Simple Tools for Making Better Choices

How to Decide

Simple Tools for Making Better Choices

by Annie Duke


You make thousands of decisions every day—some big, some small. Some clearly of great consequence, like what job to take. And some clearly of little consequence, like what to eat for breakfast(ˈbrekfəst).

No ,matter what type of decision you’re facing, it’s imperative(əmˈperədiv) to develop a decision process that not only improves your decision quality, but also helps sort your decisions so you can identify which ones are bigger and which ones are smaller.

Why is it so important to have a high-quality decision process?

Because there are only two things that determine(dəˈtərmən) how your life turns out: luck and the quality of your decisions. You have control over only one of those two things.

Luck, by definition(ˌdefəˈniSH(ə)n), is out of your control. Where and when you were born, whether your boss comes into work in a bad mood, which admissions(ədˈmiSHən) officer happens to see your college application—these are all things that are out of your hands.

What you do have some control over, what you can improve, is the quality of your decisions. And when you make better-quality decisions, you increase the chances that good things will happen to you.

I believe this is a pretty noncontroversial(ˌnänˌkäntrəˈvərSH(ə)l) thing to say: It’s important to improve your decision process, because it’s the one thing you have control over in determining the quality of your life.