How to be smart

It’s the most uncomfortable spot to sit in a classroom: in front, dead center, right where everyone can see you.

Everyone knows that the smartest students usually sit at the front of the class. They also raise their hands the most often, speak up most often, and go to the professor’s office hours most often.

But I think we get confused about the direction of causality. We tend to think it’s this:

Smartness –> Confidence –> Sit at the front of the class

But it’s equally likely to work like this:

Sit at the front of the class –> Confidence –> Smartness


Raise your hand and ask questions –> Confidence –> Smartness

Indeed, action often comes before confidence.

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