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5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours Hardcover – May 12, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Forum; First Edition edition (May 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307462323
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307462329
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,658,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

NEWT GINGRICH is best known as the chief architect of the Contract with America. A former Speaker of the House of Representatives, he has published eighteen books, including the bestsellers Real Change and Rediscovering God in America, and most recently, Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less. Newt lives in Virginia with his wife, Callista. The Gingrich family includes two daughters, two sons-in-law, and two grandchildren. Visit www.newt.org.

JACKIE GINGRICH CUSHMAN writes a weekly human-interest column for Townhall.com. Her nonprofit activities include serving on the Georgia Advisory Council: The Trust for Public Land and as president of the Learning Makes a Difference Foundation, which she founded in 2006. Jackie and Jimmy Cushman Jr. live with their two children in Atlanta. Visit www.jackiecushman.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Why 5 Principles?

The number five is important. The idea that any one
of us–or our children or grandchildren–can learn
a finite number of things is important. We don’t have to
learn one hundred rules to live successfully, we simply
have to learn five principles and live by them.

Success. We hear the word often, but what is the definition
of success? If you ask five people to define success,
you will get five different definitions. Many people strive
for material success–large homes, expensive cars, and
designer wardrobes. Others look to recognition, celebrity,
or societal impact as a marker. Some view success
from a much more personal perspective: being a good
mother, father, brother, sister, or daughter.

Since this book is focused on helping you achieve success,
you might wonder how we define it. We focus on
the long-term effects of our actions. For example, are we
making the world a better place for our children and
grandchildren? To us, success means adding value to
people’s lives and making a difference in the world
around us.

Each of us has to determine for ourselves how to define
success in life. Americans tend to focus on achieving
success, but we often forget to focus on what creates
success. Success does not happen overnight, and it does
not happen easily. But we believe that everyone can find a
way to be successful. The outcome is simply a result of
an ongoing process–learning to live successfully.

Together our family has found that by following five
principles, anyone can improve his or her life and create
success: Dream Big, Work Hard, Learn Every Day,
Enjoy Life, and Be True to Yourself. We began brainstorming
on writing a book about these ideas a few years
ago, when Jackie’s children, Maggie and Robert, began
to ask questions. Questions about how their grandpa became
Speaker of the House. We thought it might be best
for them to understand the process and how it happened
over time–not overnight. Our goal is for Maggie and
Robert and you to understand that success is a process
that involves a lifetime of learning about how to succeed.

While these principles might appear to be simplistic
and easy, mastering them requires diligence and
perseverance. The application of any one of them might
result in progress, but the integration of all five can lead
to stellar results. Believe us; we know that sometimes
it’s challenging to live by your principles. Do not deceive
yourself; there will be occasions when you will fall short.
But in the end, it’s about picking yourself up and moving
back to the path that you want to follow. If you focus first
on these principles and your values, you’ll always make
the right decision and follow the right path.

Both of us have tried to follow these five principles
throughout our lives.

We know they can have a positive impact on anyone
willing to learn them and live them, and we want to
share them with you.

In this book, we hope to provide you with a playbook
for success. Not a guarantee, but a path to follow that
will improve your odds. We have included quotes from
many people who are successful in a variety of areas.
These individuals provide real-life examples of how they
achieved success by following these five simple principles.
Our dream is that this book will inspire and encourage
you to pursue your happiness and that you will
enjoy it once you find it.

Newt & Jackie
May 2009

Principle : 1
Dream Big
If you can dream it, you can do it.
WALT DISNEY

As a young man, I planned on becoming a zoo director
or a vertebrate paleontologist. Yet during one special
weekend as a teenager, I learned a powerful lesson
that sparked my dream of entering public office and becoming
a leader of our nation.

It was 1958, I was fifteen years old, and we were living
in Orléans, France. My father was a career soldier–
an infantryman. He served his country in World War II,
Korea, and Vietnam. He understood that freedom is not
free. During our time in France, my father took me to
Verdun. That battlefield had been the largest and bloodiest
on the western front in World War I. While there,
we stayed with a friend of my father’s who had been
drafted in World War II and sent to the Philippines, survived
the Bataan Death March in 1942, and went on to
spend three and a half years in a Japanese prison camp
during World War II. During that weekend, between
talking to my father’s friend and learning about Verdun,
I was immersed in stories of the human sacrifices that
were made for freedom throughout both world wars.
I learned that the freedoms we now enjoy and take for
granted were paid for in blood. This truth became very
real tome during those three days at Verdun.

The lesson from history is that it is possible for bad
leadership to result in the collapse of seemingly invulnerable
societies. I was shaken by the realization that
countries can disappear with remarkable speed when societies
and their cultural values collide.

As an American, I believe everything we hold dear–
our freedom, our prosperity, and our safety–is very fragile.
During that summer at Verdun, my father taught me
that we desperately need leaders who look beyond the
present, who understand the seriousness of the threats
we face, and who are willing to commit themselves to
finding solutions worthy of our challenges.

The ultimate fate of any free society rests with our
elected political leadership, and I decided it was my duty
to become one of those leaders. This became my goal,
my mission, my dream. That lesson from Verdun never
left me, and it was the reason I ran for office. I ran for
Congress twice unsuccessfully, but I never gave up on
my aspiration to serve the public because I remembered
those who never gave up defending freedom with their
lives. After two defeats I won election and achieved my
dream of becoming a leader for America.

Newt



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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 24 customer reviews
I really enjoyed reading this book--a quick and easy read!
KCB
Best of all, I think it will inspire you to pursue or recommit to your own personal success path and dreams.
Cynthia Counts
I was fortunate enough to hear newt speak and he is an amazing man!
Kevin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By David Kinchen on May 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
May 12, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: Newt Gingrich and His Daughter Assemble Comments from Liberals, Conservatives from Many Professions in '5 Principles for a Successful Life'

By David M. Kinchen

You wouldn't expect to find advice for a successful life from Rush Limbaugh and Bill Clinton in the same book, but former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA) and his daughter Jackie Gingrich Cushman have managed to do just that in "5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours" (Crown Forum, $22.00, 224 pages.)

Other advice givers include Mary Matalin and her husband James Carville, strategists on the right and left sides of the political spectrum, respectively; NBC newsman and best-selling author Tom Brokaw; Gen. David Petraeus; radio host and son of the Great Communicator Michael Reagan; Tucker Carlson; Whoopi Goldberg and dozens of others. The book is heavy with advice from past and present military officers, including Lt. Col. Oliver North, Gen. Peter Pace and Gen. John P. Abizaid.

Bill Clinton writes about the importance of gratitude in helping him achieve his goals: "I was born into a family without wealth or powerful connections," he writes. "But from my mother and other relatives, I was given a more powerful gift: the belief that I could do anything in life with big dreams, hard work, and a genuine interest in and respect for other people."

Whoopi Goldberg takes a line from Shakespeare, who did a bit of acting in his time: "To thine own self be true" to explain her success: "I live by 'Be true to yourself' because who else can you really be true to? Each decision you make moves you a little further in life. Sometimes, if you are true to other people's principles, they move you back.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By P. Nugent on May 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Great for high school kids because it reads quick and has short chapters.
Kids won't get bored once they pick it up.
Bi-Partisan guests and Non-Partisan writing!
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25 of 33 people found the following review helpful By hjans on May 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In their book 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours, father/daughter team Newt Gingrich and Jackie Gingrich Cushman share their thoughts and experiences toward living a meaningful and successful life. They eloquently illustrate the principles all parents hope to communicate to their children in word and deed. I plan on reading and discussing this book with my own children. The words of other successful Americans, from Bill Clinton to Whoopi Goldberg, Rudy Giuliani to paleontologist Jack Horner, are shared and inspire the reader to live according to the principles:
1. Dream Big
2. Work Hard
3. Learn Every Day
4. Enjoy Life
5. Be True to Yourself
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will refer to it often as a wonderful resource which will inspire us toward better living and thinking. During these hard times in which we live, Newt and Jackie's book is a wonderful investment toward an improved way of life! I will recommend it to everyone I know and give it as gifts to the people I love.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By dixiesky on May 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is a "must" read. It reminds me of the principles we grew up with not so long ago - principles my father taught. Principles that, when followed, lead to a life full of passion, enthusiasm and respect for yourself and your neighbors. What better way to look at life than: 1. Dream Big 2. Work Hard 3. Learn Every Day 4. Enjoy Life 5. Be True to Yourself. Newt and Jackie have proven with this book - they still live in each of us!
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful By SLS on May 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Perfect Girft Book. Buy for a graduation, father's day or birthday gift.
The chapters are short and informative just what you want for a summer read.
I found myself reading several of the stories outloud to my young sons.
Just what we need right now. Inspirational and important are what comes to mind!
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Format: Hardcover
Not only is it a insightful guide on how to focus on what's important in life; with the commentary of successful leaders in politics, business, sports and entertainment, it's a moving tribute to people who have overcome obstacles to make a difference in the world. Jackie Cushman and her father put a great deal of thought and love into creating this book, as they share stories of their own struggles and successes - both day-to-day and long-term. It was clearly a labor of love. What a wonderful gift for someone who has achieved success or who is seeking to do so.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Things we all shudda been taught throughout school... Speaker Newt boils it down and explains common sense that is not all that common anymore. Again these are guidelines that should be known and practiced to some degree by all.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Toby Rushforth on May 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a fine compilation of words on life from Newt and his daughter, peppered with one or two pagers from other notables, some historical, some Pop figures. It's a quick read and well worth the time. Younger folks might enjoy it the most.
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