Elementary My Dear Watson

Robert Downey Jr. & Jude Law Star in the 2009 Movie Sherlock Holmes

Due to a couple recent movies starring Robert Downey and Jude Law, Sherlock Holmes has once again come into fashion.Watching how this quirky detective figures out seemingly complex crimes using only his logic and perception is absolutely fascinating. Sherlock's power of observation seems almost supernatural. His ability to notice subtle clues and then extrapolate them to their logical conclusion is nothing short of amazing. It always intrigues me to find out how he does it.. how did he know? I can't speak for the rest of you, but I am always on the edge of my seat wondering how he figured it out. And when the details are finally revealed I often think to myself: Of course, how could I have missed that!? ...Or I knew that! It was right in front of our nose. 

When dealing with internal or external conflict we also have to be perceptive. The more aware we are; the better our perception we have, the easier it is for us to know how to best deal with the situation. However, if we cannot see past our own biases, habits or filters, we can become trapped by them. In short, WE can become the problem.

So how can we realize when we are becoming the problem?

  • Are you only relying on command presence (intimidation) or using it as your first attempt toward managing conflict?
  • Do you find yourself saying things that later you wish you hadn't said?
  • Do you often feel regret after the interaction? 
  • Do you find yourself wondering why you are in similar (unhealthy and/or unfulfilling) relationships or interactions time and time again?
  • Do you feel that people don't respect or listen to you?
  • How effective are you at inspiring people to voluntarily do as you suggest?
  • Do you view conflict as a hassle that needs to be dealt with or an opportunity?
Of course I could go on with questions like these, however I won't overwhelm you with any more than what I have listed.

There is a little exercise that I often take people through to help illustrate how we create the experience that we are having. I call it "iexperience."

What you experience is largely influenced by your perception (glass half empty vs. glass half full - Conflict vs. opportunity - Problem vs. challenge, etc.), which influences the choices you make. Over time enough of the same choices will develop your habits. We develop habits on how we deal with our emotions, other people and specific situations. Those habits will then determine our reactions to our emotions or feelings. Those feelings largely determine the experience that we are having in the moment.

So in order to change our experience we have to:

1) Understand that we have the power to create a new way of experiencing an emotion, person, or situation.

2) Increase our awareness so we can begin to make different choices which support healthier, more desirable habits.

3) Establish new habits that (over time, not over night) will alter how we deal with our emotions and how we create our experience.

As holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl said, "You can't always determine what happens to you, but you can determine how you respond to it."

So, if you don't like the experience you are having, create a new one!

This often begins by simply noticing, which goes back to good ole' Sherlock Holmes and being perceptive. Start noticing things about yourself, about others, about the situations you are in, notice the environment and the interaction. Don't judge, try to figure out, fix, win, lose, avoid, etc. just simply notice what's going on inside and outside of you. Breathe, simply notice and let go. Be an observer.

Once you've tried that a while, then if what is happening inside or outside of you isn't healthy or what you want (or the short or long term result isn't what you are hoping for), then change for a change. In other words, choose to do something else; act another way. It is difficult to do something different. It is hard for us to do, not to mention other people don't always help us out either. Sometimes other people are used to us acting a certain way; their "role" is somehow tied up with ours, so often when we try to change our role it effects theirs and they don't like that, so sometimes people will resist you changing and making other choices because it may mean that they have to look at themselves differently as well. So they resist us making different choices.

If you don't like the way people are treating you, you have to look at how YOU are training them to treat you. No, I didn't stutter, you read that correctly. You have to educate other people how to treat YOU! Have you ever noticed that when some people walk into a room that they command a certain presence and other people get treated like dirt. How does that happen? Is it that the crowd just know how to treat them, or is it the person holding themselves a certain way, talking a certain way, walking a certain way, they are both somehow educating those people on how they expect to be treated.This happens over time, not over night. You didn't adopt your current habits overnight and you aren't going to change them overnight either! ...So keep going!

All the best,




  1. WOW!!! That is awesome Craig!! Thanks for this information...suddenly my life is making a bit more sense. :-)


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