In a series of very fortunate events, Neil Patrick Harris got his big break 30 years ago.
"I didn't ever really want to be an actor," Harris revealed to "Good Morning America." "I'm from a small town in New Mexico and I really kind of wanted to be one of those singer/dancers in a theme park review show."
Before NPH was a household name, he was "Doogie Howser M.D." Landing the title role launched his legendary career to superstar status. From hosting nearly every award show under the sun (and taking home a few awards along the way) to creating some of the most iconic characters that audiences know and love, Harris has done it all.
Now he's sharing some of the valuable pieces of advice he learned along the way.
1. Remember to breathe.
Harris was 16 years old when he was cast on "Doogie Howser M.D."
"My life lesson is that I learned good skills on how to act on a set," said Harris. "['Doogie Howser'] was sort of my film education."
Harris would later go on to star in multiple TV series, films and Broadway shows.
"With a little perspective I would probably tell myself to breathe," Harris said. "And to not speak like I'm inhaling helium."
2. Be grateful for the game changers.
"Boom!" was Harris' reaction after looking at a picture from the pilot episode of "How I Met Your Mother," a game-changing role for him. NPH suited up for nearly a decade to play Barney Stinson.
"Barney Stinson was dope," said Harris. "Rarely do you have a role where you get to be the, sort of, life of the party, the guy that people want to have adventures with."
From "The Naked Man" to "The Scuba Diver" Barney Stinson had many hilarious plays to pick up women. But the advice NPH pulled from the "How I Met Your Mother" playbook was to always be grateful.
"It was a game changer financially. It was a game changer comedically," said Harris.
3. We’re complete because we’re incomplete.
Harris traded in his Barney Stinson suits for 6-inch heels when he took to the stage in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." Harris, who had never done drag before and knew little about punk rock music, said the show challenged him in a myriad of ways.
Harris' performance as Hedwig earned him a Tony award for best actor in a musical but the biggest reward, he said, was what the character taught him.
"I probably took advice from Hedwig," Harris explained. "I think a lot of people are caught up in this idea that who they are isn't complete but we are complete because we're incomplete."
4. Talk to your kids with respect.
Harris has been happily married to David Burka since 2014. The couple have two (of the best-dressed) kids -- twins Harper and Gideon.
"I always suspected I'd be a family man," Harris told "GMA." "We did the surrogacy thing, which was awesome, and we tried for twins and we got twins and they're the most complicated things I've ever had to deal with."
When it comes to life lessons, Harris said he is overwhelmed by how much his 8-year-olds have taught him.
"I really appreciate that our parents talked to us like regular people and didn't talk down to us as little kids," said Harris. "I was able to interact with adults when I was younger in a way that was a level playing field, and we try to talk to our kids the same way."
5. Empower your educators.
Speaking of the importance of treating your kids with respect, Harris believes the same respect must be paid to teachers. That's why Harris partnered with Quaker Chewy this back-to-school season to help empower teachers.
"As a parent this partnership is important to me because our kids right now have just started the third grade," said Harris. "So I'm very aware and interested in who's teaching them and how they're teaching them."
Through the month of September, Quaker is donating up to $250,000 to AdoptAClassroom.org to benefit schools in need. As a parent with young children, Harris said it's an initiative that's important to him and his family.
"The generation below us is the generation that's going to be the ones to fix us," said Harris. "We need to make sure that teachers are recognized and empowered to teach well."
Harris might not be a grade school teacher, but we certainly learned a lot from his journey as an actor, comedian and most importantly, a parent.