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The Diderot Effect: How Buying Fuels Itself

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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The Diderot Effect: How Buying Fuels Itself

The Diderot Effect: How Buying Fuels Itself

https://affordanything.com/the-diderot-effect-how-buying-fuels-itself/

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Key Ideas

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.

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.

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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Excuses Breed More Failure

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Personal Responsibility Breeds Success

Making excuses allows you to externalize your failures and blame something else. It also demotivates you when you feel the outcomes in your life are out of your control.

Taking up responsibility does the opposite: It leads to introspection where you can analyze what you could have done differently. It will motivate you to work better and harder.

How To Stop Making Excuses

It all comes down to the stories you tell yourself when you feel overwhelmed or fail.

If you work too much and don’t have time for fun, do you tell yourself that people demand too much from you? Or, do you tell yourself you don’t prioritize your own time well enough?

In one story you are in control, and the other you are not. Focus on the story you can control.

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For example: If journalism is fueled by clicks, journalists are going to write sensationalist clickbait.

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The idea of owning a suburban home was fed to Americans by people in power: Suburbia has always been suitable for industry.

Big houses = big appliances. This fed the coal, steel, and automaking industries. With it came cars and oil that made the postwar American suburb possible. It is all as much a creature of government as of the market.

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The climate crisis and carbon dependency make potential homeowners reconsider the effects of suburban sprawl.

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