I heard from an old friend and mentor, Dennis Dupuis. I am making this blog a tribute to Dennis, who is the one that actually helped me come up with ‘Robotic Psychiatry’ 27 years ago with his ‘Aladdin’s Magic Lamp’ exercise.
Here’s what he just wrote in an email to someone else and forwarded it to me:
“20 years ago, a gal named Joanne Pransky worked for me, and
I knew she had potential to be something, but like most people,
she had no idea what she could do with her life.
She would always complain about “all the things” that made it
hard for her to really get ahead and be super successful, like
no money, no apparent talent, and no idea what she could be
really good at.
That’s when I got the idea to have her make believe that she
had found Aladdin’s lamp, and that she really could “ask for”
anything she wanted – with total disregard for any reservations
she may have otherwise.
I recommended she take a sheet of paper, and without any
pressure at all, to just start writing down her fantasies – things
that she would really love to have happen. Instead of just 3 wishes
I told her to write down as many as she wanted, so she wouldn’t
have to think too much, as she could always go back over her
list later and cross out the ones that didn’t make the grade.
I later looked over that list and we had a few laughs, as some
of her wishes were pretty far out!
Anyway, I spotted something on that list that seemed outrageous,
but seemed to fit her personality and area of interest … she wanted
to be a Robotic Psychiatrist!
Now, being a Sci-Fi fan, I realized that she was talking about
a character straight out of Isaac Asimov’s book I, Robot … a
Robot Shrink named Dr Susan Calvin, so I told her her wish
was not that far fetched, she was just about 50 years too soon!
Today, Dr Joanne Pransky is famous for being the World’s first
Robotic Psychiatrist (www.Robot.md) and she has appeared on
the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and was invited to the premiere
of the blockbuster movie I, Robot (starring Will Smith). She was
introduced as “the real” Dr Susan Calvin!
Anyway, the moral to this story is that your dreams are waiting
FOR YOU to come true! Try the lamp, and you will find what you
are looking for.”