Our January cover guy grew up among violence, daily assaults, and drugs on the streets of Boston. But the boy he was in his youth didn't amount to the man he is today without a little help. Wahlberg learned. He grew. And he gave his life a fighting chance.
Tip 1: Prioritize
“…Considering the circumstances that I grew up in, it was just the thing to do," Wahlberg said. "But I realized—of course, you have to be incarcerated, and I was like, this is not what I want, you know, and the only way to change it is to do the work. And that’s the hardest part. Every day, all day, focusing on doing the right thing. Obviously, it’s not impossible, but it was difficult. Once I got my priorities right, it was just how it was going to be and who I was going to be. “
March cover guy and RoboCop star Joel Kinnaman grew up in Sweden, went to high school in the States, and returned briefly to his birth country before working construction in Norway to fund a solo-trip to Southeast Asia. This is a guy who doesn't stay comfortable. This is a guy who thinks on his feet—a guy who lives moment to moment. Take notes.
Tip 2: Get Uncomfortable
"I had this idea that so many people choose too early what they want to do," Kinnaman said. "I didn't’t want to make that mistake. I was going to see the world first...I had doubts [about Hollywood]. I had also said in a bunch of interviews in Swedish papers that I was going to go to the States, to give that a shot. Everyone said, ‘that’s so stupid—if nothing happens, you’re going to come home and look like a loser.’ But I did that intentionally, to put pressure on myself. I wasn’t going to come home empty-handed.”
Ashton Kutcher demonstrated his impressive jiu-jitsu skills inside our April issue. But that's not the only reason you should take advice from the 36-year-old. The model turned actor widened his reach quite literally by becoming the first Twitter user to get one million followers (he currently has 15.6 million) and by adding website developer to his repertoire. The Two and a Half Men actor has quickly become a technology mogul, giving advice to CEOs of technology companies and manning a $100 million investment fund. And yes, to reiterate, he's 36.
Tip 3: Fail at Something
"I just don’t think you should be afraid to try something because you might fail," Kutcher said. I’ve consistently done stupid stuff throughout my life. The only real failure is not learning from your mistakes. If I go and spar with a guy and I fail, I’ll come back and double down on how I train. I might lose to that guy again, but I won’t lose that way again.”
Million Dollar Arm actor Jon Hamm revealed in his May cover story that he’s incredibly proud of his alma mater from the John Burroughs School outside of St. Louis because it was so integral to his upbringing. He learned that success should be encouraged and admonishes "weird backlash" against ambition in America—the observation irritates him.
Tip 4: Surpass Your Potential
“It’s become a thing to just aspire to be a regular person," Hamm said. "No, actually, you should desire to be better. My greatest takeaway from my school was that ‘as good as you could be’ wasn’t good enough. Be better. Do sports and science and arts, all of it. Do all of it.”
Tip 5: Be Humble
“What I do is not curing cancer or rocket science or lead mining—anything tremendously difficult or world changing. I understand where I am in the cosmic order of things, and I’m OK with it. I also don’t need it to be anything else…
Growing up in East Harlem, June cover guy Marc Anthony recalls being tested constantly. Being skinny in his Latino neighborhood was a sign of weakness. His dad, though competing as a 105-pound bantamweight, was a man brimming with confidence. His self-assurance and work ethic are qualities Anthony has possessed since his childhood, which explains how his 26-year recording career and also how he landed Jennifer Lopez…
Tip 6: No Matter What, Be Accountable
“Be responsible," Anthony said. "Even when you lose, even if it’s a bad deal, keep your word, show up on time, and be professional."
Tip 7: Be Confident
The best advice Marc Anthony ever got: “My dad would tell me, ‘Son, I’m ugly and you’re ugly—work on your personality.’ I think it served me well. I think confidence is a powerful thing.”
"Fake it until you make it" epitomizes July/August covery guy Chris Pratt’s career and admittance into Hollywood. He had no clue how to act, but with blind ambition (and no back-up plan) Pratt moved to L.A. to start a business selling discount service coupons door-to-door; but the company fell apart within a year. Then he moved to Maui, living in a van, working as a waiter. That's where he met Tommy Chong’s daughter, who was making a low-budget horror parody. He nabbed the gig and you know the rest; you’ve seen him chubby and funny in Parks and Recreation, and you’ve seen him ripped and equally as funny in Guardians of the Galaxy. Take it or leave it, this is Chris Pratt.
Tip 8: Be Sure of Yourself (Even If You're Not)
“There was a certain amount of drive and belief in myself, but also delusion," Pratt said. "Probably a nice combination of the two. Sales is really about selling yourself. That job taught me how to stand up in front of someone who didn’t know me and be like ‘This is me, dude, and I’m excited about it! You want it? No? Cool, then I’m out the door…The next guy is going to get it.’ That’s when they’re like, ‘Wait, wait, what is this thing you got?’”
September cover guy Michael Strahan talks about keeping up with his current job on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael after 15 years in the NFL. His celebration after his admittance into the Hall of Fame in February 2014 amounted to him, his bed and plenty of shuteye to prepare for the morning show.
Tip 9: Don't (Over)think, Just Do It
His advice on keeping the momentum going:“It’s a time management thing and it’s a mentality," Strahan said. "I can’t allow myself to think about everything I’m doing. I’ve just got to do it. If I think about how tired I should be, I get tired.”
Andrew Lincoln manned our pages in October. He dished about the very first time he read the script for The Walking Dead, calling it the “boldest, most beautiful, most ambitious” thing he had ever read. The role was unlike any character he has portrayed before. Becoming a leading-man action hero at the age of 40 definitely wasn’t where he saw his career going.
Tip 10: Try Something New
“There’s a funny thing that happens when you do something that doesn’t seem like your natural instinct to do," Lincoln said. "You’re kind of loose about it. You don’t have preconceptions about how you have to do this.”
“The world of fitness is too often sport-specific; working out should never be just for sport," Crews said. "You need to work out to do better on your math test. You need to work out to be a better actor. You need to workout out to be a better accountant. Because it’s all related to pumping blood through your brain. It’s been proven that exercise makes you smarter.”
Tip 13: Build a Good Habit
“I believe it takes 21 days to make a habit, and you’re a result of your habits. So the key is to make it a habit. But how do you do that? I say: Just go into a gym for 21 days straight. Don’t even work out if you don’t want to. Go there, look around, spend some time, read a magazine and watch everybody work out. And then, you know what? When you’re done, go home. Do it for 21 days. Just the habit of going is more important than the workout. It just is."
Despite a tumultuous year, in terms of his engagement and termination of said engagement to Miley Cyrus, our December cover guy Liam Hemsworth’s stardom has boomed. His role in The Hunger Games franchise opposite best friend and our dream girl, Jennifer Lawrence, has landed him various upcoming projects the likes of The Dressmaker and By Way of Helena.
Tip 14: Be Mindful
“Just being aware of your surroundings and accepting where you are in life," Hemsworth said. "Tomorrow doesn’t exist, yesterday is gone. The more I remind myself of that, the stronger I feel. I love that I can feel it in other parts of my life.”