12 Rules for Life : An Antidote to Chaos

Who is Jordan B. Peterson?

An academic, and clinical psychologist of International renown, Jordan B. Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, is causing quite a stir. Jordan B. Peterson was born and raised in Northern Alberta, Canada, in a small town called Fairview.

A welcome breath of fresh air, Jordan B. Peterson is the taskmaster that we are growing to respect, and the schoolmaster, many strain to listen to.

Jordan B. Peterson is an individualist and a strong proponent of free speech. 

We’ve all heard this hackneyed expression, but we have never had the opportunity to have it described to us in such plain language. A language that we can easily understand and that brings music to the ear.

As an author and lecturer, he is ruffling feathers, and causing many, to clear their throats.

His greatest strength lies in his ability to fill in the words, that we non-academics,  struggle to find.

What are the 12 Rules of Life? … and Why are they An Antidote to Chaos?

These 12 Rules for Life are simple, easy to understand pathways, to guide us down the road of life.

Some are metaphors that have been around for ages.

Here are  Jordan B. Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life

Rule #1

Stand up Straight with your Shoulders Back

The benefits of proper posture are not only physical. Proper posture shows inner confidence which is the result of having won a life battle or achievement of some sort. Jordan Peterson describes this behaviour very clearly with “lobster posturing”.

Serotonin levels react similarly in lobsters and humans, thus the connection to lobsters. A confident lobster and a confident human behave alike and it is very easy to tell the difference between a confident lobster that has just won a battle for territory or food and the lobster that has lost this battle.

Stand up straight and pull your shoulders back to face the day. You will accomplish more and gain greater respect in your interactions with other humans.

Rule #2

Treat Yourself like Someone you are Responsible for Helping

We are often our biggest enemies. We do not always treat ourselves as well as we should. Be proud of who you are, and proud of what you have accomplished.

This positive reflection of yourself is also good for the people you meet and hang around with. Good begets good. An all-around win-win situation.

Rule #3

Choose your Friends Carefully

Be aware of your social circles and stay away from people who are bad for you. These are the negative, toxic types that always complain, and are envious of your accomplishments and of anything positive and productive, that is happening in your life.

A wise and well-known concept practiced by the successful. You are the product of the 5 people you spend most of your time with.

People who accomplish, contribute, and grow throughout their lives and careers hang out with similar types and people who accomplish little, have a similar circle of friends.

Choose your friends well. Stay away from toxic people who complain, have no ambition, and envy your success.

You are not obligated to associate yourself with people that make your life worse.

Do not associate with toxic people that are always trying to destroy society, destroy your dreams, and even destroy themselves.

This is not selfish. This is telling them that what they doing is wrong, for you, in the very least, and that you do not want to be a part of it.

Rule #4

Compare Yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is Today

Live your own life. Spend your days learning and working hard to improve yourself.

Be proud of your accomplishments and do not compare yourself to others.

Grow your skills slowly and consistently. This is one of the many noble ways for you to spend your precious time.

Rule #5

Don’t Let Your Children do things that make you Dislike them

We are not always as nice as we think we are, and this can produce a subconscious imprint, that later leads to revengeful behaviour on our children.

Limiting the number of rules, and minimum use of force can be a more proper path to follow.

Parents should come in pairs.

Raising children as a team, of mother and father, is a better blueprint for success.

This has been proven time and again.

Rule #6

Set your House in Perfect Order before you Criticize the World

Don’t go around telling other people how to do things that you can’t even do yourself.

If you cannot set your house, and your life in order, what business do you have in showing others how to do this.

Start by fixing your own life in small ways. Fix the things that are wrong in your own life first.

Stop doing things that make you weak and ashamed.

Focus on things that you would be proud to talk about in public.

Rule #7

Pursue what is meaningful, not what is Expedient

Meaningful things, make you feel good about yourself.

Meaningful, … is the halfway mark between order and chaos.

Rule #8

Tell the Truth – or, at least, don’t Lie!

Telling the truth can be difficult at times since it can be hard to know what the truth is. It is much easier to lie.

We know when we are lying, and lying makes us weak.

The result of this lying is an empty feeling that remains inside us. It can be easily seen by others.

No one wins from lying, and this is always the wrong path to follow.

Rule #9

Assume that the Person you are Listening to might Know something You don’t

The wise man can learn from a fool, but a fool seldom learns from a wise man.

Listen to people when they speak. We can always learn new things.

Even your enemies, and the people that bad-mouth you, can teach you important lessons about life, and yourself.

Rule #10

Be Precise in your Speech

Another self-evident truth.

The ability to speak clearly and accurately is a rare skill.

To the people that are precise and forceful with their speech, it is an easy burden to carry, on the road to personal success.

Rule #11

Don’t bother children when they are Skateboarding

According to Jordan B. Peterson, and modern psychological theory, this is mainly about masculinity. The seemingly crazy stunts that skateboarders are famous for, help to develop competence, and the strength to face dangerous situations.

This stretching of our limits moves us further along the evolutionary path.

Rule #12

Pet a Cat when you Encounter One on the Street

This is an autobiographical chapter. Here the author discusses pain and tragedy. When tragedy confronts us, we feel powerless, but this is the time to keep our eyes open for new opportunities.

“Pet a Cat” is a personal experience with a stray cat, that he observed and how this cat overcame adversity.

When your life is falling apart, and chaos is on the menu, break your life down into shorter time periods, so that you can survive these rough sections.

Instead of months and years, break down these periods of crisis, into days, hours, and even minutes.

Small chunks are much easier to digest. Shrink your time-frame into smaller windows.

This will make it much easier to handle the catastrophes and the harshness of life.

Always look for meaning in what you do, to sustain your soul at times when you are not where you want to be.

Thoughts and Conclusions

This is a thought-provoking book. Selling like “hot cakes”, sold-out, and flying off the shelves are a few descriptions of this book’s popularity.

Don’t go looking for it at the local library, they’re all out of copies, and you will be placed on a long list!

If you read only 1 book this month, … read this one!

Many of the chapter titles can be thought of as metaphors, and as such, hold much deeper meanings, and greater value.

Important life lessons for us all, this is an easy to understand presentation of 12 very useful life skills.

Last Words

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions about my review of The 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, I would be happy to hear from you.

Contact Me, and share your thoughts on this fascinating new book.

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