Sometimes we have to step back from ourselves. When you want to get a feeling of what “the other half” thinks, how they work and what their lives are like, there’s probably no better person to ask than Mike Rowe. As the host of the Discovery Channel’s television show Dirty Jobs, Rowe serves as an apprentice to people who do the jobs that the rest of us hope we’d never have to.

Rowe did a 20 minute talk at the e.g. Conference in 2008 in which he looks back on his experiences and in doing so challenges what we believe to be true. Follow your dreams? Rowe says that’s the worst advice he’s ever gotten. Safety first? He suggests safety should be third, and with good reason.

But above all else what struck me is Rowe’s claim that innovation without imitation is a waste of time. In the wake of what’s happening in our IP-laden, lawsuit-heavy world, his words perhaps ring more true today than ever before.

It’s early in the week. You need a dose of motivation. Watch this.

Need some more inspiration? Check out the note that greets all new Apple employees