The star channels his optimism and is at work on a new book for graduates

Making good on his vow of never allowing his Parkinson’s disease to restrict him, Michael J. Fox is pounding the keyboard again, this time to focus on education.

“I’m doing another book – a short book for graduates from a point of view of a high school drop-out,” Fox, whose Always Looking Up was published earlier this year, told PEOPLE at Saturday’s HollyRod Foundation 11th Annual DesignCare Event in Beverly Hills – where he received the Matthew T. Robinson Courage Award. Fox hopes to have the manuscript finished this fall, in time for publication next year.

“When I wrote the first book, [2002’s] Lucky Man, so many people responded to the optimism and the positive quality to it, and it made me think about what was that? Why do I feel that way?”

After digesting his thoughts, he realized, “Of course, you can’t explain this stuff. Optimism is a force and a power in my life, and how I tend to just look at the possibilities rather than the problems.”

What drives him, he says, is that “every day is a new day and every day is filled with possibility and all that cornball stuff – I really believe that. I wake up everyday, I put my feet on the ground and to the extent that they carry me I move forward. And I’ve got a great family and great kids and a sense of purpose, and that’s all you need.

Professionally, he said, “This is a busy year with Rescue Me and the book and the special” – May’s Michael J. Fox: Adventures of an Incurable Optimist (A Personal Journey of Hope) – and my work with the foundation. I’ll take a little breather and get this book done now.

And, besides stamina, he also has courage – as his award on Saturday proves.

“What it truly means at the core of it is that it is a chance to come and hug Holly and Rodney [Peete], who’ve done such great work for the Parkinson’s community. And the fact that it is associated with Holly’s dad [Matt Robinson], who goes back to The Cosby Show.

“You know, [Fox’s 1982-89 series] Family Ties and The Cosby Show were that ‘must-see’ TV thing, so I feel an association there, plus I feel an association there because we both had Parkinson’s, and I feel an association in that we have Rodney and Holly in common. And I’m just grateful to them for all that they do.”
from Huffington Post
PHOTOS: Michael Phelps Is Shirtless, Winning Gold Again
LISTEN: Kelly Clarkson vs. Beyonce