Michael J. Fox and Always Looking UP

The adventures of an incurable optimist

The book title pulled me in. “Always Looking UP!” I saw the picture of Michael J. Fox and knew he had been struggling with Parkinson’s. Such a positive message seemed like an oxymoron. I took it off the shelf and dumped it in the cart.

I was at a point of evaluating my career. Having worked in the technology industry for 20 years, I was looking for a challenge and was interested in finding a way to use my “gifts” towards something “good”.  It was around this time that I began to work for a social impact company who taught computer skills to underserved markets (primarily seniors and people in poverty).

I had incredible experiences at Connected Living, but one in particular was an “a-ha” moment. In the evening, while at a senior assisted living center, our team secretly set up a video call (Skype) for one of the residents from the elderly home. The call was with his daughter and his 3 year old grandson who he had never met except through photos.

At the moment that grandfather looked at the computer screen and saw his daughter and grandson, it was magic.   He had tears dripping down and there wasn’t a dry eye in the packed room. The man’s life changed for the good in seconds.  It was heartwarming to watch.

It got me thinking.  It was an example where technology provided something so special and I thought, “there is a time and place where technology enables true magic or moments that touch the heart” or in other words, “technology with heart”. So I began to think of other examples where technology could be used in ways that significantly changed people’s lives in positive ways.

As I read Michael’s book, I was in awe by the amazing power of his positive, optimistic thinking.  A $1Billion business (Happiness), it’s clear that people in the world were in search of something better, “in all the wrong places”.  Money, big houses, extravagant lifestyles, on and on. Michael’s happiness was not coming from things, it was coming from within.  It was his attitude.  And he chose to be an optimist.

One of Michael’s mission trips went to the Himalayan country Bhutan. During his visit he felt serene and struggled less with his Parkinson symptoms.  “It was a place not with less problems, in fact, the living is atrocious.  But the people see things as good, and they are happy.”  Their country is progressive in one way.  They measure happiness in addition to GNP (Gross National Product).  Maybe someday we will too.

All of this led me down the path of more reading and research.  Michael stated in his book that he attributed his positive attitude and happiness to helping others. All the research supported it.  One person helping another increases happiness for both parties.  So off I headed to find service work for our family, something local that we could do on the weekend.  We did several searches on the internet without finding much.  In fact, we had a difficult time finding needs or volunteer opportunities in the area.   It was more difficult than it should be…….

So Think Good was created with a mission to create “technology with heart” that makes the act of helping each other simplified, centralized and fun.  By doing so, the ease of helping each other, spreading good, positive thoughts will ultimately make the world a little happier.

Will you join us?

Think Good. Do Good. Feel Good.

Ann-Marie Bland has been involved with forward thinking technologies and brands for her 20 year career.  Five years ago she decided to take her expertise and appann marie bland bwly it to social good.  She founded Think Good, LLC as a social innovation company with the goal of making it easier for people to help each other.  Long term, she a future where Think Good is the brand that represents what it means to be socially responsible.

Personally, Ann-Marie loves people, books, reading, studying the future, the ocean or lake, the sun and nature.  Ann-Marie is a wife and mom to a daughter who inspired her to be socially responsible.  In fact, she named the company.

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