Is Ashton Kutcher’s Teen Choice Awards Speech Really ALL That Inspiring? Turns Out … It IS (VIDEO)

Image by Gregory Pace/BEI/Rex Features @ The Guardian

When Ashton Kutcher makes headlines with sources as diverse as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, MTV and Entertainment Weekly, something noteworthy is going on. Image by Gregory Pace/BEI/Rex Features @ The Guardian

When a celebrity makes headlines with media sources as diverse as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, MTV and Entertainment Weekly, you know something noteworthy is going on. Particularly when that celebrity isn’t Twitter flamer-thrower Alec Baldwin or well-known provocateurs Russell Brand or Patton Oswalt. No, the celebrity in question is sweet-faced, tabloid poster-boy, Ashton Kutcher, who’s made name for himself as the ditzy “cute guy” both on TV (That ’70s Show) and in his personal life (the former Mr. Demi Moore).

Turns out, the lanky, lovable Kutcher isn’t quite so ditzy. In fact, he made a speech at the Teen Choice Awards that, while not earth-shatteringly erudite, was so simple and direct in its message, so beyond the usual celebrity banter that emanates from the stage of awards shows, that it immediately went viral. And it not only went viral on progressive and entertainment sites and blogs, it was enthusiastically picked up by right-wingers like Beck and Limbaugh who saw the ass-kicking tone of the speech as just the right message for today’s teens.

And it was. At a time and in a cultural environment where shallow pursuits, designer labels, online pettiness, and superficial occupations (as seen in our many inane reality shows) are all the rage, Kutcher took the moment to raise the bar for his listening and rapt audience. Unexpected and clearly, nerve-striking.

First, he revealed that his real name is “Chris” (“Ashton” is his middle name), saying he wanted to share some “insider secrets” he learned when he was still Chris, things he further explored while researching the life of Steve Jobs for a recently completely film in which he played the iconic entrepreneur. Here are the speech highlights (from the video below):

First, opportunity:

I believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work . I never had a job in my life that I was better than. I was always just lucky to have a job. And every job I had was a stepping-stone to my next job. And I never quit my job until I had my next job. And so opportunities look a lot like work.

Number two, being sexy:

The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart. And being thoughtful and being generous. Everything else … is crap, I promise you.  It’s just crap that people try to sell to you to make you feel like less. So don’t buy it. Be smart, be thoughtful, and be generous.

The third thing… is something that I just re-learned when I was making this movie about Steve Jobs:

Steve Jobs said, when you grow up, you tend to get told that the world is the way that it is, and that your life is to live your life inside the world and try not to get in too much trouble, and maybe get an education, and get a job, and make some money and have a family. But life can be a lot broader than that when you realize one simple thing:  and that is that everything around us that we call life was made up by people that are no smarter than you. And you can build your own things, you can build your own life that other people can live in.

So build a life; don’t live one, build one. Find your opportunities and always be sexy.

That’s damn good advice, no matter which side of the aisle you’re on. Yep … Kutcher just won himself some new fans.

Here’s the video: