The Choices You Choose

Michael J Fox has been in the media a lot.  He’s written a new book and is doing a promotional tour.  You may recall that he walked away from acting many years ago when he went public with his battle with early-onset Parkinson’s disease.  He’s since become an activist for stem-cell research into neurological disorders.
I saw his interview with Oprah on Tuesday.  Despite being loaded up with drugs, he manifested the constant uncontrollable shaking/movement that characterizes the disease.
Part of the show was medically-focused, discussing the cause of Parkinson’s as well as the amazing advances in medical research using stem cells created from the patient’s own harvested cells (remarkable results with no risk of rejection!).
The rest of the show was all about what a great life he has, how much he’s enjoying his life, and how this disease has created changes in his life that he considers a great blessing.  He considers himself a better father and husband than he would have been if he’d remained healthy in an acting career.  He points to the fact that he has met people he’d never have met; created new experiences, and explored other careers, like becoming a writer.
Does he have challenges?  Yes.  Is he in pain?  Much of the time.  AND he speaks emphatically about how he refuses to be defined by his disease.
My favorite line:
“I don’t have a choice about this (the Parkinson’s).  But I have a million other choices like what I do when I get up in the morning, the attitude I carry, what I do with my life; and I focus on those choices.”
He chooses to focus on the choices he CAN make, versus the ones that are no longer available to him.
Michael J Fox is an optimist.  Thank god for optimists, who help us remember that, in all the crap of life, flowers still bloom and children still smile.  J
Practice optimism today.

For just one day, approach every decision from the perspective of what you CAN do versus can’t; think about your life in terms of what you DO have rather than what you don’t; with every person you meet, focus on their strengths and what they offer, instead of what they are not doing or doing wrong.  Just for one day.  Notice what happens.

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