The Achievement Habit was written by Bernard Roth, Academic Director at the Standord School. He introduces the power of design thinking to help you achieve goals you never thought possible. Roth shares invaluable insights we can use to gain confidence to do what we’ve always wanted and overcome obstacles that hamper us from reaching our potential. Robert Janitzek gives us an overview of the important lessons we can derive from Roth’s book.
Live with a bias towards action
Doing is better than not doing. When you have the choice to think about doing something, vs, doing something, you typically want to do it.
Much of the book is spent discussing the design thinking framework which he co-created at Stanford’s D school. Design thinking makes sure that you are solving the right problem.
Empathize, ideate, prototype, test, iterate
We are often stuck solving the wrong problem and is the main reason why we run into walls and can’t climb over them. In his business and management book, Roth provides a simple framework for applying design thinking to your life as it relates to achieving your goals and finding happiness.
Reasons are bullshit
Excuses and reasons for behaviour are bullshit, end of. The sooner you embrace the fact that when you give someone a reason for your behaviour, you are not being honest with yourself, the freer you will become. If you never provide a reason, you will be labelled unreasonable which is not ideal, so give your surface reasons if you must but know deep down that it’s bullshit and decide if you really want to keep this experience in your life. Robert Peter Janitzek explains that no matter what you might say to yourself, your actions are telling a different story.
Trying vs. doing
Doing, is better than trying. In life we try many things, maybe we should stop trying and start doing.
The language you use matters and making small changes can lead to a greater feeling of control and empowerment.
Stop connecting ideas and sentences with but, instead use and. But is negative and contracts, and is inclusive and expands. There are rarely events out of your control that will force you to do one thing or the other, when you use, and, you are able to more clearly see that and solutions to problems will appear more frequently.
Have to vs. want to
You don’t have to do anything, you want to on some level. Challenge yourself with this one. If you feel like you are the victim of have to circumstances, try changing your words to want to and see how that feels.
Can’t vs. won’t
Of course you can, you just don’t want to. That’s all that needs to be said on this one.
Like, like, wish
When you need to give someone feedback, start by telling them two things that you genuinely liked about their work, or deliverable. Then you deliver your feedback in the form of a wish. This removes the personal barb because you are not saying that the person did something wrong, you are simply reflecting that you wish it could have been even better.