“The key is to fail, learn, and improve quickly. If you’re constantly learning and improving, your evolutionary process will be ascending. Do it poorly, it will be descending. So I believe evolving is life’s greatest accomplishment and its greatest award.”
― Ray Dalio

For several weeks now, I have been keeping a notebook of mistakes — or as I am starting to view them, life lessons.

In each of these entries, I identify the outcome, the root cause and what I would do differently if faced with the same situation in the future. The log is a combination of professional and personal missteps, which I would benefit from not repeating.

This process was inspired by the book Principles by Ray Dalio. Business books rarely make it into my queue, but this one stuck out to me. Ray has lived a remarkably reflective life while building an incredibly strong business, and he attributes this success to principles he’s learned along the way. In the book, he goes into great depth on his own principles but also encourages readers to challenge them and write their own, based on their unique experiences.

One of his principles particularly resonated with me:

"Pain + Reflection = Progress"

It’s way too easy to sweep challenging moments under the rug, rather than acknowledge them, understand how they came to be, and learn how to navigate them in the future.

When viewed in this way, painful moments become opportunities, or as he calls them, "potential improvements that are screaming at you.”

Most people, myself included, don’t really enjoy shining a light on our own weaknesses. But after just a few weeks of this practice, I am beginning to find myself feeling incredibly fulfilled and better prepared for future potential missteps.

Give it a try:

1. Write down one challenge you had last week.
2. What did you learn from going through it?
3. How would you approach it differently if it happened all over again today?

Checking in regularly, asking tough questions, and growing with the answers is a big reason we think the Holstee Membership is so important. It’s not easy to make time to reflect on our thoughts and experiences — but it brings so much more meaning, clarity, and perspective to life.

Wishing you many moments of growth,

Mike Radparvar
Co-Founder, Holstee

P.S. Speaking of reflecting, in just one week we will be launching our newest product, the Holstee Reflection Cards, on Kickstarter! Learn more and sign up to be notified for early-bird pricing →

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Welcome to Holstee

Living with intention is an ongoing practice, not a destination. Inspired by this, we’ve created a range of products to help you on your journey to live both fully and mindfully, including the Holstee Membership, Reflection Cards, and our recently-launched Reflection.app.



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Inspiration and tools to help you live a more meaningful life.