Although not originally his theory, Elon Musk has publicly advanced the idea that we’re living inside of a simulation.
Crazy idea, right?
Not so fast.
The math he’s looking at indicates the odds are extremely small that we’re living in base reality.
Allow that to sink in for a moment. I’ll give you some time.
Since I’ve admitted that my life is already mostly digital, this is obviously a pretty interesting rabbit hole to follow.
Now, one can find themselves gravitating toward nihilism if they follow that rabbit hole too far. I don’t personally spend a lot of time thinking about the realistic nature of reality.
Maybe we live in a simulation. Maybe we don’t.
I don’t see much value coming out of the discussion.
Instead, I want to discuss how we can make Elon Musk right.
We can make it so that we’re living in a simulation of reality, without spending any time on an existential crisis.
We can make our life a simulation of reality.
And there’s no future civilization, supercomputer, or alien species necessary!
Let’s dig in…
FIRE = Hacking/Simulating Life
First of all, let’s just get something out of the way.
FIRE is the ultimate life hack.
There’s no greater way to “hack” or “cheat” the typical life arc/narrative than to become financially independent.
And if you put yourself in a position to achieve FIRE at a young age, you can, more or less, simulate your own reality for the rest of your life.
You can make, break, and remake the rules as you go. Life becomes your own construct to customize and play around with.
FIRE makes one’s life unique.
You’re free to move in and out of situations, almost at will.
This is a vastly different experience than what the ordinary person will encounter throughout their life.
I’d know because I was once very much not financially independent. I used to be dead broke.
Now I’m financially independent and retired in my 30s.
The life I’m living today is almost as if it exists on another planet relative to the one I was living ten years ago.
A Simulated Reality
Moving over to the main premise of this article, let’s just think for a moment what your life would look like if it were your own simulation.
You certainly wouldn’t want to simulate in a job. I can’t imagine that.
Broad and lengthy unhappiness would be out the window.
You wouldn’t build in all kinds of rules you don’t like to follow. I guess you would if you’re a glutton for punishment. Otherwise, you’d simulate in a pretty sweet ride.
Of course, there’d be challenges. You can’t see or enjoy a rainbow without the rain.
But you’d simulate in all the dreams you’ve ever wanted to come true – and you’d make those dreams come true.
My own life as it exists today is essentially hacked to pieces.
Relative to most of the other billions of people walking around on this planet, my life is practically a simulation of reality – at least, reality as most of us know it.
I feel like Neo did at the end of The Matrix. Well, minus the flying around part.
But just like he was able to remake the rules in that simulated reality (when he was plugged into it), I feel like I can pretty much do the same in my own life.
I’ve hacked my way past all of that.
My happiness has been significantly boosted by way of addition through subtraction.
I now wake up when I want, do what I want, eat what I want, spend time with people I want to spend time with, and go where I want.
And going where I want means I can also live wherever I want, which is currently halfway around the world, in Thailand.
I’ve never been in better financial, physical, or mental condition than I am right now.
This is what FIRE can allow for, folks.
FIRE can allow you to shift in and out of normal reality.
If there’s something you don’t like, change it. If there’s something making you unhappy, dump it.
It’s a form of power and control that can only exist inside of some kind of simulation… or a life of FIRE.
Simulate Your Own Reality
What my simulation apparently didn’t model in is an incredible amount of intelligence or some sort of amazing set of skills.
In fact, I suck at almost everything in life.
And I’m not even all that smart.
Yet I was able to create my own simulation, via FIRE, by staying persistent and consistent with very basic things: living below my means, intelligently investing my capital, staying patient, and building good habits in my life.
What this tells me, and what it should tell you, is that almost anyone can simulate their own reality.
Almost anyone can make Elon Musk right.
I fully understand what a simulation at a wide scale would mean, and how that wouldn’t confer individual modification abilities as I’m proposing here. But this is an inspirational piece, not a scientific one.
The crux of it is a simple question.
If there’s a one-in-billions chance that this is base reality (per the likes of Bostrom and Musk), why not make this simulation as awesome as possible?
Look, maybe Musk and his cohorts are right. Maybe they’re not.
It doesn’t really matter. And there’s nothing we can do about it anyway.
Well, actually, there is something we can do about it: we can ignore the bluster and existential crises, and instead get busy simulating our own reality within whatever reality (simulated or otherwise) we’re currently walking around in.
If Neo was able to see the simulated reality code in the movies, I kind of feel like FIRE allows us to do that in our everyday lives.
We can see the written rules that most people seemingly have to follow: get the degree, get the job, get the house, get the debt, etc.
It’s just that FIRE allows us to hack our way past undesirable elements of life, creating addition by way of subtraction, and live incredibly free and meaningful lives.
Cheers to Elon Musk.
He’s right, after all!
What do you think? Does FIRE allow you to simulate your own reality?
Thanks for reading.
Image courtesy of: Steve Jurvetson at Wikimedia Commons.
P.S. If you’d like to simulate your own reality by achieving and taking advantage of FIRE, check out some fantastic resources that I used on my way to becoming financially free at 33!