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Ask Better Questions: A Mental Model For Better Results

So last week I sent ya a link to an article from Ryan Holiday. About how he organizes information and takes notes.

Well, as a result of that email, some interesting things played out. The “butterfly effect” in action I guess.

One such thing was a customer who emailed me with a link to an article that he had written that complements Ryan’s note-taking system.

Similar topic, different application.

Where Ryan’s article is a workflow for note taking to assimilate information (and most importantly, easy retrieval for when needed later)…

… This other article is a “mental model” to leverage information overload; and a creative tool for problem solving.

It’s a new way of looking at the world and how to deal with information overload (a “lens” in which we can then filter information).

It’s simple, but brilliant!

Quick test for ya to sorta kinda demonstrate this in action.

Do this right now.

Seriously. Work with me here, okay? 🙂

(You can thank me later.)

Wherever you are right now reading this email…

Take no more than 10 seconds to look around the space you’re in. How many *round* (circular) objects do you see?

Come on, do it now.




Okay, cool.

Now without looking around again (ideally close your eyes), can you recall all the *red* objects you noticed? 🙂

You’re going to battle a bit.

Because of the input, your brain wasn’t paying attention to ‘red’. There was a “filter” in place (look for circular objects).

The brain is amazing at filtering information based on a SPECIFIC input (like a *powerful* question).

If you just did this exercise (of course you did), as a byproduct, something interesting is now going to happen to you for a while…

For the few hours (maybe the rest of the day even) you’re going to notice seeing a lot of RED. lol (sorry).

Here’s the thing tho…

Our brains are world class at IGNORING almost everything (that isn’t danger or a based on an input).

Without a SPECIFIC INSTRUCTION (like a question) our brains save “processing power” by focusing on nothing in particular.

Now here’s the cool thing…

This same idea can be applied to more important things in life and business.

The better the question, the better the answer will be.

“Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.” — E.E. Cummings

So last weekend after reading the article (link coming soon; hold your horses) I asked myself a question:

“What is the best traffic source for us, that plays to our core super-power skills, so that we can become World Class at it almost overnight?”

Notice I didn’t ask a leading question that presupposed an answer, like:

“How do I get good at Facebook Ads?” … or, “How do I crush it with YouTube advertising like [insert some rockstar name]?”

For example, if you’re absolutely hopeless at Facebook Ads, why try spend energy in becoming a rockstar at it?

In this scenario, an open-ended question is better. Cos it allows the brain to “filter” information as it looks for an answer through that “lens”.


Took my brain about 10 seconds to return the answer. In fact, the answer came back so quickly it surprised me.

Sometimes it takes longer. Sometimes your brain needs time to “chew” over it. Like at night when you’re sleeping.

The brain calls a “subconscious” board meeting. All the department heads show up, and the fun begins:

“Listen up people, André has thrown us a priority question. We need this solved asap – do you hear me? Suggestions?”

… Then you wake up and BOOM, like magic you have yourself an answer. lol.

Now go read the article:


Oh by the way – pay attention to the part in the article that talks about “tiny projects” as a mechanism to learn (action, feedback, reflection).

That’s something we do in TLB Tribe (a lot).

This week I started a challenge; to write “Morning Pages” for 30 days straight.

That thread in the TRIBE has gone nuts, as other members have thrown their hat into the ring to join in.

Action, feedback, reflection.


That’s it for this week.

Got something new and cool for ya next time.

Until them…

You’re a unicorn, so go kickass.

Andre “MP is amazing!” Chaperon