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 25, 2017

State of mind.

“Attaining lasting happiness requires that we enjoy the journey on our way toward a destination we deem valuable. Happiness, therefore, is not about making it to the peak of the mountain, nor is it about climbing aimlessly around the mountain: happiness is the experience of climbing toward the peak.”

- Tal Ben-Shahar

Harvard professor Tal Ben-Shahar taught one of the most popular classes in the university's history — Positive Psychology 1504.

Of all the nuggets of wisdom I’ve learned from his book, Happier, what has stuck with me most is the way he breaks down his "Happiness Model" into four mindsets — with the fourth being the optimal.

If you are more of a visual thinker, here it is mapped out (please excuse my chicken scratch handwriting 😉 ):

So with this table as reference, here are the four mindsets he described:

  1. The Rat Race mindset focuses exclusively on the benefits of the future, even if it is to the detriment of the present moment. People with this mindset are unable to enjoy, much less see, the wonderful things happening around them right now.
  2. The Hedonist is on the opposite end of the spectrum. People with this mindset go full tilt on doing whatever seems fun or enjoyable right now, even if it is to the detriment of their future.
  3. The Nihilist sees benefit in neither the future nor the present. Nothing is going well now and nothing is going to go well in the future. Yeah, it’s a rough place to be.
  4. The Happy Person falls in the fourth quadrant. With this mindset, we allow ourselves to make ambitious plans for the future but still enjoy the journey.

What state of mind are you in?

Mike Radparvar
Co-Founder, Holstee

P.S. Tal Ben-Shahar is one of the thinkers that inspired our introductory package to all members, our Welcome Kit. Become a member today and join our community →

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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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