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