Together our family has found that by following five principles, anyone can improve his or her life and create success ... While these principles might appear to be simplistic and easy, mastering them requires diligence and perseverance ... If you focus first on these principles and you values, you'll always make the right decision and follow the right path.


The Story

We began brainstorming about this book when Jackie's children, Maggie and Robert, began to ask 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.

This project - like many others, began fast, and stalled. What got us going again?  We set a goal to hand a completed book to each student who finished the initial Learn, Earn and Achieve pilot program conducted by the Learning Makes a Difference Foundation, Inc.

These students, who had been struggling in math and science, completed a 15-week session where they attended after school tutoring sessions and earned cash for participating. Jackie was particularly inspired when one of the young men told her that, ‘I was failing.”  The use of past tense meant that he was going to pass math!

What did the students’ learn from this program? They could be successful. In fact they outperformed a comparison group of students.  As one student said, “It actually works if you pay attention.”

Like this book – Learn, Earn and Achieve was a joint project, an idea of Newt's implemented by Jackie.  It was fun to finish the pilot program by handing students their own personalized copy of our book.

The Learning Makes a Difference Foundation just finished phase 2 of Learn Earn and Achieve. The blueprint, which will allow others to run this program, will be available to download from the web this summer.

Based on Kathy Lubbers’ hard work and perseverance (taking on triple duty as daughter, sister and agent) - We signed a contract with Crown Forum in the fall of last year and added depth, research and additional contributions under the skillful direction of Mary Choteborsky. Our goal for this book is for Maggie and Robert and you to understand that success is a process that involves a lifetime of learning about how to succeed.

The Authors

Jackie Gingrich Cushman

She writes a weekly human-interest column for 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. For her full bio, visit

Newt Gingrich

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.  For his full bio, visit

The Principles

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.book_inside
  • 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 remember 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.

Click here for an excerpt from the book ...




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