Do you recall solving mathematical equations in high school? Where writing the formula and steps taken to solve the equation is just as important as arriving at the correct answer. As a matter of fact, a student would score higher by not only answering the question but by also showing the steps taken to solve it.
A characteristic behavior in today’s society is the belief that “The End Justifies the Means”. This belief suggests that the actions people take whether moral or not are justified as long as they get their desired end result. For example, lying on a resume to get a job, cheating during examinations or sporting activities, slandering a person’s reputation etc.
The origins of that phrase go back to consequentialism, which is a type of normative ethical theory. It holds that the moral quality of an action is completely determined by its consequences. Human nature is naturally focused on outcomes. We can deal with a difficult/sad story if it eventually has a happy ending. Nonetheless, we must understand that the point isn’t whether or not you are proud of your achievements. It is about whether you are proud of how you achieved it.
“If I want to deprive you of your watch, I shall certainly have to fight for it; if I want to buy your watch, I shall have to pay for it; and if I want a gift, I shall have to plead for it; and, according to the means I employ, the watch is stolen property, my own property, or a donation. Thus, we see three different results from three different means. Will you still say that the means do not matter?” ― Mahatma Gandhi.
The above quote attest to the fact that the means through which we achieve our outcomes are as important as the outcomes itself. Here are 3 reasons why you must be intentional about not only the outcome of your actions but also the way you go about it:
1. It Says a Lot About Your Character
As you journey towards your desired goals and purpose in life, you are building character.
For us as human beings, the foundation of our lives is our character. Remember, the height of a building is determined by the depth of its foundation. As you go through that journey build your character by intentionally doing things that are ethically and morally right.
2. The Learning Happens in The Process
Life is a process and as you go through the course of life, you are learning the things that would eventually shape your decisions and actions.
As you go through this learning process, don’t get too fixated on the end results that you forget your values.
Always remember that life is a learning curve – don’t sacrifice your values or cut corners… Trust the process.
3. Your Decisions Affect Other People
As individuals, the decisions we make not only affect us, but invariably affects the people around us and our future generation – just like the Butterfly Effect. I understand that making the right choices in life can be difficult, but we must keep in mind that making those choices would have a positive effect on everything and everyone around us. Hence, before embarking on any action or decision, make a commitment to ensuring that your “Means Justifies the End.”
Remember, You Have Only One Life to Live, MAKE IT COUNT!