Those questions are somehow interrelated and it only occurs to me when something silly happened at home today. I feel this is the simplest and greatest example to explain how these 2 questions, are interrelated.
To simply put, one of your family member known task at home is to take out the trash. After all for us, that is one “mindless” job as you just need to pick it up, take it out, put it into the outdoor trash bin. Now, this is when you can tell also whether their brain or thinking is ever being used or engaged “to do” this task. Say there are a few things stacked together by the bin.
If this person who takes out the trash “switch on” their “common sense” and “think” even for a split sec, a brief moment; they would question if all of these are trash or they would immediately assume that it is because they are all stacked together at the trash area. That brief moment to think; does it make sense for non-trash items to be stacked together with trash, at the trash area? The answer is No.
In this case, somehow all the other stacked items were not taken out as trash. Quite a disappointment if you ask me, when to you this is such a simple task and a person could fail it, that easily, simply by not engaging their brain/mind to think, even just for a brief second. It is common sense to take all of the trash out.
But what we do not realise is, it is ONLY common sense to take “all” the trash out, will only be a common knowledge if this person takes the time to briefly think or engage the mind/brain. That is when the act becomes a “common sense” act. So, the hypothesis here is; if there is zero thinking or zero engagement to the mind/brain, the “common sense” is not even present which then lead to how common sense is NOT common in the situation.
That is one of the simplest form of test to see if their mind/brain is engaged to think in “mindless” task. That is exactly why common sense is not common. Common sense is simply differentiated by the act of engaging the mind/brain to think even for a brief second.
Now you may argue, everyone thinks before they act or do something. This example I presented to you is the very core evidence that no, some people do not “think” or “engaged their mind/brain” at all on daily basis, especially on simple things. Having an awareness of the situation, that is by being present, helps in triggering the mind to think. Hence, this is the leading act or factor to making common sense, common again. To simply put it:
“Common sense is simply the act of engaging the mind/brain, on everything that we encounter. Having an awareness of the situation, or simply being present is the main factor that leads to common sense”
To some people (if not the majority of the community), thinking or engaging the brain/mind is ONLY RESERVED for serious tasks like for their classes, exams, work-related things or gaming. The latter is even worse because gaming can sometimes consumed a lot of a person’s awareness that they are unable to switch the mind to be present during small moments in life outside of gaming. This was exactly why my family member did not think prior to taking the trash out, because he was gaming almost the whole time he was awake that day.
The capacity of the brain to think differs from one person to another. We all have to learn to see how much is the limit that may exhaust the mind/brain to start switching off the simple act of thinking for a brief moment. When we exhaust the brain so much, the awareness level within ourselves will drop that may cause the brain to switch off the common sense.
Now we go back to how the two questions on this post title is interrelated. With knowing the core idea of how some people (if not the majority), do keep and reserved their thinking tank ONLY for serious things, that is really as easy as it gets to be “smarter” than average people.
It is all about enabling yourself to be more aware, by being present, and watching yourself in the mind whether you do engage your mind/brain to think before doing anything, is the simplest act to even begin to be smarter than average people. This applies to every move you make.
Start by observing yourself from the time you wake up to when you are going to bed at night. Write your own observation on things that you did “mindlessly”. Jot down why did you think that task was mindless. This is to understand the key themes to why your mind is on autopilot and not kicking in the awareness inside of you, to think for that brief seconds.
Slowly, you will be able to see what triggers your common sense and what does not. This is a journey to understand your mind/brain better. The attempt to hack the autopilot system built in it. To increase your self awareness, to be more present and to kickstart the thinking tank inside of you. Before you know it, you are already smarter than the average people you’ve met. This also applies to when hearing news or rumours, do you take the time to think before believing a piece of information? That is why sometimes people can lack common sense when it comes to juicy rumours, they could not switch on their thinking prior to actually consuming/believing the information. Common sense applies to every areas of our lives. Try it! Take a day or two to observe your own reflexes in the mind, do you engage the mind to think before doing anything, or before accepting news/rumours as true. This will differentiate you from average people. You definitely will be smarter if you continuously do this.
Let me know if you have tested this yourself, and what do you think of the process? Did you enjoy it? Did it work for you? Share with me in the comments below!