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.

Love to write?

Every month we select at few writers to help us explore what it means to live a life of reflection and intention. Reach out to Helen, our editor at Helen.W@holstee.com to learn more

Holstee explores what it means to live a life of intention and reflection through art, words, and action. Sign up for the Holstee Subscription and join our growing community today!

Learn More

Recent Articles

Nikhita Giridhar




Monica Mueller