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 27, 2017

Nothing need be done.

I need to do the laundry. I need to go to work. I need to finish this project.

I need to do this, I need to do that...

I always feel like I need to do so, so much.

A few years ago, I came across an idea that changed my perspective a bit. It was sparked by this line from the poet, environmentalist, and Buddhist scholar Gary Snyder (who by the way is a fascinating person, read more about his life and work here). Gary wrote:

"Knowing that nothing need be done is where we begin to move from."

I remember so clearly when I first read this quote.

It was a couple of years back at a small cheese shop in Blue Hill, Maine. I was in search of a soft and stinky local cheese (as I so often am).

The shop had some prints from a local letterpress printer and while flipping through, I saw the quote.

Immediately I was struck by it.

At first my reaction was, “What?! That’s interesting. But what does it even mean?”

Repeating the idea back slowly to myself… “Knowing that we don’t need to do anything is where we can begin?”

The way Gary starts with the word “knowing” caught me off-guard. As if the idea that “nothing need be done” is a universal truth.

Then it hit me — holy shit. It is a universal truth.

We don't need to do anything.

Sure, we need water to live. But we only need water in so much as we want to live. Life is the choice we are making here.

I only need to do laundry because I choose to wear clean clothes.

It’s a subtle and in a way semantic difference. But it has changed my perspective on so many things.

Realizing that all the things I “need” to do are choices I have made — it is an idea I find infinitely liberating.

And realizing that I in fact can be intentional about the decisions I make is exactly where I begin to move forward from.

Dave Radparvar
Co-Founder, Holstee

P.S. Surfacing ideas that have the power to positively change perspectives is a big part of our work at Holstee. Dive into our archive of work with a 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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