Melinda Gates on the Invaluable Advice Her Mom Gave Her About Success as a Teenager

The businesswoman and philanthropist shares her standard of success.

When you have the opportunity to ask some of the most interesting people in the world about their lives, sometimes the most fascinating answers come from the simplest questions. The Thrive Questionnaire is an ongoing series that gives an intimate look inside the lives of some of the world’s most successful people.

Thrive Global: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?Melinda Gates: Meditate. No matter where I am in the world, that one’s pretty non-negotiable. Investing even a few minutes in meditation makes the whole day happier and more productive.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
Find an excuse to go outside — ideally on a kayak.

TG: Share a quote that gives you strength when times are tough.
MG: “To know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, that is success.” My mom shared those words with me when I was a teenager — and that’s the standard of success I’ve tried to hold myself to ever since.

Originally published at

Advice, Life Lessons, Productivity, Morning, Thrive Questionnaire

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