It’s fairly safe to say that viewers don’t tune in to the Teen Choice Awards in hopes of hearing incredibly insightful advice about the importance hard work, perseverance and dreaming big — but that’s exactly what they got from Ashton Kutcher this year.
After receiving the “Ultimate Choice Award” at the 2013 Teen Choice Awards on Sunday night, Kutcher began by revealing that his real first name is actually “Chris.” He then launched on a surprising diatribe about the three most important things he learned before he was known as Ashton.
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA – AUGUST 11: Actor Ashton Kutcher speaks onstage at the Teen Choice Awards 2013 at the Gibson Amphitheatre on August 11, 2013 in Universal City, California. Credit: Getty Images
“I believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work,” Kutcher began with his first point. “When I was 13, I had my first job with my dad carrying shingles up to the roof, and then I got a job washing dishes at a restaurant, and then I got a job in a grocery store deli, and then I got a job at a factory sweeping Cheerio dust off the ground.”
He went on: “And I’ve 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.”
Kutcher then talked about “being sexy.” He almost certainly surprised thousands of screaming teenagers when he revealed “being sexy” has nothing to do with the “crap” that they are sold by society.
“The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart,” he said to cheers. “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 and final piece of advice Kutcher offered the audience dealt with the fulfillment of refusing to live “inside the world” and instead creating your own life.
“Everything around us that we call life was made up of people that are no smarter than you,” he said. “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.”
The video of Kutcher’s speech has gone viral and currently has more than 2.6 million views on YouTube.