“Quit: The Power of Knowing When to Walk Away” (# Ad) is a book written by Annie Duke, a former professional poker player and decision-making expert. The book explores the concept of quitting as an essential strategy for success in various aspects of life, such as business, sports, and personal relationships.
Duke argues that quitting is not necessarily a negative outcome but can instead be a deliberate and strategic decision that leads to better results in the long run. The book provides practical advice and real-world examples to help readers understand how to apply the principle of quitting in their own lives.
Duke believes that people often fall into the trap of persevering with a particular strategy or course of action, even when it’s clear that it’s not working. She argues that the ability to recognize when it’s time to quit and pivot to a different strategy is a crucial skill for success in various aspects of life, including business, sports, and personal relationships.
Throughout the book, Duke shares insights and examples from her own experiences and from other successful individuals to illustrate how the principle of quitting can be applied in practice. She discusses how to assess when quitting is the best option, how to overcome the fear of quitting, and how to quit in a way that maximizes your chances of success.
Top 25 Quotes from “Quit: The Power of Knowing When to Walk Away”
“When people quit on time, it will usually feel like they are quitting too early, because it will be long before they experience the choice as a close call.” ― Annie Duke
“Contrary to popular belief, winners quit a lot. That’s how they win.” ― Annie Duke
“If you feel like you’ve got a close call between quitting and persevering, it’s likely that quitting is the better choice.” ― Annie Duke
“In large part, we are what we do, and our identity is closely connected with whatever we’re focused on, including our careers, relationships, projects, and hobbies. When we quit any of those things, we have to deal with the prospect of quitting part of our identity. And that is painful.” ― Annie Duke
“Switching to something, like a new job or a new major or a new relationship or a new business strategy, is perceived as a new decision, and an active one. In contrast, we don’t really view the choice to stick with the status quo as a decision at all.” ― Annie Duke
“At the moment that quitting becomes the objectively best choice, in practice things generally won’t look particularly grim, even though the present does contain clues that can help you figure out how the future might unfold. The problem is, perhaps because of our aversion to quitting, we tend to rationalize away the clues contained in the present that would allow us to see how bad things really are.” ― Annie Duke
“Success does not lie in sticking to things. It lies in picking the right thing to stick to and quitting the rest.” ― Annie Duke
“this idea of casting yourself into the future, imagining a failure, and then looking back to try to figure out why is called a premortem. Using a premortem is a great tool to help develop high-quality kill criteria.” ― Annie Duke
“What is true for grit is true for optimism. Optimism gets you to stick to things that are worthwhile. But optimism also gets you to stick to things that are no longer worthwhile. And life’s too short to do that.” ― Annie Duke
“In fact, losing feels about two times as bad to us as winning feels good to us.” ― Annie Duke
“They learned the lesson the ants have down pat: Don’t wait to be forced to quit to start exploring alternatives.” ― Annie Duke
“We are all trying to defend ourselves against how we imagine other people are going to judge us.” ― Annie Duke
“Quit and grit are two sides of the exact same decision. Decision-making in the real world requires action without complete information. Quitting is the tool that allows us to react to new information that is revealed after we make a decision.” ― Annie Duke
“By not quitting, you are missing out on the opportunity to switch to something that will create more progress toward your goals. Anytime you stay mired in a losing endeavor, that is when you are slowing your progress. Anytime you stick to something when there are better opportunities out there, that is when you are slowing your progress.” ― Annie Duke
“Quitting is hard, too hard to do entirely on our own. We as individuals are riddled by the host of biases, like the sunk cost fallacy, endowment effect, status quo bias, and loss aversion, which lead to escalation of commitment. Our identities are entwined in the things that we’re doing. Our instinct is to want to protect that identity, making us stick to things even more.” … “That’s why Daniel Kahneman thinks he needs a quitting coach, and why we all ought to see that need.” ― Annie Duke
“Optimism makes you less likely to walk away while not actually increasing your chances of success. That means that being overly optimistic will make you stick to things longer that aren’t worthwhile. Better to be well calibrated. Life’s too short to spend your time on opportunities that are no longer worthwhile.” ― Annie Duke
“When someone is on the outside looking in, they can usually see your situation more rationally than you can. The best quitting coach is a person who loves you enough to look out for your long-term well-being. They are willing to tell you the hard truth even if it means risking hurt feelings in the short term. Decisions about when to quit improve when the people who make the decisions to start things are different from the people who make the decisions to stop those things. Getting the most out of a quitting coach requires permission to speak the truth.” ― Annie Duke
“Silicon Valley is famous for mantras like “move fast and break things” and implementing them through strategies like “minimum viable product” (MVP). These types of agile strategies can only work if you have the option to quit. You can’t put out an MVP unless you have the ability to pull it back. The whole point is to get information quickly, so you can quit the stuff that isn’t working and stick with the things that are worthwhile or develop new things that might work even better.” ― Annie Duke
“When we are in the losses, we are not only more likely to stick to a losing course of action, but also to double down. This tendency is called escalation of commitment. Escalation of commitment is robust and universal, occurring in individuals, organizations, and governmental entities. All of us tend to get stuck in courses of action once started, especially in the face of bad news. Escalation of commitment doesn’t just occur in high-stakes situations. It also happens when the stakes are low, demonstrating the pervasiveness of the error.” ― Annie Duke
“The status quo represents a mental account that we already have open, which has sunk costs associated with it, the time, money, or effort that has already been put into the way we’ve been doing things. Closing that account by switching to a new option can make us feel like we are wasting those resources we have already spent. We also become endowed to the status quo, taking ownership of the decisions that have kept us in that groove and anything we have created along the way.” ― Annie Duke
“John Maynard Keynes, one of the most influential economists of the twentieth century, summed up this phenomenon well when he said, “Worldly wisdom teaches that it is better for reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally.” Succeeding unconventionally carries with it the risk of experiencing failure as a result of veering from the status quo.” ― Annie Duke
“We are much more concerned with errors of commission than errors of omission (failures to act). We’re more wary of “causing” a bad outcome by acting than “letting it happen” through inaction.” ― Annie Duke
“When you are weighing whether to quit something or stick with it, you can’t know for sure whether you can succeed at what you’re doing because that’s probabilistic. But there is a crucial difference between the two choices. Only one choice—the choice to persevere—lets you eventually find out the answer.” ― Annie Duke
“A common, simple way to develop kill criteria is with “states and dates:” “If by (date), I have/haven’t (reached a particular state), I’ll quit.” ― Annie Duke
“We are much more bothered by the downside potential of changing course than we are by the downside potential of staying on the path we’re already on.” ― Annie Duke