The Greater Impact of Deepak Chopra, James Patterson and Andrew McCarthy

Deepak Chopra, James Patterson and Andrew McCarthy don’t have much in common, other than being best-selling authors. What they also have in common is that I interviewed all three of them over the last few weeks. I found it so fascinating to meet the people behind the brand names and to appreciate their own unique perspectives on navigating life’s challenges.

Let’s start with James Patterson, prolific author, Guiness Book of Records holder for most hard cover best-selling books ever sold, and creator of detective Alex Cross, now a movie starring Tyler Perry.  The thing that surprised me most about JP (as he is fondly known) is that while he is proud of his literary success, he is most passionate about his wife, their 14 year old son Jack and his drive to get kids to read.

He describes life as a juggling act. All of the balls are rubber, with the exception of family. Family is a glass ball, he says,  and once dropped it can shatter easily. This was certainly thought provoking from a man capable of getting into the minds of serial killers, detectives AND middle schoolers.

My interview with Patterson will air this Sunday, November 11th on CNN at 7.15 am.

I have had the pleasure of meeting Deepak Chopra several times, and each time he says something that really resonates. In his latest beautifully written book, God: A Story of Revelation, Chopra explores our changing conception of God through seven different prophets, amongst them Job, Rumi and the Baal Shem Tov.  At the end of this interview, I was reminded of the simple things we can do to lead a more spiritual life, like being present, focusing on gratitude and assuming positive intent.

Andrew McCarthy was most surprising. The former teen hearthrob is best known for his roles in Pretty in Pink, St Elmo’s Fire and Class. What you may not know is that McCarthy is an award winning travel writer and author of the memoir “A Long Way Home.” His aim, he says, is to “change America, one trip at a time.”

McCarthy was remarkably honest about his personal struggles, his not always good decisions, and his fear of commitment. He spoke of reconciling his introverted personality with the public demands of his early success. But what was most striking was despite all of these conflicts he has succeeded in connecting with places and people in some of the most remote corners of the world.

While so different in backgrounds, literary genre and stages of their lives, Patterson, Chopra and McCarthy all reminded me of one thing and that is our relationship with the world begins with our relationship with ourselves. Life is a series of tumbles and turns, and appreciating what you have is critical if you are to be at peace.

May you tumble with humor and grace and whatever turn you take, enjoy the journey.

Wishing you a wonderful week!