Is Success More Important Than Ethics?

Yusra Asad Khan, IIK Young Contributor
Monday, August 21, 2017

Every common man's definition of success can be mapped on a simple grid, with one axis being the amount of money that a person has and the other being the amount of happiness in his life. By believing that success is more money, a person may be setting himself up for failure. In reality, success is not only the attainment of material items, but it is also the manner in which we treat ourselves and others on the path to achieve it. Here comes the role of ethics. Ethics is the route to success which not only fills one with happiness but also peace of mind as well as contentment. I strongly feel that ethics and success are co related. They need to go hand in hand in order to achieve success.

In other words, success without ethics is like an unseasoned dish. It may satisfy one's hunger, but it won't taste good and need not be healthy to one's body as well. Just like every action has an equal and opposite reaction, every choice made by us is accompanied by its own consequences. Resorting to poor ethics, in order to achieve success, is equivalent to taking an exit into a wrong road which may ultimately lead to a situation where a person either fails to reach the destination on time or sometimes does not reach it at all. "Poor ethics often lurks underneath the surface, waiting to strike." It may not materialize quickly, but it will definitely not go unnoticed.

All of us have grown up listening stories like ‘The Thirsty Crow’, ‘The Fox and the Grapes’, that always end up with a strong conclusion. We might have forgotten those stories but their teachings some way or the other has contributed to what we call our moral values or ethics. Ethics are the principles that guide us throughout our lives. From childhood to adulthood we keep on learning and transforming ourselves and so do our ethics.
Ethics are important in our life because:

1.If a person has never learned about moral values then how can he/she decide between the good and the bad?

2.Moral values reflect an individual’s character and spirituality.

3.They help in building good relationships in personal as well as professional lives.

4.They can help in eradicating problems like dishonesty, violence, cheating, and jealousy from one’s life.

5.Not only this, they can counter bad influences in the society like disregarding women, child abuse, violence, crimes, and agitations.

6.They can help you deal with tough situations in life. They can be a key to self-motivation

Success is a step by step process. The road to success has got its own ups and downs. What actually matters is the approach of people in such difficult circumstances. Let us examine the lives of some people who have been and still continue to remain successful in their lives. To begin with, the father of our nation: Mahatma Gandhi. He was a very strong devotee of non – violence and for that very reason, he had to suffer many hardships. In fact, the freedom that we enjoy today is only due to his ethical manner of approaching and handling a very complex issue, which would have created a great scar on the lives of Indian citizens. The lives of pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, Rani Lakshmi Bai, Rabindranath Tagore, and other like minded people were all successful because they were not ready to compromise their ethics for mere success.

At the same time, let us peep into the lives of conquerors such as Alexander the Great, Adolf Hitler and Genghis Khan who were after success, giving no value to ethics. And what has been their fate? They might have been recognized for sure, but did it last for quite a long time? They failed to realize that with every wrong choice comes to its consequence. Success without ethics has no value and will be long forgotten by people. It is never too late for a person to correct himself and follow the ethical manner. But all of it depends on how he/she perceives things.

In my view, "Success may come and go but ethics last forever". Being a student, even I have experienced a couple of situations where I had opportunities to succeed but in a wrong way which would eventually lead to discontent. One such situation occurred while I was in an examination hall. There were two questions which were unfamiliar for all the students. Most of them preferred securing good marks but, by cheating. I just simply believed and had confidence in what I had learned. Just because I preferred following success along with ethics, I secured the first rank that actually made me feel really content.

Life is a mirror; whatever we do either good or bad, are somehow reflected back in our lives. Hence, success and ethics must co-exist in order to be truly and ideally successful in life.


Yusra Asad Khan
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Disclaimer:Statements and opinions expressed in the article are those of the authors and written by them; the author is solely responsible for the content in this article. does not hold any responsibility for them.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Dear Yusra,
Congratulation for writing such a nice article, little long but worth reading, the title of article is very important in prevailing situation in the world, it has a message for the people of all ages including children and for all professions.
Keep it up.
May all Mighty God bless you always

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