“The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart. And being thoughtful. And being generous. Everything else is crap!”
Ashton Kutcher passionately shouted (yes, shouted) life advice at Nickelodeon viewers as he accepted a Teen Choice Award last night. Most spend award speeches thanking people yet Kutcher seemed hell-bent on enlightening kids with Steve Jobs’ philosophy “Build a life. Don’t live one!”
Whether he’s trying or not, and whether you want to believe it or not, Ashton Kutcher is making a bid to be the voice of our generation. He’s not your average celebrity.
Yes, Kutcher is rich, famous, and handsome, but as demonstrated with this speech, he’s also trying to make a difference in the world. He’s got a wise investment strategy of following smart people, betting on great founders, and looking for companies solving big problems. That’s led him as an angel and through his fund A-Grade Investments to put money into booming startups like Airbnb, Spotify, Fab, and Uber. Together, acting and investing have earned him a massive 14 million+ Twitter following for pushing his views.
And that’s just what he did at the Teen Choice Awards. It’s not often you have to wait for throngs of teenage girls to stop screaming so you can deliver Steve Jobs quotes, but that was the scene. Kutcher clearly recognized his chance to talk to a younger audience, as he both outlined his speech before he started, and gave a recap at the end so the kids would remember it.
That message, yelled with arms flailing? Be smart. Be thoughtful. Be generous. Don’t buy what the world is trying to sell you. Opportunity looks a lot like hard work. No job is beneath you on your path to success. Don’t surrender to life as it is. Rebuild it for yourself and others.
The fact is that kids don’t get told this stuff enough. Let alone by someone they think is cool via mainstream media. If we want more engineers, more innovation, this needs to be curriculum, not cable television.
Really, you just have to watch the video to understand why this and Ashton are a big deal. I wish someone shouted this stuff at me when I was 12.
The good part starts at 1:42.
[Image Credits: AP, Paris Fashion]