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Annie Duke

The Power of Knowing When to Walk Away

4.5 (289 ratings)
16 mins

Brief summary

"Quit" by Annie Duke is a self-help book that challenges readers to embrace uncertainty and make better decisions by rethinking their relationship with risk. Through personal anecdotes and expert insights, Duke offers practical tools for changing our mindset and overcoming the fear of failure.

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    Quit
    Summary of 6 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 6

    Quitting can be a virtue.

    There’s something that epitomizes the value of quitting – and it’s called poker. Knowing when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em, as Kenny Rogers famously sang, is the essence of the game. 

    Do poker pros rely on grit, persevering through tough times, to win hands? Hardly. In fact, pros fold more than half the time – far more often than amateurs. Poker rookies, in contrast, typically play out their hands. They’re driven by the need to see if they can pull out a miraculous straight – and fearful of losing the money they’ve already bet. How are they rewarded? By losing their shirts. 

    In the narrative we spin about success, we have a bias toward “winners.” We fixate on the inspiration of success stories – like that magical, last-minute straight flush. What we don’t highlight are the people who stopped short of their goal – the thing we might call “failure” – and benefited from it. 

    But quitting is a wise reaction to changing circumstances, and this makes it a vital skill. 

    Take mountain climbing, for example. Each year, many people try to make the ultimate climb to the summit of Mount Everest. A number of them make it. And quite a few die, falling victim to the mountain’s famously hostile environment. People in both categories persevered; some reached their dream, and others succumbed to their fate.

    Other climbers, though, make it almost all the way to the top of the world’s tallest mountain – only to turn around and give up because conditions become unsafe or they run out of time. These people make a choice that often saves their lives. 

    If there’s one thing to learn from these sensible climbers and poker pros, it’s this: quitting can be a virtue. And it’s definitely not something to be ashamed of. In the next sections, we’ll look deeper into the benefits of quitting – and when and how to bow out.

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    What is Quit about?

    Quit (2022) makes the case for an undervalued and important skill that can lead to success: knowing when to bow out. It lends nuance to the old-school advice that grit and perseverance are necessary to achieve goals – and offers a manual on how to quit, even when it’s difficult. 

    Quit Review

    Quit (2020) by Annie Duke is a book that explores the science and psychology of decision-making and why quitting can be a powerful strategy for success. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Packed with insightful anecdotes and practical advice, it helps readers understand how to make better decisions and improve their overall decision-making skills.
    • By sharing real-life examples and personal experiences, Annie Duke provides a relatable perspective, making the book engaging and relatable.
    • Its thought-provoking exploration of the concept of quitting challenges conventional wisdom and encourages readers to reimagine their approach to decision-making, keeping the book far from boring.

    Who should read Quit?

    • People facing a big decision or planning ahead for a major life change 
    • Highly motivated people who find the prospect of quitting appalling
    • Those stuck in a career or project that feels like a dead end

    About the Author

    Annie Duke has made a career out of making decisions. She honed her skills as a longtime professional poker player, winning more than $4 million as well as a World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions. She now works as a consultant and writer. Her other books include How to Decide and the best-selling Thinking in Bets

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    Quit FAQs 

    What is the main message of Quit?

    The main message of Quit is about reevaluating our decisions and knowing when to quit to achieve success.

    How long does it take to read Quit?

    The reading time for Quit varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Quit a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Quit is a compelling read that provides valuable insights into decision-making. It's definitely worth your time.

    Who is the author of Quit?

    The author of Quit is Annie Duke.

    What to read after Quit?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Quit, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke
    • The Easy Way to Stop Smoking by Allen Carr
    • How to Decide by Annie Duke
    • Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath
    • Allen Carr's Easy Way to Quit Emotional Eating by Allen Carr
    • Eat More, Live Well by Megan Rossi
    • How to Know a Person by David Brooks
    • Dopamine Detox by Thibaut Meurisse
    • Less Doing, More Living by Ari Meisel
    • The Warren Buffett Way by Robert G. Hagstrom