Half Man Half Noodle

Why the powerful master should always be the student

The Student

The student is always learning, well, they should be anyway. But sometimes the student is distracted by the hot girl in class or is skipping class to smoke. Blame the teacher!

Everything you know now is secondhand, things you know only because someone told you. Since you were a child, you were learning from teachers, parents, friends. People took time to explain, and show you how things worked. You are still a student of life. There’s more information out there that you don’t know, than you do. That’s ok. What would be the point of life if you knew it all?

Your thinking about all the things you figured out yourself, I know it! Most likely as a result of information someone else put out there. Or as a result of information you gained from others. We stand on the shoulders of giants. We are able to understand the world better because of the work done by the great thinkers who came before us. 

The Master

Even when you become the all knowing omnipotent master, stay humble. There are still endless skills and information to learn. You won’t even know all the information within your mastered topic. This means being patient with others. Don’t judge others as “stupid” if they don’t know something. I know next to nothing about acrylic nails, game design, or the stock market. Does that mean I’m stupid? Stupidity shouldn’t be defined as lack of knowledge. It should be when we repeat situations that are not conducive to our success. We all do stupid things often but we should eventually learn.


If your life doesn’t feel like you want it to, there’s a lot you have done. Both on purpose and by accident that has made it that way. You must continue to be both the student and the master. A rise in tide raises all ships. Supporting your friends will help you too. Being a better partner will in turn help the relationship, which will help you. Despite how much you know, be the student, you can learn from everyone. A fool will learn nothing from a wise man, but a wise man will learn much from a fool.

I’ve been learning a lot from Shane Parrish over at Farnham Street this week. He is continually distilling information from the ultra wise so that we can benefit. Check out the work on Mental Models and Decision making in particular. Check it out here.