Monday, September 18, 2006

What Would You Do With Ten Years?

Yesterday morning I got sucked into Entertainment Television’s (otherwise known as "E") True Hollywood Stories special on Michael J. Fox. I must admit, I am a sucker for a good story. Having been a long time fan of Michael J. Fox I settled in to be entertained and what I found, to my surprise, was absolute inspiration.

The story was interlaced with great insight as to how Fox landed his first big series, Family Ties, and through a connection the show's creator had had with Steven Spielberg, landed his super successful Back to the Future. In typical E fashion, they had to inner-mix the good with the bad to insure you as the viewer could see Fox wasn't necessarily immune to the pressures of a young Hollywood up and comer but it was actually minimal. Not sure that was by design but I suspect they simply couldn't find any more dirt to dish on him which in the end made this a better, less tabloid-Esq. show.

What I respected the most was how they told the story of how Fox struggled with the early onset of Parkinson's Disease and after receiving the diagnosis was told that he would only have ten years to work. As it turned out, throughout those ten years, Fox did an amazing amount of work and pursued his passion in acting and eventual activism toward fighting this terrible disease with all the vigor and passion that brought him his early success.

I found myself thinking at that moment, what would I do with the next ten years? What if I had been given this very short sentence. What would I want to accomplish? Would I look at each new day differently? Would I treat each new minute with a different vigor and sense of importance? Would I treat each request from my boys to go toss the football with a sense of urgency and excitement?

Michael J. Fox stands as a hero to me. He has taken a fight to this debilitating disease and refuses to give in and let it win. I have so much admiration for what this man faces on a daily basis and through his foundation, The Michael J. Fox Fondation, continues to help bring awareness and dollars to the search for the cure. I encourage you to click the link and find out more about the great work that they are doing at the foundation.

Ironically it was nearly twenty years ago to the day that one of the first movies Michael J. Fox did, The Secret to My Success inspired me and the entrepreneur bug bit me. Today Michael J. Fox is inspiring me in another way. He reminds me that each day is special and that our future is neither guaranteed nor likely to turn out the way we expect or envision it.

So I ask....what would you do with ten years?

Thanks Michael J. Fox for being an inspiration to so many. I know the work that you and the fantastic people at your foundation will find a cure. And what a Ripple it will be!

Until next time my friends!

Ripple On!!!

Steve Harper



CJ said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
CJ said...

How do you know you even have ten years or for that matter even one year, left to live? You can't know. We should each be living our lives and choosing to spend each precious minute as if it were our last. After all, one of those times, we'll be right.

I've been reading a book called One Year to Live by a man named Steve Levine who's had years of experience working with people who have terminal illnesses. It's an inspirational, thought provoking book.

I've become very selfish of late with my "minutes." Time is infinitely more precious than money even though it's intangible. Once a moment is gone, you can never have it back, no matter what you do. As Anna Nawlick sings in "Breathe",...Life's like an hourglass glued to the table. No one can find the rewind button.

Really accepting this on a deep level alters your life. Just "putting up" with something until it's over is no longer acceptable.

Enough of me on this topic. It's your blog. :)