Today I’ve got new interview with author Leo Babauta, so the appropriate thing to do is to start by telling you all about his blog, Zen Habits.
But that would be dumb, because you already know about Zen Habits.
I’d like to think that’s because I’ve linked to it more often than to any other blog, and that I somehow manage to mention Leo in just about every podcast episode we make. But that’d be giving myself too much credit.
In truth, the real reason is that so many No Meat Athlete readers have come from Zen Habits — a massively popular blog that’s twice been named by Time Magazine as one of the best in the world. It was Leo who gave me my first big guest post opportunity, A Beginner’s Guide to Trail Running back in 2010, and whose support of NMA since then has been helpful beyond measure.
But Leo’s impact on me goes far beyond this.
The truth is that I’ve changed profoundly in the five and a half years since hitting “Publish” that first time on a brand new blog. More than in any other period in my life, for sure, and it seems the rate of this change is only accelerating.
It’s easy to point to the external changes — going vegan, having kids, quitting grad school, moving to Asheville, qualifying for Boston and becoming an ultrarunner, getting rid of most of my stuff. But I assure you that the changes I’ve made on the inside during this time have been far, far bigger than these.
And when I step back to think about it, there are just a few people whose influence is largely responsible for all these changes. Two, maybe three.
Without a doubt, Leo is one of them:
- It was because of two pieces of advice from Leo — “one change at a time,” and “start small” — that I finally succeeded in changing my habits.
- It was Leo who taught me how to meditate. Starting (shocker) with just two minutes at a time.
- It’s because of Leo that I have a mostly minimalist home, and a disdain for clutter.
- It was Leo’s example of moving his family from Guam to San Francisco (despite the pain of leaving behind a lot of other family) that inspired me and gave me the confidence to move my family to new place full of adventure.
- It’s because of Leo that I write in Ommwriter, use Google Chrome, largely stay away from social media, started drinking tea, and cancelled cable TV.
And to repeat, these are just the outside changes. They’re dwarfed by the ones on the inside, and Leo’s influence is responsible for many of those too.
What’s really special about all this, though: I suspect dozens, maybe hundreds of other people — bloggers, writers, entrepreneurs, minimalists, parents — could write a post just like this one. Maybe they already have. Because they feel that Leo “took them under his wing,” and gave them special attention and love that surely nobody else could have gotten. Surely. 😉
Zen Habits: Mastering the Art of Change
Leo is working on a new book, one that he says is his best yet, a culmination of all that he’s learned about creating habits and making change in nearly a decade of writing Zen Habits. It’s a print book, but he’s publishing it himself, so that he can put his touch on every step of the process. Even more interesting, he’s funding it with Kickstarter.
As you might imagine, it’s a no-brainer for me to back this project. In fact, I went ahead and got six copies of the book, so that I could give away five of them and share just a little bit of what Leo has done for me, with you.
I’ll randomly select the winners from the comments on this post next Wednesday, November 26th, announce the names in the comments section, and email the winners.
Cool? So, action steps:
1. Listen to our interview, where we talk about forming habits (of course), making changes with and without support, our shared approach to bringing about change in others, Leo’s first 50-miler, and his experiment in living purposely without goals. And of course, his new book, Zen Habits: Mastering the Art of Change.
2. Check out Leo’s Kickstarter page.
3. If you’d like to enter to win a copy of Zen Habits, just leave a comment about why you’d like to win! (Here, not on the Kickstarter page.)
4. If by chance you’re one of the five to six NMA readers who have never read Leo’s work, go ahead and dive down a Zen Habits rabbit hole for a few hours. I hope you’ll get a sense of why Leo’s work has helped me so much over the years.
5. We’re cranking out two new NMA podcast episodes almost every single week, and I don’t usually post them to the blog. To get lots more inspiring interviews like this one, subscribe in iTunes or check out our podcast archives page.
Hope you enjoy the interview!
Click the button below to listen now: