Why is Common Sense So Uncommon?

Ken Donaldson: Why is common sense so uncommon?

From back in the days when I had far less common sense…

I’ve had some rather significant back issues for numerous years (started with a lumbar compression fracture at 14 while playing football) and I recently sought out a new approach to treat this ongoing ailment (a.k.a. chronic pain) from a friend’s recommendation. The guy he recommended is a Corrective Athletic Trainer and he essentially helps professional athletes (and occasionally everyday people like me) perform optimally. His approach is unique in that he helps people “correct” years of unhealthy simple patterns of behaviors (walking, standing, sitting, etc.) back to how these patterns are suppose to be and doing so, helps his clients, and hopefully me, perform more optimally.

Personally, I just want my back and hip pain to be more manageable. However, if I become some kind of professional superstar athlete along the way, I’ll take that too (kidding).

In my first session with him, knowing that he synthesizes numerous types of exercise, healing and corrective approaches together, I asked him what he calls his approach.

His answer was both humorous and profound, “Common sense.”

Which brought me to the question and title of this post,

Why is Common Sense So Uncommon?

For example, it’s common sense to:

  • Take a walk everyday to move your body, get fresh air and a nice natural dose of vitamin D from the sun
  • Listen, understand and empathize with someone else instead of getting defensive.
  • Say, “No,” when you mean, “No.”
  • Breathe fully and deeply to naturally relax yourself and relieve stress?
  • Pick someone you’re truly compatible with for a relationship partner?
  • Have a reasonably balanced diet
  • know that it’s irrational to spend more money than you have, and important to save some for retirement
  • Realize that no one is going to help you out of your pain or discomfort unless and until you accept that you’re primarily responsible for such
  • Take full responsibility when you make a mistake, screw up or hurt someone’s feeling, rather than defend, deny or blame something or someone else

These all seem like relatively common sense behaviors and attitudes, but for some reason they’re not so common.

For example:

  • Some of the reasons people get and stay depressed are because they don’t get up, go outside and move their body, while getting some free vitamin D in the process. Furthermore, they eat crappy food that further exacerbates their depression. Finally, they don’t stand up for themselves with a simple and powerful, “No,” when they have a personal boundary, which further adds to their bad feeling (and depression) about themselves.
  • Some of the reasons people get and stay anxious are because they don’t pay attention to their breathing which is the most natural way to reduce anxiety and stress. Additionally, they consume unhealthy food and practice counter-indicated (like the people who struggle with depression) behaviors. They too often don’t set the simple boundary of saying, “No,” either.
  • Some of the reasons people get into, and stay in, unhealthy, dysfunctional and abusive relationships are because they are not clear about the characteristics, deal-makers and deal-breakers required to have a happy, healthy and harmonious relationship. Furthermore, they too don’t practice the simple boundary setting technique of saying, “No.”

Clearly I could give many more examples, but the bigger question is:

How has this happened??
Why is common sense so uncommon?

When I wrote Marry YourSelf First I never considered it being anything like “a commonsense manual for life,” but as I look at it now it is, at least to a certain degree.

Here’s an outline of the primary goals I invite the readers of Marry YourSelf First to achieve that seem to be at least somewhat common sense:

  • Utilizing Effective Communication and Assertiveness Skills
  • Developing Powerful and Lasting Boundaries
  • Fully Knowing and Utilizing Your Values and Priorities
  • Identifying Your Personal Deal-Makers and Deal-Breakers
  • Implementing Simple Humor Stress Management Strategies
  • Developing an Easy Life Balance System
  • Creating Effective Support Networks
  • Understanding the Role of Integrity in Your Life
  • Clearly Defining Your Life Purpose and Vision
  • Understanding and Leveraging the “Law of Attraction”
  • Creating a “Pay it Forward” Lifestyle
  • Attaining Completion from Past Hurt and Loss

I’m not so grandiose to suggest that Marry YourSelf First is THE guide to improve common sense, but I’m also not too shy to suggest that it can, and will, improve your “common sense intelligence.”

The primary cause in my opinion, based on my 30 years of clinical experiences and my almost 60 years of personal experiences, for what appears to be a lack of common sense is that we are not taught these seemingly simple, sensible and very valuable concepts. In fact, if you look at many of the messages in our mainstream culture, you’ll find almost the opposite:

  • Jump impulsively into relationships via online dating
  • Spend more money than you have with endless credit
  • Eat more fast food, junk food and bad food
  • Spend more time on your TV, computer, tablet and cell phone
  • Avoid conflicts and disagreements, or react with rage

Again, I could go on, but I think you get the point.

So, if Marry YourSelf First isn’t in your personal library and you’re not actively reading it and utilizing what you’ve learned from it, then I invite you to invest in it today.

After all, you, me and all of us will benefit from more common sense in the world.


Marry YourSelf First: Start Today!


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