Achieve Success with Integrity

Adapted from the book, “See the Light in You: Acquire Spiritual Powers to Achieve Mindfulness, Wellness, Happiness and Success,” by Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D.

“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.” ―Albert Pike

Nobody brings anything to the world at the time of birth and takes back anything from this world at the time of death. What one can do is to grow rich personally, professionally, and socially and share the riches with the less fortunate during the lifetime.

Here goes the story of an entrepreneur who was very rich and donated his entire money to charity. He was a self-made man with a rags-to-riches inspiring story. When he decided to share his entire wealth with the society from which he received the wealth, one of his friends questioned him for not sharing his wealth with his two sons. He replied as follows: “If my children are capable, they will earn money by themselves. In that case, I don’t have to share my wealth with them. If my children are incapable, they will destroy the entire wealth that I share with them. In that case, there is no meaning to share my wealth with them.”

It is obvious from this story that we must make our children competent and independent to enable them to work hard and smart to earn money. It gives them a sense of satisfaction and meaning to their lives.

Impart Education and Character to Children

Education and character are the two things parents must provide to their children. If they are educated, they can lead in any part of the world with courage and confidence. They can earn their livelihood and provide meaning to their lives. If they are imparted with character, they will live with dignity and honor and achieve success with integrity. Hence, parents must provide education and character to their children instead of sharing their wealth. In this way, they bring up their children in a right way and add value to society. At the same time, educational institutions must impart moral education to students to enable them to grow as healthy citizens.

Emphasize Character Education

Most students work hard and smart to acquire educational qualifications. They often compete with their colleagues to stand out. One degree they must acquire is a “character degree.” Other degrees don’t have any value if learners are not equipped with this character degree.

Most students aspire to acquire educational qualifications to grab employment opportunities. These qualifications are essential to obtain employment. But if they have character degree, they get enlightened and empowered throughout their lives. They can grow as healthy citizens to build a healthy nation and a healthy global society.

Billy Graham once remarked, “When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.” That is the importance of character! Therefore, your character is your asset. Like education, your character cannot be taken away by others unless you agree to lose it. You can acquire anything and everything under the sun on the Earth, if you have a strong character. You can earn your lost money, lost happiness, and lost peace if you have a strong character.

In leadership, people often talk about charisma. But what people must learn is to emphasize character, not charisma. Charisma may provide temporary popularity, which is like a passing cloud. Character gives you a permanent place in the hearts of the people beyond your lifetime far above these passing clouds to shine like a star forever.

Achieve Success with Integrity

Some students aspire to achieve success by hook or crook due to peer pressure and age pressure. Success achieved through wrongful means will not sustain whereas success achieved through rightful means will ensure your longevity. Additionally, it helps you command respect and become a role model and legend.

Elmer G. Letterman said, “Personality can open doors, but only character can keep them open.” To keep their doors open, students must emphasize character degrees more than paper degrees that serve as a foothold to be placed permanently in companies. Although paper degrees provide them a platform to enter employment, it is the character degree that provides them the permanent platform that ensures employability. It may be easy to be appreciated but tough to be respected by others. Others may appreciate success, but they will respect success achieved with integrity. Hence, strive to achieve success with integrity by equipping learners with a character degree.

Role of Educators

Educators must impart character education to students to check declining ethical values among students. Educators are the true academic leaders who build society by imparting character education to students. Students must take an interest in acquiring character because character cannot just be taught in a classroom. What educators can do is to inspire students to acquire character. Ultimately, it is the students who must show interest to acquire it based on their values and virtues.

Role of Parents

Parents must take responsibility. They must spend some time regularly with their children at home to connect with them to build a strong value system. They must prepare their children to face challenges in life. They must teach their children to emphasize character education rather than paper qualifications. Character education helps throughout their lives whereas paper qualifications serve for a short period. Parents must not be in a mad race to apply pressure to their children to acquire scores and grades on exams. They must encourage curricular and extracurricular activities apart from inspiring them to acquire character education. They must set an example for their children at home, and educators must set an example in educational institutions to impart right values and virtues among students. In fact, both parents and educators must take collective responsibility in this regard. Educational institutions must emphasize overall development of students rather than partial performance of grades and scores. Hence, there must be coordinated efforts from all stakeholders, including educators, parents, students, and educational institutions to impart character education to students.

Lead by Example

Educators in educational institutions must take the initiative to impart a moral education. Parents at home must impart a value system by leading by example. Currently technology is highly advanced and children ape the negative things rather than the positive things they see. It is a fact that people accept negativity more than positivity. Additionally, children are much smarter than their parents due to the influence of their peers and technology. Peer pressure plays a crucial role either to make or break children. Hence, parents must be vigilant and ensure children are surrounded by positive and healthy friends.

To conclude, emphasize moral education to children to enable them to grow as healthy and global citizens. It helps them achieve success with integrity and inculcates in them the habit of giving back to society to build a better world.

Adapted from the book, “See the Light in You: Acquire Spiritual Powers to Achieve Mindfulness, Wellness, Happiness and Success,” by Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D. His Holiness Dalai Lama wrote foreword for this book.

International leadership guru Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D., is the Father of “Soft Leadership” and founder of MSR Leadership Consultants, India. He is a leadership educator, executive coach, speaker, and consultant. He has 36 years of experience, and is the author of 36 books, including the award-winning “21 Success Sutras for CEOs” ( His book, “21 Success Sutras for Leaders (, was ranked as one of the Top 10 Leadership Books of the Year―2013 by San Diego University. He is passionate about serving and making a difference in the lives of others. His vision is to build 1 million students as global leaders by 2030 ( Dr. Rao serves as an advisor and judge for several international organizations, including Global Leadership Awards in Malaysia, Middle East Business Leaders Summits & Awards in Dubai, and Small Business Book Awards in the United States. His published books are available on Amazon at: Most of his work is available free of charge on his four blogs:,, and E-mail him at and follow him on Twitter at


Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D.
Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D., is the Father of “Soft Leadership” and the Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants, India. He is an International Leadership Guru with 43 years of experience and the author of 52 books, including the award-winning "See the Light in You" ( He has published more than 300 papers and articles in international publications, including Leader to Leader, Thunderbird International Business Review, Strategic HR Review, Development and Learning in Organizations, Industrial and Commercial Training, On the Horizon, and Entrepreneur magazine. He is a soldier, entrepreneur, editor, educator, author, enlightener, and philosopher. He is a C-suite advisor and global keynote speaker. He brings a strategic eye and long-range vision, given his multifaceted professional experience that includes military, teaching, training, research, consultancy, and philosophy. He is passionate about serving and making a difference in the lives of others. He trains a new generation of leaders through leadership education and publications. His vision is to build one million students as global leaders by 2030 ( He advocates gender equality globally (#HeForShe). He invests his time in authoring books and blogging on executive education, learning, and leadership. Most of his work is available free of charge on his four blogs, including He is a prolific author and a dynamic, energetic, and inspirational leadership speaker. He can be reached at