Tagged: success

What Makes Justin Timberlake Timeless and Iconic

Remember when Justin Timberlake was in ‘N Sync? I don’t really, because I was maybe 4 years old at the band’s peak. I remember JT dating Britney Spears and Cameron Diaz. I remember him evolving throughout the years, his personal development very evident in the projects that he pursued. Initially, he started as one of five guys in a very successful boy band. But a trend seems to show that when singing groups split up, a few end up going solo and becoming much more successful then they ever were with other people. As a solo artist, his first albums were promiscuous and immature. He then proceeded to take a break from singing and started acting, his second natural talent. His success followed him as he starred in The Social Network, Friends with Benefits. He’s also a frequent on SNL; just thought everyone should know. In between Justified and The 20/20 Experience, he also released FutureSex/Love Sounds and collabed with a number of other pop artists, like T.I., Christina Aguilera, The Black Eyed Peas, Timbaland, and Madonna.

I mean, what I’ve written above is a fine summary of all his success and accomplishments as an artist and actor, but I haven’t answered the question in the title: what makes him so timeless and iconic?

First off, he’s an expert in everything that he does. Of many of successful artists, lots of the “talent” comes from the effort of the remixing crew, that autotunes and artificially refines a singer’s voice. But if you just watch any of his live performances, you’ll instantly be able to tell that he is a phenomenal singer live.

When he acts, he does so with so much precision and such admirable execution that you can’t help but venerate him.

His dancing is smooth and classic; no matter where you come from, you will think of his style as respectable and professional.

He’s also good looking. He has been good looking ever since he got rid of those dreadful dreadlocks, and he seems to age gracefully, what few celebrities have seem to done. I do believe that this is a universally accepted fact.

Flawless style. A superficial, but essential aspect in the world of awards shows and movie premieres. Any “fashion missteps” are generally minor and rare, and can be easily overlooked by his effortless style at most other big events.

There’s always a general trend that timeless, iconic artists follow; their first albums are all about sex and immaturity. But then, as they spend more time in the public spotlight and start to receive the attention that they were initially singing about and pining for, they settle down. They “find” themselves and discover the humble, modest power of their fame and fortune. They’ll sponsor a few charities and throw a couple of big bashes and maybe start a nonprofit or become a spokesperson for a brand. When they return to their passion (singing?) – which they always do – they’ll come back with such long-awaited success, sophistication on a whole new level. Unprecedented. Surpassing anything they’ve ever accomplished in the past.

Then he married Jessica Biel and basically the older he gets, the more timeless and iconic he becomes.

Remember when Beyoncé was in Destiny’s Child? They were fairly popular and all, but her career starting flowering only after she left them. She went off and became Sasha Fierce, then she found the love of her life Jay-Z and they had a beautiful child that they named Blue Ivy for some mysterious reason. Now, she sings at venues like the WHITE HOUSE and the SUPER BOWL, where Destiny’s Child reunited for a few hours. Yet everyone knows that it was mainly Beyoncé and just a few other women in the background.

Trends of timeless and iconic celebrities:

– they start immaturely to gain the public’s attention

– they leave a group act to go solo if they feel the need to “follow their heart”

– the public discovers that they actually have raw talent, not nonsensical propagandist editing

– they bask in the glow of paparazzi flashes

– they use their fame for social service projects

– they marry other super celebrities and enjoy a relatively drama-free marriage

– their performances only seem to get better with time, as do their faces and bodies

– they get over their hair-dye and dreadlocks stages, settling into a fashion style that is also timeless and classic

– any new music that they release instantly go to the tops of the charts, 10% for quality and 90% for renown

I Will Not Underestimate You.

True story. Picture from here.

True story. Picture from here.

If I underestimate you, I put myself at a massive disadvantage. Suppose that I go ahead and underestimate you. I might assume that you’re a loser who will never go places in life because you’re simply NOT GOOD at one aspect of your life. Well that’s just great for me, because one of two possibilities will result:

  1. You’re going to work your butt off in that one region of life and eventually become really successful at what you do. As in like a lot better than me. As in like, I might not pay attention to the progress you make because I’ve already cast you as a failure who will never achieve anything substantial (in that one certain aspect of life). I tell myself that there’s not a chance that you could ever reach, let alone surpass my level of “success and expertise” for whatever we’re competing for. Perhaps I disregard your ability, and I underestimate you. Grand mistake on my part. I’ve undervalued your determination, your perseverance, and your willpower. And by the time I’ve pulled my face away from the spot on the wall I’ve been staring at much too intently, by the time I’ve taken a step back to evaluate any potential “threats” or “competitors,” it will be too late.
  2. You’re going to realize that the one aspect of life that we’ve been focusing on isn’t such a significant part of your life, and that you’re probably better at something else for which I am inadequate. It might hold more value in your eyes, so it might just make sense for you to abandon the competition we’ve been maintaining. You might take with you the experience and lessons you’ve learned, so that overall, you are a well rounded person. You are going to instead invest your time and energy into something else and leave me in the dust. Because you know what? That one particular aspect of life doesn’t define who you are, and it certainly doesn’t define your value as a person. If I am foolish enough to think that it does, then that’s just an arbitrary, self-serving assertion made that will only come back to smack me in the face in the future.

Do you know why these things are going to happen? Because I don’t know you as well as you know yourself. I don’t know what you go through, and I certainly don’t know what your life is like. I don’t know your past, present and future, and I don’t know your morals and values. I know, at best, just one side of you, and it’s wrong of me to assume that knowing just one side of you is enough to reflect your entire character, because chances are, it doesn’t.

Assumption leads to stereotype, which only yields generalization and arbitrary misinterpretation.

The moral of the story is: don’t assume unless you have to. It will only end up hurting others and yourself. You have nothing to gain from assuming, so why not just evaluate everyone equally, because nothing positive has ever resulted from underestimation in the past, and it certainly won’t lead to anything good in the future.