EMBRACE COMMON SENSE… and Common Sense is very uncommon!

Dr. Mitchell Perry


Notice how often you hear people say…

“That’s just common sense… everyone knows that!”

And, that’s true, most everyone does know that!


However, much of the time, the difficult challenge is to recognize the common sense right in front of you.

When you think of any dilemma you have, you might notice that more than half the time, the MAGIC IS IN THE OBVIOUS. The solutions, the answers, the next steps, the options to proceed, are right in front of your face… IT’S OBVIOUS!

However, sometimes you are simply just too close to it and your emotions create filters and amplifiers that cloud out the obvious and reality. It is as if you ask yourself, “Where are my glasses?” and then you realize they are right on your nose.

–       YOUR MONEY – If you are concerned about your financial situation, you may want to realize the OBVIOUS, that perhaps you are spending more than you make. It’s time to spend less.

–       YOUR HEALTH – If you have high blood pressure, Type-2 diabetes, hypertension, ache a lot, feel unattractive, are gasping for breath at the top of stairs, and are medicating with food… you may want to realize the OBVIOUS, that your being overweight is compromising your health, longevity, and well-being. Perhaps it is time to finally lose weight and keep it off.

–       YOUR SELF-PITY – If you notice that you spend most of your time complaining, whining, feeling self-pity, and playing victim… then you may want to realize the OBVIOUS, that you are spending too much time describing your problem rather than solving it. Perhaps it is time to start taking responsibility for yourself, your life, your choices, and your behavior and start SOLVING it.

–       YOUR CHILDISHNESS – If you notice that you are always blaming everyone else for your situation, then you may want to realize the OBVIOUS and start owning the cards that are dealt and look in the mirror. Perhaps it is time to take your future in your hands.

–       YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE – If your business is doing poorly, and customers are failing to come back, then you may want to realize the OBVIOUS and take a look at your relationship with your customers. Your customers will come back if their expectations are met and/or exceeded. Perhaps it is time to find out what your customers want, and then give it to them. Ask them regularly how you are doing and when you get advice, listen to it and change your behavior.

–       YOUR MARRIAGE – If your marriage is filled with indifference, criticism and/or contempt, you may want to realize the OBVIOUS and start spending more time and initiative on mutually nourishing and supporting each other. Perhaps it is time to spend more time reinforcing each other and demonstrating the courtship behavior you did in the beginning. You married the courtship behavior; therefore it is insane to stop the very behavior you married.




So take ANOTHER look at the obvious, and you might be surprised at what has been there the whole time right in front of you.

The paradox is: the OBVIOUS is OBVIOUS to everyone else but us! Somehow, we too often ignore Common Sense because it is so hard to see when our emotions and behavior get in the way. It is so hard to see what is right in front of our face. Here are some examples of the obvious:

– If it is common sense to be fit by eating healthy and regularly exercising, why are 2/3 of all Americans so overweight?

– If it is common sense to know that regularly reinforcing and supporting others will result in improved performance in business, then why do so many supervisors only deliver criticism or silence when it comes to giving feedback?

– If it is common sense to treat others with respect, why are so many people rude, critical, contemptuous, and indifferent?

– If it is common sense to take responsibility for our conduct and decisions, why are so many people playing victim, feeling entitled, and blaming everyone else for their failures?

– If it is common sense for people to collaborate, compromise, share, and reach agreement in order to get along, why do so many people simply ignore the obvious, and instead fight and remain adversarial with each other?

– If it is common sense that great customer service will motivate customers to come back and remain loyal, why is it that customer service resembles anything but “service” most of the time?

– If it is common sense to provide empathy, caring, support, and warmth in helping people to recover from sickness, why is it that so many people in health care have flunked the “care” part of health care?

– If it is common sense that we know to be successful in life, perhaps the two most important habits that we must practice to be effective are:
Getting along well with people (relationship skills)
Managing money, (financial literacy)
Then why is it that most people have so many failed relationships (at home and work) and are financially dysfunctional?

– If it is common sense to say “thank you” upon receiving a compliment, then why do most people discount and invalidate every compliments they receive?

– If it is common sense to treat your spouse with support, respect, regard, affection and love (the courtship behavior), they why is it that so many marital partners replace those habits with so much indifference, defensiveness, and contempt for each other?


It is sensible, prudent, practical, logical, empirical, and reflects sound judgment.

What we know is INSIDE us: it is internally grounded, it reflects self-respect, trusting our judgment, and calm resolve. Common Sense is strategic, long-term, broad-based, functional, responsible, and often very moral.


SO NOW… IMAGINE THAT YOU PUT YOUR COMMON SENSE IN YOUR DOMINANT HAND. Now imagine your common sense (what you know) is always available to you in your dominant hand… it is what you know and it is right there in front of you.

Clearly, some of our ongoing behavior reflects Common Sense… when we do behave that way, life is generally good, and we feel more strength, resolve, calm, and self-respect.

However, some of our behavior is void of common sense, and when we abandon the obvious, we are practicing INSANITY!


Doing the same thing over and over;
resulting in the same poor outcome;
with the illusion that if we keep doing it that way;
we will achieve a different outcome.

Too often what we DO is a function of familiarity and habit. What we DO is subject to peer pressure; it is too often influenced by others outside us… it is shortsighted, short-term oriented, subject to the approval of others, dependent on fear and doubt, and reflects a reaction to our irrational emotions at the time.

INSANITY occurs when we need to snatch a rationalization from the jaws of logic at a moment’s notice in order to justify our ill-conceived actions!

Take a look at these familiar remarks that reflect INSANITY:

“We’ve always done it that way… if only they would change, then everything would be fine… they are the problem. I give them the answers and tell them what to do, and all they do is pushback.”

“Of course I nag my husband… he really dislikes it, but that is the only way I can get his attention! Besides I am not nagging, I am helping!”

“I would pay more attention to you if you would quit nagging at me!”

“I would quit nagging at you if you would pay more attention to me!”

“It seems clearly reasonable that when I am lonely, I can solve that problem by ordering 2 large pizzas, 4 beers, and an ice cream chaser.”

“Yes, I have carried this grudge for a long time, but they started it and they have to apologize first.”

“I hate my job, and I am sick of being so dependent on it, but I will never get another job like this, so I just put in the time and wait for it to be over.”

“I haven’t figured out what I want to do so I guess I will just do this in the meantime.”

“I worry all the time and feel afraid a lot, and I have to do that so I can be prepared for any bad thing that might happen along the way.”

“I am not bossy, it’s just that I know more about what everyone else should be doing!”

“I have always been shy and a worrier, I can’t help it… I don’t like it either… but that’s just the way I am!”

“Our business would be much more successful if it just wasn’t for those damn customers!”

“Of course I am suspicious of others, because when you have had my experience, you will learn that all people are out to screw you!”

“There aren’t any good men out there… and any good ones are already taken!”

“I can’t find a job… there are none out there… I am too overqualified / old / fat / undereducated / and they discriminate against me, so what’s the point of trying?”

“I always avoid dancing because I don’t dance well and everyone will be looking at me and think I am a loser.”

“If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all.”

“I am a perfectionist, and have high standards, and when it isn’t right, I go nuts and it really bugs me!”

“This isn’t a good time to deal with this. I know I have been avoiding this, but I will start to deal with this when I feel better and I’m ready.”

“We are working in the best interests of the American people, and it’s just those misguided people on the other side of the aisle who won’t budge. They are the problem”

Remember that your Common Sense is in your dominant hand. And, put your Insanity in the other hand. You now have a very important choice to make. Will you practice Insanity or will you choose COMMON SENSE?

DECIDE TO CHOOSE COMMON SENSE AND DO WHAT YOU KNOW! Bring your insanity (the dark side) over to Common Sense. Do what you know!

When you think of doing what you already know… you will likely make better choices routinely. You will be more proactive, happy, self-respecting, and operating from strength. You already know common sense… it is simply now a conscious decision to choose to embrace the obvious and practice it.


THE OBVIOUS… think about it. And think about how you live your life. The magic, the answers, the solutions, the prescriptions, and the deliverables are all in the OBVIOUS; it’s all right in front of your face.
And the paradox is… the obvious is obvious to everyone but you.

WHY IS THAT? Because you are too close to it, your emotions are involved, and your emotions create filters and amplifiers which often prevent you from seeing what’s right in front of your face.


Recognize and embrace what’s right in front of your face.
It’s COMMON SENSE… And, Common Sense is very uncommon!

COMMON SENSE is WHAT YOU KNOW: sensible, prudent, obvious, logical, practical, empirical, and reflecting sound judgment. “Anyone would know that!”

It’s common sense to put into practice what you know, and remember common sense is very uncommon.


Doing the same bad habit with the same poor results with the illusion that if you keep doing it that way, you will receive a different outcome.

The key is to connect WHAT YOU DO (your behavior) with WHAT YOU KNOW (Common Sense).

And Common Sense is very uncommon!

Today’s Tickle

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit.  Wisdom is not using it in a fruit salad.

Sometimes, when I look at my children, I say to myself, ‘Lillian, you should have remained a virgin.’
– Lillian Carter (mother of Jimmy Carter)

I had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: – ‘No good in a bed, but fine against a wall.’
– Eleanor Roosevelt

Last week, I stated this woman was the ugliest woman I had ever seen. I have since been visited by her sister, and now wish to withdraw that statement.
– Mark Twain

The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible.
– George Burns

Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year.
– Victor Borge

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.
– Mark Twain

By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.
– Socrates

I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.
– Groucho Marx

My wife has a slight impediment in her speech. Every now and then she stops to breathe.
– Jimmy Durante

I have never hated a man enough to give his diamonds back.
– Zsa Zsa Gabor

Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat.
– Alex Levine

My luck is so bad that if I bought a cemetery, people would stop dying.
– Rodney Dangerfield

Money can’t buy you happiness but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.
– Spike Milligan

Until I was thirteen, I thought my name was SHUT UP.
– Joe Namath

I don’t feel old. I don’t feel anything until noon. Then it’s time for my nap.
– Bob Hope

I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it.
– W. C. Fields

We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress.
– Will Rogers

Don’t worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older, it will avoid you.
– Winston Churchill

Maybe it’s true that life begins at fifty. But everything else starts to wear out, fall out, or spread out.
– Phyllis Diller

By the time a man is wise enough to watch his step, he’s too old to go anywhere.
– Billy Crystal

And the cardiologist’s diet: – If it tastes good spit it out.
May your troubles be less, may your blessings be more, and may nothing but happiness come through your door.

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