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KKR's picture

I won over $70k in Math competition prize money before the age of 17, represented the US as part of the US Math Team - twice - with 2x MOP black (even that is .00001% of US Math Students), and got perfect score on 25 AP exams 18 of which I didn't even take the class for... and then I became old enough to legally vote.

There is no such thing as "smart", that is just a status term that could be applied to literally any activity if society could agree to do so.

The real shortcut? Do not chase status. You cannot set the goal of being "good at basketball", you must pick a specific goal - get into the NBA - and people will award or take away your status in the ups and downs to hit that target. Once you're in the NBA, you can do something larger but trying to get people to think you're "good at sports" is identical to getting them to think you're "smart". I had to learn all this the hard way because letting status get into my head killed my competitive Math results until I stopped doing it and then I just won even harder and crushed the rest of world decisively. Necessity always wins, chase necessity.