Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

No Shit

The stories of Sherlock Holmes are as entertaining as they are instructive.

Mister Holmes is a fictional detective known for his astounding ability to solve any case with the smallest and most insignificant of clues. Clues he can only see thanks to his remarkable powers of deduction.

But as much as Holmes’ knowledge is extraordinary, it’s also lacking.

In one of his adventures, you discover that the detective doesn’t even know that the earth travels around the sun.

Rather than being ashamed of his ignorance, Sherlock tries his hardest to forget this astrological fact. “What the deuce is it to me?” he says, “you say that we go round the sun. If we went round the moon it would not make a pennyworth of difference to me or to my work.”

And Holmes is right—ideas that don’t serve your goals are useless and should, at least for the moment, be tossed aside.

Imagine you’re a burnt-out journalist who runs a daily blog. Day after day you’ve written article after article.

You can’t forget the mounting pile of articles you’ve written in years past, and you can’t stop dreaming of the towering stack of articles you’ll write in years to come. Because you are energising foolishness, writing has become a drain.

But if you focus on the work and ignore the rest, you realise there’s only ever one article you need to write: today’s.

Whatever we do for a living, we can all benefit from being more like Sherlock—ignoring what isn’t relevant makes work much easier.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach