This is your life.
Do what you love and do it often.
If you don’t like something, change it.
If you don’t like your job, quit.
If you’re looking for the love of your life, stop; they’ll be waiting for you when you start doing things you love.
Does any of this sound familiar?
If so, you might be one of the 100 million people who’ve read and shared the Holstee Manifesto.
Have you ever wondered, how did this manifesto come to be? (I certainly have.)
Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with the guys at Holstee to dive into why Holstee exists, to hear more about how they are reframing the way we look at art with their latest product on Kickstarter (check it out—it’s awesome), and learn where the company is going next.
Where it all began is in 2009, in the midst of one of the country's worst recessions, when brothers and cofounders Dave and Mike Radparvar quit their jobs to dive headfirst into building a dream company with good friend and founding partner Fabian.
Rather than write a business plan, they sat together on the steps of Union Square to write down the things in life they wanted to work toward, value, and not forget. From this, came the manifesto.
What they didn’t expect is that the declaration of truth that they originally wrote for themselves would eventually pen the direction of the company, and inspire millions along the way. It’s just now, four years later, that they’re able to articulate why the company exists.
"Holstee exists to encourage mindful living," Mike says. "We grew up in an age where faster, cheaper, and bigger were valued above craftsmanship, values, and quality. We hope to change that for future generations."
What exactly is mindful living, you may be wondering?
In a world where multitasking and information overload are the norm, mindful living, as defined by Holstee, is "to be fully aware and to appreciate the impact of one’s actions."
"Mindfulness inherently makes us more curious and encourages us to ask why." says Mike. "We live in an age where transparency and authenticity are the new kings."
So how does one integrate mindful practices to enhance quality of life?
Here’s how the guys at Holstee practice mindfulness, which you, too, can begin implementing today:
When in conversation, give someone your fullest attention. Put the computer away, turn your phone on silent, and get lost in the moment with that person. Be fully interested, rather than interesting.
2. Architect your life.
Be considerate and intentional with your life decisions. Rather than let life happen to you, author the story of your life. Author and philosopher Howard Thurman says it best with, "Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
3. Personal time.
Taking time for yourself creates clarity and renewed energy. At Holstee, they strongly suggest all teammates take their birthday day off each month. In a startup culture where personal and working hours tend to get blurred, this creates space and perspective.
4. Ask "Why?"
Why am I doing this? Why are we creating this product? Why is this a design principle? Asking "why" encourages you to go deeper and become more aware of what’s driving you, and whether or not you want it to be driving you.
5. Know your food and appreciate meals.
What are you eating and where did it come from? As a society, over the last 50 years, we’ve created a knowledge and geographic gap as we’ve distanced ourselves from our food. To stay aware, the team at Holstee cooks in the office almost every day, and meal times are savored without work.
6. Understand the impact of what you buy.
Transparency is slowly being built into the operations of many forward-thinking companies. This movement is a direct result of the increasing number of people asking questions about the clothes they buy, where their electronics come from, and brands they choose to support. Before buying, understand the impact.
What practices have been most valuable for you? We’d love to know! Leave your tips in the comments below.