Common Sense and Success

Today is Use Your Common Sense Day.  I know that because I created it.  I chose November 4 as Use Your Common Sense Day because it is Will Rogers’ birthday.  Will was a great American humorist who was famous for saying, “Common sense ain’t all that common.”

We are all born with five senses: sight, sound, touch, taste and smell.  These senses help us navigate our way through the world.  They bring us delight in small things: the turning of the leaves in autumn, an Eric Clapton guitar lick – or depending on your taste, a Yitzhak Perlman violin piece, the warmth of the sun on your face on the first day of spring, your favorite birthday dinner that your mom always made, the smell of warm bread baking.  They also warn us when danger threatens: lightning in the sky, a police or fire siren, a hot barbeque grill, food that is spoiled and not safe to eat, the odor that is added to natural gas.

However, I believe that we all have a sixth, and underused sense, our common sense.  Your common sense helps you make the right decision in ambiguous situations – but only if you use it.  When I tell people that I’m the Common Sense Guy, people often come back with Will Rogers’ saying, “Common sense isn’t all that common.”  I disagree.  I think that we all have innate common sense.  It’s a natural gift, just like our five other senses.  We don’t always use it though.

Recently, I learned of an emerging science — noetics.  According to the Institute of Noetic Science, “The word ‘noetic’ comes from the ancient Greek nous, for which there is no exact equivalent in English. It refers to ‘inner knowing,’ a kind of intuitive consciousness — direct and immediate access to knowledge beyond what is available to our normal senses and the power of reason.  Noetic sciences are explorations into the nature and potentials of consciousness using multiple ways of knowing — including intuition, feeling, reason, and the senses. Noetic sciences explore the ‘inner cosmos’ of the mind (consciousness, soul, spirit) and how it relates to the ‘outer cosmos’ of the physical world.”

I realize that’s quite a mouthful.  I also believe that our common sense is a type of noetics.  It is an inner knowing of what to do in any given situation.

Thomas Edison once said “Many people miss opportunity because it comes dressed up in overalls and looks like work.”  I often say that many people don’t use their common sense because using it often results in work.  I believe that most people know what to do in most situations, their common sense tells them.  However, many people often don’t do what their common sense says for a number of reasons… “it’s too difficult and not worth the effort,” “it takes too much time,” “so and so might get upset with me,” “I don’t know if I can do it.”  I’ve found that there are as many reasons for not using your common sense as there are people in the world.

That’s one of the reasons I’ve created Use Your Common Sense Day.  It’s kind of like the logic behind the great smoke out – if you can not smoke for one day, you can not smoke for another and another and another, until you’ve quit smoking.  If you are willing to let your common sense guide you today, you can use it as a guide tomorrow, the next day, next week and next month.

The common sense point here is simple.  Common sense is a great career and life success builder.  Successful people use their common sense to create the lives and careers they want and deserve.  My Common Sense Success System is built on four, simple, easy to use, common sense ideas: 1) clarity of purpose and direction; 2) commitment to taking personal responsibility for your life and success; 3) unshakeable self confidence; and 4) competence in four areas – creating positive personal impact, outstanding performance, dynamic communication skills; and 4) the ability to build strong relationships with the important people in your life.  I have put together a 90 free DVD that explains the ideas in my Common Sense Success System.  If you would like this free DVD (I will ask that you pay a small shipping and handling charge) go to  Even if you don’t take me up on this free offer, I urge you to use your common sense today, and tomorrow and the day after.  It’s the best way to create the successful life and career you want and deserve.

That’s my take on common sense and success.  What’s yours?  Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts on my ideas.  As always, thanks for reading.


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  1. Mari Davis says:

    Hey Bud!
    I believe there is so much truth in Noetic Science.
    Also, doesn’t Dan Brown talk about that in one of his books?
    Mari Davis

  2. Bud,

    You are an amazing dude!! (I say that in the most professional way possible.) I love the fact that you keep things simple, you break things down “Barney Style” (We used to say that in the Marine Corps all the time), and you are a positive influence on everyone that you reach.

    Your four ideas of clarity, commitment to taking responsibility, self confidence and relationships are so vital to displaying and living with a great degree of common sense.

    There are times I see how some people can’t seem to understand that life is as hard as they make it. There is one area that seems to be a mystery to many people (that I have come across in the past few years), and that is commitment. Many people have no problem taking responsibility when things are working but it is when there are problems that they are so quick to shift the blame and point the finger at someone else. I really feel good for people that come to me after they “see the light” and realize that it is only after they take responsibility for it all (good and bad)that they really begin to make progress in their life.

    Keep up the good work.


  3. Steve:
    Thanks for your comment. I really appreciate it. Best of luck to you as you create the successful life and career you deserve.
    All the best,

  4. Steve:
    Thanks. I don’t mind being called an “amazing dude.”
    You’re right — it’s easy to take personal responsibility when things are going well. Much more difficult when things don’t go well. Successful people step up in both situations.

  5. Mari:
    Truth be told, I first learned about Noetics from Dan Brown — then I did a little research on my own. And I agree, Noetics is an emerging field, but one that has a lot to offer.

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