A motivation tip that could propel you to greatness: igniting the “I'll show you” fire
by Kevin Pezzi, MD
You might think that social acceptance is crucial to your career, but being loved by the masses helps very few people because almost no one knows who you are or cares what you do, but they do care about what you can do for them. Thomas Edison was a conniving jerk but that stopped no one—not even the ones he directly harmed—from using lightbulbs.
You might think that being nice helps doctors, and it does—but it doesn't do much for their patients. The nicest doctors I've known were also some of the most incompetent. You want to see them? Be my guest!
In contrast, some of the most abrasive jerk doctors I worked with were also the most knowledgeable and brilliant. Putting up with their personality flaws is a small price to pay for better medical and surgical care that may result in a better and potentially longer life.
In 1918, a magazine commissioned sociologist Thorstein Veblen to expound on how the “intellectual productivity” of Jews would flourish if they had a homeland. But Veblen thought that the marginalization of Jews didn't hinder them; instead, it fueled their scientific achievements. Persecution didn't hold them back; it pushed them forward by filling them with “skeptical animus” that enabled them to question everything.
Veblen brilliantly realized the advantages to being perpetual outsiders, but most people spend their lives bending over backwards to conform to cultural norms. Fitting in makes people comfortable but it doesn't catalyze the great achievements we see as proof of genius.
Most of you reading this aspire to work in a profession, such as medicine, that requires outstanding intelligence and motivation. You can develop the requisite intelligence if you don't naturally possess it, as I've previously discussed. Thus a lack of brainpower should not keep you from achieving your dreams.
To become a superb doctor or achieve greatness in some other demanding profession, you need motivation that keeps you running in overdrive years after others have joined the masses who pat themselves on the back for another day of perfunctorily going through the motions at work.
Sadly, that includes most doctors. Once they're licensed and begin practice, most docs plateau and focus on living the good life: golfing, boating, traveling, dining out, and going home to an attractive spouse in a luxurious home: the expected trappings of wealth.
“… as soon as we feel we're a ‘good enough’ kind of person, we tend to very quickly switch goals and look for an opportunity to indulge. It's called moral licensing.”
— Health psychologist Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D. discussing research on willpower
Before I reveal the motivation tip that could propel you to greatness, let me ask you a question: As Warren Buffett suggested, would you prefer to be great, or would you prefer to have others think you're great?
If it is the latter, stop reading right now. You don't have The Right Stuff for greatness if your value system is so warped that you value appearance over reality.
You're probably wondering, “Why can't I be great and have others think I'm great?”
The answer is because most people run on cruise control the minute they think they're great. Slacking off is not the path to greatness. Think of all the people our superficial culture deems to be great. How many truly have done great things? Great things ultimately help others in significant ways, so no matter how hot Hollywood stars, miscellaneous celebrities, or sports stars are, they're not great. For a challenge, try thinking of ten seemingly great Americans and justifying why they're great. Good luck.
Another question: Would you rather fit in or stand out? (Since the image-conscious folks are presumably no longer reading this, standing out implies a real basis for excelling, not the illusion of it.)
I don't care about fitting in. As Indian spiritualist Jiddu Krishnamurti said, “It is no measure of good health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
“Bullies often envy their victims because they are fabulously unique people who can kick ass, and have no need or desire to follow the flock.”
— Paraphrasing Carrie commenting on Bullying: One Boy's Story
I care about achieving real greatness, not a synthetic veneer of it that dupes others. You probably are as committed to genuine excellence because the folks with lesser goals don't even have enough motivation to read how to acquire more. Instead, they're likely headed to a wine tasting or otherwise frittering away their potential and time.
Now for the final question: Do you want to achieve greatness, or will you be satisfied only if you achieve as much greatness as you possibly can?
If you answered the latter, the remainder of this article will give you an outside-the-box but unusually effective way to acquire and sustain the motivation that optimizes your potential.
So what's the secret? Get others to taunt you by ridiculing you, otherwise putting you down, doubting your ability and potential—anything to trigger a burning “I'll show you!” passion. Nothing motivates a man or woman more than a desire to prove others wrong after they cackle that you can't do something.
Excerpt from There's one key difference between kids who excel at math and those who don't: “People in China, Japan, and Korea are more accustomed to criticism as a means to self-improvement, whereas Westerners avoid it or resent it.” People in that region are smarter than us and work harder than us; thus it isn't surprising that they've become more successful—and their zenith is yet to come.
Appearing on Shark Tank, Granola Gourmet founder Jeff Cohen was blistered by Kevin O'Leary, who said, “Jeff, let's be real. You went bankrupt. And no bank is going to loan you any money. To me, you're radioactive.”
In a follow-up segment, Cohen said, “Kevin O'Leary calling anybody ‘radioactive’ on national TV would be devastating, but not for me. Nothing has driven me more than to prove Kevin wrong.” And he did; Granola Gourmet's business is booming.
With put-downs being such a great motivator, it's no wonder why the United States is deficient in the sustained motivation that optimizes greatness. American kids become adults who know they don't have to continue giving 100% to be great; they can just bask in the praise heaped on them by teachers who think they're doing their students a favor by praising mediocrity.
Or they can look at the trophies they received for participating, not winning.
Or if they're a beautiful woman, they can lap up the effusive compliments given to the hotties by men so eager to flatter them they generalize the attribute of beauty into something more all-encompassing. Thus the babes aren't just gorgeous, they're also interesting, smart, funny, wonderful, great, and amazing. This leads to the beautiful woman syndrome and big heads usually not filled with big ideas. As genius P. J. O'Rourke quipped, “It's always tempting to impute / Unlikely virtues to the cute.”
That's why “Princess Scientist” Erika Ebbel Angle stirred up so much attention: because she is beautiful, intelligent, highly educated, and apparently headed toward a future filled with noteworthy accomplishments.
Beautiful women are now so prevalent it's a wonder that all men don't have whiplash, but not many are in the same league as former Miss Massachusetts Dr. Erika, who says that “Competition encourages you to improve.” So does criticism, especially when it is maliciously motivated by people using ad hominem attacks and character assassination to disparage you and your potential. “You're not good enough” and “you can't do it” triggers a “yes I am and I'll show you” response.
There's no substitute for substance, and there is no substitute for motivation to wring as much potential as possible from individuals who possess it. People are inherently lazy. Many people have marveled at how productive I am, but I am naturally just as lazy as losers who manage to go an entire life without doing anything amazing. I need motivation to keep me in high gear, and I don't always have it.
After I graduated in the top 1% of my class in medical school and became an ER doctor, I fell into too much of a rut relying on past accomplishments to justify my current self-assessment. Then I inherited some money that made life easier than it should have been. Before I knew it, years slipped by in which I did nothing noteworthy. By the time I belatedly realized how much of my life and potential I'd wasted, I wanted to get in gear again, but before I could choose a path to speed down, I inherited more money that dissipated the wind behind my sails. That led to more wasted years. (Bill Gates: If you want your children to do amazing things, give them nothing more than the pre-18 basics and make them pay for college. Related research: Kids from high socioeconomic background more likely to rely on parental help as adults.)
“Who's inherited a lot of money that has gone on to do things in their own life?”
— Wise words from Anderson Cooper, son of Gloria Vanderbilt
“Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.”
— Robert A. Heinlein
“I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”
— Steve Jobs
“I learned that the moment you want to slow down is the moment you should accelerate.”
— James Dyson
“People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents.”
— Andrew Carnegie
I helped many people become doctors, including two friends trapped in dead-end jobs, convinced they didn't have The Right Stuff to become a doctor. With my help, they did; one is now a professor at the medical school I attended (Wayne State) and chair of her department at a hospital in the Detroit Medical Center. Another is now a neuroradiologist, medical school professor, and president of a prestigious medical organization. While I should have felt good for helping them become physicians, I was focused on what I hadn't accomplished.
I had some great ideas, but I was too comfortable to muster enough gumption to do anything with them. I could go snowmobiling, boating, biking, or hiking with the neighborhood kids, or I could bake them cookies. Or go swimming with them, play baseball, or find 1001 other ways to let years go by without doing anything special. Oh, I did make a motorized toboggan and a radio-controlled snowmobile from scratch. Big deal.
Very disgusted with how much more I could have done than what I did, I wanted to motivate myself into sustained action—but how? By recruiting unpaid strangers on the Internet to be my motivational coaches.
Knowing how easy it is to trigger simple minds into sticking knives into the backs of others, I said things I knew would provoke attacks. Various Amazon reviews of my True Emergency Room Stories book said or implied I was a jerk even though I was no more burned out than most ER docs who work too long in overly busy, high-acuity emergency departments.
Would the saints who disparaged me do any of the things I described in an essay discussing the importance of doing the right thing? Would they risk their futures for no potential gain, as I did, to save the life of a young (and presumably poor) black man? Probably not, but as I knew, America is full of people so full of themselves they can maintain their overblown self-conceptions only by tearing others down to their low level, like crabs in a bucket.
After years of intermittently doing that (I didn't always try tricking others into believing I was a jerk!), my motivation returned and I began doing things—as opposed to thinking about doing them. Instead of spending a year building a shed and a couple of websites that benefit a small fraction of the population, I identified some of the biggest problems in the world and developed solutions to them. The last solution is outside-the-box, even for me, but I've made prototypes that obviously work.
While I am never satisfied with what I've done (that would undermine my motivation to do even more), they are a quantum leap from what I was doing, which was largely wasting my life and potential. Years from now, when I am free to reveal what I've done, the ones who doubted me will be eating crow. For eternity, they will join the ranks of the simpletons who ridiculed great ideas and the innovators who conceived them. That's been true throughout human history because there are always small-minded people eager to knock others who do more, as I illustrated in a blog posting. Afflicted with a crab mentality and the tall poppy syndrome, here's what Admiral Rickover would say about them:
“Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.”
— Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, quoting someone he termed an "unknown sage" in The Saturday Evening Post article "The World of the Uneducated" (November 28, 1959)
He who laughs last, laughs longest. However, I couldn't care less about laughing at them; I care only about keeping my lazy mind intently focused on productive achievements that significantly advance the world and help billions of people in it.
“Insults [are] a great way to learn how to succeed, if you could just take the insult and get your power from it.”
— Multimillionaire Barbara Corcoran (founder of The Corcoran Group and author of Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business) on The Big Idea show. She is living proof that beautiful women can be brilliant, entrepreneurial, and successful.
“I think you ought to sit tonight and write her parents a thank-you note, and you ought to start like this: ‘Thank you for the insults, for not thinking I am worthy enough for your daughter. Watch me now! And watch what I do.’ There's no better motivation in the world than somebody who insults you.”
— Barbara Corcoran on Shark Tank to Phillip Lapuz (pitching KRONOS GOLF putters) after he revealed his fiancée's parents in Japan opposed her marrying him because he pursued his entrepreneurial dream instead of having what they deemed a stable job
I recently found scientific substantiation for my outside-the-box motivational strategy when I read Rejection Bolsters Creativity: Independent Individuals Can Benefit from Exclusion and Don't Get Mad, Get Creative: Social Rejection Can Fuel Imaginative Thinking, Study Shows, both based on research published as Outside Advantage: Can Social Rejection Fuel Creative Thought? Its abstract begins, “Eminently creative people working in fields as disparate as physics and literature refer to the experience of social rejection as fuel for creativity.”
Discussing the award-winning findings of Dr. Sharon H. Kim and her colleagues, the second article said:
Yup. Now pardon me as I return to work on ideas that will help almost everyone in ways that will eventually amaze them.
UPDATE February 20, 2013: Here is more substantiation for my method: Healthy Rivalry Could Boost Sport and Business Performance (Excerpt: “New research shows that people can recover from poor performance when rivals comment on their failures. The research, to be published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, shows that while criticism from team members sends individuals into downward performance spirals, external criticism can be a trigger that boosts performance as people try to prove the outsiders wrong.”) Yup.
On Karen Kaplan's second day at work, she was confronted by two co-workers who rudely said she was “on the bottom of the totem pole. You are below us, you are below the guy in the mail room, you’re below the guy who delivers the packages.” She thought to herself, “We'll see about that,” and she did: she is now the CEO of that ad agency, “which made approximately $184 million last year,” and “one of the most powerful women in the advertising world.”
UPDATE April 11, 2013: Want proof that Americans need a stat dose of motivation? Read Texting, Social Networking and Other Media Use Linked to Poor Academic Performance. Here's an excerpt: “According to a new study, freshmen women spend nearly half their day—12 hours—engaged in some form of media use, particularly texting, music, the Internet and social networking.” In other words, frittering away their time, their potential, and decimating the chance of a vibrant American economy instead of one that is just sputtering along on life support consisting of one bubble after another.
One might think that young people, not having had much time to make many mistakes, would not be very susceptible to social rejection, but that didn't stop my critics. They didn't let facts get in the way of their opinions, so they blasted me for things I never said or did; the person they're attacking simply does not exist. It is particularly amusing to see them knocking me for believing something when I believe the exact opposite.
With so many fools hell-bent on being small-minded, and with them being so impervious to the truth, you can be a very good person and still have online attackers blasting you and hence motivating you. It takes courage to pursue this outside-the-box motivational strategy, but it is highly effective.
One caveat: If you do anything to trigger criticism, confine that to the Internet, not the real world. There is often a wide chasm between Internet perception and reality, but people are much better at accurately assessing others in the real world. If more than a few folks in the real world are denouncing you, they're more likely to have legitimate complaints.
I used to be too pollyannaish. I thought everyone was wonderful, wise, and ethical. Even after years of working in inner-city emergency departments and seeing how brutal people can be to one another, I still did not fully understand how evil some people can be. By watching true crime shows and reading about war crimes more shocking than what Nazis did (committed by Japanese and Russian soldiers before and during World War II), I saw how incredibly depraved some people can be.
We supposedly fought World War II to combat evil, but my smartest friend in Europe, whose relatives suffered at the hands of the Germans and Russians, said that as bad as the Germans were, the Russians were even worse. However, our government bent over backwards to suppress evidence of their monstrous acts, such as hacking the breasts off young women and otherwise carving them up until they died unimaginably horrible, agonizing deaths. As someone not fond of propaganda, I'd like to learn why U.S. leaders felt the need to sanitize history and withhold facts from us, even during the Cold War.
Then there was Emperor Hirohito's Japan that plundered Asian countries and savagely attacked their residents, such as by gang-raping everyone from infants to pregnant women to grandmothers before butchering and sometimes sexually mutilating them, such as by spearing their vaginas. Here's one of their victims from the Nanjing Massacre in China:
The Holocaust—what Hitler and the Germans did to the Jews—will never be forgotten (nor should it be), but what I call the Asian Holocaust (the murder and brutalization of even more people in China and other Asian nations) is largely forgotten with selective memory I find impossible to justify. So I didn't. So I wrote about it during a time when I suffered nightmarish chronic insomnia that made me so exhausted I didn't give a hoot about using politically correct terminology to refer to the barbarians who did those things.
A grand total of one person opined that I should refer to those thugs with respect (go figure). Consequently, it isn't enough to blast men who gang-rape and butcher babies and grandmothers; to get under their skin and have people attacking you left and right (and hence motivating you), disagree with them politically. They'll likely ignore you if you're just another partisan, but if you are very effective and they fear your message will resonate with too many people, their well-funded, highly organized, paid-to-smear ringleaders will orchestrate the assault on you, encouraging their followers to blast you on their blogs.
Ironically, you are more likely to elicit attacks from the people who fancy themselves as the tolerant ones who think their opponents are small-minded bigots. That's a classic case of projection because they are the true bigots:
bigot (noun): (1) a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing opinion, belief, or creed; (2) a person who is obstinately intolerant of any ideas other than his or her own, especially on politics or religion, and has animosity toward those of differing beliefs.
I agree with liberals on some positions and conservatives on others, yet I don't identify with either faction because I think they're so busy fighting one another they miss obvious ways both sides could win and come together in harmony, as in this example that should thrill Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, conservatives, liberals, the Tea Party folks, and everyone with a brain. It's a win-win-win situation for everyone, with the possible exception of politicians who derive sick satisfaction from controlling people. However, if our leaders were smart, they'd realize that my plan permits them to have the big government they love without bankrupting and enslaving the taxpayers who fund it. I also favor nonpartisan ways to help government provide essential services at reduced or no cost, such as my proposal for how roads could be plowed free, faster, and more often.
I am not fond of big government, but I think we're stuck with it. After all that Tea Party talk and action, the federal government is bigger and more intrusive than ever, and spends more than ever. If the Tea Party ever succeeds, it will be akin to a morbidly obese person cutting back on an occasional snack and losing a pound or two.
It is easy to think of a way to quickly rein in government without waiting for the next election that won't solve our problems, but there isn't yet enough collective support for that method even though it is perfectly legal and ethical. A critical mass of discontentment will arise around the time our economy collapses, which is so likely to happen good people should do everything possible to ensure that it doesn't.
I want to help save our country and everyone in it, so I write about it when I need a break from inventing 16 hours per day 365 days per year. After reading about college students wasting half their day on social media and whatnot, I knew that was another nail in the USA coffin, and one it cannot afford. We need people with their nose to the grindstone, not throwing a significant fraction of their lives down the drain.
Don't let a lack of strong opinions keep you from expressing them. You don't necessarily need to agree with whatever you post. In fact, you'll obtain much greater mental exercise by strongly supporting opinions antithetical to your own. Do what's easiest for muscles and you won't grow them; do what's easiest for the brain and you won't boost brainpower. 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.
I don't agree with everything I posted, some of which I wrote decades ago. In fact, I strongly disagree with some of it. In the years since, I've changed and become much more empathetic (too empathetic, according to my girlfriend who is a psychologist). I changed by sincerely listening to others and considering the merits of their opinions, thus I am open-minded and not just looking to reinforce my opinions. Unless we're all just venting our spleens on the Internet, the ultimate hope is that our words will influence others. One might think that the folks who hate those who disagree with them would welcome my opinions that now harmonize with theirs, but they're so filled with hate they can't do anything but spew venom.
Intolerance is the sine qua non of bigotry. Intolerance pervades small minds housed in bodies whose hearts hate others with different viewpoints. Intolerant bigots seethe, “How dare someone disagree with me! Anyone who doesn't believe what I believe must be stupid and a bad person! Only my opinions are correct!”
“No loss by flood and lightening, no destruction of cities and temples by the hostile forces of nature, has deprived man of so many noble lives and impulses as those which his intolerance has destroyed.”
— Helen Keller
Intolerance is a cancer that malignantly erodes civilization's most basic tenet: getting along with others who are different. Immature people think the world would be a better place if everyone were just like them.
Thus my tip of the day is to bait bigots so they're eager to stick a knife in the back of anyone who rubs them the wrong way or dares disagree with them. The hot air they generate can boost your motivation and achievement.
But beware: Sociopaths eager to hurt others enjoy bullying people on the Internet, such as 15-year-old Audrie Pott who hanged herself after being humiliated by online photos of her sexual assault by three 16-year-old boys. Sociopaths derive pleasure from attacking others. They are mentally ill and often dangerous. America has so many of them anything you post is bound to be spotted by sociopaths who might sink their rabid teeth into you.
Shay Mitchell said “I realized that bullying never has to do with you. It's the bully who's insecure.” She is correct.
There is something seriously wrong with every bully, online or offline. That's why bullies often target people they view as better, smarter, more successful, or more attractive. Bullies maliciously seek to tear others down to their low level—that's the crab mentality. Bullies are by definition mean if not sociopathic, and they're often such pathetic losers they can't significantly contribute to the world so they sit around and nitpick others. Admiral Rickover would loathe their small minds.
Bullies do what the KKK did: dehumanize their victims, thinking of them as objects, not precious and unique individuals. Debasing them as objects facilitates their attacks, which are a form of domestic terrorism.
My older brother and I strongly suspected that one of our grandfathers was in the KKK, so we lambasted him for his senseless racial animosity—but did that behind his back because we were little kids and he was huge, strong, dogmatic, and burning with hate. He hated black people, Jews, and doctors, so I never bothered to tell him I later become one.
The cowardly KKK hid behind their white robes while craven bullies often use the Internet as a shield, aided by the cluelessly out of touch Google that either does not understand or care how bullies such as Media Matters and related paid-to-smear organizations manipulate the validity of search results by creating and encouraging manual link farms that spam their search engine index. The smear groups rely on dumbbells who can't put 2 and 2 together or are so evil they don't care if they're unfair.
If Google is abiding by its don't be evil motto, they need to add another: don't be stupid, because it is truly stupid for search results to be so strongly influenced by money from George Soros, and others with a political axe to grind, given to organizations that lie through their teeth, as I proved, and will prove in more detail in an upcoming book.
It took Americans too long to realize that all people, including Native Americans and blacks, deserve to be treated fairly, not subjected to whatever treatment rich people imposed on them. Google is now doing something analogous as it turns a blind eye to how rich people such as Soros can use their money to treat others unfairly and like dirt. In my case, if Google were honest, they wouldn't say “Search Results by Google,” they'd say “Search Results by Soros.”
Thailand branded Soros as an “economic war criminal” who “sucks the blood from the people.”
Rep. Jim Leach said Soros's meddling in Russia was “one of the greatest social robberies in human history.”
Now he is targeting the United States. “Since George Soros is a naturalized American citizen, it is difficult to imagine just why he would intentionally want to bring about our own economic collapse. But from all appearances, that might be exactly what he has on his mind.”
Soros said he is “kind of a nut who wants to have an impact.” He wrote, “I fancied myself as some kind of god … If truth be known, I carried some rather potent messianic fantasies with me from childhood …”
The Los Angeles Times published an article about him entitled George Soros: The 'God' Who Carries Around Some Dangerous Demons. Soros said, “I feel comfortable about it [being "some kind of god, the creator of everything"] now since I began to live it out.”
What is the appropriate term for someone who shatters millions of lives? God? Or Devil?
Soros reportedly collaborated with the Nazis, confiscating property from Jews when he was 14 (I said “reportedly” because you can't trust everything on the Internet, some of which is fabricated by people with an agenda). He reportedly admitted, “I had no sense of guilt” about that because if “I wasn't doing it, … somebody else would.”
That reminds me of what Voltaire said: “No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.” On the other hand, he was 14 and doing his best to stay alive while living under Nazi tyranny that made many adults commit atrocities to save their own skin.
My moral compass and empathy did not fully develop until a few years ago. If you read what I wrote before (it's still posted online) and after it, you will see a huge difference. My upcoming book on rapidly overcoming racism and bigotry will discuss the factors producing that change.
One of them was nutritional. To optimally function, my brain needs substantially more of a nutrient that affects neurotransmitters, which of course affect how we think. We're not genetic clones, as simple doctors seem to think. My once-crummy diet was probably better than what Soros ate at age 14, so I won't bash him for succumbing to the Nazi evil around him. Surrounded by angry men with guns and itchy trigger fingers, would I have done any better? Would you?
“It takes far more courage and intelligence to understand a man than it takes to kill him.”
— Adapted from unknown author
One of the many signs of a nation in decline is the tendency for its citizens to attack one another, as many Americans are now doing—principally the hyper-partisans who think others with opposing viewpoints are nutty, stupid, evil, and of course racist.
Soros had a hellacious childhood. So did I, though the many challenges I faced (here's more of them) were not comparable to what he endured surrounded by Nazis who patted themselves on the back for killing innocent people. However, I eventually overcame the effects of a rough childhood while Soros seems to revel in hurting others, exploiting them, impoverishing them, and being blind to the many tears around the world he created. He is obviously still hurting inside, but if he is like most über-rich people, he is much better at talking than listening, so he isn't receptive to what others say, even if it were intended to help him for whatever time he has left on Earth.
If you study Soros, beginning with some of the links presented in the Notes section below, you will see proof that he influences Democrats in America and is making inroads to being the Puppet Master of some Republicans, too, such as John McCain—umm, reportedly. As someone who is neither fully liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, all I know is that my blood pressure spikes whenever I think of McCain, who loves big government more than freedom.
However, this isn't an article about McCain, or Soros, or the smear merchants he pays to lie and brazenly go way beyond the propaganda perpetually oozing from the mainstream media—including Fox News that claims to be “fair and balanced” but isn't, as I proved. Instead, by discussing politics in this article, I've given you a potentially noxious but highly effective way to make Internet strangers, who ordinarily wouldn't lift a finger to help you, work overtime to trash you and hence motivate you.
Sure, it would be great if we all possessed abundant motivation, but I didn't have it, and when I look at others achieving just a tiny fraction of their potential, doing more to fritter away their lives than to realize their dreams, I conclude that most Americans need a heaping dose of motivation to get them in high gear.
If you have a better way, I'm all ears.
Is it worth it?
Years ago, I posted an article for my handful of Facebook friends. One of them evidently knew Andrew Breitbart, now deceased but then a conservative American publisher who was impressed by the article—not knowing it was half my opinion, with the other half in yet another article that would have raised his blood pressure so much he may have died years sooner. He asked to publish the article, and I agreed.
When my article appeared, the Left rabidly and persistently attacked me, assuming I was an inveterate conservative with enough writing ability for them to fear. In truth, I loathe the inside-the-box thinking that pervades both political parties. Conservatives usually put our military personnel on a pedestal for fighting enemies who don't stand a snowball's chance in hell of infringing my freedoms while those brave men and women turn a blind eye to the rascals in Washington who don't care the myriad controls they impose are inimical to freedom every day. Democrats are usually viewed as proponents of welfare when in reality both parties, but especially the Republicans, love corporate welfare and warmongering that necessitates higher taxes.
Side with them? No.
However, the Left's vast smear machine is so polarized they think everyone is, and they're so much in a hurry to vent their venom only one bothered to contact me—and when she did, she cancelled her plans to assail me. The others went full steam ahead, twisting things I'd previously written and even manufacturing blatant lies.
According to the Lying Left, I was a racist thrilled about the subjugation of Native Americans. In truth, I am part Native American and so livid about their subjugation I previously wrote and posted an article that lambasted that subjugation—better than anything I've ever seen, IMHO.
According to the Lying Left, I tried to lure people “to a page where he tries to sell you his anti-spam software.” Mmm, no. I never sold anti-spam software or even thought about it. Instead, I developed a FREE site (MySpamSponge) that anyone can use to eliminate spam. I have nothing to sell other than inventions and a bulldozer that broke my neck.
The Lying Left suggested that I say things not backed by science. In reality, my blog and books are heavily documented with references to scientific literature; some of my articles include over a hundred links. I've spent as long as a week looking at 1000+ articles to help me assess the scientific evidence supporting whether I should include a single word.
I've discussed some scientific things that likely sound wacky to people ignorant of relevant research, but I explained why the scientists conducting and analyzing the research have scientifically plausible reasons for believing what they do.
Occasionally my opinions run contrary to conventional wisdom but in every case so far, I've subsequently been proven correct. Bad advice from doctors denouncing estrogen persuaded many postmenopausal women to forgo estrogen therapy. Writing about that mistake in which almost every doctor but me was anti-estrogen for years, Dr. David Katz, Director of Yale's Prevention Research Center, wrote that “quite possibly more than 90,000 women have died prematurely” from following advice I knew was dead wrong. Think about it: those doctors killed more women per year than terrorists have in the past few decades in the United States!
I was correct about acne and diet, correct about varicoceles and testosterone levels, correct about brown fat in adults, correct about how non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can slow healing. On October 5, 2010, ScienceDaily posted an article entitled Surprise: Scientists discover that inflammation helps to heal wounds. That wasn't a surprise to me; I wrote about it in 1996 in Fascinating Health Secrets.
I was correct about several other things, too. Unlike some doctors, I read scientific studies but am not blinded by them; I retain my capacity to think for myself (one reason I'm an inventor, by the way).
The Lying Left had a bevy of even more lies about me. I suppose most people are now too busy to let facts get in the way of their premature conclusions, but the Lying Left are masters of it, and Google is too stupid or too evil to differentiate fact from fiction. Before Breitbart asked to publish my article, for years I usually occupied several of the top ten listings (often #1, 2, and 3) for searches similar to ER doctor or emergency room—perhaps not surprising, considering how much time I spent writing about those subjects and helping students around the world become doctors. But after Breitbart, Google was hoodwinked by the Left's many lies. Now I'm so far down the list I can't find any listing of me for those topics, suggesting that Google aligns with the Left and is vindictive, suppressing neutral or positive content and highlighting negative stories even when they're flat-out fabrications by people paid to smear. Eliminate the good and show only the bad: Google's way of distorting reality.
The Lying Left devoted enormous resources to picking through every word I've written, but did they tell you how I risked my future to save a young black male? Or did they tell you how I traveled to the home of an elderly disabled man just to spend the afternoon clearing chest-deep snow from his driveway and porch? Or did they tell you about any of the thousands of other nice things I've done? Of course not. They blast Fox News for not being “fair and balanced” but they're even less fair than Fox News. The Lying Left doesn't care about the truth; they care about distorting it.
The Lying Left proved beyond a reasonable doubt that it cannot handle adult topics by reacting as immature children giggling about topics like sex that doctors should know about because sex is part of medicine and virtually everyone develops sexual problems or diseases or conditions linked to them. Thus, better doctors know more about sex, not less.
The Lying Left fancies themselves as paragons of tolerance and routinely condemns conservatives for their supposed intolerance, yet the Lying Left wages nutty jihads on people who don't agree with them on everything, thus making them bigots.
Diversity is so valuable because it is the best way to get the best ideas to fuel our economy, solve problems, and ultimately help people live better lives. By saying diversity, I'm referred to true, all-encompassing diversity, not how the Left typically limits it to superficial things like skin color and gender. Genuine diversity includes intellectual diversity, which is the most essential kind, but rabid Leftists often revel in pathological intolerance. In contrast, I genuinely listen to others who disagree with me. By routinely considering their opinions, I realized some of them made more sense than what I previously believed, so I instantly changed my mind without arm twisting or acrimony.
Do I regret allowing Breitbart to post the article that led to those lies? No. Without them, I likely would have wasted the rest of my life coasting in neutral. My best invention before the smears was a tire that could instantly morph into a track, or a track into a tire, or anything in between, doing things that neither tracks nor tires can do. I wanted to have bigger ideas, but I just couldn't think of them, or I couldn't think of how to make them practical.
However, thanks to the Lying Left that created a burning “I'll show you” desire, I shelved my plans to market the tire-track idea even though I've since discovered a way for it to also function as an engine and transmission with very few moving parts. I now am working on much bigger things, including some that will fundamentally improve lives and solve problems that now seem insolvable.
“"Never Heard of It, Must Not Be Big" Has Never Been More Wrong”
— Hunter Walk
I will probably make more money for my investors than any inventor in history. On my LinkedIn profile, I described myself as an “inventor with some big ideas that could make my investors richer than Bill Gates and Warren Buffett combined.” That likely inspires reflexive incredulity in most people who assume it can't possibly be true, but what they don't know is that I've already built and successfully tested their prototypes. They're not pipe dreams; they're reality, but as valuable as they are, I put them aside to concentrate one one that will make billionaires wet their pants in eagerness to become the first trillionaire. My boss works for a billionaire, and he assured me my idea will go “straight to the top” once I complete the next prototype.
What he doesn't yet know is how far I am along in its development. In the years I've worked on it, I made many prototypes. The initial ones worked but would have been costly to build and a pain in the butt to maintain. Then I had an epiphany of how to make it perform better at much less cost and with almost zero maintenance: finally the Holy Grail I sought. Thus when the device is marketed, it won't be incipient, analogous to a Model T Ford, but surprisingly advanced. It will help people in ways that now seem impossible, and that's just one of my ideas. Along with the other big ones and thousands of others I've conceived in the years after the Breitbart reaction that kick-started my “I'll show you” passion, I will help billions of people now and in the future, not only once, but several times per day. My ideas will become indispensable parts of your life. When I mentioned one to an Amish acquaintance, his mesmerized family flocked around me. Amish don't welcome modern technology but they can be fascinated by surprising advances of it.
I spent most of my ER career working in inner-city emergency departments, thinking I'd make a real difference, but ER docs don't change things; they just patch up ill or injured people, who keep flooding through the doors, year after year and decade after decade, becoming not healthier but even sicker as the diseases of the elderly are now affecting younger folks who assume that such problems are inevitable. No, they're not.
So it is worth it? Yes! How could I possibly welcome the disparagement? Because it saved me from a life of mediocrity. I had potential I never knew, and without the Lying Left, it never would have surfaced.
I know that I am not the only one with untapped potential. I suspect almost everyone has seeds of greatness within them. In fact, most people likely have potential that would leave me in the dust, yet they squander it, perhaps even more egregiously than I once did.
Most Americans think that we can't possibly compete with China and other nations that enjoy a competitive advantage by paying peanuts to their workers, but we can, and the solution is obvious: not with cheaper goods but ones so markedly better that price is irrelevant. Buy a made-in-China snowblower for $1000 or spend ten times less to purchase a product made in America that can clear your driveway faster?
Americans still dream up many ideas but surprisingly few really big ones that transform life. The last one to do that was the Internet, which arguably has done less to help us than hurt us by seducing us into frittering away our time in largely nonproductive ways. We're entertained and temporarily feel good about using the Net, but what great good materializes as a result?
If every American—or even 5% of them—received the kick in the pants I got that triggered my desire to get in gear, our nation could enter a new Golden Age. Ultimately, what's keeping us from that? Not our politicians and other classic scapegoats; they can only slow our progress, not block it. What's really standing in our way is that most of us are too content. Most people have no burning desire to prove others wrong; no “I'll show you” fire in their bellies.
Most people think praise is the best catalyst to achievement but it actually erodes it—and too many folks are living proof of it. I was a prime example, but I belatedly stumbled upon a way to stop living life on cruise control.
You can do it, too. Wrong—in the spirit of this article, you can't do it.
Now prove me wrong, or for better results, taunt the Lying Left.
“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.”
— Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher (1844 - 1900)
“If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.”
— General George Patton
“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”
— Friedrich Nietzsche
… and thinking for yourself.
“Small minds cannot comprehend big spirits. To be great you have to be willing to be mocked, hated, and misunderstood. Stay strong.”
— Robert Tew
“The thing about smart people is that they seem like crazy people to dumb people.”
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
— Mahatma Gandhi
“The great artists of the world are never Puritans, and seldom even ordinarily respectable. No virtuous man—that is, virtuous in the YMCA sense—has ever painted a picture worth looking at, or written a symphony worth hearing, or a book worth reading.”
— H. L. Mencken
(some interesting science suggests why that is true)
“It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.”
— Abraham Lincoln
“In heaven all the interesting people are missing.”
— Friedrich Nietzsche
Donald Trump has been mocked, ridiculed, and laughed at. He's been called almost every name in the book, including jerk, clown, bozo, con man, and a joke, but he is now called President of the United States of America, the most powerful person on the planet and perhaps even the epicenter of it, judging by how much Presidents are in the spotlight. He was born into privilege and turned that head-start into a global multi-billion-dollar empire whereas many others equally blessed with silver spoons squandered their advantages and fizzled as he sizzled, raising not just skyscrapers but also great kids who've actually accomplished things, in contrast with children of the rich and famous who usually do nothing remarkable. He acquired his fortune not by conning people but by attracting customers willing to pay a premium for what he had to offer—a mystery to me, being a jeans, T-shirt, and tractors guy, but evidently not to others who value luxury.
As is often the case, his harshest critics are frequently ones who haven't achieved 1% of what he has, thus manifesting the tall poppy syndrome and crab mentality coupled with a fundamental misunderstanding of how he uses ego as a strategic business tool for its obvious primary utility with a secondary ramification that proved helpful in politics by eliciting anger and thus prompting opponents to respond emotionally instead of cerebrally, hence playing them like a fiddle.
- Commenting on Offbeat Advice I Wish I Was Given in School, I wrote: “The most valuable advice was to embrace rejection. Research demonstrates that social rejection can fuel motivation and maximize attainment, but most people strive for acceptance and achieve it by shedding crucial elements of their individuality, becoming yet another dime-a-dozen corporate clone. Albert Einstein, Alan Turing, Richard Feynman, Erwin Schrödinger, Robert Oppenheimer, Marie Curie, and other geniuses would have raised eyebrows in church. If they had corporate sponsors, they would have blushed in response to what those productive brainiacs did in their personal lives. People who fit in rarely stand out. In searching for the next Steve Jobs, remember that he could be an abrasive jerk. Bill Gates called him “fundamentally odd” and “weirdly flawed,” yet our feeble economy needs more people like him.”
- Liz Ryan: Go Ahead, Make Enemies - It's Good For You
- A relevant quote:
“You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt
- 11 stupid ways smart people sabotage their success
Excerpt: “They stop trying: People whose intelligence has helped them achieve a level of success can often get lazy.”
- Don't think that you are doing everything possible if you merely work hard. Almost certainly, you can do considerably more—not necessarily faster or longer, but more creatively, thinking of new ideas. Inventions are the ultimate catalyst of progress. Years from now, when I am free to reveal some of my really big ideas, you'll see that inventions don't need to be comprised of abstruse high-tech parts for them to be very valuable and help billions of people.
- In case you're wondering: Yes, I am waging a war on mediocrity. The United States is awash in mediocrity, not greatness, which is why we're not the shining example of greatness we once were.
- According to a television documentary on Albert Einstein, he was so frustrated by the difficulty of getting a science job early in his career that he considered becoming an insurance salesman and eventually worked as a patent clerk. Einstein's potential was obviously not maximized by reviewing the ideas of others. He was one of the greatest thinkers ever and justifiably Time magazine's Person of the Century, but for years he couldn't even get a job as a high school science teacher! If you read my Ridiculing good new ideas article and consider how long it took for others to see Einstein's ability, a clear pattern emerges: even very smart people have difficulty recognizing geniuses with truly innovative ideas.
- Can you imagine a child of Bill Gates mowing lawns to make money, doing other dirty work, and buying and fixing their own junker cars? I can't. Nor can I imagine any of them fulfilling even half of their potential. Bill and his wife think they're doing the kids a favor by giving them millions instead of billions, but they will almost certainly end up like most rich kids who fritter away their potential because life was much too easy for them.
Welfare doesn't always come from the government, as I found out; sometimes it comes from well-meaning relatives. Once I blew the pittance I inherited (compared to the money to be showered on the Gates children), I got in gear, but they will likely not because they'll get too much. I had endless obstacles to overcome they will never face, which helped fuel my desire to succeed. They have it too easy, so they likely won't do anything amazing. Of course, by saying that, I've given them a gift that might propel them into achieving their potential.
- The Surprising Thing That Makes People Creative
Excerpt: “… negative thinking not only helps foster a more detailed and objective understanding of the situation, but it can also lay the basis — once the negative thoughts dissipate — to breakthrough ideas. … new ideas are the consequence of a dynamic process in which a person experiences a phase of negative thinking and feeling, which is followed by a state of highly positive feeling and thinking.”
- Is Your Job Killing Your Creativity?
Excerpt: “… only one in four of the survey's respondents believe they are living up to their own creative potential.”
- We Know When We're Being Lazy Thinkers: Human Thinkers Are Conscious Cognitive Misers based on Bats, balls, and substitution sensitivity: cognitive misers are no happy fools
- How Stereotypes Can Lead To Success, Psychologists Explain
- Google's Favorite Psychologist Has Some Advice About Motivation
- Sticks and Stones: Brain Releases Natural Painkillers During Social Rejection based on Response of the μ-opioid system to social rejection and acceptance
- Surviving -- Then Thriving
- Using Harsh Feedback to Fuel Your Career
- Punishment Can Enhance Performance, Academics Find
- Google CEO Larry Page Once Posted This Embarrassing Memo In Google's Kitchen, But For A Good Reason
Comment: He wrote “THESE ADS SUCK” and employees got busy.
- Reacting to personal setbacks: Do you bounce back or give up?
- Narrow misses can propel us toward other rewards, goals
- Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend
- Can thinking about your pet help you cope with social rejection?
Comment: Rather than cope with it, why not embrace it to capitalize on its ability to catalyze motivation? Remember that reputation affects social rejection, but reputation and character are not synonymous:
“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”
— John Wooden, legendary basketball coach
Also remember that until Google wises up, a single person or organization with an axe to grind can smear your reputation with fabrications, but they cannot affect what really counts: your character. Because most people strive to do something great but never do, and because social rejection fuels motivation and success, you will ultimately do more for yourself and others by embracing social rejection.
- Should colleges block or limit Facebook, Twitter, and other social media access to curb the problem of excessive usage, as noted above? Internet addiction is a real problem; what is the solution?
- Book: Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success (this book is discussed in Nice Guys Finish First: Counterintuitive Career Advice from Wharton’s Top-Rated Prof)
- Ashley Judd Speaks Out About Leaked McConnell Tapes Attacking Her Mental Health
- Inside “Gamechanger Salon,” The Left’s Action Network
- Soros Exposed: Research on the Progressive Puppet Master
- The Soros Threat To Democracy
Excerpt: “George Soros is known for funding groups such as MoveOn.org that seek to manipulate public opinion. … Without more transparency, it amounts to political manipulation. This leads to cynicism. As word of these short-term covert ops gets out, the public grows to distrust what it hears and tunes out.”
- Soros: Republic Enemy #1
Excerpt: “Although Soros doesn't (yet) own the Republican Party, like he does the Democrats, make no mistake, his tentacles are spread throughout the Republican Party as well.”
- Book: The Shadow Party: How George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and Sixties Radicals Seized Control of the Democratic Party
- Interview of The Shadow Party co-author Richard Poe
Excerpt: “[Senator John] McCain … has a long history of collusion with the Shadow Party. … [Soros] set up a network of non-profit, "issue-advocacy" groups – the Shadow Party – and invited all the big Democrat donors to contribute to his network.”
Comment: Ever wonder why some members of Congress get so much media attention? The fat cats who control politicians also influence the press—it's the perfect way to shape the world so they can pocket more of its wealth. McCain is far from the most intelligent Senator, yet he is frequently interviewed while brighter and more interesting leaders are passed over so McCain can bore us with his predictably simplistic thoughts.
- John McCain funded by Soros since 2001
- DiscoverTheNetworks.org: Introducing George Soros
- Judging by comments posted after an article disclosing that George Soros owns 7.9% of JC Penney, it seems that most people loathe him, as evidenced by calling him “a vile and disgusting troublemaker … a bottom feeder of the most despicable kind,” “a feeder on carrion,” and a good reason to boycott JC Penney.
- “I'll show you!” is slated to be one of the topics in an upcoming book (19 Things Remarkable People Think Every Day) by Jeff Haden, a remarkably talented writer.
- Ironically, by trying to hurt me, the Lying Left helped me, doing something for me I couldn't do and my family or friends couldn't do. The Lying Left hurt the many students I could have helped—people who will never see my articles because spiteful Google buried them. However, they will ultimately help considerably more people who will benefit from my inventions.