diet by taking vitamin A supplements if necessary.
- Develop your sense of touch. With each contact with an object, describe how you feel. Compare the textures and how you feel from one object to another.
Step 3. Examine the world around you
Careful and active observation of your surroundings is one of the keys to excelling in the art of deduction. Awaken all your senses to answer simple puzzles. For example, at your workplace, try to guess who will order meat from the canteen or which employee will be late on a given day.
To begin with, carefully observe your surroundings and those around you. Collect as much information as possible on the layout of the premises, the behavior of your employees or even the events planned in your company. Then make assumptions about the attitudes of your colleagues and check their accuracy with the facts. For example, suppose you are guessing the speaking order in a meeting. If you had anticipated that such and such a collaborator would speak first and another would be silent, just check at the end of the meeting that you were right
Step 4. Observe the people
At the office, with family or in a public place, observe the people around you. Write down any details that seem obvious to you, then pick out those that didn't seem of importance at first. However, be discreet, at the risk of appearing inappropriate.
- Start by practicing on pictures or videos. Then observe people you know. After you have guessed their emotion or attitude, check with them that you are right without revealing your true plan to them.
- Also practice on strangers. Sitting in a cafe, on public transport, in a park, or at a party, try to guess the mood and character of the people you meet. Try to answer precise and objective questions such as the station the passenger will get off or the drink the customer will order. Also broaden your study to include people's social interactions, mood, and personality.
Step 5. Play brain sports
Puzzles, games of finding differences between two photos or objects hidden in a room, word games and riddles are all challenges imposed on your mind. In solving them, you need to appeal to your sense of observation, your ability to deduce and your intuition.
- Try to complete Sudoku, crossword or crossword puzzles in a timed time. There are magazines specializing in these games, but you can also find them for free online.
- To work on your sense of direction and spatial memory, try to find your way around a giant maze.
Step 6. Pay attention to the details
To develop your intuition and observation skills, force yourself to spot even the smallest details. Think about the detective's investigations. When he goes to a crime scene, he turns away from the obvious to focus on seemingly unimportant points.
Exercise your visual memory while improving your observation skills. For example, when returning from a dinner at a restaurant, try to remember elements such as the layout of the premises, the position of each object, the content of the menu, the number of customers, the interior and exterior decoration or even the outfit. servers. Return to the same restaurant to verify the accuracy of your memories. You can also take a photograph of the place to do your exercise
Step 7. Take Notes
It may be helpful to have a notebook as you will need to remember a great deal of detail. Like a journal, record your observations of the day. If you have a routine, write down the new details you discover every day.
- Focus on details. The color of an item of clothing, the delay of an employee at work or the presence of a vase on a restaurant table are all points that you must notice.
- Categorize your observations. This habit will help you more easily find the information recorded by your brain and increase your ability to memorize. You can also use it to build a mental palace.
- For example, if you are on a train, classify passengers according to their activity such as reading, sleeping or listening to music. In a waiting room, separate patients between those who read the magazines provided by the office and those who have their own books.
Part 2 of 4: observe people
Step 1. Learn the elements of body language
The gestures, the look or the general posture are considered to reflect the emotions and feelings of a person. Body language is a powerful medium of communication, but it is more or less conscious. Interpreting it is a real science called synergology. By learning to master it, you will guess in a few seconds the true intentions and thoughts of your interlocutor. This faculty is coupled with a great sense of observation and detail.
Step 2. Practice active listening
Don't listen distractedly to the other person by simply nodding your head in agreement. Active listening requires real attention. Note the choice of words, silences, tone, accents and mimics associated with the flow of words from your interlocutor.
- Don't get distracted by your phone, TV, or someone else.
- Keep eye contact with the other person to better observe them and stay focused on the conversation.
- Pay attention to what the other person is saying, not what you are telling them. Do not focus on your answer, your judgment or your interpretation of what he says.
- If possible, try to rephrase what the other person is saying before answering. This will tell you if you have understood it correctly.
Step 3. Learn how to spot a lie
To be able to trust his intuition supposes to recognize a person who lies, omits or hijacks the truth. It can be very difficult to unmask a lie, as the circumstances or the person's ability to hide are parameters that can give credibility to false claims.
- There are many signs that can betray a person who is lying. She can run her hand over her nose and mouth, twist a strand of hair around her fingers, look shifty or simply laugh for no reason.
- Some people tend to be hostile, even aggressive, when they lie. Try to spot any changes in mood or breathing rate to determine if the other person is being sincere.
- Physiological parameters such as sudden and excessive sweating or shaking of the hands can also betray a person who is lying.
- If you know the person, try to spot differences in rhythm in their phrasing. If she speaks much faster or slower than usual, she may be lying.
Step 4. Anticipate the actions of others
By observing attitudes and habits, analyzing facial expressions and gestures, you can anticipate the actions of the people around you. As you develop, try to guess more and more precisely the actions of a person in a given situation. Your deduction skills will thus be as good as those of Sherlock Holmes, but above all you will be able to make better decisions on a daily basis.
Part 3 of 4: Develop your intuition
Step 1. Trust your intuition
This can be difficult, as it is often overlooked in favor of pure logic. Indeed, it is generally easier to rely on facts and statements to make a decision than to rely on your intuition. However, the latter is not as mysterious as it seems, as it can be developed through training. It is about formulating hypotheses based on your knowledge, observations and experience.
A developed intuition will allow you to make the best decisions faster. Indeed, it helps you to establish links without going through a phase of conscious reflection
Step 2. Stay objective
Paradoxically, it is not incompatible to trust your intuition while being objective. Indeed, acting according to one's intuition is not reacting under the influence of an emotion or a feeling. On the contrary, it should be used as a means of facilitating the process of deduction starting from objective elements.
- Build on the facts and your thinking, and ignore your judgments and feelings. For example, if you find that you have been stolen from things, avoid blaming someone you don't get along with because that is the most obvious explanation. Rather, analyze the facts and explore various avenues. It is possible that the culprit is not the person you imagined.
- Be open-minded. Listen to each other's opinions and don't be bullied because your own views are different. Indeed, everyone understands the world differently. Discussing it while respecting yourself is the best way to enrich yourself both intellectually and humanely.
Step 3. Be proactive
Get involved in the world around you while observing it. To develop your intuition, it is important to take part in the activities so that you can formulate informed hypotheses and conclusions.
- Engaging alongside your friends, family or strangers will help you get to know people better and, therefore, make better decisions.
- Getting involved doesn't mean exhausting yourself. You can simply take an hour to walk around with a friend, participate in your department's activities, or expand your knowledge.
- Try to limit passive activities. For example, if you used to watch TV on your way home at night, choose your programs wisely or prefer to fill in a crossword puzzle.
Step 4. Act according to your environment
Consciously or unconsciously, our environment influences our reactions. Observation, attention to detail and awareness of your surroundings are all parameters that condition your decisions.
- For example, if you pass someone on a busy street in the middle of the day, you probably won't notice them. On the other hand, if she walks towards you in a dark alley, you will probably try to avoid her by accelerating your pace or by moving away from her.
- The environment impacts our sensitivity more than our thinking. Indeed, in the light of the previous example, the change of attitude from one configuration to another is not the result of rational and logical thinking, but is rather linked to a feeling of insecurity or 'anxiety. To develop your intuition, you must know yourself and know how to analyze the elements of your environment without letting yourself be overwhelmed by your feelings.
Step 5. Limit sources of distraction
To become as talented as your favorite sleuth, you don't have to disconnect from your surroundings. Watching a series on your phone on the road, listening to the radio with headphones at the office, leaving the television on during a family dinner, or dispersing yourself during a conversation are all habits and it is best to limit. You can of course distract yourself, but if you want to work on your senses and intuition, focusing on the present moment is essential.
Calculate the average time spent distracted more or less consciously. For example, over a week, write down all the occasions you spent turning away from your surroundings. If necessary, change your habits
Step 6. Be Skeptic
Don't take anything for granted and question your observations, ignoring your own judgments. Also question your own reactions in order to get to know yourself better and thus make the best decisions.
- When you are reacting to someone or a situation, take a moment to think about your response. Analyze your attitude by looking for the reasons. For example, if you stayed on reserve when a friend's announcement of a friend's upcoming wedding, it may be apprehension, jealousy, disapproval or hostility towards the partner. of your friend.
- Don't be fooled by rumors. They are often the result of misunderstanding or bad intention. Analyze the rumor for truthful elements. If you can't find one, ignore the rumor and don't spread it. Note, however, that knowing who is causing the rumor can tell you a lot about the person.
Step 7. Break out of conventional thought patterns
It can be difficult to see things other than taking a classic approach. Get rid of your usual thought patterns and force yourself to see things as they are and not as you want them to be. For example, suppose you are driving at an intersection. Since you would expect to see other vehicles, you will only enter if you do not see them. On the other hand, it is possible that the arrival of a cyclist does not prevent you from moving forward, because you did not expect to meet one.
- Engage in reflective activities to keep the mind alert. Putting together a mind map, jotting down in a notebook, making a list of activities to do are all opportunities to stimulate your brain and your creativity.
- Seek to discover new places. Just trying out an unfamiliar restaurant rather than going to your usual pizzeria is one way to expand your knowledge.
- Create or join a discussion group to share your thoughts, ideas and observations.
- Let your creativity run free. Even if you don't feel like an artist's soul, you can pick up a pencil to write and draw. This type of activity stimulates the imagination and thus strengthens the sense of deduction.
- Don't get caught up in the routine. Act differently in order to adapt to the circumstances. You can also introduce a new setting in your environment to break your routine.
Step 8. Focus on one task at a time
To use your intuition wisely and come to the correct conclusions, you need to be focused on picking up the right information. Avoid spreading yourself too thin.
Part 4 of 4: use your sense of deduction
Step 1. Practice the deduction
It may sound strange, but deduction is a mental process that takes practice. The more you come across different diagrams, the faster and more precise your deduction will be.
A deduction is the result of logical reasoning that seeks to make connections between observations in order to reach a conclusion. For example, if everyone in the same room received an award, then your colleague, who was also in the room, also received an award
Step 2. Develop theories
The art of deduction lies in the ability to make connections between things that are apparently not correlated with each other. Build your theories by using your imagination and avoiding the obvious.
- Try to spot some constants in your environment. For example, when you are in the office, take a look at the person who turns on the lights in the morning. It may be the same employee because they are the first to arrive at the workplace.
- Use your observations to draw general conclusions. Going back to the previous example, you can conclude that if the lights are on, your employee has already arrived.
- You can then deduce that if the lights are still off, then your employee has not yet arrived.
Step 3. Test your theory
The only way to verify that your hypothesis is correct is to rely on the facts. Going back to the example from the previous step, you noticed that the same colleague turned on the lights in the morning. If these are still off, check that the employee has arrived. If it is indeed absent, then your theory is correct. Note that the search for the right conclusion also involves a reassessment of the hypotheses. In other words, if your first explanation is wrong, then you need to test a new hypothesis.
Step 4. Develop your thinking skills
Practice solving problems, puzzles and other puzzle games. You will thus develop your sense of deduction and logic.
Besides the puzzle games, you can create your own puzzles by asking yourself a thorny point. Collect the facts and analyze them before putting them together in a coherent way. Study each solution that seems plausible to you and determine the most satisfactory
Step 5. Use logic
Paradoxically, intuition comes from logic. Disregard your judgments and feelings in order to choose the right conclusion to a problem. There are different logical links such as the cause and effect link or the collateral link.
For example, if you notice that your coworker drinks more coffee on Thursdays than on other days of the week, there is likely an underlying cause for this behavior. Chat with your colleague to identify him. Note that a cause and effect relationship is not necessarily reciprocal. A cause can have an effect, but that effect does not always have the same cause. For example, suppose your coworker increases her caffeine intake on Thursday because of a late class on Wednesday night. You can't assume that this person takes a class every time they drink more coffee
Step 6. Expand your knowledge
Sherlock Holmes has practically encyclopedic knowledge in all fields. This allows him to make precise deductions based on known facts. Take advantage of any opportunity to educate yourself and inform yourself. Watching a televised debate, participating in a discussion group, watching a documentary or reading a book are all ways to increase your knowledge base.
- Don't settle for academic knowledge. For example, learning about the fashion world or musical trends can help you better understand people.
- Don't hesitate to sign up for online courses. For example, MOOC (Massive Online Open Courses) are courses open to all and provided by schools and universities. They are often free, but fees may apply.
- Join a local community or an association. Some sites also offer to connect people who share a common interest, which makes it possible to enrich each other.
Step 7. Relax
It is important to give yourself moments of relaxation. Indeed, constantly staying on top of all the information can be mentally exhausting. Relax by playing an instrument like your private investigator, listening to music, doing yoga or just closing your eyes for a few moments.
- As repeated throughout the article, active observation is paramount. Learn to observe and don't just see.
- All information must be analyzed, whatever its source. It is only after your reflection that you can decide on its relevance.
- To become like Sherlock Holmes, start by reading all the news and studying the reasoning used to solve the puzzles.
- Sherlock Holmes is not a very sociable character, but he knows how to analyze behavior and attitudes. To understand others, you need to stay in touch with people and not isolate yourself.
- Know how to spot differences in attitude in those around you. For example, a friend who wears makeup when she is not used to it might be trying to seduce someone. A friend who remains silent when he is generally talkative may have personal issues he would like to discuss. You will be able to draw inferences from your observations, but stay measured.
- Constantly staying alert can be exhausting. Give yourself time to take a break.
- Be careful not to jump to conclusions without analyzing all the facts.
- When exercising on people, be quiet and don't be intrusive, or you may sound inappropriate.