Translator’s Star Wars: 7 lessons from the saga
Searching for a balance between creativity and routine
As an old school Star Wars fan, I can safely say now: “All is well that ends.”
The 42-year legendary saga ended in phews and negative remarks. For me, it’s a reminder that we should not try to monetise all and everything committing our lives to printing money in perpetuity.
Moreover, technology is only as good as people using it. Without a passion and a vision, it’s an empty vessel hardly worth the second glance.
I still believe that the first part of the saga gave rise to better sci-fi movies and new talents. And here is my short tribute to Star Wars I watched “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away”.
Seven Star Wars lessons for becoming a better professional and a better person.
1. Find a good mentor
Just like Pade put it, “Mentors have a way of seeing more of our faults that we would like. It’s the only way we grow.”
A mentor does:
- Take a view of your development.
- Help you see the destination.
- Offer encouragement but not “how-tos”.
A mentor does not:
- Serve as a coach or a counselor.
- Function as an advocate of yours.
- Support you on short-term problems.
Each of us develops at our own pace, but mentoring can have many positive and lasting effects both for the mentor and the mentee.
“Do or do not… there is no try.” – Yoda
2. Overcome failures to achieve success
Success is found through trial and error, dedication, and the ability to see setbacks as stepping stones towards better deals.
We all make mistakes, and we sometimes fail. But successful people are good at overcoming failure.
• Do not fear mistakes or failures and treat them like a scientist.
• See challenges as opportunities.
• Take time each day to reflect what’s working and what’s not.
• Take small, repeated actions and focus on small wins.
“Strike me down and I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi
3. Do not be guided by fear
We are afraid of failing, succeeding, offending people and looking silly. Suddenly, deleting all the old emails in the inbox seems more important than writing to a potential client.
- Scared of not being good enough? Use that as motivation for consistent CPD activities and credentials.
- Embrace a system with funny permissions and prizes to get unstuck (like ’28 Days to Clients’).
- Spend time enjoying yourself to deal with the stress that fear creates.
- Give yourself credit for all your efforts and not just achievements.
“Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” – Yoda
4. Dream big
We can do incredible things. But to get both driving force and creative passion to overcome the challenges, you need to know your aim. Accept the fact that there will be people who don’t believe in you. All you can do is work hard to prove them wrong.
Do you think your business is going to be substantially more this year? If your answer is a yes, then you are dreaming big!
• A dream without a plan is just a wish, so plan your next steps.
• Time to work on your plans and steps needs to be a priority on your everyday calendar.
• Your friends and special ones are the people who would support you against all odds.
• As a freelancer, you’re way further along the track than most people. Believe in your abilities!
“Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1.”
“Never tell me the odds.”
5. Complete what you started
Starting new project is exciting, emotionally arousing, and infused with the natural motivator of novelty. We do not pay much attention to obstacles, downsides or challenges we’ll soon face.
And later (more often than not?), we are inclined to drop off things that we started, without reaching the finish line.
• Know yourself and try to be realistic.
• Ensure your main motivation is based on personally meaningful reasons.
• Research more deeply into your next project before jumping in.
• Make a timeline or write out scheduled steps towards your goal.
• If needed, quit on purpose, without a sense of failure. Avoid the sunk cost fallacy.
“I find your lack of faith disturbing.” – Darth Vader
6. Don’t lie to yourself
Lie is comfortable as we don’t have to face the hard truth and can keep doing the same thing without changing anything. Lie helps avoid self-responsibility for our actions.
Sometimes, we are inclined to feel miserable. And it’s ok. As long as after that we start doing what’s right for us. You already know what to do. So do it.
• I’m not good enough.
• I don’t have enough time/money for it.
• I am not in the mood.
• It’s too late/early/the wrong day.
“Already know you, that which you need.” – Yoda
7. There is Force in everyone
Invest your energy into the things and people you are passionate about rather than focusing on the negative moments or empty distractions. Be patient and do not give up — progress happens slowly.
May the force be with you in the new decade coming!
“Well, if droids could think, there’d be none of us here, would there?” — Obi-Wan Kenobi
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Olesya Zaytseva is a proficient translator and marketer with more than 20 years of experience bringing her clients’ online presence to the next level through content translation, creation and promotion. Pursuing writing, archery, and combinatorial creativity. English, German, Ukrainian into Russian.