About Aretezen

Welcome to Aretezen

Potential Fulfilled

  • Are you frustrated because you can’t get your dreams happening?
  • Have you heard the cry to ‘follow your passion’ and wonder if you should – or can?
  • Do you have a goal to influence more people to work the way you want?
  • Are you searching for ways you can get more done now?


Whether you yelled out “Yes!”, or just nodded, you’ll get value from being here.

Maybe only a few people know about your dream. Maybe those who do – whether friends, family or colleagues – aren’t exactly supportive.

But if you don’t start making progress, that dream will keep burning inside you while you waste your life working. And of course you have to keep working. You have bills and everything else.

However, ‘everything else’, is probably just stuff that peer pressure, parental expectation and the world’s idle wishes have brainwashed you into thinking you need.

But you can step off that bus and make your own way. And here at Aretezen you’ll find help to do it.

Arete is a word from ancient Greece. It meant ‘all-round excellence’. It also meant fulfilment of one’s purpose or role in life. Those Greeks aspired to it, aiming for top physical and mental strength and condition that would let them be top performers.

The attitude that demands excellence isn’t found so much now; participation is – unfortunately – often considered good enough. Well, it isn’t good enough for me and it shouldn’t be good enough for you.

Why not aim to be excellent at something? You’ll stand out. You can charge more, too.

Zen is also an old word. But it’s often used today in ways that have nothing to do with meditative practice. For me, the concept of zen is about reawakening one’s essential nature – for it is always within us – and being at peace with it.

Vietnamese monk Nhat Hanh, who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King, is quoted by James Millar in his book Visions from Earth, as saying: “We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize.”

I like that thought. It encompasses potential and the importance of ‘now’ all at once.

Here’s what to expect:

Aretezen will help you find your essence. That’s your intrinsic nature. Your essence is your character; it’s the difference that that stands you out. It’s a fascinating, important piece of you.

You aren’t simply one of the pack. You’re unique and deserve to be seen so.

Today, there’s too much noise and competition to make any impact unless you let your character show.

At Aretezen, we’ll help you do it.

About Ant

I’m Anthony Smits. I grew up in New Zealand, spending my early years surrounded by books and building materials in a home with extraordinary parents. Since then, I’ve travelled to a few different places, and done a swathe of stuff, from architecture with earth and straw, to writing, to selling homes, to puzzle making and bus driving. Off and on I’ve lived alone, but I’ve also helped raise a house full of children, and lived in one of those intentional communities, a lifestyle that makes some people cringe and others envious.

Anthony SmitsMy last few decades have been a ‘forty year wander’. For the time being, I live on Samos, in the Greek Islands. Along the way I discovered that while designing houses was a dream job, helping people to build belief in themselves is more rewarding. And so I started Aretezen. I aim to inspire you to find that place where skills and passion and the needs of others coincide, and to be happy and at peace working there.
I believe you’ll do your greatest work in that place, regardless of where it is.


Get connected. I’m looking forward to knowing you.