The Fox Focus 2021 Spring/Summer - Page 18

16 The Power of Positivity

Michael J . Fox : On Testing the Limits of Optimism

People and families with Parkinson ’ s know about pushing through tough times . And navigating tough times is exactly what Michael J . Fox writes about in his latest memoir , No Time Like the Future : An Optimist Considers Mortality . Michael calls it his “ cranky book ,” as he examines the limits of his signature optimism while dealing with a series of medical setbacks and negotiating three decades with Parkinson ’ s . He wrote : “ Make lemons into lemonade ? Screw it — I ’ m out of the lemonade business .”
So , where does that leave Michael today ? Does he still list “ optimist ” on his resume ? Foundation CEO and Co-Founder Debi Brooks sat down with Michael during the marquee event of Parkinson ’ s Awareness Month to get the answer . “ I ’ m absolutely an optimist ,” said Michael . “ But I ’ ve learned you can be an optimist and a realist .
The key to optimism , is to accept the problem … In life , it ’ s about accepting and embracing . To be grateful for what you define to be grateful about . You can find something to be grateful about in anything . And that ’ ll sustain your optimism .”
Debi and Michael also discussed how COVID-19 has increased attention to and investments in research . Michael remarked on the sheer power of science : “ The need around COVID manifested itself into a real desire and energy to create something new . If we wanted a vaccine , we got a vaccine . When we wanted to go to the moon , we went to the moon . If we want to cure Parkinson ’ s , we ’ ll cure Parkinson ’ s . We ’ re not just dreaming about these things . We ’ re envisioning them and making them real .”
To watch the full conversation and download an excerpt of Michael ’ s latest best seller , No Time Like the Future , visit : michaeljfox . org / optimist .
Nearly 5,000 people tuned in to hear Foundation CEO and Co-Founder Debi Brooks and Michael J . Fox discuss the sustaining power of optimism in challenging times .