Every graduate should live up to the creed put forth by Lee Iacocca, that is, to lead, follow, or get out of the way. Iacocca was the man who put the Ford Mustang on the forefront of Ford’s auto lineup back in the ‘60s. He was a man of action and keen business sense. Through his actions and knowledge, Ford became, and still is, a leader in the automobile industry.
Iacocca’s idea was to do something; don’t be a wall flower if you want to get ahead, but for goodness’ sake, do something, anything. Inaction is a total waste of everyone’s time and energy. I know most new graduates are all fired up for a while after their commencement ceremonies end, but keep that enthusiasm going and be productive with all that enthusiasm, don’t waste it on nothingness.
Another phrase that all graduates should follow is “to thine own self be true.” Honestly analyze who you are and what you are about and don’t put on airs and try to be something you aren’t. Don’t be a phony person. People who you interact with will see right through a person who is acting in this insincere way. Don’t try to be Superman when you know in your heart of hearts that you aren’t that person.
Always try to work toward the better good for all things and situations. Make your actions as productive for not only yourself, but also for the rest of society. Hopefully in the process, you will be successful, if only in a small measure, and build on that success.
Be flexible. Be ready to accept change as it will undoubtedly occur throughout your life. Don’t be so set in your ways as to not allow for change to take a positive route through your life. My 95-year-old uncle recently passed away. I truly think one of the reasons that he lived so long is that he accepted change very easily. He had spent 20-plus years in the Air Force and had to change assignments in that branch of the military many times and he became accepting of change and didn’t fight it and cause turmoil in his life as a result. He went with the flow and was successful in the end. He didn’t let change eat at him and cause himself anguish as a result.
Young people may encounter job situations where they are asked if they would be willing to move if offered the job. Many times these same job-hungry graduates will say no to moving and they are not offered the job. Change of your living situations can be exciting in the long run as you get to experience various areas of the world and that can be stimulating in not only your work but in your personal life as well. I think a person also finds out their true worth as they encounter different settings to perform their work. They soon find that if they are successful in one setting, they are equally productive in any setting they are put in as far as a job goes.
Lastly, all new graduates should always pursue life by having moral courage. Believe in yourself and always do the right thing at the right time and you will always be successful. Superman had it right by following the path of truth, honesty and the American way. That has been a successful tenet to follow in life for a good many years and I’m sure it will hold forth for a good many more. So all you new graduates out there, go for it. Don’t hold back. We’re all rooting for you. Just go for it!
Larry Wilson is a 50-year resident of Sparks and a retired elementary school teacher. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.