Advice for teens - build a life rather than live one

Ashton Kutcher gives great advice

In August 2013, Ashton Kutcher got the “old man’s award” from the Teen Choice Awards. He talked passionately about working towards one’s goals. Watch his 5 minute speech.

When opportunity knocks

Ashton’s speech reminded me of the story of opportunity knocking.

A young man was looking for a way to make money. He didn’t want to just make money; he really wanted a way to make lots of money. He also wanted to feel good about himself as he made his dreams come true. A knock came at the door. The young man opened it to find an older man wearing dirty overalls and work gloves. “I am opportunity,” the older man said. “I came to help you get to your hopes and dreams.”“You don’t look like opportunity,” the young man said. “You’re dirty and look really tired.”“What should opportunity look like?” the man at the door asked.“I guess he would look cool. Like a multimillionaire: wearing a tux and driving a sports car.”“It seems to me that you are confusing opportunity with extravagance,” the man at the door said. “Opportunity doesn’t wear a tuxedo. Opportunity is a diamond in the rough. You have to work with opportunity and polish it into a diamond.”

As Ashton says: You have to build your life - starting with opportunity in the rough - in order to shape and live the life you dream of.