As this will be my last regular column for Farmers Weekly, I wanted to sign off by giving my 18-year-old self the advice I wish I’d known at the time.
1. Believe in yourself. This is still the hardest thing for me, even today. When you believe you can, anything is possible.
2. Travel. You will always regret the opportunities you didn’t take; you’ll never regret the ones you did – even if they don’t go the way you had hoped.
Don’t miss out on an opportunity to see more of the world, even if you think someone else will be affected by your decision – do everything for you.
3. Be open-minded. Don’t think that what your dad/granddad or your mates down the pub say is gospel. There are always different ways of doing things and sometimes your way isn’t the best option.
This attitude will get you a lot further in life. Different ideas are good, even if you don’t agree with them.
Getting an education will help with this – there’s a lot of information out there – some useful, some not so, but it’s all relevant and it all helps.
4. Talk. Discuss everything; the good, the bad and the ugly – but be kind with it. Have the tough conversations about the future so everyone knows what is happening and what everyone wants – and record it somewhere.
Have the nice conversations about how well you’re doing and how your plans are coming together.
Tell those who need to know how you are feeling, because if there is one thing I have learned it’s that nothing is as bad as you make it in your head – something else that I struggle with to this day.
5. Listen to your mother. Seriously, your mother is quite probably the only person in the world who truly wants the best for you and she knows what she’s talking about.
If I could go back and tell my 18-year-old self only one of these five things, it would be this one. It would have saved me a lot of heartache, a whole lot of money – but, most importantly, a heap of time.