Shawn Johnson reveals her one key to success

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One-on-One with Olympian Shawn Johnson


Shawn Johnson has been an household name ever since 2007. The famed gymnast has rose to stardom thanks a prolific career which includes a 2008 Olympic balance beam gold medal, all-around and floor exercise 2008 silver medal, five Pan American Games gold medals, and the title of 2007's individual all-around World Champion.

Even after her retirement, Johnson has been completely captivating viewers -- her "Dancing with the Stars" mirror ball trophy and three books serve as proof of that. Her career also includes extensive charity work and a partnership with Smucker's which hopes to fund other Olympic hopefuls as they try to achieve their lifelong dreams.

SEE MORE: Everything you need to know about Rio 2016

Johnson has blazed an incredible path to success. And for those hoping to follow in her footsteps, she has one incredible piece of advice to share: "Find something you truly love and have a strong passion for, and have fun with it. When you love what you do, success comes naturally."

They are words we could all live by.

We recently sat down with the incredible athlete to talk about where her love of gymnastics first started, her recent projects, and her one piece of advice to Olympic hopefuls.

#YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases talent. To see more past interviews, including more Shawn Johnson exclusives, click here.

When did you first discover your love for gymnastics?
Oh my gosh! Going way back. My parents put me in when I was three years old because I was this little kid who had way too much energy and they had no idea what to do with me. So they put me in a class where I fell in love with the trampoline and it was history since then.

What led you to pursue you gymnastics as a full-time career?
I don't think I ever got to that point. I was a kid and a kid doesn't necessarily have that mindset where they think they want to do something for the rest of their life. But I just loved gymnastics and the challenge and pursuing it every year. I wanted to keep challenging myself to get to my next goal or competition. It was never something where I wanted to commit everything to this, it was more just a passion.

You've also been doing a lot of work for the Olympics with Smucker's. Can you talk about that?Smucker's is doing a really cool campaign where every time you use the hashtag, which is the #PBJ4TeamUSA, they donate a dollar to the US Olympic Committee. So this is a cause close to my heart because it helps everyone go to the Olympics and see their dream through. It's a very close connection. It's more than a PB&J, it's helping someone's dream come true.

Where do you see the progression of your career going in the next few years?
I don't really know. I just released a book yesterday and I just got certified as a Nike trainer, I'm going on tour, I'm doing commentary, I'm doing public speaking; I don't really know what it's going to accumulate to.

RELATED: Shawn Johnson through the years

21 PHOTOS
Shawn Johnson through the years
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Shawn Johnson through the years
July 9, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; Shawn Johnson waves to the crowd during the Parade of Olympians Celebration at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Gold medalist Bridgette Caquatto of the U.S. (R) and silver medalist and teammate Shawn Johnson hold their medals following the gymnastics apparatus finals at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, October 27, 2011. The Games run through October 30. REUTERS/Andy Clark (MEXICO - Tags: SPORT GYMNASTICS)
U.S. Gymnast Shawn Johnson poses on the red carpet after arriving for the taping of the 2009 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles July 15, 2009. The awards show will be telecast on ESPN July 19, 2009. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES ENTERTAINMENT SPORT IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson poses with her 'Dancing with the Stars' trophy during an appearance on ABC's "Good Morning America" in New York May 20, 2009. Johnson and partner Mark Ballas were named 'Dancing With The Stars' champions on the season's finale. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES ENTERTAINMENT SPORT GYMNASTICS)
Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson (L) and her 'Dancing With The Stars' partner Mark Ballas perform on ABC's "Good Morning America" in New York's Times Square May 20, 2009. Johnson and Ballas were named 'Dancing With The Stars' champions. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES ENTERTAINMENT SPORT GYMNASTICS)
U.S. gymnast Shawn Johnson poses at the U.S. premiere of the film "Terminator Salvation" at the Grauman's Chinese theatre in Hollywood, California, May 14, 2009. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES ENTERTAINMENT SPORT GYMNASTICS)
(L-R) Silver medallist Nastia Liukin of the U.S., gold medallist Shawn Johnson of the U.S. and bronze medallist Cheng Fei of China pose during the medal presentation ceremony for the gymnastics women's beam final at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games August 19, 2008. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause (CHINA)
Gold medallist Shawn Johnson of the U.S. listens to the national anthem during the medal presentation ceremony for the gymnastics women's beam final at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games August 19, 2008. REUTERS/Hans Deryk (CHINA)
Shawn Johnson of the U.S. competes in the gymnastics women's beam final at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games August 19, 2008. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi (CHINA)
(L-R) Silver medallist Nastia Liukin of the U.S., gold medallist Shawn Johnson of the U.S. and bronze medallist Cheng Fei of China pose during the medal presentation ceremony for the gymnastics women's beam final at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games August 19, 2008. REUTERS/Hans Deryk (CHINA)
Shawn Johnson of the U.S. competes in the gymnastics women's floor exercise final at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games August 17, 2008. REUTERS/Hans Deryk (CHINA)
Shawn Johnson of the U.S. competes on the uneven bars during the women's individual all-around artistic gymnastics final at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games August 15, 2008. REUTERS/Mike Blake (CHINA)
Gymnast Shawn Johnson participates in the vault event at the 2008 U.S. Olympic gymnastics team trials in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 22, 2008. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer (UNITED STATES) (BEIJING OLYMPICS 2008 PREVIEW)
Shawn Johnson of the U.S. competes in the women's qualification floor exercise during the artistic gymnastics competition at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games August 10, 2008. REUTERS/Mike Blake (CHINA)
Shawn Johnson competes on the balance beam at the U.S. Women's Gymnastics Championships in Boston, Massachusetts, June 7, 2008. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES)
U.S. gymnast Shawn Johnson competes on the balance beam at the Tyson American Cup men's and women's gymnastics competition at Madison Square Garden in New York March 1, 2008. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES)
Shawn Johnson uf the U.S. performs on the floor to win the gold medal during the women's final at the 40th World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart September 9, 2007. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender (GERMANY)
Shawn Johnson of the U.S. displays her women's individual all-around gold medal during the podium ceremony at the 40th World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart September 7, 2007. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender (GERMANY)
First placed Shawn Johnson of the U.S. listens to the anthem during the flower ceremony after the women's individual all-around final at the 40th World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart September 7, 2007. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender (GERMANY)
Shawn Johnson of the U.S. performs during the parallel bars portion of the women's team gymnastics competition at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 14, 2007.. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes (BRAZIL)
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Nothin like a good ol' #pbj4teamusa and a jealous husband ;) @smuckersbrand

A photo posted by Shawn Johnson East (@shawnjohnson) on

Do you hope to train other Olympic hopefuls?
Yeah! So I can train other athletes and individuals. Hopefully I can use this in a bigger way.

What's the one piece of advice you wish you had received before you became a professional athlete?
Not to take it so seriously. At such a young age I felt like I was taking everything so seriously and I wish I would have stepped back a little bit and had a little more fun. But I loved every step of it so I can't really complain. I don't regret anything. But for the gymnasts headed to the Olympics now, I would tell them to enjoy everything.

Happy #OlympicDay ! Will always feel honored to have represented my country πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ #2008

A photo posted by Shawn Johnson East (@shawnjohnson) on

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