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Senior Correspondent

"Common sense ain't common." Will Rogers

This issue should be dedicated to matters of the heart, what with Valentine's Day and all. That would make sense, I suppose. And, it would be fun to write a Valentine's coaching challenge, for sure. Being a business coach, rather than a marriage coach, what seems to be more pressing at the moment is to challenge common sense.

We often hear comments like, "He hasn't a lick of common sense." "What was she thinking? That makes no sense whatsoever." Quite honestly, I suspect the common sense gene passed me over when genes were being distributed amongst the siblings in my family. I have a lot of challenges doing things that others do with ease. Right and left tend to mystify me, for example.

And, when I do have the fleeting sensible thought, it is one of those Duh! Moments. As a well-adjusted adult, I have rationalized this trait. And rationalized. And rationalized. And, I have come to the conclusion that common sense is overrated. But what about Thomas Paine who wrote and published anonymously "Common Sense," the American Revolutionary pamphlet back in 1776? An immediate best seller, the pamphlet presented the American colonists with an argument for freedom from British rule. Mr. Paine reached out to common people with an uncommon message for the time. Today, his arguments are, duh, common sense, but in 1776 they were uncommon indeed. 

Curious about the opposite of common sense? Guessing that would be uncommon sense. The virtues of common sense are many. I'll give you that. You always know which direction to go when you turn out of your driveway. You can present logical, rational arguments, and others shake their heads in total agreement. But, of course. And, people rarely say "Duh!" to or about you if you are blessed with loads of common sense.

Uncommon sense, however, requires a little more creativity on a daily basis just to accomplish routine tasks…it's a little more right brained. Practicalities become second tier factors in decision making. Decisions are often made by gut feel, or perhaps it's heart feel. Approaching matters from a place of uncommon sense, one tends to have way more questions than answers.

What seems to make perfect sense for one is utter nonsense to another. For example, my Great Uncle Roy, may he rest in peace, would daily chug a pint of kraut juice and go out and run a few miles. This was in the '40s and '50s of the last century, for Pete's sake. Back in those days, it was apparently an odd sight to see a grown man running in Los Angeles without someone chasing him. Folks said Uncle Roy didn't have a lick of sense when it came to kraut juice drinking and running. Yet, today, it is considered common sense to drink vegetable juice and go running.

Did common sense or uncommon sense get us into this epic global financial debacle? Will common sense or uncommon sense get us out? More questions than answers. Here's a thought: What if entrepreneurs without a lick of common sense step up from all over the globe to create a new and more sustainable global economy? Look around.  It's happening. Not enough jobs, but plenty of opportunities.

This takes me back to Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day is the perfect day to unleash your uncommon sense. Give a perfectly impractical gift to someone special. Give yourself a perfectly impractical gift. 'Tis the day to be uncommonly non-sensible.

"Men are from Earth. Women are from Earth. Deal with it." George Carlin

Happy Valentine's Day!

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