Last month, I finally finished reading 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson, a clinical psychologist, best-selling author and internet sensation.
Like most people, I discovered Jordan B. Peterson when I stumbled upon his videos on YouTube at the beginning of the year. I watched hours of his lectures online and lobbied a friend so that she can bring me a copy of his book when she came back from her recent trip to Paris. Thanks Val!
His book (as the name suggests) lists 12 rules that are meant to help you deal with the chaotic parts of life. I highlighted some quotes while reading it and here are some that stuck with me.
Rule 1: Stand up straight with your shoulders back
No one likes to be pushed around, but people often put up with it for too long.
Rule 2: Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping
You are important to other people, as much as to yourself. You have some vital role to play in the unfolding destiny of the world.
Rule 3: Make friends with people who want the best for you
If you surround yourself with people who support your upward aim, they will not tolerate your cynicism and destructiveness. They will instead encourage you when you do good for yourself and others and punish you carefully when you do not.
Rule 4: Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today
Much of happiness is hope, no matter how deep the underworld in which that hope was conceived.
Rule 5: Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them
You love your kids, after all. If their actions make you dislike them, think what an effect they will have on other people, who care much less about them than you.
Rule 6: Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world
Inopportune questioning can confuse, without enlightening, as well as deflecting you from action.
Rule 7: Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)
To have meaning in your life is better than to have what you want, because you may neither know what you want, nor what you truly need.
Rule 8: Tell the truth – or, at least, don’t lie
We can open our eyes and modify what we have where necessary and keep the machinery running smoothly. Or we can pretend that everything is alright, fail to make the necessary repairs, and then curse fate when nothing goes our way.
Rule 9: Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t
Genuine conversation is exploration, articulation and strategizing.
Rule 10: Be precise in your speech
Courageous and truthful words will render your reality simple, pristine, well-defined and habitable.
Rule 11: Do not bother children when they are skateboarding
Overprotected, we will fail when something dangerous, unexpected and full of opportunity suddenly makes its appearance, as it inevitably will.
Rule 12: Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street
Put the things you can control in order. Repair what is in disorders, and make what is already good better.
Quotes from Jordan B. Petersen’s 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos