Michael J. Fox on Failure and Acceptance
The actor shares what gives him energy and what he does with a spare 15 minutes.
When you have the opportunity to ask some of the most interesting people in the world about their lives, sometimes the most fascinating answers come from the simplest questions. The Thrive Questionnaire is an ongoing series that gives an intimate look inside the lives of some of the world’s most successful people.
Thrive Global: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?
Michael J. Fox: I have gait issues, so I literally concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other. I live the metaphor.
TG: What gives you energy?
MJF: My family, my friends, my curiosity.
TG: What’s your secret life hack?
MJF: Fuck it and breathe.
TG: Name a book that changed your life.
MJF: The Bird Artist by Howard Norman.
TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you? MJF: I have a healthy relationship with my phone. I have no problem leaving it at home sometimes.
TG: How do you deal with email?
MJF: I only accept personal emails on my account and reroute all business stuff to my office.
TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
MJF: I make it 20 and meditate.
TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
MJF: “Burned out” is my baseline. I’ve been tired since Teen Wolf.
TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
MJF: When I was first diagnosed with PD I reacted with fear and it took me 7 years to accept it, not as a failure but as a fact. Then I was able to share my experience with others.
TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
MJF: “My serenity is directly proportional to my acceptance and inversely proportional to my expectations.”
Born in Canada, Michael J. Fox is an award-winning television and film actor. His iconic characters Alex P. Keaton, Marty McFly, Mike Flaherty, and others have earned him Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Awards. In 2000, he started the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. He is the bestselling author of three books and remains a working actor. He and his wife, actress Tracy Pollan, have four children.