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MentorBox Podcast


Feb 12, 2018

“If you take the zoom lens off your camera to see the wide angle of what the arc of your life might look like, you start to imagine future scenarios based on the decision and end up with a better, more rational decision.” - Annie Duke

(click to tweet)

When making decisions, embrace uncertainty.

Because then you’ll know what you don’t know. From there, you can calculate the probabilities of potential outcomes based on the information you have. If the likelihood isn’t convincing, you know what information needs to be sought out before moving forward.

On today’s episode of The MentorBox Podcast, we are joined by professional poker player, Annie Duke. She is the author of Thinking in Bets, and holds the 2004 World Series of Poker bracelet. There is no better person to learn about decision-making frameworks than a poker player. In this interview, Annie spells out how we can approach making the best decision possible, no matter how big or small, or professional or personal.

Tune in today to transform your decision-making framework into a weapon.

You can order Annie Duke’s Thinking in Bets here

“Very often we’re not even thinking about the fact that we’re making a decision and the impact the decision will have.” - Annie Duke

(click to tweet)

Points to Keep In Mind

  • Think of yourself as a poker player over chess player when making decisions
  • Chess is a game with a lot of certainty; poker is a game of making decisions based on uncertainty
    • Chess is a computational problem; poker is a game theory problem
  • Read Theory of Games and Economic Behavior by John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern
  • Resulting is when you unrealistically base decision-quality based off results
    • Look at the infamous Pete Carroll rush/pass play call in Super Bowl 2015
  • When you rely on your gut, you will not seek out new information
  • When you acknowledge the incomplete information in the equation, you will become curious information-seekers
  • When you acknowledge probability and value, your workstack will adjust accordingly
  • Add ‘yes, but how often?’ to the poker expression “Any two cards can win” when trying to understand fate
  • Exit the moment to better evaluate the decision in terms of overall arc of happiness by incorporating future
  • Our emotions live in the prefrontal cortex
  • The Ulysses pact binds yourself to a future scenario
    • It either increases the barriers to bad behavior or lowers the barrier to good behavior
  • The moment is magnified in the moment, making the past and future almost disappear
  • An element of decision-making is knowing what the desired end is
  • Judge others less by separating their decisions from their values from their goals
  • Don’t conflate certainty with confidence
  • The meaning of life is unknowable; so if there is no point, ask yourself how you can be okay with that
  • Look at schools of fish to understand how local rules are disguised as global action
  • Gamify your life to look at your goals as winning
  • Read SuperBetter: The Power of Living Gamefully by Jane McGonigal to understand that
  • Combat nihilism by understanding there’s a finite supply of water
  • Don’t come to your boss with problems without at least an attempt to solve the problem