On the first page of my diary, which Lyle, my younger brother, gave me last Christmas, he wrote: “Dear Sunnie, This is your very own notebook, modified by me, for you to develop greatness in here. Enjoy! – Lyle” His modification consisted of several photos scattered throughout the notebook, adorned with words of encouragement. Before I put my pen to paper for the first time, I glued in one additional photograph-sized card: The Holstee Manifesto. It is on the inside of the black cover; the perfect place for a Manifesto that encourages its reader to “start creating.” Flipping through the diary today it seems I’ve taken the “creating” part to heart. Many of the white pages have been filled with ideas, thoughts and sketches. Some of them, for example, concern the inaugural TEDxNewHaven conference, which I organized on the theme of “The Art and Science of Happiness” last April. Others document the day when I had a three-hour brainstorming session with Mario and Agency Heart in an empty classroom at Yale University. We took over every black board in the room, until a spark of inspiration hit: “Let’s collect one million ideas to make the world a happier place!”, one of us exclaimed. And voilà, A Million Ways to a Happier World was born! The respective diary entry ends with the words: “Oh, just imagine how cool that’d be!” In any case, life sure is about “the people you meet and the things you create with them!” Looking back on the past six months — the beautiful adventure of TEDx, the launch of an odyssey of sorts with “A Million Ways to a Happier World, as well as most recently my graduation from Yale University last week — I couldn’t agree more: “go out and start creating” and, most of all, “open your mind, arms and heart to new things and people,” for only by embracing the unknown can you create something truly exceptional.

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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.

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