The Achievement Habit

Stop Wishing, Start Doing, and Take Command of Your Life

by Bernard Roth

Number of pages: 288

Publisher: Harper Business

BBB Library: Personal Success

ISBN: 978-0062356109

About the Author

Bernie Roth is the Rodney H. Adams Professor of Engineering at Stanford University.A longtime veteran of the Stanford design scene, he first came to the Stanford Design Division faculty in 1962. He arrived from New York City, his birthplace, with a wife, two children, a proper haircut, a sports jacket and a very traditional background in Mechanical Engineering and liberal New York politics.


Editorial Review

Whenever anyone makes an important change, it’s because a switch has flipped. Someone who has struggled his whole life with his weight finally decide to get fit. Someone who has put up with an abusive boss for years finally has enough and quits. A shift has happened that has made action favorable to inaction. You can sit around in the dark waiting for the light to come on, or you can get up, walk across the room, and flip the switch yourself.

Book Reviews

“Roth makes it easy for readers to follow suit. Each step is a logical progression from the previous one, so readers are advised to read the book straight through and not try to jump around searching for a quick solution.” — Kirkus Reviews

“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.” — Publishers Weekly

“Roth’s book is a call to action. It offers ways to get unstuck and start solving problems, to change your self-image (for instance, to think of yourself as being more creative), and to experience all that you can. It’s an enjoyable, uplifting read.” — Value Walk

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Wisdom to Share

There’s a big difference between Trying to do something and actually Doing it.

The mind is trickier than we think and is always working with our egos to sabotage our best intentions. That’s the human condition.

Achievement can be learned. It’s a muscle, and once you learn to flex it, there’s no end to what you can accomplish in life.

The classic model says that we think things through first and then act on our thoughts. Interestingly, this doesn’t hold up in clinical testing.

The meaning we find in people, objects, and our own circumstances is subjective. These things have no inherent meaning.

Functional and dysfunctional behavior both result from choices people make based on meaning they create.

Real achievement is having a good life; getting the job of living done in a satisfying way that nurtures the life force within us and within those we associate with.

Carol Dweck writes, “The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value.”

Our interpretations of our self-image – that of our bodies, emotions, actions, and thoughts – ultimately define for us who we are.

Reframing problems can lead to much better solutions. The basic idea behind reframing is to introduce a change of point of view into your thinking.