Does It Pass The Katie Couric Test?
How to decide if an action is worth taking

by Rachelle Disbennet-Lee, PhD.

There is no one who doesn·t have a past; everyone has done things in their past that could be seen in a negative light. No life history looks perfect under close scrutiny. There are always actions that, when put under a microscope, could put a blemish on someone·s life. No one is perfect, and when a life is examined closely that becomes painfully clear.

Unfortunately, understanding how the past creates one·s future isn·t always clear until it is too late. The best thing to do when the past comes back is to admit it. Don·t try to justify your actions, and above all don·t lie about it. The best example I have ever seen about handling one·s past came from the singer/actress Madonna. A news reporter asked her something about her past that wasn·t exactly complimentary. She replied that yes, she had done that and moved on. She didn·t try to explain it, make excuses for it or even lie about it. I thought it was the most honest way to handle a sticky situation without making it worse.

With this knowledge of how the past creates my future, when I·m considering whether I should take a certain action or not, I use what I call the Katie Couric test. Before performing a questionable action, I ask myself whether I would want to be on national television being interviewed by Katie Couric and have her ask me a question about what I am thinking of doing. The answer tells me whether I want to follow through or not. This is also referred to as the ·Mom· test. The question to ask here is would you want your mother to read about your actions on the front of the daily newspaper. Asking yourself questions on how you would view, or how others would view your actions, will help you decide whether to proceed or not. The whole idea is not to make decisions or take action in a void. Think through what you are doing and be very honest with yourself about whether you can live with your action or not. This really is the true test: can you live with your actions without regret?

The past never really goes away. Although it is a place we don·t want to live, there are times when it will come back to visit. The best way to deal with the past is to live each day to the fullest and to participate only in actions that you can live with. No one is perfect, life isn·t perfect and we all make mistakes. But if, at the end of the day, you are at peace with the actions you have taken, then the past may come back to visit, but it won·t haunt you.

Rachelle Disbennett-Lee, PhD provides daily motivation, information and inspiration to thousands of people through her award winning e-zine 365 Days of Coaching.  For a free report, "The Power of Daily Action - How to create more Wealth, Health and Happiness by Tapping Into the Power of Daily Action" go to 
Coach Rachelle Disbennett Lee, PhD, 2007


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