Common sense isn’t as common as many people think.
And these days it’s in shorter supply than ever.
If you often find yourself lacking common sense (as I do), don’t beat yourself up:
Instead, read this…
10 reasons why you lack common sense (and what to do about it)
1) You’re too much in your head
One of the top reasons why you lack common sense is being too much in your head.
As someone who’s suffered from this for years, I know exactly how it works.
You start overanalyzing and getting lost in your thoughts, and then you try to find simplicity and solutions in life by using the same mental processes that got you tangled up.
But the answers aren’t to be found in your mind.
Common sense comes about from living and experiencing, rather than from analyzing or thinking.
It comes from doing, from failing and from getting down in the mud.
If you’ve never had to change a spare tire, reading about how to do it and watching YouTube videos on how to do it is never going to do you as much good as having someone guide you and actually doing it.
2) You’re disconnected from real life
Modern life has many advantages.
One big disadvantage is that it prizes intellectual and technical work and lifestyle over physicality, working with your hands and time in nature.
If you work in the trades or in the outdoors, this point may apply less to you.
But for many of us, we live lives that tend to be less in nature and less with our hands.
You may work in a bank, in an office or making spreadsheets, for example.
This can lead to becoming highly specialized in certain fields but missing out on common sense.
Thus, you may be a brilliant insurance actuary, but when it comes to deciding what size of pizza to order or closing the windows before it rains you’re hopeless.
Common sense doesn’t come easy when your job requires more specialized, intellectual knowledge.
3) You don’t know your own purpose
One of the top reasons why you lack common sense is not knowing your purpose.
I know, because I struggled with this for years and years.
I tried to force myself to be “positive,” or visualize a better future but I always seemed to come up short.
The truth is I was driving in circles and repeating the same basic mistakes over and over because I didn’t really know my own mission.
When it comes to experiencing a lack of common sense in yourself, it could be that you’re not living your life aligned with a deeper sense of purpose.
The consequences of not finding your purpose in life include a general sense of frustration, listlessness, dissatisfaction and a sense of not being connected with your inner self.
It’s difficult to have common sense about ordinary life problems from finances to relationships when you’re not feeling in sync.
I learned a new way to discover my purpose after watching Ideapod co-founder Justin Brown’s video on the hidden trap of improving yourself. He explains that most people misunderstand how to find their purpose, using visualization and other self-help techniques.
However, visualization isn’t the best way to find your purpose. Instead, there’s a new way to do it which Justin Brown learned from spending time with a shaman in Brazil called Rudá Iandé.
After watching the free video, I discovered my purpose in life and it dissolved my feelings of frustration and dissatisfaction.
Finding my purpose also helped me to find a much greater amount of common sense in my interactions and daily life.
To get to know Justin and his perspective on self-development, check out his video below on how embracing idiocy results in self-awareness.
4) You’re codependent in love
Love is a challenge for all of us, and it can be hard to see clearly when you’re physically and emotionally attracted to someone.
The French writer Stendahl called this “crystallization,” a process of explaining away or even celebrating someone’s defects and exaggerating their benefits.
Many of us build up so many expectations in love that we end up deeply disappointed and disillusioned.
Alternately, we end up in codependent relationships where we play the victim or savior and end up totally weakened and addicted to someone who removes us from our own inner power and identity.
It’s a vicious cycle: the more that you feel desperate and lack of love, the higher chance of attracting forms of love that are toxic and weakening.
Having low self-confidence and fear of being alone can lead to real problems in love, including getting together with people who scam you, cheat you or dump you once having used you.
There are obviously no guarantees that even healthy love will work out, and life takes all kinds of twists and turns.
But setting yourself up for failure by trusting the wrong people or being overly open to toxic partnerships is a very bad idea.
The price of lacking common sense can be very high indeed.
5) You’re driven primarily by impulse
We live in societies that are obsessed with so-called “freedom.”
Even as our actual rights of privacy, belief and movement are removed, people seem convinced that being free to take on labels to their identity or eat and do what they want is somehow “liberating.”
The result is a massive lack of common sense and people in middle age with the discipline and maturity of preteens.
If that sounds too harsh, I assure you it’s not. When you leave a ship with no captain it tends to run aground.
And one of the top reasons why many of us lack common sense (myself included) is that we allow our impulses to guide us.
We think that just because we want something it legitimizes it. This is delusional.
I may want to snort drugs every day and have sex with every attractive woman I see. That does not mean it’s a good idea.
If you want more common sense, stop investing your wants and desires with inbuilt legitimacy. They are things you want, and that’s it.
They are not inherently meaningful or worthwhile.
As I explained earlier, you must find what is worthwhile and why by discovering your purpose, not by simply following wherever your feet lead you.
6) You can’t get a handle on money
Money matters a lot, and our mindset about it affects so many parts of our lives, even those we don’t realize.
An unbalanced relationship to finances and money can throw even the most practical of us off balance.
Common examples include being incredibly stingy or being an impulsive spender.
Both are two sides of the extreme, and relate to an unhealthy relationship to money.
Think about the people you know who lack the common sense the most.
Chances are you will think of something they do or are doing that relates to their spending or relationship to money.
When I think of those who have the least common sense, they are people who throw their money around like drunken sailors and are so generous that it’s a fault, or those who obsess over money all day and twist every relationship and interaction into a chance for monetary gain.
Both of these habits are very lacking in common sense.
7) You’re lost in life
Life can be a real puzzle.
We want someone to show us the way, but we also want to do it our own way.
I should know, because I’ve tried to come at this whole life thing from just about every angle there is.
On a biological level, we all want to survive.
On a deeper level, we want a reason and a way to survive.
If you have a game plan for life, you’re much more likely to be able to tackle it in a productive and efficient way.
So ask yourself this question:
What does it take to build a life filled with exciting opportunities and passion-fueled adventures?
Most of us hope for a life like that, but we feel stuck, unable to achieve the goals we wishfully set at the start of each year.
I felt the same way until I took part in Life Journal. Created by teacher and life coach Jeanette Brown, this was the ultimate wake-up call I needed to stop dreaming and start taking action.
It broke through my resistance to coaching and showed me real and applicable tools to start improving my life and habits immediately.
So what makes Jeanette’s guidance more effective than other self-development programs?
Jeanette’s created a unique way of putting YOU in control of your life and empowering you.
She’s not interested in telling you how to live your life. Instead, she’ll give you lifelong tools that’ll help you achieve all your goals, keeping the focus on what you’re passionate about.
And that’s what makes Life Journal so powerful.
If you’re ready to start living the life you’ve always dreamt of, you need to check out Jeanette’s advice. Who knows, today could be the first day of your new life.
8) You let others manipulate you
Common sense comes about when you are given the time and space to exercise your judgment about situations and issues which arise.
This ability to decide what’s best is sometimes removed from you, thanks to exploitative people.
Common sense is all about putting things into practice and making the right decisions about practical things day by day.
This can be severely interrupted when manipulative and exploitative people are actually trying to run your life or mislead you.
In this case it’s not so much that you lack common sense as it is that people’s actions are trying to trick and take advantage of you, getting in the way of doing what’s best for you.
This is also often apparent in situations like those who join cults or extreme spiritual and religious movements, surrendering their common sense to gurus and leaders who don’t have their best interests at heart.
9) You were neglected or misled growing up
Our upbringings have a big impact on all of us, and that’s especially true of having common sense.
If your parents were absent often while you grew up, you may have simply not learned many basic tasks and responsibilities in life that lead to common sense.
Alternately, if you had “helicopter parents” who over-doted on you, then the ability to do things for yourself may have been stunted.
When somebody else is waiting on you hand and foot, it’s not as likely that you’re going to develop a self-motivated and can-do attitude.
10) You see the world through a victim mentality
The problem about having a victim mentality is that it traps us and leads to having very low common sense.
When you get drunk on the cheap wine of tragedy you see yourself as the uniquely disadvantaged and unlucky victim of life.
This leads directly into misreading situations, people, romantic interactions, business opportunities and more.
Everything in life is shadowed by a dark cloud hanging over you, at least you think it is.
And this makes you do stupid things, including self-sabotage, complaining excessively and passing up opportunities that come your way because they don’t fit “the pattern” of failure you’ve written for yourself.
The victim mentality isn’t easy to get out of, but doing so involves breaking the habit.
The truth is that “victimizing yourself is a habit,” as Healthy Gamer explains here:
Hey you, you’re grounded
The best way to find more common sense is to start living life in a more grounded way.
This means less involvement and dedication to the thoughts in your head, and more involvement and dedication to the daily reality around you.
It means getting invested in our job, in our family and friends and in the duties that we choose to ourselves and those around us.
Common sense comes about from action and learning our way around the practicalities of life.
It’s all about staying grounded.