Tyler Perry Discusses His Book 'Higher is Waiting'

Producer, actor and author Tyler Perry discusses his new book, in which he shares some of the spiritual lessons he's learned over the years, including the importance of family and the value of humor.

Read Tyler's inspiring cover story from the January 2018 issue of Guideposts!

Guideposts, Tyler Perry here. I am the author of a new book called "Higher Is Waiting" that I'm so excited about and I'm really honored and grateful to be on the cover [of Guideposts].

The reason why I titled the book "Higher Is Waiting" is because I remember having a conversation with someone and they were talking about how difficult their life was, how low they were feeling, how tough things were, and I was trying to encourage them and I said, "Higher is waiting." And that stuck with me, and I thought, "Wait, higher is waiting, higher is waiting—there's something there."

I remember jotting it down in my notes and keeping it for a very long time, but I talk about getting higher in life. I talk about getting past abuses and pains and hurts and anger. My hope for any reader who reads the book is that I want you to take away just that word exactly: hope. Knowing that wherever you are in life, if you're not comfortable there, you don't have to stay there, no matter who you are. There is a place called Higher, which for some people it may just be as wonderful as just being a better parent, or some people may just want to be better at business—whatever your Higher is, for you, and you feel it pulling, I want this book to be a sort of a guide to help you get there.

As my life has been for me, there have been so many wonderful moments and things that I've learned that I've put into this book, my hope is that inspires you the way that it inspired me.

My mother was also a great inspiration for this book—Maxine. Maxine was a woman who didn't have much, she didn't have millions to give me, but what she had was faith, and she taught me about God and believing and knowing things would be ok and knowing things would get better. Had I not watched her endure so much and still smile, I don't know where I would be.

There's a very important chapter in the book where I talk about getting to worthy, which is totally dedicated to my mother because she spent so much of her life not feeling worthy. But getting to worthy is so important, so if somebody picks up this book and they realize that they are worthy because number one, God says you're worthy, His thoughts for us or towards us are pure and not evil, to give us a hope and a future. That's what I wanted people to really take away from "Higher Is Waiting."

Humor, for me, has always been so important; there have been times in our lives that have been so dark that if we didn't laugh, I don't know where we'd be. Laughter is definitely medicine for the soul.

I wanted to make sure that everything I was doing there was a bit of levity in it that allowed you to laugh and take a moment to just take a step back and say, "Wait a minute, things may not be as bad as I think." Just feeling that laughter in your gut and in your belly really can help lift a lot of moments, so humor is very important to me; I don't know where I'd be without it and I'm sure God as a sense of humor because I'm still sitting here.

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