Why “Zen and the Fishbowl?”

Well, because life in North America sometimes feels a bit like we’re all in our own fishbowls. Think about it: everyone has their own little space to swim (be it at work or at home), and most people are content to continue their routine and swimming in that space. We are all connected – we can see each other in our bowls – yet we feel more disconnected from each other, from our dreams, and from nature than ever before. Maybe it’s just me, but I get the sense I’m not alone in feeling this way. Ever wonder what’s beyond the bowl? What would happen if you were to break from the routine and change things up? Would it make you happy? Would you learn about yourself? What will it take to find some Zen, if it isn’t in this fishbowl-style life we lead?

All questions I’m trying to answer for myself right now.

What do you write about?

So far, here’s what I’ve learned: there are four topics that I think are really important to finding some peace and happiness in this world:

  • Personal Finance: because without some knowledge in this space, you’re going to struggle. Financial Independence is, in my mind, one of the most important ingredients in living a de-stressed and happy life. I’m no financial planner, but I happen to know a thing or two here, and I consider baseline knowledge of personal finance to be a key that opens up everything else I care about.
  • The Arts: because they’re useful for both self-expression and self-discovery. And the act of creating something – whether it’s music, food, dance, writing, painting, or anything else – is meditative in its own right. As one of my favourite lyricists Neil Peart once wrote: “The point of the journey is not to arrive.” I believe that.
  • Travel: because there is so much more to this world than your own backyard. I’ve only just begun to cross off places from my list, and I’m just getting warmed up. By traveling, I’ve seen some amazing places, met some amazing people and experienced cultures and perspectives different from my own… and it’s been hugely valuable to me. I’ve learned a ton. Not to mention the fact that I’ve gotten to spend some quality time with…
  • Mother Nature: because we’re part of a broader ecosystem that includes more than just us humans. Easy to forget sometimes when you live in the concrete jungle, I know. But spending time in nature, around plants, animals and things not made by man, it refreshes and rejuvenates us. It’s amazing how different I feel when I’m regularly around nature versus when I’m not.

There’s more to the equation obviously, but these are the topics I’m most passionate about, so they’re what I write about. Anything that falls into these categories is fair game, whether it’s Photography, Gardening, taking a trip to Italy, RRSPs or Karate. Sometimes I’ll write a how-to, others I’ll just share my experience or a lesson I learned. Sometimes I’ll review something I found really awesome (or really unawesome).

Point is, I write here about stuff I care about. Stuff that helps, in one way or another, to make me happy and give me some peace. Because we can all use a little more of that, whether it’s in your fishbowl or beyond. Wouldn’t you agree? Check back every once in a while; I post new articles every Friday.