I don’t recall ever hearing wiser words spoken by a young actor than these from Ashton Kutcher. Go ahead, watch the video, I’ll wait.
What did you think about Chris’ (Ashton’s) thoughts on opportunity, about being sexy (smart), and about making your own life, not just living a life?
My thoughts: he didn’t just hit the nail on the head; he smashed it right through that board. “Opportunity is like hard work”; actually it is hard work, not just like work. It’s about constantly preparing and promoting yourself. It’s about the idea that if you’re not improving yourself, you’re dying; if you’re not running the race, you’ve already lost it.
And those thoughts carry right over into building your own life; it’s a DIY experience. Life is not something you just let happen, or that happens around you; you make it happen. Life should not be happening to you while you’re making other plans. Life should be the result of combining planning with execution and spontaneity for a true one of a kind (once in a lifetime?) experience. The life you live should be yours, not something someone else created for you.
And on being sexy; it’s about who and what you are, not how you look. Being smart, thoughtful, and generous; I think compassionate would fit nicely into the thoughtful and generous realm. I think wisdom and experience fit into the being smart idea.
In short, I think Chris covered a huge amount of territory in just a brief lesson; one that applies to all of us, young or old, rich or poor, regardless of our beliefs, values, or opinions. Who expected to hear this from a guy who played his characters on That Seventies Show, or Two and a Half Men? I didn’t. But then, I don’t know much about Ashton Kutcher other than what I’ve seen through his characters or in the tabloids. No wonder he feels like a fraud!
I don’t know why he chooses to play the parts he does, but I suspect it has something to do with his comments about opportunity and work. Acting is a job he loves, is really good at, and about which he is extremely passionate. He’s richly rewarded for his efforts. It could all change for him at any point. He said he was never better than his job, he was always lucky to have one, and that each was a stepping stone. I think making this movie about Steve Jobs really had an impact on him, but even more than that, it reminded him of the life lessons he learned a long time before.
Wouldn’t it be remarkable if we all saw jobs that way, that we didn’t take jobs for granted or expect them as an entitlement? Wouldn’t it be amazing if we appreciated people not for how they looked but for how they lived, for whom and what they are? And I wonder just what would happen if we all built our lives instead of living a life someone else built for us? Now there would be some serious and meaningful reality TV rather than the load of garbage served up as nightly entertainment these days!
Pondering my own life, work, and sexiness (he grins) in a whole new context…Pops