The Achievement Habit: Stop Wishing, Start Doing, and Take Command of Your Life

Bernard Roth. HarperBusiness, $27.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-06-235610-9
Roth, academic director of Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (known as the, offers an accessible primer to the basic elements of design theory, based on the premise that “achievement can be learned.” Tenets include “making the familiar unfamiliar,” individual responsibility, and reframing questions in order to find solutions. To illustrate the last principle’s importance, Roth describes some success stories, including presenting MRI testing to child patients as an “adventure.” He explains designer Rolf Faste’s 22 “tools from product design culture” for driving personal development, and celebrates the Stanford Design department’s embrace of the cooperative over the hierarchical. Roth also provides exercises to help readers reexamine their beliefs, evaluate their goals and motivations, and get over the habit of making excuses. He also addresses interpersonal skills, including constructive criticism, the importance of remembering names, and the use of improvisation during brainstorming sessions. Roth’s overall message is that identity is malleable and based on choices, meaning that anyone can choose to eliminate negative characteristics and embrace a more achievement-oriented course. While this book may not be the final fix for those struggling to achieve, it’s certainly a place to start. Agent: Lynn Johnston, Lynn Johnston Literary. (July)
Reviewed on: 04/27/2015
Release date: 07/01/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-5046-9928-0
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-986-213-666-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-5046-9927-3
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-245664-9
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-06-235612-3
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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