Practical Action And Common Sense

17 May 2010, by A. Cedilla

There’s a time for planning and a time for action. But action just to fill the time is mere busy-work. Practicality is the defining line that differentiates busywork from being truly productive. If you want to get Something Done, you have to have solid results in mind when you start, and solid results in hand when you stop.

Practical : ” the usefulness and applicability of an action.” Sure, you saved up for enough money to get new tires, you’ve been meaning to do so for quite some time, but right now you have a flat. What do you do?

  • Based on practice or action rather than theory or hypothesis
  • Being likely to be effective and applicable to a real situation; able to be put to use
  • Of a person, having skills or knowledge that are practical

Action – “Something done so as to accomplish a purpose.” (emphasis added). So, flat tire. Based on your skills and preparedness, you can change the tire yourself, re-inflate it with a handy tire-inflation kit , call AAA , or call a friend to help you out. When you get home, then you can think about getting the money and going out to buy new tires.

Practical action. A small phrase, but one that packs a punch. Here’s another one: common sense (shamelessly yanked from Wiktionary’s definition.)

  • Ordinary sensible understanding; one’s basic intelligence which allows for plain understanding and without which good decisions or judgments cannot be made.

Sometimes planning can take us farther than we really need to go. We have the tech, we have the contacts, why not go for broke?

Well, why bet the house if you don’t have to? If you have kids, or remember being a kid, this might sound familiar: “Just because everyone says they’re doing it doesn’t mean you have to do it too.”

Just because you see people living a lifestyle that seems to be all that one would wish for doesn’t means it’s the right path for you.

Sometimes, the actions we take take us nowhere. Stuff we indulge in to while away the time — whiles away the time.

If you truly intend to make something of yourself, pull yourself into the present and have a handle on the future. Know what you want. Do what’s needed to get it, and try to limit getting pulled aside by busywork and bright, shiny distractions. Use some common sense and apply practical actions to make your choices count.

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