The Common Sense of Common Sense, by Kurt Larsson

What makes common sense different from other forms of knowledge?

Common Sense in its purest form is something so basic, simple and understandable that its logic is unassailable.

From The origins of the word comes from the 14th century, originally the power of uniting mentally the impressions conveyed by the five physical senses, thus ”ordinary understanding, without which one is foolish or insane” (Latin sensus communis, Greek koine aisthesis); meaning ”good sense” is from 1726.

The words Common Sense can easily be broken down into:

Common, meaning it is not personal but something shared by the community.

Sense, refers to our senses. This would seem to be common sense that the more we can access our senses, the more we would be able to then unite them providing more access to wisdom and sound thought.

The mind cannot argue with simplicity” Patrick Collard.
Common Sense would seem to be beyond Scientific. It is so rational that it does not need the support of scientific facts and figures for it to make sense. It is so simple that both hemispheres of the brain can easily agree with its premise. It just makes sense. The more fancy theories or complicated explanations are trotted out the more you can count on that what is being offered has nothing to do with common sense. Therefore, the more you must be convinced of the validity of someone’s viewpoint or argument, the less it probably has to do with common sense and the more it has to do with someone’s agenda.

Now, how can we expect to retain common sense when we continue to divorce ourselves from our senses?

Get on any bus or train and take a look around at how many of your fellow travelers are consciously and actively using their senses to their fullest capacity. How can we possibly expect to  ”mentally unite the impressions conveyed by the five physical senses” when most are staring incessantly into a smartphone? Many others are listening to something through their headphones with sunglasses further filtering the experience of reality.

For whatever reason, most of us seem to prefer to shut down our senses and crawl into a virtual cave rather than opening them up. Compare any adult to a three year old in a park and see if you can distinguish the difference in curiosity and wonder about life each display. Chances are the older the person you are observing, the more closed off to their environment they have become. Could this have anything to do with the fact that children can ask the most straightforward and thought provoking questions while us adults gingerly, politely and consistently avoid upsetting others about ”The Elephant in the Room”? How much sense does that make?

And yet we still wonder why the world does not work as well as it should…

Common sense, as seen from its earliest usage seems to come from uniting the impressions conveyed by the five physical senses and it seems to be inferred that this process happens within us. How effective can we be at this process when our five physical senses are being constantly bombarded and saturated with external input? As I have written before I have actually heard several people say that they have chosen to become workaholics in order to keep busy enough to avoid having to look within. Could this behavior have something to do with the increase in cancer? Evidence I have heard about (but do not remember the source) points to surpressing feelings can have an influence on your suceptability to cancer. Case in point! Do we really need scientific studies in order to believe something that seems make so much common sense?

Regardless of whether the increase in input we allow in is by conspired design or just to avoid being present to your own internal thoughts and finding inner peace, all this noise would seem to present a formidable obstacle to cultivating common sense.

Reflection, The fertilizer for cultivating common sense?
It would seem that the process of uniting impressions conveyed by the five senses would be enhanced if we allowed ourselves the opportunity to reflect upon the input we are receiving. Getting back to this idea of responding more and reacting less, increasing our ability to respond becomes easier when we allow ourselves more time and space to reflect and feel what ”makes sense”, before ”answering back”.

Practical Steps to cultivating more common sense. Below are a few of the Sensational Soft Skills™ we have found to strengthen your ability to discover and utilize your version of common sense.


  • Keep it Simple. If you can explain it in a way that makes senst to both the analytical side as well as the poetic side of your brain, then it is probably common sense.
  • Relax and take your time. Common sense does not need to be rushed.
  • Create dialogue laced with lots of questions allowing your listener to reflect upon and arrive at the same place that you do.
  • Be silent. Turn off all distractions. Meditate. Listen within and see if you can source the answer there.
  • Sleep on it. If it still makes perfect sense tomorrow then that is more evidence that it is common sense.
  • Listen to your heart first and then check with your head for any fine tuning. Relying on your intelligence is bound to complicate common sensical simplicity.
  • Test it on different people and see what each has to say or contribute to your premise. When what they all say begins to line up, then you are probably on to something.
  • Feel as well as think about it. Use your heart here too and make sure you can sleep easily when you think about it.
  • Check with your conscience and see to it that it is fair to everyone involved. Common sense means it is available to everyone, not just a select few.

Common sense may be ready for a comeback. That society has become so dependent upon outside input makes coming across an individual displaying common sense a unique and refreshing change from business as usual. In short, it is attractive when something is unique. Therein lies an opportunity to make a difference both in society and in business.

Should the idea of you and others in your organization becoming more grounded in common sense appeal to you we invite you to contact us at to find out more on how our Sensational Soft Skills Toolbox™ can support you in this quest.

Should you wish a crash course in being able to source your own common sense you are warmly invited to find out more about the Body Harmony Workshop being held in Stockholm the 15-18th of june this year.

Here’s to a return to the values of common sense!


About The Author


I am fascinated with what makes us humans ”tick”, especially when it comes to how we consciously communicate and express ourselves with our body language. My business background is in international sales and sales management, selling everything from automobile tires in Houston, Tx, to retail banking delivery systems in 20 countries. I have graduated from CoachU’s 3 year Coach Training program, been certified as an Extended DISC consultant and become a Certified International Body Harmony Teacher with over 20 years of ”hands-on” experience in bodywork. This rich and varied background combined with over 20 years of being an entrepreneur has blessed me with insights and experiences I never would have noticed in the corporate world. Mainstream business now seems to be waking up to the riches available from more conscious and responsible business practices. Expanding Understanding’s Sensational Soft Skills Toolbox , the books I have written and training I have developed now provide savvy decision makers and their colleagues measurable results and a more restful night's sleep. These tools provide an edge in consciously understanding, deliberately using and profiting from the most powerful communication tool available, our bodies. I look forward to meeting you on this path to mastery in non verbal communication.

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