Darius Boyd’s letter to St Paul’s School students
What would I tell myself at high school if I had the chance to go back in time?
What lessons have I learned in the last 15 years that could have helped me if I knew them back then? It’s a great question and I don’t pretend to know the answers for everyone.
I know you’re lucky to be at a school like St Paul’s so you’ve already got a huge head start. Make the most of that great grounding because every little advantage comes in handy.
I’ve been lucky to learn a lot over the years and I learned the most from things that didn’t go my way. Here are the top five things I would tell my high-school self:
1. Learn to be happy and content with the person you are. When you aren’t happy with the person you are, then every little obstacle will feel too big. Once you are the best version of yourself you can handle any hurdle that comes your way. And hurdles will come your way. That’s life. You can’t avoid that so you have to ensure you can cope as best you can.
2. Social media isn’t that important. Yes, it’s a great way to stay in touch with friends and to learn about things. But being popular or being criticised on social media or being doesn’t mean much. Trust me – there have been plenty of things written about me by people who think I’ve played a bad game. It doesn’t matter. Keep positive influences in your life. The opinions of my loved ones are far more important to me than anonymous or fickle friends.
3. Life is too short to be angry and sad. Be polite, smile and be respectful. Give people the time of day. You never know what someone else is going through. Treat them the way you would like to be treated. A friendly smile or nod of the head go a long way.
4. Set goals and work towards them. This is important whatever the goals are. You will learn a lot about yourself in this way. Sometimes that requires hard work. But hard work will take you a long way. I have always wanted to be the top trainer in the teams I play in. I know that if I set that goal and achieve it, my hard work will pay off.
5. Be grateful for everything you have. This may be the most important advice I can give you. When we walk from our change rooms to our training field at the Broncos, we walk past one massive word painted on the wall of the corridor: GRATITUDE. Be grateful for what you have, what you know, the things that make you smile, the people who look out for you. I’ve been privileged to mix with a lot of people in the time since I left high school and I know that the grateful people are the most content regardless of their place in life.
And, there’s one final piece of advice: enjoy school. It’s a great time of life. Have fun.
Captain, Brisbane Broncos