Copyright 2012  Barbara Bentley  All Rights Reserved
Author of "A Dance with the Devil: A True Story of Marriage to a Psychopath" and "The Little Book of Success: Turn Your Dreams into Reality with Four Simple Tools"

“I do the very best I know how –
the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the end.”
Abraham Lincoln

Each person’s story is unique, but in this shared existence called humanity we soon discover we are not alone in our
personal thoughts and desires. We may differ in the color of our skin, the religion we practice, our ethnic roots, our
education, our intelligence, or our talents, but deep down we have similar goals that define us as human. The most basic
goal is survival. We come screaming into the world without an instruction booklet and shift into survival mode, looking
for our first meal as we fill our lungs with oxygen. Once our basic needs are met, we begin to develop. With each
decision we make as we chart our life's journey, we uncover a new and amazing world of opportunities and adventures.
Soon we realize we need tools to help us achieve our goals. It’s easy to understand the importance of using the right
physical tools to complete a project. It is less easy, but equally important, to understand that the right mental tools are
just as important for our personal success.  
Before I began to write my memoir A Dance with the Devil: A True Story of Marriage to a Psychopath, I scoured photo
albums, calendars, day planners, and documents, digging deeper and deeper into my experiences to understand what had
happened in my life. As I dusted away the cobwebs and organized and analyzed my data, a pattern emerged: the
successes in my life occurred when I had faithfully applied four tools I came to recognize as passion, planning, patience,
and persistence.  These four P's are simple and effective. And they are free.  
In this little book of success I use four major endeavors in my life to illustrate how the four P’s helped me attain
success, one P at a time, as I built a home, completed my education, changed the law, and wrote a book.  It is my hope
that seeing the four P’s in action will inspire you to recognize your own hopes and dreams, and know they are possible
to attain. No one’s story and talents are more important than anyone else's. What is important is what you do with your
story and talents to help yourself and others. You hold the tools within you to achieve the successes that fill your life
with meaning and pleasure.   
Tools are nothing more than aids. When weeds grow in our gardens, we grab a hoe, shovel, rake, garbage bags, gloves,
hand trowels, spiked weeders, knee pads, and attack. We pull, hack, rake, and dig. At the end of the day, we feel
exhausted but satisfied when we can see the beautiful weed-free garden, the path down the middle, and the pile of filled
garbage sacks. We have accomplished something. We have changed the garden for the better. In the same way, we can
change our lives with the tools of passion, planning, patience, and persistence.
This little book of success is designed with mobility in mind. You can take it with you anywhere, as a paperback book
or in your electronic device. You can also write the four P’s on a Post-It or note card and stick it in a purse, in a
briefcase, on a nightstand, next to a TV, on your office desk, in your car, on your workbench, on a mirror, on the
refrigerator – anywhere where the words will help you achieve your passion.  And when life seems to be getting the
better of you, flip open this book or turn on your electronic reader for an extra nudge to keep you moving forward.  Let
it inspire you to recognize the greatness within you.
Barbara Bentley - Introduction