Annie Duke on Quitting, Part 11

Annie Duke, Quit

In her book, Quit: The Power of Knowing When to Walk Away, Annie Duke shares her inspiration and recommendations to help us make better decisions.

These are some of my favorite recommendations from reading the book.

Chapter 11 The Myopia of Goals

“Goals can make it possible to achieve worthwhile things, but goals can also increase the chances that we will escalate commitment when we should quit.”

“Goals are pass-fail in nature. You either reach the finish line or you don’t, and progress along the way matters very little.”

“Don’t just measure whether you hit the goal, ask what you have achieved and learned along the way.”

“Set intermediate goals and prioritize goals that allow you to recognize progress along the way or acquire something valuable even if you don’t reach the goal.”

“Goals, when set, are a proxy for an expected-value equation, balancing the benefits that you’re trying to gain against the costs you’re willing to bear.”

“Inflexible goals aren’t a good fit for a flexible world.”

“With better advance planning (like identifying monkeys and pedestals and kill criteria) and the help of a good quitting coach, you can make goals more flexible, setting at least one “unless” and planning regular check-ins on the analysis that initially led to setting the goal.”

“In general, when we quit, we fear two things: that we’ve failed and that we’ve wasted our time, effort, or money.”

“Waste is a forward-looking problem, not a backward-looking one.”