The Treaty Times Thirty Project-What it really taught me.

I took on the project of translating without even thinking twice about it. I saw opportunities and I always knew that with evaluating and reflecting at the end of each project, there would be lessons to learn and move forward with. These are life lessons and they are my strength and values which I always draw from.

Did you know that the Treaty-the founding document has been through a lot of mother nature challenges? Thats right. I couldn’t believe it when I heard about it’s adventures during my undergraduate nursing studies. They were later confirmed by my own research as well. Well. The most important document of all time for this countrys sake has been tossed like a salad.

It was kept in an iron box and narrowly escaped a huge fire at the Government Offices in Auckland in 1841. They were found later in 1911 in a pretty bad shape-it’s edges were destroyed by water and had been partially chewed by rodents! What a journey!

Nevertheless, despite the rollercoaster journey, it survived and every year since then, the National Day called Waitangi Day has always been co-memorated and celebrated on the 6th of Februrary every year in New Zealand. But what has the Treaty Project taught me? A lot. In hindsight and on reflection.

Patience and Control

I had really thought that I could translate the Treaty in a few hours. Wrong! It took me an entire weekend to really put my heart and soul into this project. Patience is such a complex trait that everyone of us needs to learn. We consciously do it most times but we become unaware of it but the more we practice it, the more we become it. It is the virtue! To be successful in the entrepreneurial world, we must learn to be patient, stay motivated and focused and be patience despite what life curveball throws at us. I was frustrated at times with not knowing words that were used in the treaty document-what the substitution might be in our Bislama language. I have so much respect and honour for those who translate everyday. Can you imagine those people who translated the Bible?

The benefits of having patience have been empowering in very big ways. I completed the project on time and have been able to rip the positive rewards. I taught myself the mindset that delay gratification was worth it. I had to embrace the habit of becoming patient because it is a mature reponse in the business world. The positive recongition and acknowledgements, the greater sales and profits, the increased satisfaction and the stronger promotions that we continually seek are always worth it in the end.

This project has also taught me about making smart decisions in life. It has made me stay out of negative stories that could potentially cloud my judgements. I chose to do and participate in the project instead of partying all weekend long or get distracted with another unproductive habit which was so easy to do. It has taught me to be present and focus on the moment. It has impacted me more positively with making wise choices that take the big and small picture into account.

This project has also helped me built reputation. It gave me the grit to keep working and perservering to finishing the project. It was an ability I had to master. It was a success. In life, I do believe that when we dedicate ourselves to a long and hard effort, others will look at us as accountable, dependable and a first choice of conducting business with. Thats an important trait to have.

I went into the extra mile of doing a lot of self-reflections. One thing I had discovered was self-possession. I was able to be in control with my life; what was more important and prioritising it. When we are patient, we give ourselves time to respond appropriately to a life event instead of being a emotional wreck which jeopardises our ability to make sound judgements. Self-management is so important.

The tolerance and resilience have also been products of patience. I have been able to deal with unexpected issues diplomatically. The challenges I faced gave me more courage, strength and optimism. I embraced the project and did my best shot.

I have also learnt that patience develops excellence. The end product of the project was an outstanding book! It was celebrated with a special launch at the Government House of New Zealand and was gifted to the people. Dame Paty Reddy welcomed the gift and praised the efforts of the wonderful hundreds of volunteers who worked tirelessly on the project. It brought a positive team culture working amongst the translators.

Linguistic abilities

What a global world we live in! There are so many languages to learn from. New Zealand has more than 200 ethnicities. Incredible how this little country thrives so well and welcomed so many nationalities. The best thing about that is everybody contributes in their own little way. But did you know that language is so important in businesses?

I learnt a lot and with those self-reflections, I discovered that people who can speak more than a language are incredibly smart and intelligent. That is a valid reason that everyone should make the effort of always learning a different language. It will go a very long way. Besides that, wouldn’t you agree that it is way sexier to speak another language?

Did you know that learning another language crashes fear? It forces us to come face to face with our fears and a tolerance to new people and ideas. Think about travelling in France or South America or Middle East. We go the extra mile and take bigger risks.

I love that learning a new language improves our ability to listen closely and strengthens our systematic skills. It always works. We learn to listen and reply deliberately even if we make mistakes. It enables us to simply watch, observe and listen very carefully.

At the project launch, I especially made an effort to meet new people thus keeping an open-mind. I was in the midst of a global environment. It was beautiful. It was enriching. It was like a bag of gold being opened up in a small space and it spread everywhere with its glossy appearance. I felt so rich to be surrounded by these wonderful foreign translators who brought so much skills and talents with them. It was about discovering a population culture and belief system. It broadened, heightened and enhanced my life perspectives. I am grateful for that opportunity.

Networking and developing meaningful relationships

The power of networking is incredible! The people you meet in chapter of your life is purposeful. Its the truth. They come into your life and they build you up or they leave your life to create space for more meaningful relationships to be created.

The best thing about this project is discovering that my fellow translator Caroline Nalo is family! She is a fantastic family asset. How incredible is that! Armed with a wealth of experience and living a very fulfilled life, she has brought a lot to our country Vanuatu through her profound skills and knowledge. The globe is too small and social media has played an important role in that too. Embracing technology and acknowleding that it has a place in our lives is something I have accepted too. It has been beneficial. Dr Robert Early has been a very valuable asset too after the project-he continues to work tirelessly to protect our languages in Vanuatu. I have so much respect for that. It is such a valuable cultural identity that we can’t lose. Mandy Hewett, the project committee coordinator became a jewel in my first aid kit. Its just wonderful to share ideas and look for ways to get the project to completion. Shirley and Ian Cormack will remain friends and historians for a life time. I believe we are all currently positioned in beautiful and productive investments-that is creating and maintaining these meaningful relationships moving forward after the project.

Finally, the quote from Max Lucado is always motivating and inspiring. Let me leave it with you as you ponder on your journey in life too.

“God never said the journey would be easy but he did say that the arrival would be worthwhile!”


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