How One Zen like Man Changed my Life – And Can Change Yours Too

Leo Babauta

Can you remember that one major thing you did that transformed your work and ultimately your life?

When you look back on your life, will you remember some of the key people that really made a difference to you?

In our lives we often make decisions that can radically change your life forever.

We also meet people who somehow make a much bigger impact on our life than they even realise.

In these days of social media, it is possible to have such life changing encounters with someone on the other side of the world, whom you may never meet in person.

Today I would like to share one such encounter and why it made such an impact on me.

And if you are a blogger, I would also like you to consider joining me at a very special virtual Bootcamp, starting this Sunday – “How to Make Your Blog Pay the Bills

Regular readers will know that I have been blogging now for over 3 years, though I have only treated my blog as a serious venture in the last 8 months or so.

During recent months, my subscriber numbers have shot up to more than 1,000 and I have created a wonderful community of people around my blog.

My blog and my writing style was dramatically transformed last August after I took part in a Blogging Bootcamp run by Leo Babauta and Mary Jaksch, both of whom I now consider to be friends.

If you haven’t heard of Leo Babauta, where have you been?!

Leo is a world leading blogger whose blog Zen Habits now has over 170,000 subscribers and is transforming the world with his message of simple productivity.

Please do check out Zen Habits today and be sure to subscribe.

So how has this Zen like man changed my life?

Well, my connection with Leo started in August 2009 when I took part in his first virtual Bootcamp for bloggers, which he ran with Mary Jaksch. The rest is history as they say.

Here’s how Leo’s blog and his first Bootcamp impacted my life and my own blogging:-

1. Firstly, I really liked where Leo is coming from and his message, which totally resonated with my own values of doing good through my work and making a difference through my books and my blog.

Leo’s first published book – Power of Less – is an Amazon bestseller and he also has a number of powerful ebooks such as this simple guide to a minimialist life.

2. Leo showed me and other bloggers that it is possible to follow your passion and be successful.

Leo is now a full time blogger and gave up his job a couple of years ago.

At the same time, I learnt that it’s possible to retain your values and integrity, and to run a blog and online venture without any hype.

3. Through Leo’s blog I have learnt and I continue to learn many simple tricks and tips on being more productive in my working life and also leading a healthier and generally chilled out life.

Believe me, getting me chilled out is quite an achievement!

4. I have met many inspirational and talented people through Leo’s bootcamps and the blogosphere since. The best thing is I have created many online friendships with bloggers around the world.

I now have friends in every continent and maybe one day, I should go on a world tour, visiting all these new friends and spreading my message :-).

5. As well as making new friends, I have found some key mentors for my life and my blog.

Mary Jaksch of GoodLifeZen has been a real gem for my growth – do check out her amazing blog – she is the most helpful person I have ever known.

Mary Jaksch
6. The beauty of writing a blog is that you discover and learn so much from other talented and gifted writers. I have discovered a wealth of life changing and inspirational blogs – and will review some of these in a future post soon.

7. I have also learnt about new exciting ways of spreading my message, connecting with like minded people and creating revenue streams with integrity.

Leo and Mary run their Bootcamps and blog with total integrity and they are a great role model.

There is so much more I can do with my blog and spreading my message through social media, I feel that I am only just beginning my work.

8. I also learnt how much fun blogging can be. For a while it had become a chore – Leo and Mary helped me reconnect with my passion for writing – and also for connecting with people in the online world.

The times when blogging became a chore was probably reflected in the quality of my writing.

If you don’t enjoy something why should you do it?

Either do something else, or somehow reconnect with the passion.

9. Finally, I would like to think that my writing has genuinely improved over the last 9 months. This has resulted in opportunities for my articles to be featured on some of the world’s top blogs, such as this article about the lessons in minimalism to be learnt from Gandhi.

All in all it’s been quite a journey for me – and I feel this is only the beginning. And it all began with Leo Babauta, his blog and his first blogging bootcamp:-)

So what’s next?

This is my invitation to you:-

If you are not a blogger but would like to radically transform your life, then do visit Leo’s blog – Zen Habits and subscribe (free, of course). To start with, check out his key articles.

At the same time, do also subscribe to Mary Jaksch’s blog at Good Life Zen.

If you are a blogger and you would like to take your blogging to a new level and make a living out of it, then I invite you to join me at Leo and Mary’s next virtual Bootcamp which starts this Sunday 16th May and runs till next Thursday 20th May.

(Please note that this is my affiliate link – and I thank you in advance for supporting my blogging efforts).

Here’s a bonus for you:-

If you decide you want to enroll in How to Make Your Blog Pay the Bills, and you enroll through my blog, I shall personally review your blog and send you a summary with top tips on how to take your blog design and content to the next level.

I shall also give you a 30 minute free telephone coaching session – we can focus on your blog or indeed any life topic you like.

Just e-mail me at Arvind at with your name and contact information once you have enrolled.

Remember, enrollment is now open and the virtual Bootcamp begins on this Sunday, 16th May 2010. See you there.

Thanks everyone for your listening – here’s to a Zen life all around!


  1. sounds very interesting

    I will enroll

    I would like our 30 minutes conversation to be on the history of macclesfield town football club. thanks in advance.

    • Thanks Roger, I will be delighted to talk to you at length about the history of Macclesfield Town football club:-)

      I once even drove through the town.

      See you at the Bootcamp.

  2. I am looking forward to it! 🙂

  3. Arvind –

    I’m all signed up and excited for it. Well done for sharing!


  4. Hi Arvind,
    What a wonderful testimonial about your inspiration for success with your blog. Congratulations both on your beautiful blog and for having the sense to recognize two fabulous mentors who stand out in the crowd of blogging experts. They are indeed full of integrity.
    Looking forward to the Bootcamp!

    • Thanks Barrie.

      Good mentors are hard to find and once you find them, you must not ever let go:-)

      See you at the Bootcamp – as I said, I am bringing the tea!

  5. The power of less is a fantastic book, I recommend it to anyone that leads a stressful life!

  6. Excellent post Arvind! I have only gotten to know Mary (and Leo in a very virtual sense) in the past month through their A-List Blogging Club and some interactions here and there. They are amazingly interested, caring and helpful people. I have learned so much in the past month I can hardly sleep with all the things I want to apply to Reading For Your Success to make it into the type of personal development and fulfillment blog, resource and endeavor I have dreamed up. Working with them is going to allow me to help and share all I can with so many more people in the months and years to come. For guys who are all about making it happen and taking action, I think we are all in good company with Leo and Mary. I will see you in the bootcamp for sure. I wish I hadn’t already purchased my ticked as I would love to have you pick apart my blog. Although you have already been a huge help since we’ve met. Thank you.

    To future success for your readers and yourself,


    • Scott, one of the beauties of Leo and Mary’s Bootcamps has been the opportunity to connect with some great people – and you have been one of them recently:-)

      You are so enthusiastic about your blog and your work, you can only succeed!

      Let’s connect via email or Skype and I will be delighted to give you my input:-)

  7. Arvind,

    I admire Leo and Mary’s ethics and style to make money with own passion. This sounds wonderful boot camp for many, but alas, many can not afford it. However, If anyone could they should and I can personally vouch for Arvind’s help for a blog review help for my site. His suggestions are very helpful and my blog looks already 10 times better thanks to Arvind’s suggestions and tips.

    This will be getting win-win situation, getting to learn from Leo and Mary and get review and 30 mins coaching from Arvind.!

    • ZenGirl – thanks for your kind words and commendation – I was delighted to help you and give you my suggestions. It actually doesn’t take much to take a blog to a new level in double quick time.

      I wish you all the best for your blog and for your journey.

  8. Hi Arvind – I agree with you – Leo’s work really is changing the world and blogging is one of the best things I’ve ever done for self-care. I’ve met so many amazing people with a positive outlook – which isn’t usually the case when you spend your days inside an office with people that “love” their jobs (yeah right).

    Cheers to the future!
    Melissa Gorzelanczyk

    • Welcome to my blog Melissa and great to connect with you.

      Yes, the world of blogging is full of people with a positive outlook who want to change the world for the better:-)

      People in offices “love” their job? What a novel concept!

    • Melissa, seen your blog- its good

      however in the photo the pose you take makes me worry.

      to the receiver it is saying ‘victory’, ‘peace’ or ‘two of something’

      however it is pointing backward to yourself and therefore giving yourself 2 fingers which has negative connotations.

      do you feel this is a reflection on some element of self-loathing you may be masking for reasons best known to yourself?

      serious question.

  9. alwaysLovely says:

    Arvind, look forward in attending the bootcamp (mine first being a club member)
    I don’t even know what I should do. 🙂

    • Hello and welcome to my blog!

      I too am looking forward to the Bootcamp and to meet you there.

      As for not knowing what do to, it’s very simple really – have fun, connect with lots of other bloggers, listen and learn:-)

  10. Arvind, like you, I have nothing but good things to say about Leo and Mary and A-List Blogging. Their materials are top-notch and their support is excellent. They are also just nice, caring people who are gathering a community of good people around them, people who want to help and support each other.

    I’ve enjoyed meeting you through A-List Blogging Club and I’m really looking forward to this Bootcamp.

    • Alison, I have also enjoyed meeting through the Club – meeting great people from around the world has been one of the unexpected added benefits of the Bootcamps.

      The ethos and the energy of the Club is a true and worthy reflection of Mary and Leo – it is what it is because of their honest and enthusiastic approach.

      Roll on to Sunday!

  11. Wow, great post. I couldn’t agree more. It’s the genuine vibe that Leo and Mary give off that most convinced me to follow along with their teaching, plus whenever I run into a roadblock there is a resource, article, post, person or forum to help tackle it. Lovely visiting your blog. I shall be back for further inspiration.


    • Katie, welcome to my blog and thanks for your kind words. I will be delighted to help you anytime you run into a roadblock – just ask!

      Leo and Mary are great role models for all of us – it shows that you can be successful and create a great following just by being authentic and genuine:-)

  12. Your beautiful article on Gandhi was the first article I ever read on Zen Habits. It wasn’t until now that I realized you wrote it and not Leo! It’s a wonderful article inspired by a very special being. Thank you so much.