The rain clouds had finally moved away to reveal a freshly painted blue sky containing just a few archipelagos of tiny cotton wool clouds. A summer breeze had returned to dry the vegetation but the ground was still sodden with the almost relentless rain of the past week.
"What is your greatest achievement?"
I've always struggled with such questions. When they have been thrown at me in job interviews and the like I've tried to produce an expected response, but my replies have never satisfied me personally. On reflection, this is probably because there is something meaningless about these questions. They could only be answered if we knew the full effect of everything we did or said (or how we did or said them).
The modern meaning of the word "success" is generally about getting desired results, which we are conditioned to believe are fame and fortune. The older meaning of "success" is about all results, consequences, things (and people) that follow. Just because what we say or do doesn't have a measurable result it doesn't mean that it isn't a great achievement. We get brainwashed by the "success-mongers" who consider it a great personal achievement for themselves if they can condition us into planning great personal achievements for ourselves.
For me attempting to be more positive in contact with others means potentially greater achievements than any personal goals set, greater because of the knock-on effect which we will probably never fully appreciate. These achievements can’t be considered as our own purely personal achievements but they are more powerful.