Summary Of Bernard Roth's The Achievement Habit

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Rather than taking self accountability or responsibility for their own actions, people tend to fall back on reasons in the attempt to blame external factors as barriers to their success. For example, a college student may claim that he or she could not make it to class on time as a result of his or her alarm not going off. However, Bernard Roth disproves this, writing that “it is you, not external circumstances, who determines the quality of your life” in his book The Achievement Habit: Stop Wishing, Start Doing and Take Command of Your Life (20). In his book, Roth effectively uses Aristotle’s rhetorical triangle in chapter two as he uses logos, pathos and ethos to convey a convincing argument that reasons are “bullshit”.
To begin, although Roth does not directly appeal to logos in the text, he mentions design thinking, a multi step technique for breaking through walls and overcoming excuses, as designed by David Kelley at Stanford.
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Dr. Roth would consider these goooood reasons that are invalid; however, it is important to empathize with others in situations like these. With situations like these, it is the responsibility of the student to proactive, tell the truth, and withstand the consequences. Essentially, the student should find a “happy medium” between their mental state and their ability to push on and continue to strive for success.
All in all, Roth is very convincing in his argument for everyday excuses. However, some excuses should be the exception; in times of hardship, one must face their issue head on, and sometimes that requires setting aside school or work. Through rhetorical analysis, one can recognize how strong Roth’s argument truly is; that there should be no room for reasons in daily

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