Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill was one of the giants of the 20th century. His eloquence, courage and tenacity are lessons for us all.

Learn about this remarkable man who achieved so much and to whom we owe so much.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.

The Success Essentials by Daniel R. Murphy

Book Review

Title and Author:  The Success Essentials by Daniel R. Murphy

Synopsis of Content:

The central message of this book is that success can be learned. We can read about the success of others and observe what they do in daily life and from their successes and failures we can learn what to do and what not to do.

No matter what we set out to do this book teaches the fundamental skills and disciplines that have allowed so many successful people to excel and achieve what they set out to achieve.

The book discusses the importance of attitude and our mental state to success. It teaches how to determine our chief aim or goal in life and how to focus on that. It tells us why that is so critical to success.

You then learn about the power of dedication and persistence, the price one must pay for genuine success, the importance of planning and setting goals, and the importance of executing on those plans. Finally there is a lot of discussion about self-discipline in a number of areas to enable us to succeed.

What I found useful about this book:

This book is based on proven techniques for success. There are no secrets to success and no magic involved. It is about proper focus, planning, execution and persistent dedication. It is about developing and maintaining the proper disciplines to achieve.

Readability/Writing Quality:  
The book is aimed at a general audience. It is well organized and easy to read.

Notes on Author:
The author has spent the last three decades studying success. He put what he learned into practice to go from poverty to become a successful public servant and rise to the top of his organization. He writes and blogs on success, leadership, wealth building, and personal development.

Other Books by This Author:
Your Financial Success
Effective Time Management

Related Website:

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

  1. Success begins in the mind. We must determine what we want to achieve and develop commitment and dedication to that aim. We must believe we will achieve what we set out to do.
  2. Proper planning is essential to success. We must set goals properly and then execute on them daily to succeed.
  3. Success in any endeavor requires a high level of commitment, dogged persistence and the cultivation of proven self-discipline. Focus and hard work are essential to success.

Publication Information:  

Title and Author: The Success Essentials by Daniel R. Murphy

Copyright holder: 2011 and 2013 by Daniel R. Murphy

Publisher: Albany Publishing Company

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.

What if You Do Not Have a Passion

The success gurus tell us every day on their blogs, their newsletters and their books that you must have a passion – an overriding complete and overwhelming passion for what you are doing with your life. It may be your job/career/profession/calling. It may be an avocation beyond your job. It may be a devotion to one’s children. Whatever it is it must be what motivates you and what gives you that sense of ultimate satisfaction in life.

You must, they say, have a passion.

I think not. It is wonderful if you do have a passion. It may even be better if you have one. It can also be worse. A passion can be so overwhelming and consuming that it does as much damage as good.

It is true that people often accomplish the impossible because of this all-consuming passion. It can give us a purpose in life that is intoxicating. But not everyone has such a passion. For many, perhaps most, life is about earning a living, paying the bills, making some progress and loving those we care about. For many their job is something they do to keep a roof over their heads and food on their table.

On balance I do believe that having a passion or major purpose in life is a good thing. It gives direction. It provides focus. It energizes. Properly used and controlled it can be a very wonderful thing to have. People have accomplished so much out of their passions. Edison’s passion for invention improved the world in a thousand ways. Michael Jordan’s passion for basketball made him one of the best, if not the best player ever. Steve Jobs’ passion created the most unique technology company in the world and changed all our lives with that technology.

Passion or Purpose

It is important however to acknowledge that everyone will not have such a passion. It is unique and does not visit everyone. Many people do just fine in life without such an all-consuming passion. They succeed at their work, they raise their families and they contribute to society in all sorts of positive ways. They find contentment and even happiness without an all-consuming passion and there is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing inadequate about that.

I suggest that what we all do need is a sense of purpose. Like many buzzwords to day “passion” is over used. Often when the word is used people really mean a purpose. Humans do not do well without a purpose in life. A purpose may also be something we are passionate about. It may evolve into a true passion.

If you do have a passion that is great. It can be very great. But not having one is not a failure. Maybe the more important question is whether you have a sense of purpose in your life. It may be to raise your children well. It may be to be a good spouse. It may be linked to your job, career or profession. Psychological research clearly shows that people are happier, more productive and healthier if they have a sense of purpose.

We are all different and what motivates us is as unique as we are. Pursuing what is important and meaningful to us may be far more important than discovering a passion in life.

A passion is a wonderful gift we can use to achieve much. We can also achieve what we truly want in life without one. We can be happy and lead a rewarding life with a sense of purpose whether or not there is a passion.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.

I Will Teach You To Be Rich

I Will Teach You To Be Rich – Book Review

Review By Dr Carmen Lynne

By: Ramit Sethi (2010); ISBN 978-0-7611-4748-0; Book Price: $15.95

In this book, you can find out how to start with any amount of money and become wealthy.

Be Rich

Ramit Sethi is the founder and writer of, which hosts over 250,000 readers every month. He is a recent graduate of Stanford University and a co-founder of PBwiki, an online collaboration company. He is a New York Times Bestselling author featured on ABC News, CNN, and Wall Street Journal, etc.

Learning to be rich

Ramit Sethi presents 9 chapters to help readers to learn to be rich. He shares on optimizing credit cards (Ch. 1), beating the banks (Ch. 2), investing (Ch. 3), conscious spending (Ch. 4), saving while you sleep (Ch. 5), the myth of financial expertise (Ch. 6), picking a portfolio that will make you rich (Ch. 7), optimizing finances (Ch. 8), and more.

Enjoy learning how money works

Ramit Sethi has a fresh style aimed at resourcing readers to enjoy the process of becoming rich. He says, “Spend extravagantly on the things you love, and cut costs mercilessly on the things you don’t. This book isn’t about telling you to stop buying lattes. Instead, it’s about being able to actually spend more on the things you love… ”

Ramit employs points to deliver concise keys. Discussing credit cards and winning over debt, he shares, “The Six Commandments of Credit Cards… 1. Pay off your credit card regularly… 2. Get all fees waived on your card… 3. Negotiate a lower APR (annual percentage rate)… 4. Keep your cards for a long time and keep them active… ”

The teaching that Ramit presents is punctuated with helpful hints as, “Online savings accounts let you earn dramatically more interest with lower hassle.” These hints add value to readers and keep interest high!

Potent headings as, “Investing is the single most effective way to get rich” will inspire interest and engage readers.

Sethi works hard to correct false concepts, as in frugal V’s cheap. He suggests, “… we confused frugality with cheapness… Frugality isn’t about cutting your spending on everything… It’s about making your own decisions…”

The attraction of Ramit Sethi’s teaching is his intermittent focus on benefits. He relays, “Unlike other people, who worry about money (because they never learned how it works), you get to focus on the things you love.”

Get rich results

Ramit Sethi skillfully instructs readers to get rich results while maintaining an engaging presentation of ideas. For quick wealth building ideas:

Success Step: Describe a simple map for becoming rich (e.g. work,

innovate, save, invest… ); Follow your map!

Article Source: I Will Teach You To Be Rich – Book Review

Book of the Month for March 2015

Your Margin of Safety

There is a fundamental engineering principle that we can apply to many areas of our lives to avoid failures and enhance the chance of success. It is the margin of safety – the idea engineers use to design things to have a greater capacity than they will likely need thereby avoiding failure. Bridges are designed to carry many more thousands of pounds than vehicles will weigh. Dams are designed to hold back more water than will actually accumulate. Structures are designed to withstand more stress it is anticipated will occur.

In a recent blog post James Clear discusses this engineering concept and what happens when it fails. As an example he cites the failures of the levees during Hurricane Katrina that caused such severe flooding in New Orleans.

This principle to design things to withstand more stress than they are likely to experience is called the margin of safety. As Clear points out we can use the margin of safety in our everyday life in many ways to insure greater success and avoid the stress of failures. Clear provides some excellent examples of this in his post but there is one that I use all the time in time management. Always allow more time than you think you will need to avoid being late or missing an appointment. I see people missing or showing up late for appointments all the time. On rare occasion that is unavoidable. Something happens we could not begin to predict. But most of the time people are late because they did not prepare in advance, they did not leave early enough, they did not allow enough time to get where they need to be.

As an example Google Maps tells me it will take one hour and 23 minutes to get the airport from my home. I know from experience however that traffic snarls will often require more time than that. I always allow at least two full hours to get there. If I get there a few minutes early there is no problem. If traffic is bad I may just get there in time. I build in a margin of safety. I am not stressed and I am not late.

I am generally a risk averse. I try to minimize risk. I understand that those who love to take risk may scoff at this idea and may leave at the last possible moment. If that is the way you like to live that is fine. But if you like to reduce stress and be on time allow extra time to get where you are going.

Similar margins of safety can be utilized in your finances, investing, project management and most anything you do. Over engineer your life a bit and it will reduce stress and you will meet your deadlines and get there on time with what you need.

Read the rest of Clear’s post here.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.

The 5 Choices by Kory Kogon, Adam Merrill and Leena Rinne

A book review by Daniel R. Murphy

Title and Author:  The 5 Choices by Kory Kogon, Adam Merrill and Leena Rinne – Subtitle: The Path to Extraordinary Productivity

Synopsis of Content:

In 1989 Stephen R. Covey published his now famous book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. In 2015 three influential executives at Franklin Covey, published this book, The 5 Choices, to take up where Covey left off over 25 years ago.

The 5 Choices focuses on the management of Decision Making, Attention Management and Energy Management on a personal level. Just as Covey sought to provide solutions for business people who were becoming overwhelmed with the demands of work and other life obligations these authors have sought to bring those ideas into the 21st Century. They begin with the assumption that today’s world is more complex, busier, more demanding and more distracting than the world of the 1980s. Among the causes of this greater complexity and distraction are all the digital intrusions and tools that exist today. This book seeks to help us manage those digital intrusions and tools so we can achieve more and be less harried and chaotic in the process.

The book is divided into four main sections: Decision Management, Attention Management, Energy Management and finally Being a Q2 Leader. Each of the three first sections contains subsections which constitute the 5 Choices as follows:

Decision Management:

  1. Act on the Important; Don’t React to the Urgent
  2. Go for Extraordinary, Don’t Settle for Ordinary

Attention Management:

  1. Schedule the Big Rocks, Don’t Schedule the Gravel
  2. Rule Technology, Don’t Let it Rule You

Energy Management:

  1. Fuel Your Fire, Don’t Burn Out

Choices 1, 3 and 5 are straight out of Covey’s play book. However they are not simply a repeat of the 1989 book. They develop the concepts to a higher level than Covey’s book did and they have updated them to be more relevant to the current world and especially to today’s technology. Choices 2 and 4 are completely new ideas though they too have their roots in Covey’s work. It includes useful ideas on how to manage social media and email and how to avoid those technologies from burying us.

The entire book is built around the Time Matrix that Covey taught about. This concept was not actually invented by Covey, it was invented by Dwight D. Eisenhower and before Covey’s book was called the Eisenhower Box.

The Time Matrix is a tool used to divide all our tasks and activities into four quadrants: Q1 – Urgent and Important; Q2 – Not Urgent and Important; Q3 – Urgent and Not Important; and Q4 – Neither Urgent or Important. The goal is to focus as much time and energy on Q2 activities so as to minimize Q1 and Q3 activities and to get rid of Q4 activity altogether.

What I found useful about this book:

This book takes a fresh look at much of what Covey wrote about and makes it more relevant to the 21st century. The ideas surrounding Q2 activity especially are more helpful and more well developed than anything I’ve seen in this area since 1989.

Equally useful and insightful are the parts that address how to manage technology and make it serve us rather than allow us to serve it. I highly recommend this book.

Readability/Writing Quality:  

The book is very well written and well organized. It is easy to read. The authors build upon more basic concepts and develop them more intensely.

Notes on Author:

Kory Kogon is an executive at Franklin Covey with a lot of experience in management, productivity, and communications.

Adam Merrill is vice president for Innovations at Franklin Covey and has worked in the time management and productivity fields for 25 years.

Leena Rinne is a senior consultant with Franklin Covey with 15 years’ experience in international business. She specializes in client relationship management.

Related Website:

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

  1. Time and Energy devoted to Q2 activities makes us more productive, focused and capable. It allows us to direct our lives and prevents external forces from controlling us.
  1. The more we can avoid the urgency addiction and focus on what is important the less harried we will be and the more effective we can be.
  1. It is essential to get control over technology and limit its tendency to dominate our time and attention while using its tools to make us more effective. This requires an on-going effort and focus but pays off greatly and gives us more time for important work.

Publication Information:  

Title and Author: The 5 Choices by Kory Kogon, Adam Merrill and Leena Rinne

Copyright holder: 2015 by FranklinCovey Co.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

A Books2Wealth Book of the Month: February 2015 

Buy the book here:


Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.

Become More to Achieve More

“Unless you change how you are, you’ll always have what you’ve got”. – Jim Rohn

The late Jim Rohn was an inspiration to many. After a successful business career he became a very successful motivational speaker, trainer and author. He presented personal development seminars world-wide for over 40 years.

Rohn’s primary teaching was that what we are defines in large part what we have. To attain greater wealth and happiness we must become more. Rohn taught that it was not so important what you get but what you become. What you become enables you to get what you want. This fundamental idea is more important today than ever because we live in a world that is increasingly competitive and rapidly changing.

Successful people as a rule read a lot. They are continuously learning and thereby improving themselves. Warren Buffett, self-made billionaire, reads 600-1000 pages a day and has done so for decades. He devotes 80% of his time to reading and learning. Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, reads 50 books a year, or one each week. Mark Cuban reads more than 3 hours a day. Elon Musk is an avid reader. Mark Zuckerberg reads two books a month. A study of 1200 wealthy people found they have extensive reading habits. They read not to be entertained but to learn.

According to Thomas Corley, author of “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits Of Wealthy Individuals,” 67% of rich people watch TV for one hour or less per day, while just 23% of poor people keep their TV time under 60 minutes. Corley also found only 6% of the wealthy watch reality shows, while 78% of the poor do.

You do not have to want to be rich to benefit from reading good books and continuing your education. Reading opens all kinds of opportunities. It expands your understanding of the world. Whatever you wish to achieve in life you will get further if you read more.

Read Jim Rohn’s article here.

Learn more about Jim Rohn and his teachings on personal development and creating wealth here.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.

Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy

A book review by Daniel R. Murphy 

Title and Author:  Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy

Subtitle: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time

Synopsis of Content:

Eat That Frog is a book about time management, personal development and project management all in one. It includes many of the familiar teachings of Brian Tracy but with a focus on getting the important things done.  The Frog one must eat is the major task or project one must do to achieve one’s goal. It may be difficult or unpleasant at times, thus the analogy to eating the frog, but Tracy tells us why it is so critical to do it and get it down before we make excuses not to.

Find out what other successful people do the same things until you achieve success.

Develop the habit of focus. Concentrate on your most important task, do it well and finish it. Your frog is your most important task to be completed.

The book is full of tips and advice of great value. It is difficult to summarize it all. Here are some of the best lessons in the book:

  • Take action immediately.
  • Plan every day in advance. Create your To-Do List for each day.
  • Apply the Pareto Principle or the 80/20 rule to all you do.
  • Consider the consequences of what you want and what you have to do.
  • Think about the long term.
  • Use the ABCDE system to prioritize continually.
  • Focus on key result activities.
  • Prepare thoroughly before you begin.
  • Upgrade your skills.
  • Motivate yourself into action.
  • Slice and dice the big tasks.

Tracy also teaches his basic formula to achieve success:

  • Find out exactly what you want to achieve and pursue it.
  • Write it down.
  • Set a deadline to achieve your goal and write it down.
  • Make a list of everything you can think of that you need to do to achieve your goal.
  • Organize that list into a plan.
  • Take action on that plan immediately.
  • Resolve to do something every single day to achieve your goal.

What I found useful about this book:

As with all of Tracy’s work this book is chock full of tips and ideas that will help make you more effective in your use of time and accomplishment of work. The list above, though not exhaustive of what the book provides, are all excellent ways to improve how you get things done.

The action steps at the end of each chapter are excellent as well.

What I did not like about this book:

Tracy has published many books and I’ve found them to all repeat a great deal of material. The author does not assume you have read his other books and includes in each of them some of the same basic information. This is only a problem if you have read a lot of his books.

Some of his advice seems contradictory. For example to say you should act immediately and you should prepare thoroughly before you act may seem contradictory. One might also conclude when he says act immediately that includes doing the preparation. It would be helpful if he explained those conflicts in advice.

Readability/Writing Quality:  

The book is well written. It is easy to follow and is well organized.

Notes on Author:

Brian Tracy is a speaker and author in high demand. He has published many books and many more audio and video training programs.

Related Website:

To learn more about Brian Tracy and his products go to .

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

  1. Eat That Frog: get the things done you find most challenging first and continue to work on them until they are completed.
  1. Learn to focus intently on one task or goal at a time until it is complete. Avoid distractions.
  1. Continually learn and upgrade your skills to become more effective and competitive.

Publication Information:  

Title and Author: Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy

Copyright holder: 2007 by Brian Tracy

Publisher: Barrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

Books2Wealth Book of the Month for January 2015

Buy the book–

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.

How to Lead Through Better Communication

Could you be more effective working with others if you could communicate more effectively?

OK, that was a rhetorical question if there ever was one. But it is an important one. In my 40+ years working with others in various organizations and situations it I’ve found that effective communication is the most vital skill we need. For various reasons we fail at communicating effectively and the results range from irritation to failure. It seems we never truly master this art and we all need to work on it constantly. posted an article on May 1, 2017 listing six communication skills that will make you a better leader. They also make you a better team player whether you lead or not. Here are the six skills in brief:

  1. Know yourself: be self-aware and be clear about what you wish to achieve in your communication.
  2. Know your audience: you need to understand the feelings, beliefs and needs of those you communicate with to do so effectively.
  3. Be direct, specific and clear: this may be the most important skill; too often we obfuscate and confuse because we lack clarity.
  4. Pay attention to non-verbal communication: non-verbal communication often tells us more about what others are thinking and feeling than what people say.
  5. Listen before you speak: this conveys respect for others and makes others more receptive to your message.
  6. Be positive and respectful: this is a key skill to be effective and to gain the attention and engagement of others.

Of course, listing these skills and being aware of them is easy. Putting them into consistent practice is challenging for all of us. They require some hard work on our part to hone these skills and to intentionally apply them. It is very easy to overlook these skills in a busy day with multiple pressures and distractions and too little time to accomplish what we want to and what we need to.

However the pay-off is big if we can make it a habit to do these things consistently.

What do you think? What has been your frustrations with communication?

Read the Success article here.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.

The 5 Essential People Skills – Dale Carnegie Training

A book review by Daniel R. Murphy

Title and Author:  The 5 Essential People Skills – Dale Carnegie Training

Synopsis of Content:

This book got is start as training material for a Dale Carnegie course and has since been made available to all of us. The book focuses on basic interpersonal skills needed in all areas of life and especially to be successful in business. The five essential skills covered include rapport building, curiosity, communication, ambition, and conflict resolution.

These fundamental skills are discussed in terms of assertiveness, rapport building, curiosity and understanding in business, persuading others, asking questions skillfully, assertive skills for listening, and speaking and ambition. All of the skills mentioned are framed within the context of the proper level of assertiveness needed to be effective. There is also an excellent chapter on business etiquette.

The book addresses many aspects of how each specific skill should be used. It focuses on Carnegie’s teaching that we can be most effective by being indirect and helpful rather than insulting others.

This book is dense. It contains a mountain of information that a casual read-through may not catch. It is a book that should be studied, not just read.

What I found useful about this book:

The book is easy to follow and full of detail about all aspects of each skill discussed. Real life applications and examples are provided.

What I did not like about this book:

I do not have much to criticize here. The book is instructional in nature so can be a bit dry at times.

Readability/Writing Quality:  

The book reads rather like an instructive textbook but is well written, clear and well organized. Skill development is broken down into steps for the reader to follow whether one is in need of the most basic development or more advanced skill building.

Notes on Author:

Much but not all of the content was written by Dale Carnegie. Some portions refer to Carnegie and quote him thus written by someone else. The book was used as an instructional text by Dale Carnegie and Associates, Inc. and adapted for publication to the general public.

Dale Carnegie was a giant in the self-improvement industry during the 20thcentury. He became a household name with the publication of his best known work, How to Win Friends and Influence People published in 1936. He launched  career as a writer and trainer and in the 1950s his Dale Carnegie Training programs spread throughout the nation. Though Carnegie died in 1955 his programs have continued and grown significantly to the present time.

Related Website:

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

  1. Influencing others is accomplished through building rapport with them.
  1. Assertive curiosity is crucial to finding opportunities and being creative.
  1. Using proper business etiquette helps you be more effective with other people promotes a cooperative and friendly work environment.

Publication Information:  

Title and Author: The 5 Essential People Skills – Dale Carnegie Training

Copyright holder: Original Edition ©2004 by Nightingale-Conant. Text edition ©2009 by Dale Carnegie & Associates, Inc.

Publisher: Simon and Schuster (Fireside)

Get the Book:

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.