What’s better, to be rich or famous? It’s a fun question to ponder. As a guy who has achieve some measure of both fame and wealth, I can testify without a doubt that…this is a very foolish question. A much better question might be:
To truly make a positive and profound difference in the world, which of those two situations would allow you to achieve that result faster?
There are too many superficial books, vapid motivational speeches, and hot takes on social media dedicated to wrong questions. Almost anything that matters in life involves a lot more nuance. Back in 2013, as I did the book tour for Risky Is the New Safe, I was aghast by how often the people interviewing me asked what I considered to be inane questions. Let’s explore some of them, and what better questions may be…
Wrong question: Do you really believe we will be able to vacation on the moon in my lifetime?
Better questions: Who owns the moon? How can we divide it without all the territorial wars it took on earth? What are the effects of reduced gravity on things like weight loss, libido, muscle strength, appetite, and plant growth?
Wrong question: Shouldn’t all human cloning be banned worldwide by the UN?
Better question: What’s the best defense against clone armies?
Wrong question: Will I really be able to buy a home on the ocean floor with a coral reef garden and sharks swimming by?
Better question: How will the value of ocean-floor real estate effect the value of oceanfront real estate?
Wrong question: When completely immersive virtual reality sex comes available, shouldn’t it be outlawed?
Better questions: Can it prevent pedophiles from victimizing children? What role could virtual reality play in mental health counseling and addiction treatment? Can delicious virtual reality meals prevent obesity?
Wrong question: How do we save mom and pop retailers?
Better questions: Are there any other industries still trying to operate with the same business model today that we used 150 years ago? How will we process, deliver, and handle payments for the automatic orders placed by “smart appliances?”
Wrong question: With social media and mobile apps now, does my business still need a website?
Better question: What is the ultimate service my company provides to our customers and how do they like to buy it?
Wrong question: How do I raise my kids test scores?
Better question: How do I teach my kids how to think?
Many times, the most important question to consider is whether you are asking the right questions. Because if you ask the wrong question, the answer is often irrelevant. And sometimes dangerous. Do you want to be more successful in life? Ask better questions. Want to save the world? Teach your kids how to ask better questions.
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