Hi dear readers. I hope all is well.
Let’s start with this:
Mistakes are at the very base of human thought, embedded there, feeding the structure like root nodules. If we were not provided with the knack of being wrong, we could never get anything useful done. We think our way along by choosing between right and wrong alternatives, and the wrong choices have to be made as frequently as the right ones. We get along in life this way. We are built to make mistakes, coded for error.
We learn, as we say, by “trial and error.” Why do we always say that? Why not “trial and rightness” or “trial and triumph”? The old phrase puts it that way because that is, in real life, the way it is done.
I have made innumerbale mistakes during these past 65 years, and a quote like the above makes me feel… human. It makes me feel a bit better about myself because its easy to forget that mistakes are what make us into who we are. But the fact remains that we like to think of ourselves as evolution’s finest specimen. The trillions of neurons must be doing something right (even when our habits shortcut our thought processes).
In any case, we can pause and contemplate: “We are built to make mistakes, coded for error.”
Speaking of error-coded mistakes, the latest chatbot is out to out-think us quicker than you can say “Summarize ____ for me”.
Here ChatGPT tells us about the pros and cons of retiring in Bali:
Low cost of living: Bali is known for its low cost of living, which makes it a great option for retirees seeking to stretch their pensions and savings. The cost of living in Bali is much lower than in many other popular retirement destinations.
Great climate: The climate in Bali is sunny and warm year-round, with temperatures usually averaging in the low 80s (F). The warm tropical climate makes it perfect for spending leisurely days outside exploring the many activities the island has to offer.
Rich culture: Bali is a very culturally rich place, with fascinating traditions and a unique way of life. From colorful temples and festivals to vibrant markets and art galleries, retirees can enjoy a variety of activities and experiences.
Perfect for outdoor activities: With its lush jungles, waterfalls, beaches, and volcanoes, Bali is the perfect place for retirees to enjoy the great outdoors. From diving and snorkeling, to hiking and trekking, to golf and cycling, there are plenty of activities to keep retirees entertained and active.
Safety: Bali is one of the safest places to retire in the world, with low crime rates and a generally laid-back atmosphere. Retirees can feel secure in the knowledge that they will be safe and comfortable in their chosen retirement home.
Limited medical care: Although the standard of healthcare in Bali is generally quite good, there are limited specialist medical facilities available. If retirees need more advanced medical care, they may need to travel to Singapore or Australia for treatment.
Poor infrastructure: The infrastructure in Bali is not as advanced as in other countries. Roads can be poor, public transportation may be unreliable, and internet/mobile coverage can be spotty.
Language barrier: English is not as widely spoken in Bali as in other retirement destinations. Retirees may need to learn or brush up on their Indonesian in order to make their life easier.
Limited job opportunities: There are limited job opportunities for foreigners in Bali, although there are opportunities for entrepreneurs.
Overall, Bali, Indonesia is an attractive retirement destination due to its low cost of living, warm climate, rich culture, and abundance of outdoor activities. However, there are some drawbacks such as limited medical care, poor infrastructure, language barrier, and limited job opportunities. Those considering retirement in Bali should weigh the pros and cons carefully before making a decision. It’s important to remember that there are many other countries around the world with great benefits for retirement, and each potential destination should be researched thoroughly before planning a move.
If you are willing to pay for it, there is private health care that is quite good. And with the Bali International Hospital opening in Q4 2023, along with the cooperation of the Mayo Clinic, Bali is stepping up its game in medical tourism and worldclass heath-care.
And while it is true that once you are away from most tourist areas, English and other languages besides Indonesian do become less common. However, it is not difficult to find someone who can understand you, and I would say it is not a stumbling block to retiring in Bali.
You can try your own luck with ChatGPT here.
Circling back on our miraculous hunk of gray matter inside our skulls:
Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi on How to Create a Happy Life
If our brain does allow us to create warehouses of mistakes, here’s a work-around: be in the flow.
They key to sustained happiness is creating a life of flow. Flow means being so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter and the experience itself is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it. To create a life of flow, we need a compelling life goal that will link all of our activities and interests into a unified goal. This could be as large a finding a cure for cancer, or simply raising healthy children who prosper. A life of flow is achievable by us all.
The advice for leading a life in the flow, it to: Create a goal that is compelling enough to order a lifetime's worth of psychic energy. Unfortunately I don’t quite get it, and even if I did, I believe flow is a temporary state of mind.
Let me share an anecdote: a friend recently shared with me the key inspiration that changed his life. He was a typical corporate guy in England when one day he picked up a sailing magazine and saw a little ad for a 6 month sailing race in the Caribbean. He applied and they accepted him. When the race was over he went home and found none of his friends had changed. But his world was forever different. For the past 17 years he’s been a citizen of the world, living in over half a dozen compelling locations.
No matter how many mistakes we make, no matter how smart our smart devices get, the key factors in making you who you are entirely human. You must take steps without knowing exactly where they lead. You must calculate and then erase. You must go with the flow and then zig when others zag.
Whatever you do remember that the mistakes will be useful. Smart assistants may or may not help you. Intuit a goal, or do the opposite and obsessively plan. It doesn’t matter. What matters is spending too much time in still waters.
Thank you for this, Neil. Once again, an inspiration!
Hi Neil, I have been reading your communications and I just want to comment on one thing; the fact that English is not widely spoken on Bali, certainly not as much as in the Philippines, is a setback but only when you arrive. Bahasa is not a difficult language and I too am 65. Good opportunity to let go of colonist attitude and do what is best for a human being: adapt!