12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson
I talk about this book and its author all the time.
They both contributed a lot to my growth and development and impacted my current journey heavily.
Jordan Peterson, all be it with all the controversy, is a brilliant man. His positions and takes on many aspects of life are quite powerful and the way he phrases his sentences really hit home.
12 Rules For Life, are his set of rules to better and progress yourself as a human being in today’s world. Every chapter has a statement and Jordan uses stories, religion, history, mythology and whatever means he deems fit to make it clear to the reader how important that statement is.
I took a large number of notes while reading this book and have already started applying and/or thinking about the lessons I was able to extrapolate from it. I believe self-awareness is a strong theme that resounds across every chapter and one I have taken upon myself to be/reach in my life.
I can probably write a book on the notes I took while reading, so I will try to summarize the main takeaways, from each chapter, I found using bullet points for ease of reading to you:
Rule 1 - Stand up straight with your shoulders back: When lobsters are defeated their brain actually dissolves and a subservient brain grows in its stead. A lobster curls up when defeated while the winner stretches himself out. Don’t slouch, be confident and your body will release serotonin that will help you grow and develop.
Rule 2 - Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping: We seem to treat people better than we treat ourselves. Start by looking inwards, have a direction of where you are going and execute it. You cannot help the world if you cannot help yourself first.
Rule 3 - Make friends with people who want the best for you: This is such an important lesson for me and one I took many years before reading this book. I took a long and hard look at myself and the friends I kept, and I had to stop being friends with people that brought me down. Your inner circle affects you, so fill it with winners and people who want you to grow
Rule 4 - Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today: Another important lesson to me. I used to love to compare myself to others and feel jealous. By looking inwards and focusing on myself, I was able to let go of those petty thoughts and start working on growing and developing myself
Rule 5 - Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them: I am not a parent yet but these maxims make sense to me. I want to raise my kids to be themselves and to grow into adults that positively impact the world. As a future parent, I need to act as a proxy to the real world and prepare my children for it, not shelter them. “Parents should understand their own capacity to be harsh, vengeful, arrogant, resentful, angry and deceitful” is a great quote that shows the importance of self-awareness
Rule 6 - Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world: The title sums it up perfectly. Look inwards, be self-aware, and don’t judge others before looking at yourself
Rule 7 - Pursue what is meaningful not what is expedient: Delayed gratification is a concept that is new to me, funny enough. It is important though. We all need to focus on the long run and not just do something because it feels good at the moment.
Rule 8 - Tell the truth or, at least, don’t lie: Viktor Frankl, Freud, Alfred Adler, Jung all came to the same conclusion. Lies warp the structure of Being. I knew this myself as I used to be a chronic liar. Nothing good came out of it and resulted eventually in my downfall. It was the acceptance of truth and authenticity that let me get to where I am today.
Rule 9 - Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t: A major premise that was one I discussed in one of my recent podcasts. I used to be someone that will quickly judge if I can learn from someone or not. That was wrong of me. You can learn from every person even if that lesson is, don’t be like that person.
Rule 10 - Be precise in your speech: It’s ok, to be honest, and deliberate with the way you talk. Don’t talk or say things to please others. If you have a goal and a vision, say it. That is something I work on all the time, as I tend to speak without thinking.
Rule 11 - Do not bother children when they are skateboarding: We need to be challenged in life and not be sheltered. We need to fall and learn to get up, this is very important for our development. It is natural for us to not want harm to others, but it is good to take a step back and to see if us protecting them will let them learn or not.
Rule 12 - Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street: This chapter is one of my favorites as there are a lot of lessons to be learned. The main one is about enjoying the moments. Even if you are having a tough and bad day, there will be a moment or 2 that are good. Enjoy those moments and don’t let them pass with sadness and anger.
I truly hope you find this book as valuable as I have. I hope it brings you lessons that you can apply in your life and grow and develop. I can’t recommend this enough.
Recommended for: Everyone