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PODCAST: Make Better Decisions Now with Annie Duke

“We have this battle between the person who we are right now and the person we want to be in the future.”

There are many reasons we make poor decisions, but one reason is that we only take short-term gain into account. That’s why we have to be time-travelers—in a manner of speaking, Annie says. Taking a moment to think, “What would Future Me think say about this situation?” could change what you do today, at this moment. A large source of frustration is probably a blip to your future self. The idea of this exercise is to give yourself some much-needed objectivity.

“You should wrap your arms around [uncertainty] and give it a big ol’ hug.”

The power of “I’m not sure” might surprise you.

First, saying, “I’m not sure” isn’t the same as, “I have no idea.”

You probably know, based on your best guess and your values, what you will do after listening to this podcast episode. By leaving room for some uncertainty, you’re opening your mind up to alternate paths and decisions.

By the same token, having complete certainty in your beliefs can be limiting. If you only seek out information that confirms your beliefs, you’re missing out on potentially valuable information from an opposing side.

You’re never going to be 100% certain. But if you’re certain enough, that should be enough.

“Why am I here?”

You can do the math and make your decision tree (she explains how in the episode) to get clarity on your position. But all of that may not matter if you don’t know how you got to where you’re at. You have to carefully consider emotional angles as well as logical ones when you’re weighing decisions—one of the reasons why a pros and cons list won’t cut it for decision-making.