Okay, at first it seems preposterous Sherlock Holmes is a modern day consultant helping the NYPD–and maybe stranger still Dr. Watson is portrayed by Lucy Liu. However, the show “Elementary” on CBS is awesome and addicting–and proves television can be a teaching tool (and entertaining, too.)
What makes this modern day Sherlock Holmes such a super sleuth? If you said his keen powers of observation, attention to detail, and deductive reasoning, you would be correct–and it’s something we can all do. If we paid more attention to trends and patterns and what was going on around us, were more active listeners and better at reading body language, and took time to think and reflect, we could come to conclusions with large leaps of insight, making us even more magnificent than we already are.
To help connect the dots between what we see and what we know, we need to be more like Holmes. He knows a lot about a lot of things (on the show) and as a result is able to see connections others can’t. Steve Jobs was like that, too. Sure, Apple sold gizmos and gadgets, but Jobs contributions were more about being a visionary, applying his keen sense of design and his attention to detail than his ability to write code. His love of calligraphy, for example, led to better screen fonts and scaleable type on early Macs. The more we know, the more we grow–and can come up with brilliant breakthroughs.
The same principles apply to two other excellent CBS shows, “The Mentalist” and “Criminal Minds”. In these two programs the main characters are all clearly smart, insightful, and extremely knowledgable. However, the thing that allows them to solve crimes and catch criminals is usually the small things they notice that others don’t. Play this game with yourself whenever you can. Look at a person, a vehicle, or a building and attempt to notice things you know others have missed. How many details can you describe? What doesn’t fit? What patterns do you see? What do you think you know just based on a quick glance and your gut reaction? The more you do this, the better you get.