Right now I’m in the middle of reading The Hunger Games (thanks to Gini Dietrich and a few others) and without giving the plot away, one aspect of the story is that the Hunger Games themselves are televised to the world. Cameras are trained on each of the participants, much like in The Truman Show.

And if you believe the songs, that’s pretty much how Santa Claus operates (he IS real, you know!)

He sees you when you’re sleeping
He knows when you’re awake
He knows if you’ve been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake!

Santa pretty much knows the score. After all, he is “making a list and checking it twice!” Apparently there is nothing you can hide from the jolly old fat guy. He knows all, he sees all.

And that’s pretty much the way things are now. It’s not just Santa. But with the Internet and social media, nearly everything we do is on view. Just go to YouTube and search for the term “nose picking” and you’ll get thousands of video results, most of people minding their own business, but getting caught in the act, on camera.

What we say and do in public, and even private, often finds its way to the Internet.

We need to keep this in mind as we go through our daily routine, both in our personal lives, and in our businesses. Santa is the least of our worries.

Here are a few important things to remember:

1. Everyone is watching – We are under scrutiny at all times. With cell phones and other technology, cameras are everywhere. And everything YOU put online, is fair game for everyone else. Don’t think you can do things in secret that people won’t find out. More and more information is available on the web, and people can check and double check everything you say or do.

2. People are waiting for you to fail – We live in a culture, at least here in the United States, where much of our most popular entertainment is predicated upon people doing stupid things. From reality programs to America’s Funniest Videos, the failure of others is television gold. Apparently there’s nothing funnier than a kid doing a face plant on the cement, or a guy taking a golf ball or wiffle ball bat between the legs. We don’t watch the Kardashians or the Jersey Shore because we love those people and identify with them. We watch because we are waiting for the inevitable train wreck. After all, that’s the only reason these shows are on the air. All the “normal” stuff hits the editing room floor.

3. There’s a difference between “being good” and “not being bad” – It might be a matter of semantics and perspective, but if you spend your time doing the right thing, you won’t have time to do stupid things. If you spend your time worrying about “not” doing dumb things, you’ve got it all wrong. Focus on the positive and do the right thing. It’s a matter of not having to worry about being caught, as opposed to hoping you don’t get caught.

4. Unlike Santa, the rest of the world isn’t always fair – Even if you do the right thing all the time, there are no guarantees. What appears to be the right thing for one person, might be the wrong thing for someone else. Just aske Lowe’s. So you might do everything you can to remain on the nice list, but you’ll very likely end up on someone’s naughty list. You just need to be ready and have a plan.

People are watching. And waiting. Just like Santa.

If you conduct your life, and your business, well, then you should have very little if anything to worry about.

As you look back at the past year, will people say your business is on the naughty list or the nice list?