Two years ago, I wrote down this aphorism on a sticky note: “Accept more, expect less.”

At the time, it was a reminder to seek peace — especially with things I could not control — and appreciate what I had in front of me.

Now when I read that quote, I wonder how it could have ever served as an inspiration to me.

The words haven’t changed, but clearly I have.

The shift may have happened for a combination of personal, professional, and maybe even political reasons.

I don’t want to just accept the status quo — I want to create positive change.

I don’t want to expect less — I want to take matters into my own hands and make things happen.

But as the pendulum of perspective swings, I wouldn’t be surprised if in another two years time, my view of life and of that quote once again shifts.

This tension relates to a question that Mike and I keep coming back to:

Is it better for us to want and expect a better future for ourselves (ambition)? Or to be satisfied and enjoy where we are with what we have (contentment)?

If we were not ambitious people, we probably would have never left our jobs or started Holstee back in 2009.

On the other hand, if we’re always thinking of a desired outcome, that’s a sure way to live only in the future and not appreciate the present.

For a long time, we saw these two perspectives as polar opposites.

But more recently, we’ve come to a different conclusion.

Through our work at Holstee, our mission is to explore what it means to live both fully and mindfully. In that pursuit of knowledge and experience, it’s become clear that both contentment and ambition are needed.

Over the years, we have seen each other move between both ends of the spectrum. And when the pendulum swings too far in one direction, we inevitably begin to feel a pull in the opposite direction.

As the world around us shifts and our personal needs evolve, what we need to feel centered and fulfilled will also change.

Finding balance is not an end goal but a practice.

Dave Radparvar
Co-Founder, Holstee

P.S. The reflection questions in each of our guides help you better understand and connect to where you are in life, so you can take steps towards bringing more balance to your everyday. Learn more about becoming a Holstee Member →

Begin your day feeling grounded and inspired.

A free 30-day email series where we share the most impactful stories and ideas that have helped us on our journey to live a more meaningful life.

✌️ Free. Unsubscribe anytime.

Welcome to Holstee

Our monthly membership helps conscious people (like you!) live a more meaningful life through actionable guide, inspiring art, thought-provoking content and a like-minded community.


This article is part of our series on the theme of Reflection.

EXPLORE Reflection →

Our Themes

Distilled from our Manifesto, positive psychology, the science of mindfulness, and ancient philosophic studies we have identified twelve themes core to living both fully and mindfully. We mapped these twelve themes to each of the twelve months in a year. Together with our community we explore one each month.