5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours

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Is life really so complicated? Ask happy and successful people this question and you’re likely to hear that, in its essence, life is really quite simple. In these pages, Newt Gingrich and his daughter Jackie Gingrich Cushman–with the help of prominent people they know and admire, such as Bill Clinton, Rush Limbaugh, Mary Matalin, and David Petraeus–show how, by following just five principles, you can live life to its fullest:

• Dream Big Like Walt Disney, who shared the magic kingdom of his imagination with millions, or like Jackie’s sister, Kathy, who didn’t let a severe case of rheumatoid arthritis stop her from completing a walking marathon, see where your dreams can take you.
• Work Hard As Jackie points out in her recollections of her dad’s early political career, working hard can be a surprising source of energy, and adopting an attitude of cheerful persistence will help you reach your goal.
• Learn Every Day The key is to re- member that learning is a reciprocal process. You can’t be passive; you must be engaged. Come along on a visit to the acclaimed Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta to see how this principle works in action.
• Enjoy Life And what’s the best way to do that? From the wisdom of the ancient philosophers to information from the latest scientific studies, the answer is the same: Be grateful for all your blessings and do something every day to show compassion and generosity to others.
• Be True to Yourself It sounds easy, but it’s the hardest principle to live by. Discover what people from William Shakespeare to Henrik Ibsen to John P. Abizaid have had to say about this touchstone for an honest life.

With these inspiring and memorable words of wisdom, Newt and Jackie have given us a book to treasure for a lifetime.

From the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews:

  • Why?
    What is wrong with the world when people feel the need to hold up a man who hates human beings because they are not white men? We should put women and children into slavery...wait we did that already when christen men took over and we got the plague. Lets do it again and see what happens next. yea. Your turn white boys....more info
  • A great graduation gift!
    This book boils it down to Five Principles for a Successful Life-
    1. Dream Big
    2. Work Hard
    3. Learn Every Day
    4. Enjoy Life
    5. Be True to Yourself
    All lessons that help you keep life in perspective. Throughout the book, I kept thinking this is what I want my kids to learn. Its really all about "Keeping the main thing, the main thing..." I love it that Newt Gingrich and his daughter, Jackie brought the principles to life through highlights and examples of Successful Americans. People from all different political viewpoints, professions, and backgrounds. It is not a book about whether or not one is a Republican or Democrat, but a book about how much we can learn from each other regardless of our political views. In the end, these principles are timeless. A great read! ...more info
  • Is this a joke?
    Okay, I skimmed it, because I won't pay money for it.

    Newt Gingrich providing advice for life is like taking health advice from a tobacco farmer. You are further ahead reading the fortunes on Bazooka Joe cartoons.

    To say this is pap is an insult to pap. And Newt still cannot avoid being a craven opportunist. He admires Bill Clinton? Since when? Oh, since it could help him sell a book on a successful life.

    This is a joke. Anyone who buys this, I have a bargain basement prices on bridges! Act now!...more info
  • A Damn Good Book

    The 5 Principles for a Successful Life was a quick, inspiring read. It is not a political book. I enjoyed the input from the various contributors and in seeing how these principles had helped them achieve so much. I do not delve into self help books but found this short and sweet - a common sense guide to getting what you want. I have bought several copies for all the graduates in my life. It has also rejuvenated my goals and aspirations. I highly recommend it....more info
  • LIFECHANGING!! Buy one for yourself and one for a perfect gift.
    This book is not only ageless, timeless, motivational SELF-help, but also an amazing tool for wise parenting. Five Principles for a Successful Life is a guilt free, easy summer beach read that packs a powerful wallop of inspiration. Don't miss this one. It's filled with common sense, can do, you can live by, never preachy, uplifting, smart, get 'er done good stuff for ages eight to eighty-eight....more info
  • A non-political, useful read
    Common sense words of wisdom that we could all stand to hear now and again, packed into an easy and enjoyable read. This is a book one can return to again and again. It would make a perfect gift for anyone graduating from high school or college this year!
    ...more info
  • The 5 Principles of Newt should be.....
    1.) Don't cheat on your wives
    2.) Don't lie to Congress
    3.) Don't forget to exercise
    4.) Don't be upset at the Democrats because they out foxed the Republicans in 2008
    5.) Don't be jealous of other politicans who make you look stupid on a daily basis....more info
  • great gift book!
    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!...more info
  • Very Enjoyable Book!
    I really enjoyed reading this book--a quick and easy read! It was very inspirational to hear not only from Newt and his daughter regarding their personal insights on success, but also from all of the incredibly diverse contributors--Lou Holtz and Arthur Blank were a couple of my favorites. As a mother of young children myself, I could relate easily to much of what Jackie Gingrich Cushman wrote--it honestly made me want to dream big, work hard, learn every day, enjoy life, and be true to myself!...more info
  • Risible satire!
    A book on "principles" from the serially adulterous, morally impoverished Newt? Hilarious. (Sadly, however, my copy was missing the laudatory "Foreword" co-authored by the three wives he cheated on.) I can barely wait for the new diet & exercise book from Rush Limbaugh. Or "The 5 Pathways to Universal Compassion, Inner Peace, and Spiritual Health" from Ann Coulter......more info
  • Excellent for High School Grad Gifts
    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!...more info
  • Let's get real.
    Are you kidding? Newt Gingrich writing a book on how to achieve success in life? I started to read this book but then sat back and thought...but just couldn't go on reading knowing that the author was a man of practically no moral principles. Does he consider resigning from the speaker of the house post as being successful? Does he consider his personal life as one of success? Come on now, let's get real...more info
  • A great gift for dads or graduates -- advice from successful people in all walks of life
    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.
    ...more info
  • 5 Principles for a Successful Life
    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....more info
  • Five Principles Indeed
    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.

    ...more info
  • Very Entertaining!
    Great book! I highly recommend! Fast and entertaining read. Very insightful with great topics to think about. Would make a great gift for a recent grad or someone in the business world. I bought one for my Dad for Father's Day as well....more info
  • Self-Improvement Advice from Newt Gingrich and His Daughter
    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. And if you adhere to someone else's principles you may move forward, but somehow you're not as steady, you're not as clear, you're not as strong."

    Here are the five principles:

    1. Dream Big, like Walt Disney, who didn't let failure and naysayers stop him from achieving his dreams...or like Jackie Gingrich Cushman's sister, Kathy, who didn't let a severe case of rheumatoid arthritis stop her from completing a walking marathon and raising money to help cure the disease.

    2. Work Hard, like Newt Gingrich himself, as his daughter remembers. Working hard, she says, can be a surprising source of energy. Another example in the book is John "Jack" Horner, a man who was a technical adviser on the "Jurassic Park" movies and from his early boyhood "wanted more than anything to be a dinosaur paleontologist when I grew up."

    3. Learn Every Day. The key is to remember that learning is a reciprocal process. Newt Gingrich was interested in everything. Luckily, he had a family that encouraged him to learn constantly. "My grandmother, Ethel Daugherty has been a schoolteacher, and she taught me to read before I went to school. She said over and over 'You can learn anywhere, from anyone. Keep your eyes and ears open.'"

    4. Enjoy Life. The authors draw from ancient philosophers like Aristotle, who said "Happiness depends upon ourselves" and modern scientific studies to show that successful people work hard to achieve their dreams and complement that hard work with a capacity to "really enjoy the journey you're on." Rush Limbaugh advises "There should be no guilt in the pursuit of happiness and the enjoyment of life."

    5. Be True to Yourself. After he left the speakership in 1999, Newt Gingrich reassessed his life and career, after 26 years of running for office and serving in Congress, he was faced "with the daunting challenge of thinking through a new career." He set out to determine what he would not do, become a lobbyist, take a job with one firm which would monopolize his life, etc. He began by studying science, fulfilling his passion for learning.

    I'm not a big fan of self-help books, but the diversity of the contributors and the the essential soundness of their advice -- combined with the words and writing structure of the father-daughter author team -- convinced me that this is a book everyone can enjoy and learn from. I was especially taken with the section on Walt Disney, quoting from a 2006 book I had read and reviewed, Neal Gabler's "Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination." If one person had to be chosen to symbolize success in America, it would be difficult to find one more intriguing than Walt Disney. Gabler's book is quoted and listed in an excellent reading list at the end of the book.

    If you travel a lot, pack this book along with your laptop, iPhone, BlackBerry, etc. It's worth reading and re-reading.

    Publisher's web site: www.crownforum.com...more info
  • A Must Read for Anyone Who Dares to Dream Big!
    This book -- Five Principles For a Successful Life -- is not what you would expect. Although it is co-authored by Newt Gingrich and his daughter, a political columnist, it is not a political book. Also, despite its title, this is not a run of the mill self-help book. By using history and personal anecdotes, the co-authors frame each of the basic principles in personal and interesting ways. Of particular intrigue is the discussion of how winners have to be great at failing. In discussing his successes, Newt does not shy away from admitting his failures and the personal revelations are endearing. It is also heart warming to hear his daughter's perspectives of the principles as she has seen them applied by her father and others. Yet, the uniqueness and brilliance of the book is in how it interweaves the contributions of such a diverse group of contemporary success stories -- both the unknowns and the well known -- about the principles.

    These co-authors tell of successes in a dynamic way and organize brilliantly the various contributor's stories so as to demonstrate the commonality in work ethic and basic attitudes of each despite their divergent backgrounds. (The 42 or so contributors include comedians, politicians, reporters, pilots and other successful business people. Interestingly, several contributors are politically liberal -- including Bill Clinton). All the contributors give insight as to how they applied the various principles on their own respective roads to success.

    In short, the book is unique, topical, and took only a few hours to read. Best of all, I think it will inspire you to pursue or recommit to your own personal success path and dreams. It is a must read for anyone who dares to dream big!...more info


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