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.
August 09, 2017

I was terrified.

This past weekend, I met up with two friends here in Amsterdam, Tim and Sascha.

We met at a nearby dock to go for a swim. The dock was about 15 feet above the water.

Tim, a towering 6’5” Dutchman, backflipped into the water with a gymnast’s grace.

It was unexpected and incredible.

Full of energy and excitement, I walked to the edge of the dock with the intention to do a front flip.

When I was 11 years old, I regularly did flips off diving boards. Though it had been decades, I knew inside that I could still do it.

I stood at the edge to jump and froze.

I was terrified.

I am rarely that scared these days, but this was deep, body-shocking fear.

Sascha wanted to capture my flip on camera, but instead he got a five-second video of me walking up to the ledge, then walking away.


I took a step back. Calmed myself down. Decided again that I could and would attempt a flip. And approached the ledge again.

I bent my knees, lowered my hands, and prepared to launch myself. But then I froze again, this time nearly losing my footing and falling in.

My adrenaline was pumping at full throttle. My heart felt like it was going to pound right through my chest.

I let myself down again.

This happened about a half-dozen times.

My friends were encouraging so I wasn’t as embarrassed as I was disappointed in myself.

I took another step back and remembered an idea from psychologist Abraham Maslow that we shared in our Adventure Guide. Maslow theorized that at any given moment we have a choice: we can step forward into growth or we can step back into safety.

I knew that if I left here today having given in to fear, I would have further solidified this invisible wall of my comfort zone.

I owed it to my future self to break down that wall of fear.

I set my intention once again and blocked out all the voices in my head as I approached the edge of the dock. I launched myself off of it into a not-so-graceful leap, awkwardly throwing my legs over my head.

It wasn’t beautiful but I did it.

It wasn’t about the flip, it was about pushing back the wall of my comfort zone just a bit.

I didn’t do it for me, I did it for my future self.

As it turned out, doing something for my future self was easier than doing something for myself.

Dave Radparvar
Co-Founder, Holstee

P.S. You can go deeper into the research behind courage, curiosity, and growth mindsets in our Adventure Guide. Get access to all of our guides by becoming a Holstee Member today →

P.P.S. Here is a clip that Sascha captured of me finally making the leap into fear :-)

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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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