Sherlock Holmes is a character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in a series of short stories and novels written between 1887 and 1927. In the stories, Holmes is a “consulting detective”, whose keen eye and hard logic lead to astounding deductions (or abductions). Since the original stories, he has been portrayed in a number of movies and fiction – he is often considered the “most well known detective” in the world, despite being fictional.

There are a few characteristics of Sherlock Holmes which make him an interesting archetype to model oneself upon, as a means to self-improvement. In the following lists, I consider the (fictional) man, as well as some challenges and milestones I can use in order to measure how well I can emulate him.

Holmes is:
  • logical and highly intelligent
  • a capable strategist & tactician
  • a natural philosopher (interested in science)
  • an artist and musician
  • keen observation/abductive reasoning
  • polyglotism
  • cryptanalyst
  • bare-knuckle boxing
  • join MENSA
  • complete the Français course on DuoLingo
  • complete the cryptography courses from Stanford
  • draw a realistic female figure
  • play four piano pieces
  • play four guitar pieces
  • win a table-top war game
  • find a sketchbook and practise with magazine pictures while watching TV
  • download some cool guitar tablature
  • do a MENSA practise exam
  • finish the MENSA puzzle book
  • book a MENSA examination