Am I Making the Right Decision?


imagesThis question is not the exclusive purview of philosophers and mental health practitioners. It has always been a hot topic and many of us chew our nails to the nubs while making decisions that involve a major issue in our life such as relationships, health care, family problems, the purchase of a house, etc. After we reach a conclusion, we oftentimes continue to second-guess it, especially when as now, circumstances are aggravated by difficult economic times that have a bearing on many of these situations.

In the T&I profession there are key decisions as well, that impact our lifestyle and need to be confronted. Among others, they include questions such as educational choices, what work aspect of language to focus on, what is best for me, a freelancer or employee position?  What remuneration should I seek? Is there value in volunteering my services to a trade association, etc.

Being a rational MBA and a long-time spiritual seeker, I have one foot planted firmly in both of these camps, and I follow a balanced procedure I devised that I would like to share with you as it has proven invaluable to me over the years. Start out by not believing everything you think prior to undergoing the process.

  1.  The first step is to research the matter.  The most generalized search you will do will be probably be on Google but rather than typing in a simple phrase, learn the search conventions for advanced searches which are very simple to do and will save you a lot of time. Please note that there are similar tips for advanced searches on other platforms such as additional search engines, FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, etc.
  2. Make a short list of the pros and cons of each solution.  Remember that comparing options will increase your confidence.
  3. Identify a qualified friend as well as a devil’s advocate to discuss the alternatives. Remember that advice from others usually comes from the intellect.
  4. Listen to your gut/intuition to determine what feels comfortable and resonates with you.  Remember that in the end, you know better than anyone else what is best for you.
  5. Be aware that the world is in constant flux and you will be able to reassess many of your decisions should you decide they are not working for you in the future.
  6. Realize that experience is one of the main filters our brain uses to make decisions.  It therefore stands to reason that you focus on positive experiences and try to reduce or eliminate internalizing  negative ones so that your “database” is populated by optimistic, affirmative information.
  7. I cannot overstate the importance of a regular simple meditation practice of 15 minutes twice a day to clear the cobwebs.  It will help you immensely to analyze all of the above, in addition to having many other benefits.

Bear in mind that whatever you ultimately decide will be the best resolution you could have reached. It may not be completely apparent why in the short term, but in the end I can assure you that it will be an experience you had to undergo to fulfill some as yet possibly unidentified need in your path.  I am convinced that nothing in life is random.  It just may take a while to connect the dots but there is an Intelligence superior to ours guiding our steps and our prior understanding of all the details does not contribute to the desired outcome.

I hope you will agree that this is both a relevant and fascinating topic. I look forward  to seeing your comments and benefiting from your opinions and experiences.

About mariacristinadelavegamusings

Certified SpanishEnglish interpreter by the Administrative Offices of the U.S. Courts, the State of Florida and the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT), where I have served on the board of directors, am chair of the Public Relations Committee, and have a column entitled "Getting Down to Business" in Proteus, the association newsletter. I am a member of the American Translators Association (ATA) and have a monthly column named "Interpreters Forum". In addition to the prior two associations, I also belong to AIIC (International Association of Conference Interpreters). I own ProTranslating, Inc., an LSP in Florida. I hold an MBA, which keeps one foot firmly grounded in everyday waking consciousness while the other aggressively seeks unity consciousness...

Posted on May 31, 2013, in Economy, Interpreting, life lessons, Meditation and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Very actionable advice, MC, which I hope to put to good use right away as I plan my next move. Thank you very much.

  2. Very realistic way to express. I like your conclusion Very Much, Excellent approach to understand things… Thank you

    • Thank you for commenting Joaquin. My tips are simple on purpose. Our brains tend to make life more complicated than it is with our need for cognition of everything. If we hone our intuition and trust in it, we can cut out a lot of the steps on my list.
      Please come back and visit again.

  3. One of the “quotes” I heard a lot during my studies and has stuck with me ever since is that translation is decision making. I think the same applies to interpreting, where decisions need to be taken in a split second or even before. But the more I get older, the more I see that life in general is a decision making process and the sooner we accept this (love all your tips!) the better, knowing of course that there are not bad decisions even if things don’t turn out according to our plan.
    Thank you for sharing this! You put it really nice and simple, which is how we should approach all decisions, even those that might turn our life upside down.

    • Good to hear from you Jana! My tips stem in part from a famous business school acronym (KISS) which stands for Keep it Simple Stupid.I am currently in a mode however, where I realize that I am being gently guided in everything I do. Sometimes it is so subtle that I think I am making the decision myself but that is incorrect. It is being made through me, in my best interests, and as you so rightly say, if things don’t turn out the way we thought because we forgot to do something, or someone else intervened, etc., in the end the result will be whatever was really the best for you. We just need to be aware and accepting of that and not worry about all the bends in the road.

  4. Maria Cristina,
    It feels like you spoke to me directly in saying whatever one decides will become an experience that fulfills an as yet possibly unidentified need in ones path. This is so true. Thank you so much for your insights and all your great articles.
    Pauline

    • I’m convinced that is the way it is. Nowadays, it is proven to me several times a day. I wish I had figured it out earlier and not wasted so much time “trying” to do things in a prescribed way. We need to give the Universe room to operate with second-guessing everything that happens in our lives.

      Hope to see you soon!

  5. Hi Maria Cristina, I came across your blog, and I have to say it’s Amazing ! Really great info. And tips ! I truly admire your work and professionalism. I do however have some questions that I am hoping you can answer.
    My name is Vicki, and I am looking to start my own Freelance Healthcare Interpreting business, but I am struggling as to where I should start. If anyone has any, any advice as to where I should start would be Great ! Here is a bit of history about myself….

    I am fluent in both English and Spanish, and I Love to Interpret! I have been interpreting for the last 18 + years mainly for friends and family. So for a while now I have been wanting to get my self organized & prepared to start a Career in Healthcare Interpreting or Community Interpreting.
    I took a Healthcare Interpreting Course and got a Certificate through “Bridging the Gap” here in Kansas in 2005. As for medical terminology, I know the basics. But I am ALWAYS willing to learn 😃! I have also done freelance interpreting in this area. My main Goal is to get certified as a Healthcare Interpreter.

    My questions are….
    – What Resources ( websites, organizations, books, courses, blogs, articles, etc.) would you recommend for me to start with?
    – What would be a good language choice that has a great demand : Healthcare interpreting or Community Interpreting ?
    – Is their such a thing as a ‘Mentor’ out there willing to help beginners like me ?
    – What type of Marketing is recommended, how do I approach clients ?

    Basically, ANY information would be of great help, so please, if anyone has any suggestions, I would really appreciate it !! Feel free to e-mail me at : vicki.rincon@yahoo.com .

    Hope to hear from someone soon ! Thanks,
    * Vicki Rincon*

    Maria Cristina keep up the Great work !

    • Thank you for your comments. As to questions, the choice between community and medical interpreting would probably be dictated by the need in your area and I don’t think there is a certification for community interpreting so I would probably go for the latter. Google CCHI medical interpreting and IMIA to get some background on the certification requirements. Regarding mentors, see if there is a local interpreter association in your area to inquire about joining, meeting members, etc. On a national level, I would recommend joining NAJIT (National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators) or the ATA (American Translators Association) which has an interpreting division.

      Best of luck!

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