The Spiral of Consumption


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Eighteenth century French philosopher, Denis Diderot, became rich after writing Encyclopedie, one of the most comprehensive encyclopedia’s at the time.

His wealth enabled him to satisfy a want he had – to buy a very expensive robe. Soon after buying the robe, he decided to replace all of his clothing in order to match the beauty of the robe. This escalated into a series of purchases that included art for the walls of his home and other accessories.

Diderot, realizing his folly, wrote about this Spiral of Consumption in an essay titled, “Regrets on Parting with My Old Dressing Gown.”

Diderot explains how new consumption often leads to a Spiral of Consumption that can enslave you and rob you of your wealth.

This psychological tendency is known as Want Spending and Lifestyle Creep. We see it at work with celebrities such as Johnny Depp and Connor McGregor, whose reckless spending has eroded their wealth.

The only way to stop this Spiral of Consumption, known as Want Spending, in its tracks is to replace envy or greed with gratitude or gratefulness.

Gratitude shifts your thinking from negative (envy/greed) to positive (gratitude/gratefulness). It is like a stop sign that prevents this Spiral of Consumption from addicting you to Want Spending, and bleeding you of the hard-earned money you’ve accumulated.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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