Thursday, March 23, 2017

Common Sense is not so Common!

Common Sense is not so Common

When I think about this saying, “Common Sense,” I am reminded of all the times I have heard this saying in my life and even the times that I have used it.  Picture an older man speaking to a younger, reprimanding him for not thinking about his last task. He says to the younger man “what is wrong with you?  This is common sense,” as he shakes his head in disappointment.  This is not an uncommon mindset and statement in any area of life.  I am sure you have had this statement directed at you at one time or another. Sometimes our reference of “common senses” seems so common to the person using the statement, however the reality is it is not always what it seems.  For the person on the other end it may not be common at all and to the person we are working with or talking to it could totally be like speaking in tongues.   

An example comes straight out of the headlines where a jungle worker in some far off land was on his lunch break and fell asleep and never work up.  They found his remains in the belly of a 25 foot boa constrictor.  You would think common sense would dictate because of the danger of wild animals you don’t take a nap on the log of a downed tree.   But for this man he obviously didn’t realize this was a possibility or forget that it was not a wise nap place.  I have seen the pictures of this man who was eaten it wasn’t pretty.  So in this case “Common Sense,” it wasn’t so common after all.  When speaking with someone about something they have no reference to is something that goes on quite often nowadays.   For example you may be speaking about how to defend yourself, or play an instrument or run a business etc,. I deal with this all the time, when coaching martial art school owners. I find that the things that are easy and natural to me, are many times not even thought of.  What I would consider common sense is not.  After 25 years of experience this is second nature to me, but to the newbie it is not even in their frame of reference.  Common sense is actually a highly trained skill and without the correct training a person/business owner or musician will fail terribly.  So what is common sense? 

While consulting with a myriad of different people, I have found they all feel similarly.  Over 4 decades of being a martial art teachers, I have found the same thing as well.  I believe is the basic core fundamental principles of what I call life skills.  However in the 21st century it seems that many of the things necessary to make a person well rounded and able to function under almost any situations is now falling on deaf ears like a brand new discovery.  We don’t have to learn how to start a fire, from two sticks, or hunt and forage for food. None of that is necessary in the world we live.  At times what I think to be basic necessity is not something of interest for other people.  So my approach when I consult all the time, no matter who I am dealing with is to treat everyone as if they were starting from scratch.  My theory is – if one simple lesson is lost or missed, whether it is the most basic it can have a long term effects on the growth of that individual. When I teach martial arts I teach sword.  I have had people say to me, no one is out there attacking you with a sword. The majority of attacks don’t happen with a sword, but machete and knife attacks are becoming more and more prevalent in the world we live.  So practicing defense against a sword, is not a bad skill to learn.    

So what is common sense in life?  I would have to say with total confidence the answer is nothing!  What is basic to one person may not be to another. A boy growing up on a farm in the Midwest has common sense knowledge that is quite different then the city boy or child of a millionaire.  My approach is a no nonsense, experience based lesson program.  That is the way I teach my students, friends, people I love and also in the consulting industry with my clients the basics on up to advanced training. I learned from personal experience, what works and what doesn’t, I share what I am using and what I have failed at with those that I am teaching.  I am not afraid to say, I tried this and it didn’t work. I am also not embarrassed to speak of my mistakes because they are the best lessons in life.  I remember being very disappointed with Tony Robbins when he got divorced. I thought to myself, I listen to this man, I believe in him. I have used his philosophies in my relationship.  If he can’t have a successful marriage, then how can I listen to him about marriage?  When I came to reality I realized, you only learn from people’s experiences good and bad.  Mistakes are equally beneficial as successes. This is why I share openly and honestly with everyone.    

I believe in following an owner’s manual or script of some sort, although I have to admit many times I assembled many items without using a step by step guide and have found a few extra bolts, when I was finished.  Initially it didn’t matter, but in the long run what ever was left out came back to haunt me, the strength or the structure was weakened.  Your life is no different a personal owner’s manual so to speak.  Make not of your experiences because they will be your blue print for success.  Even though things may differ slightly from situation to situation, even culturally, but all in all, concepts are adaptable.  A business owner has to school himself in the concept of common sense, a school age child or teen, as well as a parent too. If you learn one thing from this article – is “common sense, is not so common.”

It is my goal to continually create common sense action principles for a variety of things that will help the world arming people with the tools to live their lives to the fullest. 

Five Core fundamental Protocols of common sense and life.
A set of formal rules describing how to
1)      Learn as much as you can about the topic at hand. Don’t do it on the surface, dig in deep and actually learn as much as you can.
2)      Embrace lessons as painful or uncomfortable as they are.
3)      Procedures Protocol’s – develop a system to process the lesson, what and how does your mind work best, find that out and then use that over and over.
4)      Core Functions – the 9 levels of competency – I will release this in future articles.
5)      Trust others and allow yourself to be the student.

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