There goes an old saying that “means are more important than ends”. End is the final result. Means imply the methods adopted to achieve the End. Success or failure is not as important as the process of trying for the success. The process of making or doing something is more important than the final product.
The central idea of the given statement is to emphasize the importance of ways of achieving rather than the achievement itself. For example, a student aspires to top the batch. The year-end result shows that the goal has been achieved. However the student is not happy. To top the class, the student has taken to wrong means like cheating from notes. The top scores do not recompense for the wrong means. As any other scrupulous person, the student realizes that top scores achieved out of hard work would have given more satisfaction and sense of pride.
Every human being has some degree of self-esteem. When the compulsion to succeed blinds the conscience, a person does not think about the right and wrong and tries to achieve success by all means, by hook or crook. The achievement however does not carry the same glory as one resulting out of the right means like dedication, effort and propriety.
There is a time for everything. Nothing can be achieved in a night. A task starts with an objective. A strategy or process is identified to complete the task. This process makes some rules to follow and lays down certain taboos. The end result comes only after the process is followed completely in all its respects. Let us now consider some probable scenarios. First, if the process is right, there is no reason why the final product will not be favorable. Secondly, even if due to some exigency the final outcome is not positive, one can always find solace in the sincerity of the attempt itself. Third possibility is if the process is wrong, there is hardly any logical reason to succeed. Obviously, failure is not palatable to anybody. Fourthly, the final outcome is achieved in spite of an incorrect process. But as seen earlier, it does not give the sense of achievement or delight. Thus in the last two cases, the end result is unpalatable that there is no happiness. Fourth case is all the more bitter as the success cannot be enjoyed and the conscience will be at unrest. The unrest can be due to realization and guilt. Hard core unscrupulous people might feel the unrest only out of a fear of being caught for the violation of the right and following the wrong process.
Enterprise can be defined as endeavor. Any enterprise, whether that of a student, employee, businessman, doctor, engineer, or a parish priest is best judged by the method followed and not the final result.
Whether literate or not, everybody understands the importance of values and ethics. Time has proven that a valid process of achieving any goal is fraught with obstacles. There is no shortcut to success. The only shortcut is effort. Overcoming the barriers with unflinching devotion is tested by the goal that continuously shines luring the seeker to take the easy wrong path. The final outcome gives the satisfaction of having stood by one’s ideals.
The above analysis shows that the process of doing something is ultimately more important than the end result.