contributed by Rebecca Buchan
“Always surround yourself with successful people”
Whenever I am asked for a life’s motto or goal, this is what I say. This idea has formulated for me over the years. I knew that ASL interpreting was a passion of mine early on. I instinctively knew that I didn’t know enough about it. This was twenty years ago, before a Google search could lead you to a seemingly endless number of resources on interpreting. This was before I knew of professional organizations like the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf or the National Council on Health Care Interpreters. This was even before I could email or text other interpreters to ask them the long list of questions I had about interpreting. All I knew was that if I deliberately met interpreters and members of the Deaf community, developed relationships with them and modeled their successful behavior, I would eventually find success in my interpreting journey.
And, I am speaking of an overall success. I have made plenty of mistakes and have had my share of “teachable moments.” Like many interpreters, those mistakes took up a lot of my mental space along the way. When I talk about “successful people” these were not/are not flawless individuals who, when they interpret, the angels sing. No. These are people who managed to navigate the profession and learn from their mistakes. I define “success” as an equation:
Achievements – Mistakes X Learning from those mistakes = Success.
Much to my chagrin, this motto…this idea of how to grow as an interpreter…to surround myself with successful people…eventually became represented by the rubber duck. (The connection is a story that I am more than willing to share, but that’s for another blog.) Suffice it to say that every time I see a rubber duck, I am reminded that I owe quite a bit of gratitude to the people who have surrounded me as I took the journey to become an interpreter. It’s a reminder that my successes have been greatly influenced by their successes. It means that I didn’t do it alone.
So the equation has eventually changed for me, over time.
(Achievements – Mistakes X Learning from those Mistakes) The experience of others = a Duck
#LUNAlife #mentoring #professionaldevelopment