Imagine living all your entire life in poverty and all but a sudden, the situation changed for good then you became poor again. Not a wish though, but an incitement.
This was exactly the case of a French philosopher named: Denis Diderot who lived his entire life in abject poverty, but that changed at exactly 1765.
Sorry enough that ---- Diderot was 52yrs old and his daughter was about to marry as of then but he was unable to provide a dowry as the case may be. This man, despite his poverty level was well known because; he co-founded and was among those who wrote the famous Encyclopedia, one of the comprehensive compilations of the time since the world.
Things changed for Diderot when the emperor of Russia Catherine the great heard about his poverty level and offered to buy his library from him at the rate of 1000GBP, this may be approximately $50,000 USD in 2015 dollars, like a spark of light, the great philosopher had money to toss around.
Guess what, after his lucky sale, Diderot bought a scarlet robe (a bright red long loose piece of clothing worn especially on very formal occasions. Very expensive)
That was where he got it wrong. I guess this was what led to the famous statement attributed to him known as: “Diderot Effect”
The Diderot Effect:
He immediately noticed how out of place every other item in his house was, due to the excessive beauty that his robe possesses. According to the great philosopher; “there was no more coordination, no more unity, no more beauty” between his robe and the rest of house hold items.
Behold, he immediately felt the urge to buy some new things to match his expensive scarlet robe.
He started going wild with expensive decorations like:
1. He replaced his old rug with new one from Damascus
2. Decorated his home with beautiful sculpture and better kitchen table and utensils.
3. Bought a new decorative mirror placing it above his mantle.
4. And relegated his straw chair to the ant chamber by a leather chair.
This is what is called reactionary purchase and this was what led to what is called the; “Diderot Effect”
In essence, The Diderot Effect states that: “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.”
WHY DO WE WANT THINGS WE DO NOT ACTUALLY NEED?
Just like many others, I have been victim of Diderot effect many times. I recently was paid-off an old debt and guess what; I immediately started thinking about getting an entirely new wardrobe changed with new shoes, cloths and so forth. But on the contrary, I never worried about not having all these months ago when this sufficient amount have not yet entered.
Behold, I got all the money spent trying to meet-up with new things that goes in beauty with what I already had or have bought.
What is this? Life is really filled with inclination; we never think about to downgrade, to simplify, to eliminate or to reduce. No! We as human have natural inclination which always leads to accumulate more and more every day.
WAYS TO CURE Diderot EFFECT:
You should be careful because, according to Diderot effect it shows that your life is always going to be fighting for more things to get in it, so, there is need for you to understand how to curate, eliminate, focusing on the things that most mattered to you and your needs.
Do not get exposed to triggers: =
Remember, every habit is initiated by a trigger. One of the major ways to avoid the Diderot effect is to dodge these effects. If friends want you to meet them in the malls or eatery, instead specify you should meet at the park.
Avoid the trigger of going to public eatery every day, use tools like “freedom” to block your favorite shopping website if it is creating the Diderot effect for you.
Make purchase that fit-in with your current system: =
Assuming you want to shop for new cloths, buy cloths that will go hand-in-hand with the existing ones. Purchase electronics that have abilities to play with your previous gadgets to avoid making unnecessary expenditure.
Try this, go one month without buying a new thing: =
Please, try to restrict yourself from buying any new thing, instead of buying new grinding machine, rent one from your neighbor. Form the habit of self-contentment; from there you can be able to be resourceful and save money to invest in your career and or talent pursuit.
Try to let go-off wanting: =
Note this: “wanting is an option which your mind always provide, it is never an order to follow”
Buy a new Honda today and tomorrow you are there for a new model of Ferrari. And next day it may be a private plane like most Nigerians does gluttonously without thinking about the effect it has within the society.
STEPS TO REDUCE THE CONSUPTION TENDENCY:
Everybody knows this; our natural tendency is to consume more and not even less. Given this tendency, a wise one should take active steps to reduce his or her flow of unquestionable consumption so as to make our lives better at the last expense.
My article is not to reduced life to the barest minimal of living but to add meaning to it and I hope this article will help you to know how to live life with considerations in order to invest in your career and or talent pursuit in life.
This will prevent us from the same problem Diderot faced because, in his words he said: “Let my example teach you a lesson. Poverty has its freedoms; opulence has its obstacles.
See you next time!
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