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.