The Impact of Inflation on Consumer Behavior and Adopting Stoic Principles in the Modern World

Feranmi Olaseinde

Hatched by Feranmi Olaseinde

Sep 04, 2023

3 min read


The Impact of Inflation on Consumer Behavior and Adopting Stoic Principles in the Modern World

Inflation rate grows by 1.13% year-on-year for May, as food prices continue to rise. The inflationary pressure, coupled with contractionary monetary policies, continues to drive the headline inflation rate to new heights, posing challenges for consumers and the economy at large.

The rise in inflation has a significant impact on consumer behavior. As prices of essential goods and services increase, consumers find it increasingly difficult to maintain their purchasing power. This can lead to a decrease in consumer spending, which in turn affects businesses and the overall economy. The continuous increase in food prices, for example, not only affects households' ability to afford basic necessities but also disrupts the supply chain, leading to potential food shortages.

Amidst these challenges, there is a growing interest in adopting stoic principles to navigate the modern world. Stoicism teaches individuals to focus on what they can control and accept what is beyond their influence. One of the stoic's greatest tools is knowledge. The more we understand something, the less likely we are to be scared by it. This concept can be applied to various aspects of life, including dealing with the impact of inflation.

When faced with a situation like the removal of a beloved office perk, such as a free daily coffee, stoicism encourages us to accept the change and focus on how we can adapt. Rather than wallowing in the misery of the loss, we can choose to run with a cart and recognize that the change is beyond our control. By improving our inner selves and relying less on external things for happiness, we become less vulnerable to the turbulence of the uncontrollable universe.

Incorporating stoic principles into our modern lives requires a shift in our attitudes towards material possessions. Consumerism often leads us to believe that the next purchase will bring us joy and happiness. We convince ourselves that a new car, the latest smartphone, or an expensive watch will finally make us content. However, this pursuit of material things only provides temporary happiness. Hedonic adaptation kicks in, and we begin to desire something newer and shinier, perpetuating a never-ending cycle.

To escape the trap of consumerism, the stoics suggest practicing voluntary discomfort. This involves subjecting ourselves to discomfort in something we typically enjoy. For example, instead of taking a warm shower, we can opt for a cold one. We can also challenge ourselves to hold on to our current phone until it is no longer usable, resisting the urge to upgrade with each new phone launch. Starting small, such as leaving our phones behind when going to the bathroom or driving without air conditioning on a hot day, can gradually strengthen our ability to detach from the constant need for material possessions.

In conclusion, the growing inflation rate and its impact on consumer behavior call for a reevaluation of our approach to happiness and contentment. Adopting stoic principles can provide a valuable framework for navigating the challenges brought about by rising prices and economic uncertainties. By focusing on what we can control, accepting the uncontrollable, and practicing voluntary discomfort, we can develop resilience and find contentment beyond material possessions. Let us embrace these actionable advice and strive for a more stoic approach to the modern world.

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