On Common Sense


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Konosuke Matsushita, founder of Matsushita Electronics was once asked by a reporter about his secret to success. He did not answer, instead he asked the reporter, “what will you do if you’re caught in a rain?” The reporter said he would use an umbrella. That, Mastushita said, is the secret to my success. He was referring to common sense.

Common sense means sound judgment in practical matters. So how to we make use of our common sense?

First, we need to know the 2 types

“Good sense, can be described as the knack for seeing things as they are, and doing things as they ought to be done”.

“Folk wisdom, signifying unreflective knowledge not reliant on specialized training or deliberative thought.”

To develop common sense try the following:

  1. Observe more. Understand the cause and effect of things or see how people do things
  2. Read more and learn more. The more we read the bigger perspective we have on the world which helps us see better.
  3. Experience more. Be out there and practice what you have learned. The purpose of observing and reading is not more theories but better application.

Questions to make better decisions:

  1. What is happening?
  2. What is the impact on me?
  3. Do I like what is happening to me?
  4. If not, what should I do?
  5. Who can help me?

Of course, when standing in the rain, you do not stand there and ask yourself those questions.

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