What face do we face our fears with?
“We think conscious thought is somehow better, when in fact, intuition is soaring flight compared to the plodding of logic. Nature’s greatest accomplishment, the human brain, is never more efficient or invested than when its host is at risk. Then, intuition is catapulted to another level entirely, a height at which it can accurately be called graceful, even miraculous. Intuition is the journey from A to Z without stopping at any other letter along the way. It is knowing without knowing why.”
- from The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence, by Gavin de Becker
The above quote speaks to the experience of risk as a method of increasing one's intuition. I had never thought of that. But now it seems obvious that, like sharpening a tool, risks and feedback loops are "heightening" intuitive thinking.
What does this have to do with financial independence, or living in Bali?
It has to do with how we use both rational and intuitive thinking to make difficult decisions. And achieving financial independence or becoming an expat are only achieved after making a number of difficult decisions.
Let's take a silly example. For lunch today what shall I have? I had a sandwich yesterday so I'm in the mood for something else. Regardless of what I end up choosing, my life will continue forward without a major change one way or another.
Rational thinking or the use of intuition are not at the forefront when facing decisions such as what meal is next.
But what about moving abroad? Or achieving financial independence? It would seem that rational thinking alone provides the best method for finding the appropriate path forward. You can create a spreadsheet of current income and expenses and then create new columns based on inputs from different cost-of-living scenarios.
You can set aside a certain amount of money each month and do calculations on what your net worth will be in 5 or 15 years and plan accordingly.
The above are important exercises but I'm not sure if they lead to the type of decision-making that will change your life.
Bali's Potato Head Day Club. Cladded with a thousand window shutters
What enables us to alter the trajectory of our lives? When you buy a house is it the potential return on investment (ROI) or is it something more emotional? It can be a combination of many things.
But what drives us? My claim is that we rely on unconscious processes, while thinking we need to be entirely levelheaded (i.e., rational).
The ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.
A thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning.
There is always fear when we take the very first steps towards changing our lives. But it's reassuring to know that some faculties of our minds are heightened. Relying on them is not an altogether easy thing. But when you do make that leap and jump from A to Z take a moment to realize that you are achieving something "graceful, even miraculous."