Sherlock Holmes was created by the Scottish Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1887. Doyle mentions that the inspiration behind the famous character was the surgeon Joseph Bell, for whom Doyle worked for a time. The eccentric detective made his first appearance between the pages of “The Strand” with the story “A Study in Scarlet”.
Sherlock was a genius, whose immense success could be found in his ability to efficiently observe and analyze his surroundings, forming theories only after gathering all the evidence he needed. Investigative mysteries are perhaps my second favorite thing in the world to read and if Regency Historical fiction hadn’t won me over, I probably would have come up with a stubborn, ingenious detective who would solve murders while wearing high-heeled boots and red lipstick!
However, the relationship between Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson is, to this day, one of the most complex and at the same time, endearing relationships I’ve ever read about. And it’s definitely my personal favorite! A friendship so deep that despite everything they went through, they stuck by each other’s side, complementing each other in ways that only best friends can comprehend. Isn’t that how all human relationships should be?
Hard, but genuine!
And that led me to think: is there a mystery as unsolvable, as complex and compelling as that of human relationships?
Could the answer to the mystery lay in the theories of none other than the brilliant Sherlock Holmes?
Here are five of the inspirational detective’s theories that changed my life!
“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
The fact that something might seem highly unlikely to happen, does not mean it isn’t going to happen! It does not mean it is impossible!
This distinction between possible and probable is one that we should always keep in mind. Whatever your dreams and aspirations might be, however difficult and insurmountable the obstacles might seem, never forget that our lives, if we observe carefully, rarely follows the lines of possibility!
“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.”
A fact can be obvious. However, a fact can also be very obvious. More than you’d expect, and certainly more than you’d hope.
That, my dear fellow, is when you should start asking questions. If there’s one thing I’ve learned after numerous hours of immersing myself in detective stories, it is that when all the clues point to one killer without the shadow of a doubt, when the crime scene is way too transparent and the murder weapon easy to find, then something is definitely wrong!
And if you think about it, that’s how a lot of things work in our everyday life. When someone seems too good to be true, they probably are. There is no perfect human, so make sure to keep your eyes open.
Trust your gut, darling! You will find that it will never lead you astray!
“It is a capital mistake to theorize in advance of the facts. Insensibly, one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
Admitting that you are wrong is not a weakness. It is a sign of courage, of maturity. We grow wiser when we realize the indisputable truth that the world around us is too big for us to know everything. We make mistakes, we fail. And all that is part of being human.
When our facts change with every new piece of knowledge that we acquire, our theories should change accordingly. If we sit down and think about it, our lives are endless streams of theories. About our neighbors, about our friends, about our environment, about ourselves…
Doesn’t it seem imperative that we do our best to form theories as accurately as we can?
A clear mind, impartiality, no prejudice, patience and observation. These will eventually give us the theories that are worth having.
“Nothing clears up a case so much as stating it to another person.”
We often think that we can take on the world all on our own.
Come now, there’s no need to deny it. We have all felt that way at least once in our lifetime.
This feeling might stem from a sense of superiority. We feel invincible, as if nothing can touch us. Or it might stem from a sense of not belonging. We feel like no one will ever understand, like we are the only people going through this tough phase. How could anyone come close to comprehend our internal turmoil?
And so, we bottle things up. We keep them buried deep inside us, eating away at us one piece at a time.
But you see, sharing your troubles with someone doesn’t make you weak. Being vulnerable, opening up to another person is liberating! Problems shared are problems solved!
As the great philosopher Aristotle once said, “Man is by nature a social animal.” We were not born to be alone, and we were never meant to carry our burdens on our own.
Express all the feelings you’ve been keeping hidden!
“You see, but you do not observe!”
It is one thing to look, it is another thing to see. And it is something else entirely to observe!
For the eyes can be fooled and a fleeting glance is never enough to recognize the essence of a person or a situation. As Sherlock Holmes always said, the truth lies in the details! And it is only by observing carefully that we can truly pick up those trifles that eventually lead us to forming our truth.
Even the smallest detail, as insignificant and irrelevant to the bigger picture as it might seem at first glance, can prove to be the fountain of knowledge we’ve been looking for!
Keep your eyes open wide and your mind even wider!
“My name is Sherlock Holmes; it is my business to know what others don’t know.”
Written by Hanna Hamilton