I have just finished reading The Achievement Habit by Stanford design professor Bernard Roth. It is a mishmash of self-help chestnuts from est (Erhard Seminars Training) to Bernie's own stories of marriage, friendship, and teaching. He is critical enough of his wife in the first half of the book that I was most uncomfortable on her behalf, and most grateful not to be her.
The Achievement Habit itself is based on the IDEO (a Palo Alto creativity consultancy with which Roth has been associated) concept of
Empathize- with the environment of the issue, the people involved, yourself-if it is your problem
Define Problem (make sure it is the RIGHT one)
Ideate- generate ideas about and possible solutions to the problem
Prototype-make a sample solution for at least part of the problem
Test- the prototype.
The concept was initially used in product creation. In this case Roth describes how Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test can be used as a foundation for personal change.
I learned about the IDEO model from a joint presentation by David Cooperrider, the creator of Appreciative Inquiry and David Kelley, founder of IDEO, at a national Appreciative Inquiry conference some years ago.
I'm frustrated by the book. It doesn't contain anything I have not known AND used myself in workshops, classes or training. It has very minimal "evidence-based" practice and an overwhelming amount of twaddle--Roth's personal stories of his own achievements.
And, of course, I'm mad at myself for falling for yet another "how to succeed without really trying" by some big name I recognize as having credibility (the last having been Mary Karr's useless book about how to write a memoir).
So, don't buy or borrow The Achievement Habit. It will not untie any knots in your psyche and it will not lengthen your life, unless boredom and redundancy can be claimed to do so.