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 30, 2017

Speaking of great conversations...

A recent Mindfully Mailed message sparked a conversation between one of our readers, Carol, and a friend of hers, Erin.

Carol shared the conversation thread with us, and we loved reading their discussion of how hard and fruitless the early days of learning can be.

The entire exchange was a joy to read. We specifically wanted to share this quote from Erin:

"When you first start learning something, it is PAINFUL.

Everything is hard, all the decisions are difficult and fraught, there is no fluency.

So you have to work 10 times harder than someone who is fluent, and since we want to get paid in proportion to the pain and effort, you end up wanting a lot of recognition in order to compensate, like instant international artistic fame, thank you very much!

Later, after a lot of experience and practice, you get really fluent and you can pump out pretty good stuff all the time, and then, on a day when your push that fluency really hard, you produce a masterpiece."

I thought that was spot on.

Anyone who has put in the work to develop any level of mastery — whether it is as a painter, a coder or a yoga teacher — is aware of the practice needed to get there. Often the payoff does not feel equal to the work put in, especially in those beginning years.

Those early hardships rarely get Instagrammed or told publicly, but in our observations, putting in the work and working through the setbacks is the only repeatable path to produce anything worthy of being called a masterpiece.

Mike Radparvar
Co-Founder, Holstee

P.S. Take a look at our Creativity Guide, where we journey through a 30-day challenge to establish a habit and help power through the difficult first steps when starting something new.

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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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