The Difference Between Being Born Intelligent And Having To Work Hard For It

In 2004 I was in Brazil, walking down the hill in Lapa to get some
lunch. I was with a friend who I had met in the hostel I was staying –
his name was Ofer. We were having a discussion about intelligence, and
what role it plays in success.

Then out of the side of the road stepped a man. He was holding a knife
in one hand and a bottle in the other hand. He spoke to us in fast
portugese, clearly asking us to hand over the things we held. I stood
there, not very sure what to do. Ofer started speaking quickly to the
man, telling the man not to rob us.

What you have to know about Ofer is that he had been an Israeli
soldier. He hated violence of any form, but he knew how to be violent.

The man threw the bottle on the floor and it broke into pieces, he
picked up the bottle and lunged at us. I ran a short distance off, and
Ofer stood there and dodged the man, all the while talking to him. The
man attacked several times, and each time Ofer just moved aside.

Then finally, Ofer kicked the weapons out of the guys hands, punched
him, and he fell. He then told me to run, and we ran down the hill to
the restaurant.

We sat there and he continued what we had spoken about. He said: That
demonstrates what I mean. The man with the knife did not know how to
use that knife. If he had been as trained in knife fighting as I was
in hand combat, he would have been able to destroy me. But he had a
tool that he felt gave him an advantage, but it’s nothing compared to
a person who has no tool, but has worked to develop what he has.

Intelligence is like a knife. If you are intelligent, you are at a
clear advantage against people who are not intelligent. But if you are
intelligent, and another person is not as intelligent, but the other
person is willing to train harder than you, the other person will very
quickly overtake you in ability.



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