Through our Reflections series we share nuggets of wisdom from our ongoing research for the Holstee Membership as well as personal experiences that have changed how we see the world.
October 06, 2017

Being interested is interesting.

“We need to listen consciously in order to live fully.” - Julian Treasure

In his TED Talk “Five Ways to Listen Better”, sound expert Julian Treasure makes the case for listening with intention.

It’s a skill I’ve only recently begun to value.

For the longest time, I thought that to have a meaningful conversation, I needed to have wildly riveting stories to share.

I was missing half the equation.

Think about the best conversation you’ve had this week. Chances are, it was with a truly active listener — meaning they gave you their full attention, could summarize back the key points you made, and reserved any advice or points for after they had asked some delightfully thoughtful questions.

It's tempting to jump in and interrupt someone’s story as soon as their words trigger a memory or thought of my own. It’s something I’m working on myself. But I also know how great it feels to be on the receiving end of a person who is consciously listening.

It turns out that in conversations and in life, it’s far more important to be interested than it is to be interesting.

Listen, be curious, ask questions, and let the riveting story unfold as a joint masterpiece.

Mike Radparvar
Co-Founder, Holstee

P.S. By listening with empathy, we can cultivate Compassion — one of the 12 themes we’ve identified as being key to a life well-lived. Learn more about this and other mindful values through our Holstee Membership →

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January 07, 2018

Life goals.

“Your audacious life goals are fabulous. We're proud of you for having them. But it's possible that those goals are designed to distract you from the thing that's really frightening you — the shift in daily habits that would mean a re–invention of how you see yourself.” - Seth Godin I was recently reflecting on what success looks like in my life. If I were to die in a week, a year, or a few decades, what would it take for me to be able to say, “Well, I did it — I accomplished everything I wanted. I lived a...


October 17, 2017


These days, I am finding myself wrapped up in the news — devastating tragedies, one after another.

My mind is filled with questions. Why would someone do this? How could it be possible? Why does it keep happening? What can be done now? The questions don’t seem to end.

I recently reached a point at which I was



October 03, 2017

Sandwich of the future.

I love sandwiches — both making and eating them. So when I heard that there was a famous man in Syracuse, Sicily, who makes just a few dozen sandwiches a day and has a constant line out the door, my interest peaked.

Turns out he doesn’t just make sandwiches but he



September 28, 2017

Wait till you see the flowers by the pool.

September 2015 was a big month for us.

I was about to get married, Dave was turning 30, and our third co-founder, Fabian, was about to start a new project after eight years of working with us on Holstee.

So at the very last minute, we decided to go on a combo bachelor-birthday-send-off weekend trip. We booked the only place we could find that was near nature and had availability that night. We borrowed a car and made our way north up Route 28 out of New York City.

When we arrived at the bungalow we’d booked, we looked around. Without saying anything, we knew exactly what one another was thinking



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