This question goes to the heart of how we define ourselves.

In short, how do labels help?

In many such relationships, the Student may well have much to offer to the Master, so then the Master is also a Student.

The labels we use can impact how we turn up and how we engage with the other people in relationships.

Why not then just turn up as yourself, embodying not only Master and Student but everything in between?

Questions in the Image:

  • Who is the master and who is the student?
  • Does it matter?
  • How do the titles help?

Want to Read More Around This Topic?

Mastery by Robert Greene (link to Mastery provides a deep dive into the process of attaining mastery and shows how the journey to mastery is one of continual learning. While it does not explicitly focus on the student-master relationship, it implicitly underscores the idea that even masters are perpetual students, always open to learning and evolving.

Nurturing Curiosity – Daily Practice: This is part of the Nurturing Curiosity series of tools, insights and questions designed to help nurture curiosity as part of our daily practice. In point of fact, every interaction we have is an opportunity to question what we are observing and how we and others are seeing the world. Also remember that questions come in many forms throughout our day – a new connection on LinkedIn raises the question of How might I serve this person? Followed immediately by: And what about my existing network? How am I serving them? Where might I do a better job?

About Tom O’Leary

My mission is to help others think differently – meaning more broadly and deeply – and thereby make better decisions. The key to thinking differently lies in our curiosity.

The more we question, the more possible answers we uncover, and the more we expand what we thought possible. Life has taught me that possibility lies not so much in seeking answers but in learning to ask better questions – the ones that help prioritise what is truly essential.

And yet, in a culture obsessed with efficiency and productivity, the paradox is that much energy and resources are wasted by a bias towards action over contemplation. If you are answering the wrong question, it doesn’t matter how ‘hard’ you work, you are still answering the wrong question.

That is why I am a big advocate of nurturing curiosity and innovative thinking at all ages, particularly amongst leaders because of the impact they have on us all. In my vision, leaders aren’t boxed in by traditional thinking or established playbooks. They are curious, open to fresh ideas and diverse perspectives, fostering a culture of exploration and learning.

What Thoughts Would You Like to Share?

I welcome your thoughts, feedback, or personal experiences related to these questions or any insights they may have sparked.