About the only time I might read People Magazine is when I am waiting in the doctors office and there is nothing else around about business and finance. However while waiting for the cable guy at my girlfriends new house, I noticed Michael J Fox on the cover of the most recent issue of People. It was 10 years ago that he was on the same cover because he had just announced that he had Parkinson’s disease.
The story inside is an update on how he is doing. It is absolutely inspiring. Despite a disease that makes everyday life a struggle, Michael shows an incredibly positive attitude. While the cocktail of several medicines allows him to function, he still has daily periods were he can’t move is arms. Yet his life is better, fuller, richer simply because of his attitude.
There is a wonderful quote in the article where he says “Hope is optimism with the facts to back it up . . . I’m in the Hope Business.” I think that is a great way to describe a positive attitude. Hope, optimism, positive attitude or whatever you want to call it, is not about pretending there are no problems. It is about recognizing both problems and strengths and making the best of them.
In my last post about Thanksgiving and a positive attitude, you can read about how being thankful helps you recognize your strengths. But it is just as important to recognize the roadblocks in life. Only by acknowledging them can you address them. That is where the positive attitude comes in, fixing the problems. Pretending the problems aren’t there is not a positive attitude and in fact will lead to very negative consequences. A positive attitude is recognizing the roadblocks and saying “I can make this better!”
We all have problems, The weakest of us are overwhelmed by them. Most of us muddle through. The best of us see them as an opportunity. That is the level Michael j Fox is operating at. If you want to be inspired pickup a copy of the Dec. 8, 2008 People magazine.