Four years ago when I started My Zen Path on 25th Nov 2015, few friends and expert bloggers suggested me to write small, popular, palatable, easy-to-understand articles more frequently. It is perhaps a better strategy for an aspiring blog even today. I started off writing more frequently, almost once a week initially. However, after few months I settled into a more natural, relaxed rhythm for myself – writing a single article every month that I am able to manage with my work and other activities. I’d like to write fortnightly, but not sure as of now if I’d be able to do that comfortably or consistently.
I had also decided that I didn’t want to write typical, quick-fix listicles (for example – ‘5 things you must do to take charge of your career’ types). So instead I ended up writing much longer articles here that require significant attention span and not many of them are easy-reads either. In fact, some of them like personality theories, personality and career inventories took me months of reading and research to finish and they are not conventionally palatable for casual readers. Nevertheless, on few occasions when I had a chance to interact with some of the readers of My Zen Path, I was pleasantly surprised to see the details that they were discussing with me. I’d like to infer that most of the My Zen Path readers are serious readers with significant amount of introspection and self-insights.
Another humbling discovery was Personality Inventories article ranking second or third in the Google search back in 2017 when I wrote it, and it has retained its rank within the first page ever since organically. I have loved writing most of these long articles and creating few infographics, and it is reassuring to see that they have some reference value as well. It is perhaps a good occasion to honestly confess that on a few occasions when I didn’t have enough time, I have written shorter articles with a single video to ensure that there is some new content before the monthly newsletter deadline. Talking about honesty, I should also admit that I do get slightly disheartened to see lack of significant interaction on these articles despite several reads. If you’re a reader of My Zen Path – I’d request you to add your inputs to the article that you like, it not only encourages me but it also adds to the usefulness of the article if there is an additional perspective or information. If there are any suggestions how can I make it more helpful, I’d love to hear them as well. 🙂
I had asked some of the My Zen Path’s readers and well-wishers to send their inputs for its fourth anniversary, I am grateful for their kind words –
Sandeep Gautam is the Founder & Director at Joynaut, renowned positive psychology blogger, creator of The Mouse Trap and Gallup-certified Strengths Coach. He has been a contributor at My Zen Path as well. Here is a heartening and somewhat embarrassing pat on the back from this dear friend –
I always look forward to reading the My Zen Path articles as they expose me to new TED talks or other videos about interesting content, with incisive summary and authentic commentary. Some of the original series you keep writing like on personality inventory is a treasure trove of resources and information. The other articles especially about doing meaningful work and being a certain kind of person, resonate deeply with me and your honesty and integrity shines through all that you write. I also look forward to your interviews/case studies of interesting people who have chosen to dance to a different drum.
I have had the fortune of knowing you since before the inception of My Zen Path and have also contributed to My Zen Path, so it is close to my heart too. The fact that you keep producing good articles consistently inspires me too to produce an occasional article at The Mouse Trap. And the fact that you choose to live your life authentically inspires me to continue living authentically.
Suraj Rungta is a software professional and one of the early members of My Zen Path. He has been supportive with his helpful feedback since its initial launch. I fondly recall my discussion with him about Why We Work article. He has been kind enough to send this quick feedback late night yesterday for the fourth anniversary –
I enjoy My Zen Path articles very much. Few of the articles I seriously enjoyed were about Shilpa Phadke leaving the corporate and running a nutrition company. Beyond happiness is something which stayed with me for a long time. Thanks for these regular newsletter emails and posts. They really reset my thoughts as to what I am doing and where I am going. This is very important for me.
Dear friends Divya Gupta and Ashish Arora run Sahaj Foundation in Bir, Himalaya. I have enjoyed several thought-provoking conversations and reflections with them during Head2Heart retreat. With their authentic life, observant questions and unassuming, reflective sharing they have been an inspiration for My Zen Path. They couldn’t respond by the fourth anniversary date, but Divya has recently sent this warm note that I am sharing here –
Manish, it feels nice to read about the journey of My Zen Path. Your commitment to what you are doing (inspite all the challenges of people not interacting much on the blog etc. as you mentioned) is very inspiring. I too have gained access many good videos and stories of people who are not known much but doing wonderful work is what I remember reading about from the newsletter. I have no doubt that the hard work that you have put into research in getting all that information presented to the readers with your added wisdom has been of a great help to many. To put across your point in way that’s easily understandable by others is not an easy task that you do every month. So I truly appreciate you for doing that. May you continue benefitting others through the wonderful gift that you possess 🙂I also have to confess that many a times, I don’t get a chance to open the newsletter and sometimes I only read the headings, which I don’t think is very respectful to the work. It mostly happens because my mind is occupied with many other things. But I have forwarded the newsletter many a times to those whom I think would benefit from it and I commit to keep doing at least this forwarding bit.
I would also love to hear about your personal growth through My Zen Path, how has it transformed you into a better person and how you keep yourself motivated to not give up when the challenges (personal/professional) comes?
I am grateful to all the members, readers and co-creators of My Zen Path for being with me in its journey of becoming. I think it’s appropriate to conclude this anniversary post with Alan Watts’ wonderful quote about Zen.
Zen has no goal; it is a traveling without point, with nowhere to go. To travel is to be alive, but to get somewhere is to be dead.
— Alan Watts (@AlanWattsDaily) November 19, 2019
The featured image:
The featured image is my own click at Dreamer’s Café, Auroville – it’s a beautiful place. 🙂