After a brief hiatus, The Translation Cauldron is slowly waking up again. I decided to write this post last night. Just as I was crawling into my bed, I received an email notification informing me that “my results have not qualified to join [this company’s] team.” This got me thinking about how my reactions to this sort of bad (?) news – and to life and work in general – have changed completely over the years.
So these are the 4 life lessons I have learnt from bad experiences:
1. It’s OK to hit rock bottom
After my grandpa passed away last August, I finally turned my life around. Silly matters didn’t deserve my attention at that point. Everything gained a different perspective. It’s when you feel like all is lost that you can actually find the strength to get back on your feet and fight. If you have nothing to lose, then you have everything to gain. And when you do get your life back, you realise that annoying bosses, bitchy neighbours, awful family members, you name it, are no longer worth your time and effort.
You lose: toxic people. You gain: peace of mind. You worry less about meaningless stuff.
2. It’s OK to be stuck in a job you hate (for a while)
Scenario: you are offered a job that seems perfect for you. You are excited and feel blessed. You go to work every day. But things slowly start to change. What seemed the best opportunity for you turned into a crappy job which makes you feel miserable. But months of bad moods and gastritis can actually lead to something good. Being trapped in a job you hate is not healthy but, and I speak from experience here, sometimes doing something you hate can actually help you define what you want to do with your life. In that moment you are ready to take that terrifying leap of faith and never look back.
You lose: a job you hate. You gain: the confidence to pursue your dreams.
3. It’s OK to fail
Failing doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not good at what you do. Think about translation tests. Regardless of your personal opinion, many translators do take them – me included – and the results may affect how they see themselves as professionals. Over the years I have learned not to think less of myself when I do not qualify to join certain language teams. Maybe the day I took the test my mind was elsewhere. Maybe the evaluator’s mind was elsewhere. Maybe the evaluator prefers a word-for-word translation, instead your approach is more creative and values meaning over single words. Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. Reasons may vary. Just don’t let one person’s opinion bring you down.
You lose: possibly time. You gain: a different point of view.
4. It’s OK to be the weird one in the room
Too many times people have tried to make me feel uncomfortable because they thought I didn’t fit in and I didn’t even try. We’ve all been there. Be quirky and silly. Be original. Be boring. Just be yourself. Love yourself. Be the professional YOU want to be. Think outside the box or inside the box. Don’t let other people’s expectations or fears influence your choices. You know best. You choose. Be extraordinary. Love the ordinary.
You lose: again, toxic people. You gain: a happy life.
Sometimes it takes a bad fall to find your own resilience. Bad experiences can shift your focus on what really matters for you.
Is there any life lesson you would like to share? Leave a comment in the box below. I would love to hear from you!