Closing The Gap

Melinda Gates says this book has had the biggest impact on her life—and she reads it every day

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Like many successful people — including her husband Bill — reading is an essential part of Melinda Gates' daily routine

In a recent interview with CNBC Make It Managing Editor Jenna Goudreau, Gates revealed that the book that has had the greatest impact on her life is "The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have," by Mark Nepo.

According to Amazon, the New York Times bestseller is a "spiritual" book that calls readers to "reclaim aliveness, liberate the self, take each day one at a time, and to savor the beauty offered by life's unfolding."

In a 2018 Facebook post, Gates wrote that it's one of her favorite books to revisit regularly, and said she opens it almost every day and gets something new out of it each time. "Mark's writing helps me step back, be still, and center myself — particularly on days that feel especially chaotic, or when I need a moment of quiet."

Gates told The Cut that reading a few pages from Nepo's book is part of her morning routine, which includes waking up at 6:30 a.m., meditating, stretching and doing yoga.

Her own book, "The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World," was published in April, and she hopes that it will impact readers in the same way Nepo's book has impacted her.

She says that her goal is for readers to gain better understanding "that society will be better off if we lift up everybody. [If] we lift up women. [If] we lift up people of color."

"If we give people equal voice in decision making and a seat at the table, then society overall is going to be better off."

Her vision may sound idealistic, but Gates says she wants people to realize "that it's totally possible."

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