Imagine that you have been working really hard to get promoted in your job. Many years you worked day and night to get noticed by your bosses. You got a lot of positive feedback and your hopes were high. But now, when it was time for your promotion, you hear from a colleague that they have actually called in for an interview for that very position someone else. And the best part is that you will be the one to interview that someone else. You are devastated.
During the interview, you come to the conclusion that the person your bosses invited is perfect for the job, more so than you. But you know that if the person does not get hired, you are going to be the next candidate they will consider. You have a choice, either you remain professional, preserve your morality and tell your bosses that the person is perfect for the position, or you choose your personal success and lie about it. What will be your choice?
I don’t want you to think that the story above has only one correct answer. It’s simply an example of what people sometimes have to go through in their life. It’s something for you to think about.
When we talk about self-development, which is the cornerstone topic of my blog, we are also inevitably talking about success. But success has many faces. For some people, success is simply hard work that pays off. Others take it so seriously, that they are willing to do whatever it takes to attain it. Not only they will work really hard for it, but they will also do things that seem completely immoral. They are able to lie and cheat, just as long as it can benefit them.
Although it may seem wrong to you and me, it is not rare. It can be seen in all areas of life, including politics, business and professional sports.
Morality is something that we as humans possess. Although we can be looked at as highly intelligent animals, morality is one of the core principles that separates us from every other creature.
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It is the morality that pushes us to do those things that can be wrong or even detrimental to us. But as long as we know that it can benefit someone or something else, we are able to go against our own will. In a way, this behavior is completely unnatural. Animals don’t have to go through these dilemmas.
Some will say that morality is not that important because it is subjective. Who knows what really is right or wrong? As the saying goes, one man’s meat is another man’s poison.
On the other hand, some will say that morality is of the highest importance. If you do something immoral, it may haunt you for the rest of your life. How are we in the context of self-development becoming better and successful if we do those things that we ourselves know are wrong? Sure, subjectivity will always be in place, but aren’t we being dishonest with ourselves in this case?
So which one?
As I said about the example in the very beginning, I don’t want to tell you which is right or wrong. But I do want you to think about what is more important to you in the context of self-improving. Do you believe that giving up an incredible opportunity for subjective values is nonsense, or do you see morality as more important than personal success?
For those that chose the latter option, how do you see the concept of doing something immoral for the greater good? For example, you know that something is completely wrong at the moment, but if you do it now, you will be able to help thousands of people in the future? Would you stick to your moral values, or would you do it anyway? Keep in mind that this is how many battles and wars were started throughout history – for the sake of future generations.
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The reason why I even decided to write about this topic is because I think we all have to make these types of choices throughout life. Some of us, fortunately, have to hop over only small “success vs morality” barriers, while others have to make some very serious decisions that will impact thousands of lives and will even have them criticized for it.
If you think about success vs morality on a larger scale, you may think of politicians or the CEOs of major companies. But starting entrepreneurs or even, for that matter, bloggers 🙂 often have to play the “fake it till you make it” card as well. What this means in practice is that you try to create an image of being someone that you are not. This is often how self-proclaimed “internet gurus” act.
But is this really immoral? Many of these people don’t have bad intentions and they definitely don’t want to steal or lie to you, but how will they ever be noticed in the world that is already packed with gurus? One logical solution to the problem, even if it doesn’t feel truthful at the moment, is to work really hard and pretend you know more than you do until you really do know it all. Unfortunately, only by practicing and the gradual trial and error approach, will you be able to really master your passion.
Coming to an end, if you ask me the question of which is better, morality or success, I will tell you that I don’t have a definite answer for you. Yes, I am against egotistic success at the expense of others, but that is the extreme and that is not what I wanted to focus on. I am more interested in understanding where your line would cross in between success for the greater good and morality. Or can there be really no self-development if you are going against morality in any form? I am interested in hearing what you think.