When Common Sense Fails You, Tap Into Your Uncommon Sense!

May 20, 2014

At one time or another, we've all heard someone say, "Just use common sense!" But you probably haven't heard of using uncommon sense. Using uncommon sense can take you from average to incredible in all areas of your life.

Here's a comparison of common sense and uncommon sense.

What is common sense?

Common sense is loosely defined as a general set of principles that society has agreed is the "right" or conventional way to do something. These sayings and thoughts have become so ingrained in society over the years that we mostly don't even have to think about it. Using your common sense becomes a routine. Basically, common sense teaches us to think like this: This is the right way to do something because we've always done it that way, and it's just how things are.

And while using common sense is important, it's not always the right way to look at the world. Sometimes you need to use uncommon sense.

So what's uncommon sense?

While common sense is considered conventional wisdom, uncommon sense is a re-examination of that conventional wisdom.

In our business life and personal life, following common sense is usually the safe way to go. But, the people who are really making a difference in the world are usually the people who try something new. People that may go against something that may go against what conventional wisdom says is the "right" way to do something.

Unconventional thinking is the reason we have the ability to fly thousands of feet above the ground. Can you imagine a world without airplanes? The Wright brothers are a real-world example of people who went against conventional wisdom and completely changed the world. Common sense says that humans can't possibly fly, but the Wright brothers challenged that. If it weren't for them, we wouldn't have modern air travel.

Uncommon sense is not about throwing common sense totally out the window. Tapping into our uncommon sense allows us to take a deeper look at things we often take for granted. It fights against the thought or perspective: Well, it's just the way things are.

Dr. Nido Qubein, president of High Point University and author of Uncommon Sense: The 10 Principles to Transform Your Work and Life, explains that uncommon sense is all about taking a critical approach to life.

Here are some of the Dr. Qubein's examples of uncommon sense:

  • Productive failure is better than unproductive success
  • Avoid the urgent; focus on the important
  • Manage your life, not just your time
  • Don't seek improvement; seek excellence

So yes, sometimes you might get reminded to use your common sense, but even more importantly, you should remind yourself to use your uncommon sense. It just might change your life.

Want to learn more about uncommon sense? Check out Check out Uncommon Sense to learn the 10 principles to transform your work and life.

Books by Dr. Nido Qubein

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