How to Make Better Decisions with Annie Duke

I’m really excited to share this week’s episode with you because it’s about something we all do every single day without really thinking much about it. And since my 60 Mindful Minutes podcast is all about being more conscious and intentional, I love looking deeply at things we do mostly in an automated way.

I’m talking about how we make decisions. When you look at your life, no doubt you can see that a lot of decisions have been made and these have gotten you where you are now. Some are small—like the decision to eat eggs for breakfast instead of cereal—and some are big decisions, such as who you decided to marry, the career you decided to pursue or where you chose to live.

If you’re like me, you might start to see that you’re not really sure how you decided these big things. Or maybe, also like me, you just haven’t given much thought to assessing your decision-making skills.

This week’s guest is Annie Duke, the author of the new book, How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices. In her research and career as a championship poker player and public speaker, Annie has sought to understand and to teach what we should do when faced with a big decision. As Annie discovers, science and research has lots to tell us about why and how to move on from the typical pro and con list approach, how to move past analysis paralysis and how to stop second-guessing ourselves. Turns out there is a better way to make quality decisions that leave us feeling confident and clear.

In this episode we discuss:

  • how our biases and desires affect what we see or are willing to see
  • why we should realize how much good and bad luck factors into our outcomes
  • how to use preference, payoffs and probabilities as decision-making tools
  • having more compassion to other people’s outcomes
  • how the gut and intuition factors in

Decision making is a learned skill that we can strengthen, and Annie teaches us how in the hour ahead.


Annie Duke has leveraged her expertise in the science of smart decision making to excel at pursuits as varied as championship poker to public speaking. Annie’s latest book, How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices, is available on September 15, 2020 from Portfolio, a Penguin Random House imprint. Her previous book, Thinking in Bets, is a national bestseller. In the book, Annie reveals to readers the lessons she regularly shares with her corporate audiences, which have been cultivated by combining her academic studies in cognitive psychology with real-life decision making experiences at the poker table.

For two decades, Annie was one of the top poker players in the world. In 2004, she bested a field of 234 players to win her first World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet. The same year, she triumphed in the $2 million winner-take-all, invitation-only WSOP Tournament of Champions. In 2010, she won the prestigious NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship. She retired from the game in 2012. Prior to becoming a professional poker player, Annie was awarded a National Science Foundation Fellowship to study Cognitive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned her master’s degree. Learn more at www.annieduke.com

better decisions


See you next time!



Kristen Manieri is a Certified Mindfulness and Resilience Teacher specializing in: stress reduction, energy management, mindset, resilience, meditation, habit formation, rest rituals, and self-care. As the host of the weekly 60 Mindful Minutes podcast, an Apple top 100 social science podcast, Kristen has interviewed over 100 authors and thought leaders about what it means to live a more conscious, connected, intentional and joyful life. Learn more at kristenmanieri.com/work-with-me.

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