top of page

Sherlock Holmes and Seeing Past The Trivial

Having clarity of thought can be challenging. Why? Many of us recieve what seems to be countless sensory inputs. From the cooking of a nice meal, to the sound of people in a busy marketplace, our minds are constantly being bombarded with information that it has to process. Of course, there are other reasons that can contribute to our inability to focus. Regardless, finding clarity of thought provides us with a unique opportunity to apply some lessons from Sherlock Holmes. How does Sherlock focus his mental energies on the things that matter? How does he take an idea, in a sea of ideas and turn it into a salient one? How can we do the same in our thinking? Let's find out. In the story of the Speckled Band, Sherlock is confronted with a case that has a number of false leads. I think as a reader, we don't tend to be nearly as single minded in our analysis of what Holmes is given. That is, we don't pay as much attention as we should. Holmes always seems ever alert to opportunities to gather information and to make deductions. Let's read.

“Good-morning, madam,” said Holmes cheerily. “My name is Sherlock Holmes. This is my intimate friend and associate, Dr. Watson, before whom you can speak as freely as before myself. Ha! I am glad to see that Mrs. Hudson has had the good sense to light the fire. Pray draw up to it, and I shall order you a cup of hot coffee, for I observe that you are shivering.
“It is not cold which makes me shiver,” said the woman in a low voice, changing her seat as requested.
“What, then?”