1. Meet new people
One of the greatest things about the stock show life is we get to meet people from all over the country! Shake hands, say hello and make new friends! You never know when your livestock loving paths will cross again and when they do it will be nice to have a smiling face by your side.
2. Make memories with your family
How many other activities do you see parents and siblings so deeply involved? I am not placing a higher emphasis on livestock, but I do think it molds families into vessels of greatness. We could not be any luckier; we have a hobby and in many cases a lifestyle, that builds on family values and instills in our children the importance of hard work and integrity.
3. Grow and improve
How many times have you left the ring thinking I conquered that mountain? Perhaps you slayed an inner dragon you have been letting eat up too much of your head space. Every time you enter the show ring YOU have the chance to improve. Embrace the moment and learn everything you can. Celebrate your achievements no matter their size!
4. Learn a new method or technique
Don't be shy, stand back and take it all in. There is always more than one way to do everything. You might pick up on a shortcut or an easier method to do something. Keep in mind people are always rushed at shows and may not have the time to go into detail the moment you ask. Make a mental note and remind yourself when timing is a little better.
5. Inspire someone else
There is always someone watching. Usually, they are in a different place on their journey. Embrace their journey with open arms. Even if that is only a smile, it will make them feel noticed and welcomed. If someone asks you a question take a moment to kindly answer them.
6. Mentor another person
We all need a refresher course, and one of the easiest ways to do that is by teaching someone else. Take a young child under your wing and show them the ropes. You will make a huge impression on this individual and will have an enormous sense of pride each time you watch them improve.
7. Conquer your fears
Stepping into the show ring is not for the faint of heart. It takes bravery, confidence, and commitment. We are not always as prepared as we want to be and rarely are our animals exactly as we want them to show. However, in the end, every small step gets you a little closer to the top of that mountain.
8. Set a new goal
Maybe it is a show ring goal. Perhaps it is a goal you need to achieve at home. Hopefully, every time you enter the ring you learn something new. Sometimes it may mean doing more of what you are doing because IT IS working. Other times it might mean a change of course, a new path. Either way just getting out there will help lead you closer to your goals and in the direction you need to go. Don't give up on the journey, see it through to the end. You will be surprised at the person looking back at you in the mirror when you reach the end of the path.