I am The Common Sense Guy. My tag line is, “Helping individuals, teams and entire organizations succeed by applying their common sense.” That’s why my ears perked up when I heard President Obama say the words “common sense” in the State of the Union address last night. He said, “Let’s try common sense – a novel concept.” Common sense is not a novel concept, but it is one that is often misunderstood.
In the Introduction to my forthcoming book, Common Sense Ideas for Building a Dream Team, I say…
“We are all born with five senses: sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. These senses help us navigate our way through the world. They bring us delight in small things: the turning of the leaves in autumn, an Eric Clapton guitar lick – or depending on your taste, a Yitzhak Perlman violin piece; the warmth of the sun on your face on the first day of spring, your favorite birthday dinner that your mom always made, the smell of warm bread baking. They also warn us when danger threatens: lightning in the sky, a police or fire siren, a hot barbeque grill, food that is spoiled and not safe to eat, the odor that is added to natural gas.
“However, I believe that we all have a sixth, and underused sense, our common sense. Your common sense helps you make the right decision in ambiguous situations – but only if you use it. When I tell people that I’m the Common Sense Guy, they often come back with the old saying, ‘Common sense isn’t all that common.’ I disagree. I think that we all have innate common sense. It’s a natural gift, just like our five other senses. I think common sense is very common. What’s uncommon is our lack of willingness to use it.
“Noetics is emerging science. The word ‘noetic’ comes from the ancient Greek nous. It refers to ‘inner knowing,’ a kind of intuitive knowledge beyond what is available to our normal senses. Noetics is the exploration of the nature and potentials of consciousness using multiple ways of knowing — including intuition, feeling, reason, and the senses. Common sense is a type of noetics. It is an inner knowing of what to do in any given situation.
“Thomas Edison once said ‘Many people miss opportunity because it comes dressed up in overalls and looks like work.’ I believe that most people know what to do in most situations, their common sense tells them. However, many people often don’t do what their common sense says for a number of reasons… ‘it’s too difficult and not worth the effort,’ ‘it takes too much time,’ ‘so and so might get upset with me,’ ‘I don’t know if I can do it.’ I’ve found that there are as many reasons for not using your common sense as there are people in the world.”
In the case of politicians, the reason for not doing the common sense thing is usually rooted in their need to get reelected – not wanting to anger the voters back home, or the lobbyists who make big campaign contributions.
This isn’t a political blog, so I’m not going to comment on what President Obama implied is a lack of common sense in government. It is a career and life success blog however, so I will comment on how common sense should be your guiding light when it comes to creating the successful life and career you want and deserve. My Common Sense Success System is built on four common sense success principles: 1) clarity of purpose and direction; 2) a sincere commitment to taking personal responsibility for your life and career; 3) unshakeable self confidence; and 4) competence in several key skills. I discuss these ideas in detail in several of my books: Straight Talk for Success, Star Power, I Want YOU…To Succeed, Your Success GPS and 42 Rules to Jumpstart Your Professional Success.
If you want to succeed, you need to apply these four common sense principles in your daily life. You need to use, not deny your common sense.
The common sense point here is simple. Successful people embrace and use their common sense. They apply four key common success principles: 1) clarity of purpose and direction; 2) a sincere commitment to taking personal responsibility for your life and career; 3) unshakeable self confidence; and 4) competence in several key skills. In the State of the Union address, President Obama called common sense a novel concept. It may be. However, if you are serious about creating the successful life and career you want and deserve, you will embrace your common sense. You’ll apply your inner knowing of what to do to when it comes to succeeding in this life and in your career.
That’s my take on common sense and success. What’s yours? Please take a few minutes to leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us. As always, thanks for reading.