Bill Gates shares 5 things he wishes he was told before his graduation


The Microsoft co-founder recently spoke at North Arizona State University‘s commencement ceremony. He shared that when he was in his early 20s, he did not receive the “right advice” that lucky people get before they turn 30. Although the early 20s are a good time to make mistakes and learn from them, he believes that they are also crucial years of development and essential learning for one’s life.
Bill Gates said, “As I prepared for today, I spent a lot of time thinking about how you, as new graduates, can have the biggest impact on the world with the education you received here. That led me to think about… the advice I was never given on a day just like this one.”
During the ceremony, he revealed five things he wished he’d been told on his graduation day. Even though he dropped out of Harvard in 1975 to start Microsoft, he said he would still share his advice with the students.
Here are the five things he wishes he was told:
1. Rethink your career
Gates referred to his work at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and said that it’s okay to feel pressured when it seems like most of your life decisions will be permanent. As a matter of fact, they aren’t, and you can re-evaluate yourself and your career goals from time to time. Gates stated that after founding Microsoft in 1975, he thought he would work there for the rest of his life, but today he is not only working in software but also in philanthropy.
2. Learn new things and don’t be afraid to begin
Gates said that there will be instances where people find themselves in problematic situations, and in those moments, they should not panic. Instead, they should force themselves to think things through and find smart people to learn from. Gates ended by saying that the first step in learning something new is to lean deep into it and focus on what you don’t know instead of what you already know.
3. Give your life a stronger sense of purpose
Gates advised the students to use their opportunities to help others, which not only solves the world’s problems but also energizes them to do their best.
4. Stay connected
Gates further told the students that their batchmates are their network, future co-founders and colleagues, and best sources of support, information, and advice. People they collaborate with or build relationships with are more valuable in the long run than what they might gain or achieve on their own.
5. Nurture your relationships
Gates ended his speech by saying that during his work at Microsoft, he did not believe people should cut some slack, and he did not himself either. However, after becoming a father, he understood the importance of relationships and nurturing them. He emphasized that students should not wait until they are his age to start nurturing their relationships and should take time to do so.


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