The Latest Episodes of INSIGHT with Chris Van Vliet
July 19, 2022

If You Ask Better Questions, You Get Better Answers.

If You Ask Better Questions, You Get Better Answers.

The quality of your life is the quality of the questions that you ask. I'm so pumped to be able to connect with you one-on-one for this solo episode. I feel so incredibly fortunate to be able to spend the last 17 years working as a TV Host and Entertainment Reporter and talking to some of the biggest stars in the world like The Rock, Oprah Winfrey, John Cena, Leonardo Di Caprio, Julia Roberts and so many others. I learned that if you ask better questions, you get better answers. And that doesn't just apply to the questions that you ask of others; it is most important for the questions that you ask of yourself!

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Why you should ask better questions:

Tony Robbins says that the quality of your life is the quality of the questions that you ask. So for the last 17 years, I have been so fortunate to work as a TV host and an entertainment reporter. I have shared conversations with people like The Rock, Tom Cruise, Oprah Winfrey, Adam Sandler, Julia Roberts, Ryan Reynolds, and so many others! I have learned quickly that if you ask better questions, you get better answers.

Where it all began:

I have always been a naturally curious person. Maybe you can relate to this. If you can’t relate personally then you definitely know somebody who is like this. I was that annoying kid who was like why/ Why is that? Why why why? Until you’re parents are like ‘Just because! OK!’ I got obsessed also with the word how, how do things work? I was the kid who would take their pen apart during class and I would be like ‘Oh there is a spring in here. If I stretch the spring, my pen now clicks faster.’ I’m sure you can relate to this, I like to call it conscious curiosity. It is this general wonder of who, what, where, when, why and how? That curiosity that I had as a kid, it really grew and it lead me to what I am doing now here on TV, YouTube and on the podcast. I have told this story several other times and I am sure you have heard it, but basically I talked my way into getting my first TV shop. I kind of lied my way into it. Basically I was like ‘Hey I’m going to be in town next Thursday, if you have some time can I come and maybe talk to you about the job?’ It worked, and here I am now because it worked. 

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Do you enjoy your job?

It’s amazing to me, because as kids we are always asked the same question, and you know the question, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ And there is this general attitude of we encourage kids to dream as big as possible. Then this strange thing seems to happen. When we “Grow up” because none of us have really grown up and figured this out, but the question becomes ‘So what do you do?’ It shifts from what do you want to be to what do you do? And you can define by this job that you have, and for so many people it is not a job that you enjoy doing. 

What are you waiting for?

I want to ask you a different question, ‘When did your journey begin?’ It’s not the day that you were born, but when did you get on that path that you are on now, and is it really your path that you are on? If it is not the path you want to be on, what are you doing to really get back to the things that juice you and really fulfill you every single day. It’s really important to not just ask great questions of other people, but so important to start with yourself. A big question that you should be asking yourself right now is what are you waiting for? There is no such thing as the perfect time. For me, I realized in my senior year at college at 21 years old that after graduation, we were going to have to work for the rest of our lives. I was having the best time of my life in college, I was living with my 4 best friends and we would decide whether we would sleep in or go to class or drink beer. I asked myself in this moment, I asked myself if I would be happy waking up and going to a job I don’t enjoy for the next 40 or 50 years. Then more importantly, if I settle for a job now that has decent pay and benefits, am I going to be happy in 40 or 50 years knowing that I could have tried harder and could have pushed more in my 20s and 30s. If somebody out there is doing what you want to do, I know it makes some people jealous, but it makes me pumped up! It makes me pumped up knowing that the path has been carved by that person and I can reverse engineer my way back from there. 

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A lesson from Oprah Winfrey:

I do think that social media is the worst for this. It shows the highlight reels of people’s lives and so rarely shows the bumps in the road. So if the quality of your life is the quality of the questions that you ask, what are the questions that you are asking of yourself? I heard a great story that Oprah sets an intention for every interview. In the green room beforehand, she would ak the person ‘What is the intention for this interview? What do you want people to feel about you once this interview is done?’ And now she is not doing as many interviews, she sets an intention for every meeting that she is in. At the start of every interview she asks ‘What is our intention? What do we want to achieve when it is done?’ From that I take the idea that it is so important to have a vision and a clarity and an intention for your life. 

What is your intention?

What if you started asking those questions of yourself? What is my intention for today? What is my intention for this week, this month or this year? What is my intention for this event I am walking into, this interview that I am doing, this meeting I am having? The reason why I ask people at the end of every interview what they are grateful for is 1) I am genuinely interested to hear what they are grateful for, but 2) I want people who are listening to go ‘Oh my gosh. That person who is so successful and has it all is grateful for things like their health and family. I can be grateful for those things too.’

Be grateful for what you have:

I learned that it is impossible to be simultaneously angry and grateful. If you are angry, maybe focus on the things that you do have, instead of the things that you don’t have. And start asking better questions, of others of course, but mostly of yourself.