In A Study in Scarlet, Dr. Watson criticized an article written by, as it turned out, Sherlock Holmes.
He thought The Art of Deduction to be utter BS.
This prompted Sherlock to tell Watson about his profession. More importantly, how he acquired his skills, and the lengths he went to get them.
Sherlock Holmes is the only consulting detective in the world. He uses his skills in the art of deduction to set other detectives straight.
So what’s his secret?
When you have 1000 types of cases readily available, it should be odd when the one you’re working one presents to be the 1001.
Patterns emerge, even in the most strange cases.
Like Ray Dalio says in Principles, you should learn the general principles, so new things can be reduced to “another one of those.”
This is also what makes chess players skilled: the accumulation of patterns.
It becomes a game of who has the most patterns readily available.
Charlie Munger promotes the acquisition of mental models—a broad variety, at that—which shall help you become wiser and more capable.
Mental models & principles have certainly worked for these men and women.
They’ll work for you, too.