Mark Zuckerberg asked Bill Gates, Lin-Manuel Miranda for their best life advice — here's what they said

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Melinda Gates and Bill Gates speak during the panel at Hunter College on February 13, 2018 in New York City.
Photo by John Lamparski

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is a titan in Silicon Valley and, at 33 years old, he has a fortune worth more than $71 billion, according to Forbes. But that doesn't mean he doesn't appreciate learning from others.

On Tuesday, via Facebook Live, Zuckerberg asked Bill and Melinda Gates and Lin-Manuel Miranda to share their best life advice. The "Hamilton" composer was moderating a discussion at Hunter College in New York City that was being streamed over Facebook.

Zuckerberg messaged: "If you could go back and give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be? Asking for a friend."

Bill Gates said he wished he had better understood the value of different kinds of intelligence.

"I was so naive about different skill sets. I thought if somebody had a high IQ, they could be good at everything. And the idea that you needed to blend these different types of skills together, that always continued to surprise me," said the Microsoft co-founder.

"There was this simple idea of smartness and it could go and solve everything — I wish I had known better than to think that."

Melinda said she wished she had believed in herself more.

"Trust yourself. You probably know more than you think you do," said Melinda.

Indeed, Melinda, now 53, said that when she reflected on the path she took in her 30s and 40s, she realized she had known, broadly speaking, who she wanted to be since high school — a mother, a career person and someone who helped others.

Also, she added, "[T]hat point of trusting, trust that you can learn anything.

"One of the fun things for me about hanging around my husband in a work setting and at home is, he reminds me all the time and he role models it for everybody, is you can learn any field you want to learn," she said.

Thank you @BillGates, @MelindaGates, and @Lin_Manuel for an unforgettable conversation. We were honored to have you.

In particular, Melinda said she didn't learn thoroughly learn biology in school, but she now needs to understand it for her work at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. "So that is a really encouraging thing to know that you can just learn anything."

As for Miranda, he would have given his high school self a bit of perspective.

"If I could look at high school me and just say, 'it is not that deep,'" says Miranda.

"Everything feels like the biggest deal in the world at all times, particularly socially. There is a day when it feels like everybody hates you and it feels like the world is going to end that day."

Miranda said getting involved in theater gave him perspective, and also friends outside of his class, which helped.

"The stakes just become higher because you are literally feeling more than you have ever felt in your life, and sometimes that can have disastrous consequences when you can't see the long term.

"And so I would just say, 'It is not that deep. It is not that deep.'"

See also:

Bill and Melinda Gates: This is why we give our billions away

Bill and Melinda Gates: 'No, it's not fair that we have so much wealth'

Billionaire Bill Gates on the impact of A.I.: 'Certainly' we can look forward to longer vacations

You won't see another US history musical from me: Hamilton creator
You won't see another US history musical from me: Hamilton creator

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