What is common sense?
The official definition is native intelligence; Sound, practical intelligence that is independent of specialized knowledge or training. Some people call it following your gut. Some people call it just knowing and doing what is right.
It is uncommon. Too few people today follow their gut. They feel they should be doing something else with their life, but instead of changing they continue to go through the motions of habit. Habit is an interesting part of life. There are good habits and bad habits. We really are somewhat like sheep when following a habit because we are used to it.
Let’s talk about some good habits that should be common sense.
With the advent of the modern world of technology and electricity it is easy to stay up late and sleep in. It is easy to limit our needed sleep to only a few hours. Our bodies need time to recharge and organize the experiences of the previous day. I have recently changed my schedule. I used to work on making Wowflutes in the evenings before bed. I would generally start a batch around 8 or 9 pm. I would finish after midnight and get up around 5:30am to get ready for my day job. This took its toll. I felt like I was putting my passion and what I loved on the backburner. Leaving it till the last minute everyday made it seem unimportant, and it was easy to not want to do it.
I switched it up. I now get to bed in the evenings around 9:30-10:30pm and get up at 4 am. It has made a huge difference. Now I feel I am working on my goals first thing instead of last. I have several hours to think to myself with no interruptions. It is wonderful! I really did not know what I was missing. The old adage by Benjamin Franklin goes “early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise”. You would think this would be common sense, but it is uncommon.
2) Working on your talents
People love to work on their talents. They love to feel like they are good at something. Many folks feel they don’t have any talents though… Just because their talents may not be as visible as others. It is common sense to work on your talents, but how many people do? It is easy to say you do not have time to develop them, but your gut tells you differently. I know folks who work a job they don’t like and go home and worry about their job and their boring life and go to sleep and go on to the job, day after day after day. Why? Because it is the sheep mentality of just following a habit. Instead of worrying – set goals and time aside for working on something you enjoy, your talent. Something that you would do for free.
I have found that this is a secret to managing employees and helping them enjoy their work. For example, I was the general manager of a mining company – Alpine Gems, for a short time from 2013-2014. It was my grandfathers company and he had built it from the ground up. When he passed on in 2011 the company was split between his sons and daughters. No one was actively participating in the business on a daily basis and it was faltering. The company had never had employees and I was bent on changing this.
The first person I hired was a great guy named Kasey. He was a hard worker and could easily manage working in stone. I made him my warehouse manager and we spent a lot of time planning and discussing the goals for the business. I found out that he had been a theater major and was interested in making movies. He had a talent in production and directing. So I decided to focus many hours of our days in producing marketing content to spread online. Kasey was exuberant and went above and beyond what I asked for. It was because it was his passion – something that he would do even if he didn’t get paid. He worked extra hours on story boarding and editing in his spare time at home. We created a lot of content that was helpful in securing new business and growing the company’s non-existent presence online.
Our sales in the first six months were double the previous year. People knew we were having fun and working hard – especially our customers. Unfortunately there were too many cooks in the kitchen that thought we were having too much fun and not working. I resigned when we realized our hard work was in vain.
I still get to work with Kasey as he helps me create more great content for Wowflute!
If you want to change things up develop the habit of working and developing your talents. An easy measuring stick is to find what you would be willing to do for free.
3) Elevate those around you.
This is a habit that has far reaching potential. When you choose to elevate others you are also elevating yourself. Elevating others is making them feel good about themselves. When you speak to an old friend or a new acquaintance make sure to get them talking about themselves. Learn about what they love and what makes them tick. People love to talk about themselves – it is just human nature. An excellent read that has inspired this habit is the book by Dale Carnegie, How to win friends and influence people. A common theme throughout the book is simple common sense to treat others how you would want to be treated.
The easiest way to help folks feel good is to smile more. Smiling is contagious. People look better when they smile. They look more healthy and attractive. When you smile folks want to be around you more; they want to know what makes you happy and why you are smiling. Make it a habit to smile wherever you go and be interested in others. This habit will make you good connections that will grow your network and improve every aspect of your life. It is easy. It is common sense, that unfortunately, is not that common.