A lot of people say you should follow your passion, but I'm not sure how many people actually do.
Your life will be more likely to be fulfilling as a result, if you follow this advice.
I'm not sure where I read this quote from David Morgan (former Westpac chief executive officer), but think it sums it up perfectly: "I've come to the conclusion that the only real failure in life is not to try. I think everyone's good at something, and if people really try, they'll almost certainly surprise themselves."
It doesn't matter what your passion is, as long as it's yours, not someone else's view of what it should be. I have seen the latter play out through the years.
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People normally give very well-intentioned advice, and maybe it all turns out fine. But this type of advice shouldn't stop someone following their dreams.
In agriculture, I think this can play out both ways.
I know plenty of farmers that absolutely love what they do, and always have. As a result, the business thrives in many cases.
I think everyone's good at something, and if people really try, they'll almost certainly surprise themselves.
I also know others that don't want to be there. This is not a good outcome for anyone, but ultimately it is that person's choice.
In agriculture, there are numerous ways to follow your passion.
In the past few months, the Stock Journal has been full of stud stock sale results.
I know people across SA that operate studs.
I've found these people are, without exception, passionate about what they do, with a few even obsessive.
Obsessiveness in measured doses is fine, as it tends to focus one on the job at-hand.
But on the odd occasion, I have seen the laser-like focus on the preparation and showing of stud animals be detrimental to the financial viability of the business overall.
There needs to be balance.
Sheep and wool, and the ups and downs through the years, illustrate what passion and longevity can do.
Lots of people remember the end of the Reserve Price Scheme in 1991 and the ensuing 20-year slump in the wool job.
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Those that stuck at it were rewarded, as sheep and wool prices have rebounded in more recent years.
Commercial sheep operations have been the beneficiaries of the stud breeder's pursuit of excellence.
The quality of rams has improved and there is much more information available about the production capabilities of each ram. This has enabled the quality of the wool and meat to improve.
For the commercial operator, there has been a shift in how they manage the flock during the year. There is also more information available.
Those operators who are passionate about this are reaping the rewards.
Following your passion can manifest itself in many areas of your life, not just on-farm. It may be a hobby or community involvement.
But there is no doubt, with passion, you will achieve amazing things, and may even surprise yourself.
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