12/08/2011 06:32 am ET Updated Dec 08, 2011

Brian Williams' Biggest Regret

"Rock Center with Brian Williams," NBC's first new primetime newsmagazine in nearly two decades, tackles the challenge of combining serious journalism with lighter fare.

Mixing stories about the Syrian resistance movement and the Penn State scandal with guests such as Jimmy Fallon and Jon Stewart, host Brian Williams, 52, balances the cocktail with characteristic cool. Rock Center airs Mondays at 10pm EST/9pm CST. HP50 asked Williams about his passions, achievements and regrets.

What's the one thing you know now that you wish you knew when you were growing up?
That my life would matter this much.

Now that you're over fifty, what's the one rule you feel you can break with impunity?
Eat well.

What is the riskiest thing you've done in your life since you've turned fifty?
Travel to both Iraq and Afghanistan to be with the infantry and cover their stories.

What ignites your creativity?
Reading about a great idea, hearing a great song, watching someone at the top of their game.

What social or political cause are you most passionate about?
The plight and sacrifice of veterans, and the concurrent and urgent need to rebuild our own country.

What is the best advice anyone ever gave you?
"Tell me a story."

What is your biggest regret?
Dropping out of college.

What is your biggest accomplishment?
Marrying my wife and helping to raise two wonderful children.

If you could say one thing to the next generation, what would it be?
It's not about you.

If you could reincarnate as anyone or anything, what or who would it be?
Golden retriever.