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The Quest Of Upside: Why Asking Questions Is Vital For Personal Growth

Mitchell Wilson


Mitchell Wilson


Feb 8, 2023

The Quest Of Upside: Why Asking Questions Is Vital For Personal Growth

It’s been awhile since I wrote the  No-Spot piece .

In it, the No-Spot revolved around risk-taking and how it unlocks upside, but I’ve developed a deeper insight into the real core of what makes the No-Spot such a powerful framework for breaking through where you currently are.

At the center of any intentional risk is the question of either “why do it” or “why not do it”. Soon you begin to see the No-Spot as more than just a risk-taking idea and instead more of a call to question your way towards growth.

It all comes down to the questions you ask.

Asking Questions > Seeking Advice

Advice Is Brittle

Advice is too context-dependent.

It may be absolute gold advice for a particular situation, but that doesn’t automatically mean you’ll find yourself in that specific situation and able to apply the advice you were given.

Naval Ravikant, founder of AngelList and one of the wisest brains I’ve studied, has a great take on advice: “I view the purpose of advice a little differently than most people. I view it as helping me have anecdotes and maxims that I can recall when I have my own direct experience and say, ‘Ah, that’s what that person meant’.”

You can accumulate advice, but keep its brittle nature in mind while you tuck it away for a later date.

Questions Are Flexible

Questions are adaptable to tons of situations and context-independent.

They are open-ended which helps you apply them to an array of topics and problems, but orienting enough to recalibrate you towards a solution to whatever it is you’re up against - even if you didn’t realize the obstacle initially.

You naturally want to figure things out and provide answers to any question raised. So don’t be surprised when a part of you eagerly and intuitively pops a potential answer into your mind immediately after having the question posed.

A question as simple as, “what did I learn today?” could be asked within the context of your work, your family, your relationship, or even personally. You can start to see how the value lies more in the question itself than the actual answer due to what it can possibly unlock for you.

Your Unique Interpretation

Questions lead the way.

You can follow a question throughout your life too, if it’s big enough.

“Why doesn’t that art exist yet?”

“What are my athletic limits?”

Or my personal favorite… “How in sync with the world can I possibly become?”

I believe it was Tony Robbins, the famous self-help guru, who said, “The quality of your questions determines the quality of your life.”

Seek To Understand

Find The Foundation

When you’re on a quest for truth, you’ll use your tool of questioning to dig and dig until you eventually reach a place of firm understanding.

In any given field, topic, or area of life, there are the underlying cornerstone aspects to understand.

What takes awhile is sorting through and moving beyond the fractal details as you question your way to bedrock.

Build Upon Your Understanding

Once you gain a foothold of truth, your knowledge base can reshuffle into something more structured and accurate - making it more accessible and useful as you move through life.

For example, in skydiving, the fundamentals are the emergency procedures for worst-case scenarios - all other skills being built upon that. In relationships, it’s after learning open honest direct communication that you have something stable to build on. In human behavior, what someone believes is actually shown in their habits and actions.

Choosing not to seek out a foundation to build upon will have you feeling lost and confused, at best knowing just enough to keep up, but not enough to be called upon for explanation.

Similar to how in public school the curriculum keeps progressing to more and more advanced concepts regardless of your performance on tests. You are forced to move on even if you don’t have a grip on the previous information.

Your life doesn’t need to be like that.

You are free to take the time to fully comprehend and question yourself and others until you’re ready to layer on the next bit.

Connect The Dots

Everything becomes more interactive as you build up from the fundamental bedrock.

You see more patterns both in the world and in yourself depending on the questions you pose to each.

The interrelationship becomes more obvious across topics, fields, areas of life, and your own diverse psyche.

You are able to make sense of things. The pieces of the puzzle come together. The dots connect.

Example Questions To Be Asking

“Did what I did lead to what I wanted?” (H/t  Corey Wilks, Psy.D. )

It’s important to spend at least an equal amount of time combing over the results as you did on the initial strategy.

Where can I remove friction and make this smoother?

Only after a question like this can you expose the unforeseen obstacles and operational  drags on your path .

When is the last time I took a deep breath?

A genuine re-sync for mind, body, spirit.

"If you have a ten year plan, what's stopping you from doing it in two?"

A major belief breaker because we have a  tendency to assume things are more difficult than they actually are. 

What am I willing to be irrationally obsessed with?

There’s no way to make an original contribution otherwise.

What belief do I hold that is preventing enjoyment?

A follow up question to this may be, “Why don’t I just let go of my grip on this belief?”

Build top-tier mental wealth

Let's keep your soul off airplane mode.

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