Thoughts on Hard Work and Being Sexy

This video of Ashton Kutcher at the Teen Choice awards has been making the rounds. You may have seen it but if not, here ya go:

First off, ::standing ovation:: I usually watch videos like this, share them on Facebook via a button and move on. But this one? I needed to go bigger. So many things he said, I have said out loud (and Kevin too…we are pretty damn similar in this arena).

“I believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work”

We have a Mann family crest hanging on our wall with the words “labor omnia vincit” {note this is also the OK state motto”}. It roughly means “Labor conquers all/everything”. We extrapolate that out to mean “hard work pays off”. We know the value of hard work. Contrary to the only kid stereotypes, we had to earn things in life. Maybe we didn’t have as many obstacles because of our families situation but that didn’t stop us. I talked about this already recently {so I won’t bore you again} but we weren’t handed things without work. When you are big enough to mow the grass? You do it. When you are big enough to pick up your room? You are held accountable. When you want money to buy what you want? You earn it. And by doing that on every level throughout your youth, you build opportunity. My mom didn’t get me my job. My hard work in college did. I took the initiative and went after what I wanted and found that opportunity by programming robots and doing differential equations. If anything, I proved my worth. It wasn’t a line on a resume, it was brutally hard work. Along with this it also made me think about a another quote I love:

hardworksource: Etsy

I got “lucky” to get a job at SAS. I will admit that. A lot of REALLY AMAZING people apply to work here and don’t. So I realize there is some luck there…but not that I didn’t work for it. And in my 9 years here, I have lived by something else that Ashton said:

“And I’ve never had a job in my life that I was better than.”

No matter what my title reads in HR, I am not better than a task. Are there are some tasks I don’t like to do? Sure. But if it is for the good of my team and/or company? I will do it. This is also what drives Kevin and why I think he will be an amazing manager. We usually roll with the line “if you see something that needs to be done, do it.” 99% of the time this will only result in good things. I started my role here fixing links by hand, printing academic standards and highlighting them and even made some productivity tools along the way. I did what anyone asked of me and when I saw a job that could be done better, I set about fixing it. Now? I have worked in almost every side of this product. Content, testing, development, design and project management. I made the opportunity I have. “And so opportunities look a lot like work.” Yes. Yes they do.

Next up he hit another point I think about a good bit in the mommy blogging world. Watching people’s live through “feeds” makes me contemplative from time to time so I latched on to this:

“The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart”

I loved that but wanted to add a little. Part of being smart isn’t book smarts…it’s also about knowing yourself. Being comfortable with yourself. Looking inwards and realizing what you have to offer. So I would like change that line to “The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really <confident>” This isn’t a Dove ad but they are pretty spot on. Seeing a woman {or man} who is comfortable in their own skin and happy? Oozes sexy. Being proud of what you can do? Now THAT’s what I’m talkin about. Learn to love yourself. Let people take pictures of you. Learn to love the best parts of yourself and stop focusing on the bad.

So there you have it. A little motivation for your Thursday..from Michael Kelso…who woulda thunk it.


6 thoughts on “Thoughts on Hard Work and Being Sexy

  • August 15, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Bravo! I agree 100%. A friend once told me that maybe my infertility was nature’s way of balancing my life since I had been so lucky in school and career. We’ll ignore the part about infertility and focus on the lucky bit. Lucky? Yeah, it was “luck” that earned good grades and a good job, not the hours spent studying and doing homework as well as turning in work on time. It was luck that led me to a good career, not the fact that I applied to a temp agency when I decided not to teach b/c I needed a job and worked hard at my job and through that first job discovered a new interest that led me to my current job. It is luck that has kept me at my current job and decent salary, not the fact that I am a dedicated, conscientious employee who works hard and focuses on doing a good job.

    Yep, all luck. So infuriating.

  • August 15, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Standing ovation to you, Mrs. Mann!! These are all such great values to live by. I thought Ashton was going to say “confidence” and assumed he only said being really smart because of his audience. Kids these days see talentless fools getting rich and being famous for absolutely nothing and they are all of a sudden considered role models. It is sick. Being smarter than the average pretty, talentless face is an important message for our youth along with being confident. If youngsters have confidence at a young age and are proud of who they are, then they will also be smart enough to not feed into what society tells them they have to look like.

    All of your points are so important for not only young people to live by, but also as adults they are good reminders. The confidence piece has always been my biggest struggle. I work really damn hard and always have since I was 13 years old, never taking the “easy way out” of anything. I have a lot to be proud of but, as you put it, “learning to love the best parts about yourself and stop focusing on the bad” is something I’m diligently working on… I’ll get there! Thanks for the motivation and inspiration!

  • August 15, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Love this. As a career counselor, I’m constantly helping students to reframe being “lucky” in a job search – you aren’t “lucky” that you had a connection at a company, you are SMART to actually contact that connection and tell them about your qualifications! One of my favorite career development books is called “Luck is no accident”. Also love your last point. This is something that has come with age for me – the older I get, the more awesome I become 🙂

  • August 15, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Oooh, I love love love this! I hope we all raise “lucky” kids. Lucky kids who work hard, play hard and do amazing things.

  • August 15, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    I think that all success is a fantastic mixture of 90% really hard work & 10% luck.

    I busted my tail in high school to earn my full ride to school, but I was lucky that I had my parents to subsidize me so that I could make school my entire focus & only work in the summer.

    I busted my tail at work but consider myself rather unlucky in the realm of SAS with hiring freezes & physical expansion. I earned my new position with hard work, but I am lucky that I was handed a particular client (it’s just the way the chips fell).

    Even in my marriage, we work hard at it but I’m also really lucky to have landed a guy that doesn’t hold grudges & somehow finds me funny.

    90/10 all the way in my book.


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