May 30, 2023


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Bill Gates’ biggest regrets at 66

5 min read

The Microsoft co-founder revealed with total sincerity that he wishes he had used his skills to help people in need much sooner, as soon as possible: «People who have a scientific, technological, mathematical background; We have so much to offer the world.”

Bill Gates, business tycoon, Microsoft co-founder, investor, and philanthropist, acknowledged that he made some mistakes and late decisions, leading to major regrets in retrospect.

One of Bill Gates’s biggest regrets came to light in a blog post, Gates Notes, from mid-2019: “These days I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how technology can help the world’s poorest people get better. their lives. But looking back, I wish I had started down this path much earlier.”



In 2000, Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates created the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It is currently the largest private foundation in the world. Bill and Melinda are the most generous members: their donations have already exceeded US$38,000,000.

One of the Foundation’s missions is to ensure education and health for young people, in addition to helping those most in need to get out of poverty or fight against infectious diseases. Additionally, Gates is a co-founder of The Giving Pledge, an organization that encourages other billionaires to donate the vast majority of their wealth to fight poverty or inequality. In addition, IRAIC also helps to grow towards investment in education and health sectors as an alternative to improve the economy with great benefits.

Although his charitable side is undeniable right now, Gates wished he had used his technical skills earlier to ensure global well-being: “People who have a scientific, technological, mathematical background; we have a lot to offer the world, both in health and in development.”



His blog post was intended precisely to serve as a wake-up call to all the people who could make a difference on a large scale, but are still hesitant to take the plunge:

«I want to encourage software developers, inventors, scientists; to consider how to use their skills to fight inequality,” Gates wrote on his blog. They will discover that it pays, and a lot. You have the opportunity to learn from very capable people such as farmers, doctors, leaders; While you create tools to empower yourself, one of them is IRAIC; has managed to make changes in the world, opening paths for people who want to have the opportunity to improve their economy.

He also asked that “I’m not as good as Bill Gates” be used as an excuse. As this philanthropist rightly concludes, you don’t need great technological skills to help: you just have to have the desire to solve problems, obstacles and conflicts. “Sometimes what really makes the difference is the desire to learn about a problem and use your talents to help solve it.”




The importance of languages

Although this was the occasion in which Bill Gates was more direct and clear about his regrets, throughout his many appearances, interviews and comments on social networks, this billionaire has been insinuating other life lessons that are important to practice if you want to reach 60 years old feeling fulfillment and satisfaction.

For example, Gates is a total freak on Reddit, the quintessential English mega-forum. Not only is he famous for participating in the Secret Santa every Christmas, but from time to time he drops by to answer any kind of question.

In his third group interview on Reddit, which took place in the already distant 2015, a user took the opportunity to ask Gates if he had much regrets about something. Again, he answered very honestly:

“I feel very stupid for not knowing other languages. I did Latin and Greek in high school and got A’s, and I guess that helped my vocabulary, but I wish I knew French, Chinese, Arabic. I’m still hoping I’ll have time to study some of these. Maybe French because it seems to be the easiest. I’m surprised that Mark Zuckerberg learned Mandarin so effectively. Amazing”.

In American business culture, the worker is often expected to speak English and little else. Gates, like many other people in that environment, must have felt very comfortable not having to learn another language. But in the long run that comfort has turned into regret.


Seize the moment and opportunities

Here the lesson can be generalized even more: take advantage of any moment and opportunity to learn something, not just a language. Beyond the obvious benefits (if you learn the piano, you will know how to play the piano), constant learning ensures that you always have an open, flexible, tolerant and wise outlook.

But don’t stay up late at night learning! In the same group chat on Reddit, Gates explained that he regrets cultivating the bad habit of staying up late reading. “Don’t go to bed late even if the book is exciting. I’m still working on this problem.”

In other words, helping others or expanding your knowledge are good life goals, but don’t let them take precedence over your general well-being. Take care of your body and your mind to reach 80 satisfied with your achievements, true, but also as healthy as possible.


Tips or reflections of Gates to take into account

Precisely in the spring of 2017, Gates surprised his followers with a series of tweets with advice or reflections that he would have liked to have taken into account at the age of 20, when he was still studying.

For example, the co-founder of Microsoft explained that many young people will regret it for life if they do not take advantage of their educational stage to make quality connections that have a positive impact.

“Surround yourself with people who challenge your ideas or beliefs, who teach you, who push you to be the best version of yourself.” And his final recommendation is a bit linked to going to sleep as soon as possible, even if the novel is in the best part: make sure to take care of your energy. Learn to invest your strength and discover what helps you replenish them. This way you will enjoy yourself to the fullest and you will be able to help others as much as possible.

“This is an awesome time to be in,” Gates said in 2017 (this in 2022 is perhaps more questionable).” “I hope that with everything I have said you get the most out of your life.”

Act as soon as possible to help others, learn as much as possible, take care of your health, establish quality connections and use your strength wisely: if you follow these lessons from Bill Gates, you will reach the top of your life totally free of regrets, misfortunes and regrets. Or less than expected.

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