March 9, 2016

It’s interesting how old news resurfaces at the unlikeliest time, and perhaps that in itself should be seen as an opportunity. As the recipient of the 2013 Teen Choice Awards Ultimate Choice Award, popular actor Ashton Kutcher’s acceptance speech was inspiring. While his speech was aimed at teenagers, there were lessons for all of us in three broad areas aimed at increasing satisfaction with our lives.

  1. “Opportunity looks a lot like hard work.”

It’s easy to look at a successful person and imagine how easy their life must be. Without knowing details, we make up stories that are, in all likelihood, completely wrong. The successful actor had his roles handed to him because he was blessed with a beautiful face. The slim friend is just lucky to have the family genes that facilitate thinness. The wealthy boss got lucky in business. You know the stories.

If we took the time to look at what each person has done – which of course we can’t, but at least be aware – we’d find that they took opportunities as they were presented, and then worked hard to make the most of their situation. It probably wasn’t easy, but even if it was these people recognised the ‘gift’ they were given and didn’t waste it.

What gifts do you have in front of you now? Opportunities abound, hard work makes them come to fruition.

  1. “Being sexy: the sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart, and being thoughtful, and being generous. Everything else is crap.”

As a society, we tend to equate sexiness with physical beauty. Sure, that may be the case but there is so much more to it. Smart, thoughtful and generous are within reach for most of us, so even if our outer appearance doesn’t match the high standards we set for ‘sexiness’, we can become a sexy person by nature of our thoughts and actions.

  1. “Everything around us that we call life was made up by people that are no smarter than you. You can build… your own life that other people can live in. So build a life; don’t live one, build one.”

It’s easy to just go with the flow, doing what has always been expected of you. Decision-making and being proactive can be hard. The reality, though, is that you have choices about whether you’re happy to go with the flow or if you’d prefer something a little different.

If you’ve ever caught yourself complaining about your ‘lot in life’, perhaps you need to take stock and work out how to change the things you’re complaining about.

How would you like your life to look? If you could, what would you change or do differently? Now what can you do to work toward making that happen?

Instead of feeling like a victim of your own circumstances, take charge, take control, and build the life you desire. Who knows what may come of it?