NOTE: My statements are not necessarily my opinions. I often post point-counterpoint essays in which I strongly take one side of an issue and later counter that with antithetical views. This intellectual exercise helps me see the merit in opposing opinions and augments my creativity.

Proof that the rags-to-riches American Dream is still possible, and how YOU can achieve it

The American Dream means different things to different people. For some, it is home ownership. For others, it is starting a successful business. However, the ultimate American Dream is rising from rags to riches. As many Americans grapple with deflated expectations for success, I recently had an experience which proved that rising from rags to riches is still possible. The CEO of an investment firm contacted me out of the blue, wondering if I—as a doctor and inventor—had any new medical inventions her group might be interested in funding. Yes, I explained, but I also have something even more valuable. When she learned of it, she offered to send me a check for millions of dollars—more than I've made in my entire life—in return for a small percentage of the future profits generated by that invention.

“I find out what the world needs. Then, I go ahead and invent it.”
Thomas Edison

How can you achieve comparable success? You can do as I did, which was to dream up an idea that is bound to be wildly popular with consumers. Or, if you want a head start, I'm willing to help you and others by seeding you with ideas because I have far more inventions than time to develop them.

“An idealist is a person who helps other people to be prosperous.”
Henry Ford

Thomas Edison said that genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Indeed, thinking of a great idea is usually much easier than turning it into a practical reality. If you have the ability to transform an idea into a product or service and are willing to work hard, give me some proof that you have what it takes. If your field of interest is a suitable match for one of my ideas, I'll give it to you, if you promise to help others when you become successful.

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
Thomas Edison

Edison also said, “If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” Most people have good ideas but never develop them, leaving us at the mercy of corporations who churn out many inventions but few noteworthy ones. I'm convinced that we can do better, generating ideas that fundamentally improve our lives.

An advertising slogan created for Apple Computer in 1997 brilliantly explained how “the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently” who are “crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

While we need to get our creative juices flowing, our politicians do, too. Yesterday's solutions are not always the best way of solving today's problems. As our leaders struggle for ways to invigorate our economy, they are missing a golden opportunity I wrote about years ago. That idea—not the one mentioned at the beginning of this article—would transform our nation, rocketing it well into the 21st century, and doing just as much for the physical world as the Internet did for the information world. If we did this, in the end we'd have USA 2.0—a country far ahead of the world in terms of productivity, efficiency, energy efficiency, convenience, and modernization. Or we can continue to stagnate and rely on hidebound people to define what our future will bring.

To get the exciting breakthroughs we need, we must realize that our corporations and leaders are often bereft of great ideas. That's where you and I come in. Let's put our thinking caps on, roll up our sleeves, and get to work.

“Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible.”
M. C. Escher

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
Albert Einstein

“Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.”
Albert Einstein

“There's a way to do it better — find it.”
Thomas Edison

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
Mark Twain

“Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right.”
Henry Ford

“Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical, and expecting more than others think is possible.”
Anonymous

Contact Dr. Kevin Pezzi

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Notes:

  1. Another point of view: Why the American dream is a 'myth' Bottom line: the system has a “baked-in inequality.”
  2. “Early Gallup research reports that about five in 1,000 working-age adults in the U.S. possess the rare talents of entrepreneurship …” (source)
    Comment: Only one in 200? Yikes!
  3. Book by Columbia Professor and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz: The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future
  4. The Big Idea show on hold … until the economy improves? That was one of the greatest shows, ever. If more Americans watched it instead of frittering away their time watching Dancing With The Stars and sports, along with the other 500 channels of idiocy that appeal to folks with vacant minds and no desire to fill them, the United States economy would not be in need of resuscitation, and we would have plenty of time and money to have fun. The lesson? Work before play makes play possible; play before work is the path to failure and misery.
The views expressed on this page may or may not reflect my current opinions, nor do they necessarily represent my past ones. After reading a slice of what I wrote in my various websites and books, you may conclude that I am a liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican. Wrong; there is a better alternative. Just as the primary benefit from debate classes results when students present and defend opinions contrary to their own, I use a similar strategy as a creative writing tool to expand my brainpower—and yours. Mystified? Stay tuned for an explanation. PS: The wheels in your head are already turning a bit faster, aren't they?

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Reference: Imagining dialogue can boost critical thinking: Excerpt: “Examining an issue as a debate or dialogue between two sides helps people apply deeper, more sophisticated reasoning …”

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