Having a mentor is not something I fully embraced until recent years, but if I reflect back on my life, mentors have clearly been there all the time.
We all have people who influence us as we embark on life's journey. When you are young, it is most likely parents and grandparents for obvious reasons. As we get older it is other people who encourage us.
Whether you enjoyed school or not, most of us have at least one teacher who made a difference.
My school report card would indicate an average student attended Coomandook Area School in the '70s and early '80s, but I do remember a few teachers who really encouraged me and gave me confidence, and I am forever grateful for this.
I am now pleased I can type properly. Typing was compulsory in year 10, and the teacher made it somewhat interesting.
We all have people who influence us as we embark on life's journey.
As I type pretty much every day, I am very glad I am not a two-fingered keyboard warrior. I still see my old teacher every few years, and still mention this to her.
We all go through tough times at school. Year six was my annus horribilis. Luckily for me I had one teacher in particular who was there when I needed help. Others encouraged me generally to improve. On reflection, school wasn't that bad.
When I left school I went home on the farm. There were, of course, my parents there to guide me. My family was also there for me.
I found the Coomandook Ag Bureau a great place to be, and I learnt a lot thanks to the openness of other farmers in the group. This was invaluable for a young farmer in his early 20s at the time.
Three people in particular spring to mind - Garry Hansen, Steve Murray and Rob Smyth. They were very open in sharing experiences and I learnt a lot from these quality people.
There are other people that you sit back and admire from a distance. I guess in some ways these people could be classified as mentors.
There is a farmer that I have known for a long time that now competes in Ironman competitions.
I can't even get my head around the physical and mental endurance this pursuit requires, and I cannot help but be inspired by this.
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There is also the local gym owner in Mount Barker, who not only coaches and encourages his members, but also completed seven marathons in seven days in seven states last year.
The most amazing thing about this from my perspective is not so much the physical and mental aspects of it.
The real reason this inspires me so much was the reason for the event - to support a very worthy charity called Bravehearts. He did it for the kids, not personal glory.
I have a few people in my life who inspire me to pursue my goals. Most of these people don't even know I look up to them. In my case, they are a blend of old and young, male and female. Most, but not all, of them are from an agricultural background.
Kudos to all those people out there who are mentors whether they know it or not.
- Details: bagshawagriconsulting.com.au