How to Decide: Better Choices, Better Life with Annie Duke

Annie Duke is the author of How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices and Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts. As a decision strategist and consultant, Annie coaches on the behavior of decision making, decision fitness, and emotional control. She is also Co-Founder and Board Member of the Alliance for Decision Education, a Philadelphia-based non-profit organization dedicated to empowering students with essential decision-making skills. Before her work as an author and consultant, Annie was a professional poker player who won more than $4 million in tournament poker before retiring in 2012.

Annie joins me today to explain why making a pros and cons list is an ineffective method to make decisions and outlines her six-step process for powerful decision-making. She discusses why people get stuck in analysis paralysis, describes how we can move past it, and defines the “resulting phenomenon.” She also emphasizes using happiness as a tool to measure the value of the choices we’re weighing and illustrates how the quality of our decisions impact the quality of our lives.

“There are two things that determine the quality of life: luck and decisions. Focus on the quality of your decisions; they’re the only ones you have control over.” – Annie Duke

This week on The School for Good Living Podcast:

  • How setting and following finite goals lead to existential disappointment
  • Why most people are bad at making decisions
  • How biases play into the decision-making process
  • The reason social media is a fertile breeding ground for misinformation and fake news
  • How long the average person decides what to eat, watch, and wear
  • The relationship between our quality of life and the decisions we make
  • Increasing the frequency of luck through decision-making
  • The resulting phenomenon and the importance of being aware of it
  • What the “resulting phenomenon” means
  • Annie’s six-step process for making better decisions
  • The two dimensions a pros and cons list lack that make it an ineffective decision-making tool
  • What motivated reasoning is and its relationship with assessing a decision
  • Using the happiness test to weigh decisions
  • The importance of teaching decision skills in schools
  • Annie’s weakness as a writer, how she overcomes them, and her writing process
  • Her advice for people who want to write

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