The power of common sense

‘By taking the simple approach, life will begin to unfold in front of us and we can reap joy and fulfillment,’ says David Semler who will lecture with Dr Scott in Galway next week.

‘By taking the simple approach, life will begin to unfold in front of us and we can reap joy and fulfillment,’ says David Semler who will lecture with Dr Scott in Galway next week.

Do you buckle under pressure? Are you easily floored when faced with setbacks? Is your time spent trying to be all things to all people?

If so, then it is time to inject some common sense into your life and to learn to put yourself first more often, says Dr Susan Scott and David Semler, international representatives of the Inner Peace Movement, a non-profit educational programme. They will give talks in Galway next week on finding solutions to life through applying basic common sense principles.

“Using a little common sense will carry us a long way,” declares Dr Scott who is originally from Canada. “It will make everything normal, in fact,” adds David Semler.

“Common sense is actually a combination of organising the facts as we know them along with what we sense or feel about a situation,” she says. “Too often we deny what we feel and end up in despair because nothing seems to be working. We need to listen to ourselves more.”

Mr Semler says we all have four psychic gifts or ways of perceiving things that may not be readily apparent at first.

“There is the person who gets thoughts or ideas coming into their mind. They almost ‘hear’ a thought in their head. For these people it’s important to follow their first thought. Having second thoughts or analysing and thinking about it over and over will only confuse things. Some people ‘see’ in their mind’s eye so having a clear picture is important for them in order to be decisive and to move into action in an organised way. Some people need simply to follow their feelings or gut instinct. Going against their feelings is like trying to walk upstream. ‘If it feels good, do it,’ is the maxim that will work for them. Still other people will have an inner knowing or inner certainty. For them, it’s important not to doubt themselves but to trust what they sense. Trusting ourselves is always a challenge.”

Practical organisation

If we use all of these gifts combined with a little practical organisation we will always come out on top, they believe.

“Life can be challenging,” admits Dr Scott, “but I have always believed that it’s not what life throws at us, but how we handle what life sends our way that counts. What can create huge pressure for one person can be shrugged off by someone else. We need to be aware of what puts us under pressure and take steps to protect ourselves. For example, if we tend to get stressed from being late and rushing at the last minute, establishing a habit of planning to start half an hour earlier will remove this.

“Sometimes we will feel obligated to others and feel we are at everyone else’s beck and call. ‘I should do this,’we say automatically, never asking ourselves if we truly want to do it or if it fits for us. So, we end up under pressure trying to be all things to all people. We have to remember to put ourselves first without feeling selfish. When you get on a plane the flight attendants, when going through their safety procedures, will always tell you to put your own oxygen mask on first before trying to help someone else. Most of us get so busy helping others we leave ourselves out.”

They are strong believers in guardian angels and claim they can help people learn to communicate directly with their own team of angels.

“Angels are like a gentle, guiding, unseen presence that can bring us flashes of inspiration to help us in the situations we find ourselves in. However, we don’t always take the time to listen - we are too busy rushing around and we miss those little insights that come to us that can help to make life easier. Taking a moment or two to pause and become aware of what we are sensing can make a big difference in our lives. We will find the easy rather than the hard way to get things done and we will come up with solutions to challenging situations.”

Common sense solutions

Often we are so consumed with our problems we neglect to stand back and apply simple common sense solutions, says Susan Scott. “I have found that often the simplest solution is the one that works. We think it has to be a complicated process to solve something when often it is the simple little common sense thing that will get us on the right path to solving a problem.”

“Having fun is important,” believes David Semler. “Sometimes we take things so seriously that we lose sight of the joy and fun in life. Then we dig ourselves deeper into the hole. It helps to take an optimistic view - the glass is half full, not half empty. The more we fix our attention on what’s there instead of what’s not there, or look for the upside of a situation, the more we will find good things coming in our direction. There really is no secret about that. Simply put, what we fix our thoughts on becomes a reality. If we constantly dwell on our problems they only seem to get bigger. But if we focus on solutions and look at what is working then that is what grows. Whatever we fix our thoughts and attention on - good or bad - will grow and become a reality in our life. So, it’s really up to each one of us to focus on what we want rather than on what we don’t want.”

Dr Scott believes we all have a duty to ourselves to make the most of our lives and realise our dreams.

“I don’t believe we are here to suffer,” she says. “I truly believe we are here to enjoy our lives and to make the most of opportunities that present themselves. For me, that has been very true. Many years ago my eldest son, at the age of three, passed on from cancer. It was a devastating experience but much good came from it because I was forced to start looking at my life from a different point of view. I began to see myself as a person of value with a job to do with my life instead of thinking of myself only in relation to others - as someone else’s daughter, sister or mother. I was me! I was a person in my own right. Then I felt free to be myself and to freely love the people around me without feeling obligated or under any sort of pressure. That in turn freed the people around me to be themselves and to follow their own hearts.”

“Life is simple,” points out Mr Semler. “I believe we are here with a purpose to accomplish. The more we apply commonsense in our lives and take the simple approach the more life will begin to unfold in front of us and we can reap a lot of joy and fulfillment.”

“The most important thing,” adds Susan Scott,“is to never deny what we feel inside. We need to trust our intuition and stay organised. Then worry and pressure can start to be a thing of the past. True, it takes discipline to do that. But the more we apply ourselves the more we will find ourselves on the right path and life will become easier as we go. Personally, I have found that people have a tremendous resilience, especially here in Ireland. The Irish always seem to come out on top.”

Dr Susan Scott and David Semler of the Inner Peace Movement offer the following tips:

How to adopt a common sense approach to life

1. Never deny what you feel: trust your intuition and stay organised.

2. Common sense will carry you a long way - the simplest common sense solution is usually the one that will work best.

3. Combining your psychic gifts with practical organisation will lead to success.

4. Put yourself first without feeling selfish - put your own oxygen mask on first.

5. Guardian angels can help make your life easier - learn to listen to their suggestions.

6. Focus on the solution rather than on the problem.

7. See the upside of a situation and make the most of the opportunities that present themselves.

* Dr Scott and Mr Semler will give talks on “Finding solutions to life through applying basic common sense” on Tuesday June 11 at 1pm and at 7:30pm at The Ardilaun hotel, Taylor’s Hill. Admission is €25.

* The Inner Peace Movement is a non profit, educational programme which was set up almost 50 years ago throughout the world. It offers people tools and techniques to help them relax and to see the positive aspects of their lives. To find out more log on to


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