Lizzie (from Your Highest Self) and I were chatting recently about learning life lessons from TV shows. It may seem abstract, but it's kind of legit (check out the 6 Things I Learned from Cloud Atlas as well). Please feel free to join in and let us know what you've learned from your favourite show!
Today I'm going with Sherlock, because I got completely hooked on it a little while ago and just watched the whole series again.
At only two seasons and six episodes, total, but I can't get over how much I love it. So much so that I watched the whole series back to back in a couple of days and have, recently, talked Bailey into it too, so I just watched it again.
Aside from the brilliant performances of Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) and Martin Freeman (Dr Watson), who have recently become so hot in Hollywood filming of the third season has been delayed for far too long, Andrew Scott's Jim Moriarty is my favourite representation of Sherlock's nemesis in any of the adaptations – he is like a petulent child, but completely psychotic and so charismatic. It's spine tingling.
But it is the relationship of the protagonists that is the heart of the show and that is what I just love about it.
Here are 6 things I learned from Sherlock:
1 – Pay attention.
Sherlock's biggest asset is the use of his senses. Paying attention to his surroundings, he can see what others can't and make decisions and deductions based on what he sees, hears, touches, and tastes. It's odd, but it is a great lesson.
If you see what others can't, you will be able to do what others don't.
Be observant, pay attention, listen, and trust your instincts. This will give you an edge and help you to become more aware in all areas of your life.
2 – Not everyone has to like you. One person is enough.
The character of Sherlock Holmes is always slight acerbic. Even the charming Robert Downey Jr's portrayal can be frustrating and rude at times. The one thing that is always clear is that Watson will always be by his side. In one episode,when Sherlock has been particularly abraisive, he tells Watson that he doesn't have friends, just one friend. At the same time, the bond they have and the work they do is what has saved Dr Watson from a lonely and meaningless life after returning from the war.
No one undestands why Watson would be friends with someone like Sherlock, but that's what makes it even better. They just don't see it.
Wanting to be liked by everyone is a never ending quest of peopel pleasing and adapting yourself to the likes of others. Even if you are the ripest, juciest peach on the peach tree, there will always be people that don't like peaches (thanks, Dita Von Tease for that eye opening analogy).
If you stay true to yourself, the people who love you most will become blindingly obvious and they will love you no matter what.
3 – Working with someone is better than working alone.
It is only once Sherlock and Watson team up that Sherlock's business really takes off. Their different strengths complement each other perfectly and their team work makes them stronger when it comes to solving the case.
If you know what your strongest abiilities are, and seek to find people who have different skills to you, that will enhance the work you are doing. It isn't always easy to find people who you can gel perfectly with, but once you find it, your work will better as a result of a great dynamic.
4 – If you don't like something, change it.
In the first episode of the series, Dr Watson is in therapy and walking with a stick after being injured at war. He is unhappy and has trust issues, according to his therapist. The way he and Sherlock meet is strange, at best, and there is no explanation as to why Watson decides to go along on the crazy ride that is presented to him.
The only thing I can deduce (yeah I'm a detective now, too) is that his life is miserable and any promise of a little adventure was enough for him to throw in his existing life for a better one. He has no idea what he's getting ito when he meets the oddball Holmes (in a morgue, no less) but he doesn't hesitate and from that point on, his life completely changes.
If you don't like something. Change it. If you don't know what to change it to, be open to any opportunities being presented to you. If you're at the point that you are so lost you don't know what to do, any change is going to be for the better.
Say yes, do something new, take a different route, spend time with new people, take every chance. If you will change, everything will change for you (Jim Rohn quote, one of my faves).
5 – Have a plan B but trust that someone will always have your back.
Sherlock gets himself into some messy situations. His icy facade would have everyone believe that he doesn't care what happens to him, but upon meeting Dr Watson, he finally has someone to watch his back.
It's all good and well to be independent and able to do everything for yourself but you may find yourself in a tight spot that you can't get out of. Sure, you might be able to wiggle yourself out eventually, but if you put time into developing and maintaining relationships, you will find that someone will always have your back. If the antisocial Sherlock can do it, you can too.
Have a back up plan, just in case, but trust that people in your life will come through for you when you need them most. Because if they're the right people, then they will, every time.
6 – Being the smartest or the best isn't everything
Sherlock's nemesis, Jim Moriarty, tries to take him down by attempting to outsmart him. They are very similar but use their abilities in completely opposite ways – one for good, one for evil. What Sherlock has that Moriarty doesn't, is friendship. Moriarty can get a lot done by threatening or paying others, but he doesn't have any true relationships. His smarts are put to the test because there is a limit to them that Sherlock can exceed by learning from his relationship with Watson.
Baddies always think that compassion and love are weaknesses, that caring for others will be their downfall (look at every classic good vs evil story for more proof of this). But, at the end of the day, it is those who have something worth fighting for that win in the end.
If you surround yourself with people who make you want to be better, then you will be. Learning from others will make you stronger. Caring for another person makes you fight harder and win so that you can share it with them.
Do you find that the shows you love always have interesting things to take away? Feel free to share the 6 things a show you love has taught you. Post the link or just write it in the comments. You might be amazed how much your favourite TV chill out has taught you about life!