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Is it? Does it? Will it? Do it.

No, that’s not the chorus to the latest pop song. These questions are my life’s rubric, my guide, my North Star, my Polaris.

  • Is it good?
  • Is it kind?
  • Is it moral?
  • Is it ethical?
  • Is it true?
  • Is it helpful?
  • Is it honest?
  • Is it worthwhile?
  • Is it healthy?
  • Does it bring me joy?
  • Will it make me a better person?

When struggling with a decision, I run through this list. By the end, I know my answer. Over time, and as these questions have become more familiar, decisions have become instinctual.

That’s not to say I always make correct decisions. Sometimes what at first seems right, turns out to be wrong. Perhaps I didn’t have all the information, or the outcome ended up being different that I initially planned. Life happens. Learn and move on.

Very rarely am I disappointed in myself if after having answered all the questions, things go sour; after all, failure is progress. However, if after answering these questions, and despite my better judgment, I still proceed to engage in behaviors that go against my rubric, without fail, I end up disappointing myself, and often others.

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