“Success is what you get from using common sense; failure is what you get from using everything else.” ~The author.

Success is built on a firm foundation of good old common sense (which unfortunately isn’t so common these days); failure follows the crumbling of a weak foundation built on the lack of common sense. Sometimes it takes seconds and sometimes years to spot the differences. Are you serious about building a strong foundation of common sense that will sustain long term success that lasts years? Try these seven simple common sense suggestions to build more success:

1. Principles—Knowing the way life works and following that way.

One of the most useful principles about how life works is that life is the only “game” where you have to figure out what the rules are to win. Unfortunately, that involves a lot of trial and error learning. But probably more than anything, it involves accepting failure and learning something important from the lesson. The best way to learn useful principles about how things work is to watch closely and ask good questions to find out what you don’t know about how things work. And, it never hurts to read good books and talk to smart people. Principles are usually the wisdom older people pass on.

2. Perspectives—The way you see how life works.

A great perspective to have is the one that allows you to finally see that it is where you are doing the looking from that determines most of the “truth” of what you see (your viewpoint). If you don’t like what you see, all you have to do is change viewpoints, geographically or temporally. Another useful perspective to have is one of balance where you slide to the middle and can see in all directions—above, below, before, after, left, right and through. Yet another perspective that opens more doors ahead is one of optimism—expecting a positive outcome and hoping for even better, despite the past. Good perspectives are abundant when you start looking for them.

3. Perceptions—The way you see people making life work and the way they see you doing that.

Between the brain, memory and a litany of other biases, perceptions are usually very distorted, leading you to a very incorrect and incomplete understanding of another person’s motivations or actions, which you are inclined to act on as if it were all the gospel truth. Undoing wrong perceptions is an uphill battle, but wrong perceptions are a big part of failure. Of course the best way to give a correct perception is to walk you talk in being real and honest, without bragging about it. A good way to correct a wrong perception is to stop assuming what you think you know to be so and actually verify it by asking.

4. Priorities—What you are working on to make life work best for you.

We all need help seeing and living our true priorities, because life gets in the way of seeing and doing these things because they are too close to us to see objectively. Priorities at hand aren’t always real priorities, but they have a way of taking over. A very big key to success, is smart time management, which means spending most of your time working on your real priorities. Sometimes you become more aware of what priorities deserve your attention, when they get taken away from you by the inevitable tragedies that occur in life. Change or be changed, as the saying goes.

5. Passions—What you enjoy working on most to make life work best for you.

Your true passion needs to be you main focus, but how often does that turn out to be not so true? Too many other practical things get in the way, at least until the situation becomes uncomfortable enough to have the courage and fortitude to do something about it. For better or worse, life seems to dampen dreams, but maybe that is just to see how serious you are about actually living them. The needed motivation to do the hard work to keep your passions alive and burning doesn’t occur with spontaneous combustion.

6. Problems—The things that get in the way with all the above.

You don’t get to see this picture that is unfolding, until you start making headway in learning all these difficult lessons and use this learning to eliminate the problems in between where you are and where you want to be with your priorities and passions. The problems never cease and the better problem-solver you become, the harder the problems become. Not having to be stress, conflict or problem-free is an attitude that dissolves the hold problems can have over you, but that takes a lot of patience and understanding. In the meantime, believe that there are many more solutions than problems, because it is true.

7. “P” Points—The things that help move the problems out of the way.

These “psychological power points” are the legitimate shortcuts in finding solutions that resolve problems to get results quickly and effectively, without too many undesirable side effects. These are the smaller interventions that come to you through critical thinking, creativity and intuition, that when strategically well-timed and well-placed, get very BIG results. They are the things like newspaper headlines, political sound bytes, music video clips, book covers, movie trailers and even silence that make the most real wealth “money.”

Stand back from all this and begin to see how these seven common sense solutions can work together to make success easier and more abundant. Finding principles, correcting perceptions, setting priorities, following passions, and solving problems with “P” Points is common sense building success the smart way. It is the quickest and easy way to get results without undesirable side effects.

Author's Bio: 

William Cottringer, Ph.D. is President of Puget Sound Security in Bellevue, WA., along with being a Sport Psychologist, Business Success Coach, Photographer and Writer living in the scenic mountains of North Bend. He is author of several business and self-development books, including his latest book “Reality Repair” coming shortly from Global Vision Press. Bill can be reached for comments or questions at (425) 454-5011 or ckuretdoc@comcast.net