The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg asked Bill and Melinda Gates what advice they would give their younger selves if they could go back in time.
- Bill Gates said that he regrets not realizing earlier that having many different skill sets makes you more intelligent — not just a high IQ.
- Melinda Gates replied that she wishes she trusted herself more.
On Tuesday, Bill and Melinda Gates participated in an interview at Hunter College in New York City, where they fielded questions about their philanthropy, career, and marriage from audience members and Facebook Live.
Toward the end of the event, which was moderated by Broadway composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Gates' received a question from a fellow entrepreneur who also runs also runs a huge philanthropic foundation: Mark Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg asked via Facebook Live, "If you could go back and give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be? Asking for a friend."
Bill Gates replied that he now realizes that there is no one right way to be intelligent. Holding many different kinds of talents in a range of fields makes people truly successful, according to Gates.
"I was so naive about different skill sets. I thought if somebody had a high IQ, they could be good at everything. And that idea that you had to blend different skills together, that still surprises me," he said. "This notion that there was just this simple idea of smartness, and it could solve everything — I wish I had known better than to think that."
Melinda Gates said that she wishes she would have trusted her gut more when she was younger.
"I think I would say, 'trust yourself.' You probably know more than you think you do. And I would sometimes get very impatient with myself," she said. "And the other thing I would say is: 'trust that you can learn anything.' One of the fun things about hanging around my husband in a work setting and at home is that he reminds me all the time, 'you can learn any field you want to learn.' Just because I didn't learn biology in high school, I can learn it now. That's a really encouraging thing."