Dream Believe Achieve

- Michael McHugh Editor-in-chief michael@mindfood.com Instagram@mindfoodmi­ke


Can you remember what you were like when you were 13? What school you went to? The friends you had? Where you lived ... and what dreams you had for the future? As MiNDFOOD turns 13, it seems like a perfect time to reflect. Entering teenage years, there is much ahead of us I am sure, and looking back MiNDFOOD has accomplish­ed many things since its launch on March the 8th, 2008 into the cloud of the Global Financial Crisis and now of course recently riding the COVID-19 wave and the many challenges that that has presented.

During those 13 years we have experience­d exceptiona­l highs and, like any small family business, some bumpy, not-so-great moments.

Yet right now, in this moment, what would your 13-year-old self think of what your life has become? As a teenager, we all had dreams of achieving great things. Looking at your parents and friends and family around you, perhaps you wanted to emulate what they had achieved in life. Or perhaps you desperatel­y wanted to take a different path, and carve out a new direction.

For me, growing up my mum would buy the Australian Women’s Weekly magazine each week on a Tuesday afternoon at the weekly supermarke­t shop; my dad would subscribe to

Time and an impressive French magazine called

Réalitiés. These magazines gave me the opportunit­y to lose myself into different worlds.

At 13, I had no idea that creating magazines was a job. That didn’t dawn on me until much later, when not only did I want to be part of creating a magazine, I wanted to own my own magazine one day. Nothing like dreaming big.

No-one in my family or the parents of my friends was involved in publishing or media at all. One thing that this range of magazines did give me was a point of view and a range of unique worlds outside my own childhood experience­s. Something else it gave me was a thirst for wanting to travel and experience first hand some of what I would read about and learn. I still remember thinking at 13 that perhaps I would become a teacher ... an art teacher even? My mum was a teacher; she taught both me and my brother. My three sisters also became teachers, perhaps I would follow that path? At 13 I also remember thinking I will never make my children wear hand-knitted, chocolateb­rown poloneck jerseys with three stripes running across the chest. Despite being created and made with much love, those tight, ribbed, neck-scratching garments were truly awful to wear.

So looking back at my 13-year-old self, he would never believe or comprehend the steps in getting to where I am today. I don’t think I was afraid to dream, but as a teenager perhaps my dreams were a little limited in thinking because quite simply I would never have known how to create something like MiNDFOOD and what could be achieved. Looking back, I think I would be amazed at some of my life experience­s now and be proud of the many different things I have achieved in life.

Sometimes, though, you need the support of others around you to point out your talents and at the same time what you potentiall­y can achieve. For me, it has mainly been the women in my life who have been the confidence boosters that have never doubted me, the ones who have seen the potential within me. My mother, my sister, a favourite sister-in-law, my wife, great friends and my daughters have been the cheerleade­rs in my life that celebrate who I am.

Launching MiNDFOOD on Internatio­nal Women’s Day 13 years ago – this year going on sale again in that same week – makes me proud of all those talented women I’ve had surroundin­g me who believe in my potential, perhaps when at times I can’t see it myself. So take this time to celebrate those who celebrate you. More than anything, though, I realise MiNDFOOD, with its range of experience­s and stories, is also a cheerleade­r for others and those who want to achieve their dreams.

Remember, at 13, what you felt and the path that perhaps you could or couldn’t see for yourself was just another moment in time. It is today, right now, this minute when you are reading MiNDFOOD, that you must become whoever and whatever you want to be. Just start and don’t let anyone tell you that it can’t be achieved. Because from experience, anything is possible.

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