A BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE
Before I begin this post, I wanted to thank everyone who has read the blog and who has subscribed to it. This has been a wonderful outlet and way to connect with others that love to learn. Thank you so much for your support and I look forward to adding more blog posts and activities next year to the site. I plan on adding some new content to the site that engage and challenge you and myself a little bit more. I am learning as I go so please be patient with me and I hope to hear from you sometime. Hit me up on social media and let me know what you think of the writing. I am a fairly new to blogging and writing on a semi consistent basis. I am always open to suggestions for improving the types of articles to include on the site.
I can't say what date or time I first encountered the stories of Sherlock Holmes, but I do remember where it happened. I was rummaging through a storage closet my family called the "toy room" and found them. The funny thing about that room was that the only toys I could locate, were packed underneath tools and other miscellaneous items. As I stepped on various things to get to the toys, I found an old bookshelf that I think we still have. At the bottom of it, there were some old volumes of books. Growing up I had a strong fascination with history. This was largely influenced by my study of the Bible. If I wasn't reading the Bible, I often found myself reading other books about historical personages. I wouldn't say that I was a big book reader, I just really liked old books and history. I found this semi musty, hardback, cream paged book stacked next to some other volumes. The cover didn't have a title, so I had to open the book to find it's title. The opening page read, "A Treasury of Sherlock Holmes". I have no idea who put the book there or how we even got it, but I grabbed that book and claimed it as mine from that day forward. I still have it to this day. (See the image below)
The most amusing thing, in retrospect, is that I had no idea what I was reading. When I found the book, I was at that tender age where things make perfect sense, but really they don't. But ever since that day, I have had an on again, off again, interest in Sherlock Holmes.
It wasn't until I reached my twenties that I started really considering how Sherlock Holmes thinking could benefit people. I dove into reading books about medicine and chemistry, believing that if I studied the things Sherlock studied, I would somehow begin to think like him. While that helped me understand specific knowledge that he might have had, it didn't bring me any closer to thinking the way he does.
It wasn't until I took up the cello six years ago, accompanied by my position as a clinical trainer at a heart monitoring center, that I started considering the actual thought process Holmes would use to come to his conclusions. I wanted actionable strategies I could employ to help anybody improve their reasoning, observation, and analytical skills. So I started re-reading the stories, trying to locate the principles that governed his approach to thinking. This quest brought me to the conclusion that I needed to document the thoughts and the activities I would do to try to model his process. That is ultimately how the blog began, but even that took me a long time to start.
I kept telling myself, "I will write a blog post sometime soon." It never happened. I would say, "I will try an activity to help me think like Holmes." I would do something else. It wasn't until I set the goal of writing a specific amount of posts and forcing myself to commit to the process that thescienceofdeduction.org was born. I still have a long way to go, but thirty posts was a good goal for me.
What's the takeaway of this interest in Sherlock? I had a goal of writing a minimum of thirty blog posts in the span of a year. Each post has taken me a minimum of one hour to write, excluding some really short ones. While some posts were easy to write and took little time, others took hours or days to put together. I am not, what I consider, a natural writer. That is, I didn't enjoy the process of writing when I first started. That said, I can safely say, that I have spent a minimum of thirty hours writing this year. This also means that I have spent an added minimum of thirty hours thinking about what I should write. I feel this has helped me be a more effective communicator and has given me a yearlong interest in learning new things.
I mentioned before that I kept telling myself, "I will write a blog post sometime soon" but it wasn't happening. I think to a large degree, it was because I was nervous that I didn't have all the answers or that no one would care about the content I was coming up with, so I would delay my writing. But after a lot of deliberation I realized that all those things were just excuses. I was trying to protect myself from judgement. But if I have learned anything about writing, it is that you can't be afraid to share if you want to grow and improve. So my next takeaway from writing about Sherlock has been to change my mindset about what it means to share. Giving to others means giving what you can when you can.
Additionally, the act of writing has taught me some added lessons in discipline. There have been plenty of days and weeks that I didn't want to write, but the goal of thirty posts spurred me onward. But the biggest takeaway, is learning interesting mental models and thought processes that get me closer to analyzing, inferring, deducing, and reasoning like Sherlock. I have also found myself being more observant and aware of the world around me, which feeds my curiosity. Finally, I have had a chance to share something I really appreciate with others.