Abigail Chow, 28, makes it a priority in life to spend time with the deaf community in Singapore and to be a better sign language interpreter. She currently works as an educational interpreter in a primary school.
Today, she shares some lessons she has picked up during her journey.
I’ve worked hard to pry open doors to careers I’ve always wanted to try such as a sound engineer, arts manager, counsellor, interpreter and more..
The first job I got was as a church worker and looking back, this experience not only laid a foundation to answering my purpose in life, but also gave me a perspective of “work” – which has shaped the way I approach the jobs that I take on. My religious faith anchors my soul and shapes me daily.
So, what answers your purpose in life and shapes you to be better for society and yourself daily?
I sometimes wonder how the world would be like if people were more inclined to listen for understanding’s sake, rather than to respond. As a young child, I was shy to speak and so often held my words in fear of being misunderstood.
As a consequence, I naturally spent more time listening to what others had to say, and to that end, realised the benefit of listening and observing their words and body language. In return for my silent observance, others would take notice and do likewise when it was my turn to speak. From this I learned that people, including myself, want to be heard and more importantly, understood.
I am thankful for the roof over my head, food on the table every evening, a daily shower, a bed to fall asleep on and a job to do. I am thankful for the relationships I have with wonderful people, and the advice from well-meaning seniors and friends.
Thinking about the people who have molded me to where I am today, I am spurred on to do the same for others, simply because I have been given the means to. What are you grateful for today?
If you’ve ever made an unforgivable mistake, know that it does not have to define you or your future! Yes, this is easier said than done when you don’t have control over the judgment of others, but it is precisely for this reason that we need to take control of what we have: a future in our hands.
I’ve made costly mistakes in my job so many times, but I cling to the forgiveness of colleagues and advice of mentors to overcome them and work on my weaknesses. If the judgement of people ever hinder you from growth, let this be a reminder that you are not the sum of your past mistakes.
A sure sign of growing complacency or pride is when you think you know all there is to know and do not need to grow anymore. Have some humility and realise that what you know will always be the tip of the iceberg of the matter, and what you think you’ve experienced, someone will always have a little more experience. The hard part here may be coming to terms with this while at the same time knowing that you’re not any less valuable.