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.
September 06, 2017

Drum lessons.

A couple years ago, I decided I wanted to learn an instrument.

I was between guitar (mostly for its accessibility and size) and drums (what I was most interested in — except that I was worried about the noise and storage).

Then, through a series of random events, I found myself gifted a five-piece drum set. Then, a former punk rock drummer walked into our Brooklyn office from off the street. It was a clear sign from the universe that I was meant to play the drums.

I came to love rocking out on that drum set. I would put in my earplugs and go absolutely wild, following my intuition and just banging away. Playing drums was like an oasis for me. I was in my flow.

But I wanted to get better. I wanted to make more music and less noise. I wanted to better express myself through the instrument.

Enter Jason, the friendly former punk band member… who ultimately became my teacher.

Jason was patient, much more so than me.

One night, he started teaching me a new beat: “boom boom tat, boom tat, boom-and-tat, boom tat…”

For the life of me, I just could not land that “boom-and-tat”. My brain got it, but hands and feet weren’t reacting.

It felt as if there was a musical side of my brain and a motor skills side of my brain, and the neurons flying from one side to the other kept getting lost.

For over a week I practiced, but it didn’t feel like I was making any progress. Jason and I ended up calling it the “killer beat” because it was so hard for me to get.

Then one day I came back to my drum kit. And something clicked.

The beat came out perfectly. I was shocked. I was doing everything the same. But this time the seemingly impossible was now possible.

After that moment, the beat was with me. Once I “got it,” it seemed so simple and so obvious. I couldn't understand why it had been so difficult before.

I’ll never forget that feeling.

Those neurons that had been getting lost in my brain were now making contact.

It’s my favorite feeling.

It’s why I love new hobbies and learning new things.

Things that were unimaginable all of a sudden become reality.

Dave Radparvar
Co-Founder, Holstee

P.S. In July's Creativity Guide, we included a creative pledge — a commitment to ourselves. I signed mine with drums in mind. It was the push I needed to seek out a practice studio and teacher here in Amsterdam. Also special thanks to Amy, Holstee community member and musician, for holding me accountable 😉 .

P.P.S. Rock on 🤘

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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



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