Seeing the Bullseye

I sat next to a Harvard Business School professor at a dinner once.

This was around the year 2000.

I was talking to him about the rapid advancements in technology.

I mentioned that I had just read a book called “The Age of Spiritual Machines” which was written by Ray Kurzweil.

The professor said,

“I know Ray… Often wrong, but never in doubt.”

When the professor made his comment, I think he meant it in a negative way.

For years after that, when I met someone who was arrogant, I used to think… “Hmmm… Often wrong, but never in doubt.”

But after 17 or so additional years of working, I started thinking that “Often wrong but never in doubt” could be a very good behavioral trait in terms of getting things done.

I kind of wish that I had that level of clarity at an earlier age…

“Often wrong but never in doubt” means that you see the bullseye and you aim for it and start on your journey toward it…

You need to be never in doubt.

You need to be determined to get there no matter what…

You’re going to be wrong many times along the way to reaching your goal… In other words you’re going to be wrong often.

And if some of the times you are wrong involve dealing with people, they’re going to talk about you. They’ll say about you that you’re often wrong, but never in doubt.

Imagine if they just said “Often wrong” and stopped there.

Ray Kurzweil is extremely successful and now works in a high level position at Google working on artificial intelligence.

He is very enthusiastic about the idea that artificial intelligence will become so advanced by 2030 that people and machines will merge (in some way) allowing people to live forever.

Some other smart people are less enthusiastic about it.