Editor’s Note: Bob Sinclair gave the commencement address at the Indian Hills Community College last week in Ottumwa, Iowa. Farm Equipment watched the video and requested a copy of the speech to share with other dealers.

You Did It! Each of you is a winner. Each of you is a grinder. You ground through all obstacles these past few years and are sitting here today as a graduate. 

Graduating college is a milestone in your life. This Chapter is done and a new one starts tomorrow. 

This was your focus and now it is your past. Look around the room and take a good look at your classmates and instructors – you won’t see most of them again. The Indian Hills Chapter of your life is completed and you won’t be able to recreate those wonderful times on campus. It is easy to feel sad about the past leaving and to be scared about the uncertainty of the future. I personally cried like a baby at my graduation.

But believe in yourself and know that the next chapter of your life will be even better. You have proven that you can adapt/overcome and conquer. And when you take that winning attitude and the skills you learned here – you will be UNSTOPPABLE!

“Knowing who you are will help you when it's time to fight. Fight for the job you want, fight for the people who mean the most to you and fight for the kind of world you want to live in…”

I would like to share a few words of wisdom and encouragement I have found over the years that have been foundation items for my success.

First, I’d like to talk about hard work:

  • In the words of my Dad, “Hard work covers up a lot of mistakes.”
  • And then the inspiration from Governor Branstad’s 2011 Inauguration speech: He was talking about how lucky he was and shared his Dad’s quote: “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”

Perspective is also important:

  • You only go around the track of life, one time – but if you do it right, once is enough.
  • When your troubles are in the barn, you don’t have any troubles. When I have a bad day at work and come home to a healthy family – it was really a good day.
  • Don’t waste time milking dead cows – know when to move on.
  • The difference between winners and wannabies is very small – Winners do more little things that make a difference.

From the Management side:

  • Figures don’t lie, But liars can figure.
  • If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. But if you’re not going to manage it, don’t waste your efforts to measure it.
  • We all know the golden rule – Treat others as you want to be treated. But I like the platinum rule better, which states: Treat others how they want to be treated.

My Dad says you are truly blessed if you have your faith, your family and fistful of friends:

  • The serenity prayer has gotten me through many tough times: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can change and the wisdom to know the difference.”
  • Good people have bad days and bad people have good days – don’t overreact to either one – That good person is still good and the bad person is still bad.
  • As you are starting this next chapter of your life, consider Dr. Kent Keith’s Paradoxical Commandments as written on the wall in Mother Teresa’s Calcutta bedroom:
  1. People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. 
  2. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
  3. If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
  4. If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
  5. What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
  6. If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
  7. The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
  8. Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

Because In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

Graduates, knowing who you are will help you when it's time to fight. Fight for the job you want, fight for the people who mean the most to you and fight for the kind of world you want to live in. Knowing who you are will help when people say that's impossible or you can't do that. If you take the unexpected opportunities when they come up, if you know yourself, and if you fight for what you believe in, I can promise that you will live a life full of Satisfaction that is rich with meaning.

Indian Hills Class of 2022 – Congratulations: Go forth and be awesome! Thank You!