Source | LinkedIn : By Rajeev Thakur
“The only thing a person can never have too much of, is common sense.”
—–Kathryn Smith—Anna & the Duke
Success is the perpetual pursuit of all working human beings. There are innumerable ingredients for success, but one of the most essential one I find today is commonsense. The term is best defined as “the ability to think and behave in a reasonable way and to make sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts”. Incidentally whoever called it common must have had a twisted sense of humour for as Ralph Waldo Emerson aptly says “Common sense is as rare as genius.”
Why commonsense? People with education & experience have the knowledge to tackle most problems in a logical manner in most predictable situations. However what is missing today is predictability in our work environment & in business. We are consistently facing ambiguity in our working life. Educated & smart people tend to go into an auto-pilot mode of thinking & tend to get bound to rules, theories, ideas and guidelines that would hamper or stifle the best decision in a particular situation. The fact is that just because someone says so or just because it has always been done that way, is not a reason things will work when circumstances change. This is where commonsense comes into play & as Victor Hugo has rightly said “Common sense is in spite of, not as the result of education”.
A good technical definition of commonsense is “sound judgment not based on specialized knowledge.” One doesn’t needs to be a Ph.D. to exercise commonsense. It’s a trait one develops through purposeful awareness and habit. Commonsense equates to wisdom, whereas an academic understanding of specific areas of life equates to knowledge. In simpler terms, what commonsense boils down to is a sound understanding of how life works. Karl Albrecht, author of “Practical Intelligence: The Art & Science of Common sense” refers to common sense as “practical intelligence”. He defines it as “the mental ability to cope with the challenges and opportunities of life”. He explains that common sense is situational, dependent on context and that your common sense in one aspect of your life might be excellent while failing abysmally in another aspect of your life.