Diderot Effect

Let me tell you a story 🙌

The French philosopher Denis Diderot was poor his entire life, but everything changed one day in 1765.

Diderot’s daughter was about to be married and he could not afford the wedding.

Despite being poor, Diderot was known as the co-founder and writer of Encyclopédie,

When Catherine the Great (the Empress of Russia) heard of Diderot’s financial troubles, her heart went out to him.

She enjoyed his encyclopedia and offered to buy Diderot’s library for £1,000 ($150k today)

Suddenly, Diderot was rich. He paid for the wedding and acquired a scarlet robe for himself.

Diderot’s scarlet robe was beautiful. So beautiful, in fact, that he immediately noticed how out of place it seemed when surrounded by his more common and less expensive possessions.

Diderot soon felt the urge to upgrade his assets, lifestyle & possessions.
He replaced his rug, decorated his home with expensive sculptures. He bought a mirror and a better kitchen table.
Like falling dominoes, one purchase led to the next.

We often decide what to do next based on what we have just finished doing.

This behaviour is known as the Diderot Effect.

How to use this Effect to your advantage:-

Next time you want to develop a new habit, stack it after a current one.

Habit stacking formula:
“After [CURRENT HABIT], I will [NEW HABIT].”

Example:- After [I pour myself a cup of coffee], I will [meditate for a minute]

I came across this story in the book ‘Atomic Habits‘ by James Clear.
I even created a StoryCard out of it.

Also, check this out 👇

Be a master of your possessions, not a slave to them 🙌

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