Ashton Kutcher on Opportunity, Being Sexy, & Steve Jobs’ Advice on Life

Surprise speech on life at Teen Choice awards

Ashton Kutcher at Teen Choice Awards 2013This week at the Teen Choice Awards, popular actor and tech investor Ashton Kutcher (Christopher Ashton Kutcher) described “3 amazing things I learned when I was Chris.” Kutcher plays Steve Jobs in the upcoming film Jobs (opening this week).

I watched the video of Ashton Kutcher’s short speech last night during dinner. A couple of hours earlier, in the ophthalmologist’s waiting room, Katie Beth showed me an article her boyfriend sent her on her phone. It used the RPF as an example of an organization that recognized the importance of changing language to portray a true message – that Rheumatoid Disease is not a type of arthritis, but a systemic inflammatory disease that can have destructive affects on any part of the body. The whole article is on – click here (profanity warning).

Here’s Ashton Kutcher’s advice to young people

Jobs movie poster starring Ashton Kutcher1) Opportunity: “I believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work. 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 story deli, and then I got a job in a factory sweeping cheerio dust off the ground. 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.”

2) 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“

3) Living life:  “Steve jobs said that when you grow up, you tend to get told that the world is the way that it is and your life is to live your life inside the world and try not to get in too much trouble, maybe get an education, 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 no smarter than you. And you can build your own thing; you can build your own life that other people can live in. So build a life. Don’t live one; build one.”

Quoting Kutcher (Jobs)… on the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation

It’s a universal truth, but Steve and Ashton said it well. Each one of us does matter and can make a difference. We change the world by living in it. We impact others – and the future – for good or bad. If we see something that is wrong, we can say something or do something about it. We don’t have to just live life inside the world and try not to make too much trouble.

We don’t have to sit down and shut up just because others decided long before we were born that saying “rheumatoid arthritis” benefitted their goals. And I don’t feel like it’s my job to convince someone to change. We can build our own thing as Kutcher says. That’s exactly how I see the work of the RPF. It’s the first patient foundation for Rheumatoid Disease, building something new that other people can live in.

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Kelly Young

Kelly Young is an advocate providing ways for patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. Through her writing, speaking, and use of social media, she is building a more accurate awareness of Rheumatoid disease aka Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creating ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and bringing recognition and visibility to the Rheumatoid patient journey. In 2009, Kelly created Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior, a comprehensive website about RA of about 950 pages and writes periodically for other newsletters and websites. Kelly served on the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media Advisory Board. There are over 42,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook Fan page. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is the mother of five, a home-schooler, Bible teacher, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. You can also connect with Kelly by on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She has lived over nine years with unrelenting Rheumatoid disease. See also

5 thoughts on “Ashton Kutcher on Opportunity, Being Sexy, & Steve Jobs’ Advice on Life

  • August 14, 2013 at 11:33 am

    What a brilliant and thought-provoking article written by KB’s boyfriend. Thanks for sharing!

    • August 14, 2013 at 11:55 am

      He didn’t write it. He just sent it to her because he noticed the RPF was mentioned.

  • August 14, 2013 at 11:57 am

    For roughly 20 years of my life I have coached teenagers in sports. Every season, I’d tell my players that in many facets of life, there comes a time to Stand Up and be Counted or ShutUp and SitDown. I’d challenge them to never be content with being discounted. To StandUp for what they believe… I believe very strongly that it is a Life Lesson. Besides, I was never very good at sitting down and shutting up…

    • August 14, 2013 at 12:05 pm

      I can see you saying that José and I imagine it’s very powerful.

  • October 7, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Thanks for sharing this Kelly. Ashton’s words and your own are very inspiring. There is so much to take away from this. Thankyou.


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