One can see a more enlightened view of living in a developed country when he can compare it with that in a developing country. I call this tool as "Contrast thinking". Will post about it some time later.
Very obvious thing is one CAN pursue whatever he wants to. The developed system should take into account most possibilities that can arise in the process and make sure society is safe and prospering. One of the most important directions is research. Playing around with borders, limits of ultimate "perceived truths" is possible in a country like US for a guy with not so shiny academic background. For success first thing is we need to ADJUST to the buffered life style of US. We have to make sure that we don't under-fill the buffer or over-fill the buffer (because of the defensive survival mode) that is prevalent in most developing countries.
It's often thought that people in US can think out-of-the-box and most others don't. This probably is a close to being a fact. To be like a real developed society member we have to understand that there is no ABSOLUTE truth and we just have to play our role effectively according to the situations we are in. We don't need more brain cells but We have to GET USED TO that thinking. Risk taking is REQUIRED to exploit any potential fully because it psycologically and physiologically triggers efficiency spots because of the responsibility of taking risk. People in US are more risk taking because they have to. People in most other countries refrain from it because they have to. So base thinking is same for all humans (they do because they have to). I can expand on why people in US have to take risk... but that itself is worth another post. But to be smart - be a Roman while in Rome (old cliche but very useful).