Jeff Bezos on People Who Are “Right a Lot”

Interesting tidbit from Jason Fried on Jeff Bezos’s answer to the question: How are people who tend to be “right a lot” similar?

During one of his answers, he shared an enlightened observation about people who were “right a lot”.

He said people who were right a lot of the time were people who often changed their minds. He doesn’t think consistency of thought is a particularly positive trait. It’s perfectly healthy — encouraged, even — to have an idea tomorrow that contradicted your idea today.

He’s observed that the smartest people are constantly revising their understanding, reconsidering a problem they thought they’d already solved. They’re open to new points of view, new information, new ideas, contradictions, and challenges to their own way of thinking.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a well formed point of view, but it means you should consider your point of view as temporary.

What trait signified someone who was wrong a lot of the time? Someone obsessed with details that only support one point of view. If someone can’t climb out of the details, and see the bigger picture from multiple angles, they’re often wrong most of the time.

So in order to be right (or perceived to be so), you should be flexible in your perspective. But I wonder whether that observation holds well for politicians, who may be described as flakes for changing their beliefs/policies too often.

One thought on “Jeff Bezos on People Who Are “Right a Lot”

  1. Re: the politicians – I don’t think this applies to them. The perception is that they “change” their minds purely for political gain — not because they’ve gained new knowledge or reconsidered their old positions.

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