So how has Justin Timberlake lasted two decades in the spotlight? Well, it turns out he's not just a fantastic singer, actor, dancer, producer and entertainer — he's also ridiculously wise. During his Sunday TODAY interview with Willie Geist, he unleashed some of his wisdom.
You might call it ... the "Holy Grail" of wisdom.
We count ourselves grateful and forever changed.
Here are 5 lessons we learned from the one and only JT:
1. Keep your standards high.
In a perfect world, we'd love for Timberlake to drop a new song every day of the year. But the reason he doesn't (and the reason they're all so darn good) is because he's not churning out quick hits just to make a buck. "I do get the question and comment, 'You take your time with your albums,'" Timberlake explained. "But I don't have the ability to think about the cart before the horse, because I have to love what I'm putting out."
2. Know when to step away.
We don't think anyone is calling Timberlake a slacker — the man really does do it all. But he's mastered the art of balancing his drive with his sanity, which is part of why his career has lasted so long. "I have been in and out of the studio and I have been enjoying life," Timberlake said when asked about his upcoming plans. "Holiday season is coming around, and so I'll probably slow down a little bit." You go, JT.
3. Embrace the imperfections
When he does get down to business, Timberlake knows that being overly self-critical will only work against him. It wasn't always so easy for him to silence his inner perfectionist, though. "You get to the point where you strive for perfection for so long, only to realize time and time again that ... the imperfection is the most beautiful part," he explained.
4. Never stop learning.
No ego on this proud papa! "(Having kids) changes everything. You literally just like wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and go, I have no idea what I'm doing. And, uh, it changes everything," he said of his 1-year-old son, Silas. "They teach you. It's crazy ... it's humiliating and it's humbling at the same time." Parents, we know you can relate!
5. Lead with love
Timberlake knows he's fortunate to do what he loves, and he's learned to measure success by his connection to his work rather than any outside standards. "The more you look around and think, 'Isn't this amazing? Like, isn't this crazy? Versus focusing on some sort of outcome ..." he said. "Just continue to love it. When you stop focusing on, 'Well, is this going to be successful — redefine what that means."
Easy to say when you're Justin Timberlake? Maybe ... but we think that attitude is a big part of why he's gotten where he is today. Look at all the success he's had in this past year alone!
Thanks for the tips, Justin!