The Diderot Effect: How Buying Fuels Itself - Deepstash

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The Diderot Effect: How Buying Fuels Itself

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The Diderot Effect: How Buying Fuels Itself
The Diderot Effect is a term that describes the tendency for purchases to trigger additional purchases. Learn how to escape from its grip & achieve freedom.

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The Diderot Effect

The Diderot Effect

It is a term that characterizes the tendency for purchases to generate new purchases.

Example: We set up a gym membership, and then we think we need better workout clothes, headphones, towels, a combination lock, and a bag to carry everything.

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History of the Diderot Effect

History of the Diderot Effect

The French philosopher Denis Diderot became a wealthy man at age 52 and was able to afford small indulgences.

He started with a scarlet robe and continued with other items, because they were not matching the elegance of that robe. The joy of everything he bought was short-lived. Piece by piece, Diderot replaced every item in his home.

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When the Diderot Effect loosens its grip

We live better lives than Denis Diderot and his peers and yet we always crave for more. We decide our refrigerator isn’t nice enough; not when the latest models are wifi-enabled with touch screens.

But our situation is more forgiving. We can always simplify. We can downsize into modest homes. We can shop less and give away more.

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Minimalism

Minimalism

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The Diderot Effect

Obtaining a new possession often creates a spiral of consumption which leads you to acquire more new things.

As a result, we end up buying things that our previous selves never needed to feel happy or fulfilled.

The paradox of choice

When it comes to getting things done, options aren’t always a good thing.

When everything is a possibility, it actually becomes harder to make the right choice. Meanwhile, when we place a constraint on ourselves, it can become much easier to get something done.

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The internal trigger

Look for the discomfort that comes before the distraction.

Focus on the internal trigger that precedes the unwanted behavior, like feeling anxious, having a craving, feeling restless, or thinking you are incompetent.

Write down the trigger

Write down the trigger, the time of day, what you were doing, and how you felt when you noticed the internal trigger that led to the distracting behavior.

The better we are at noticing the behavior, the better we’ll be at managing it over time.

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Anticipatory grief

Anticipatory grief is feeling unsure of what the future holds. It is that same feeling when someone gets a grave diagnosis. 

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Understand the stages of grief and realize that the stages are not linear.

Denial: The virus won't affect us.
Anger: You're taking away my freedom.
Bargaining: So, if I social distance for two weeks, will everything will be better?
Sadness: I don't know how this will end.
Acceptance: This is happening, and I have to figure out how to move forward.

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