12 Rules for Life by the psychologist Jordan Peterson

12 Rules for Life by the psychologist Jordan Peterson

I’ve started reading the book 12 Rules for Life (An Antidote to chaos) by Jordan Peterson just because I read an article about it and it got my attention. I didn’t do much research and I didn’t know the author neither. It was an easy reading, I assumed, perfect for mornings while going to work. I didn’t know Jordan Peterson is a well known psychologist.

I found some chapters a little boring, but on a second thought that might have been because of the author’s writing style, or maybe the ideas and the concepts weren’t something that I related to. While I was reading, I kept going back to the table of contents to see Jordan Perterson’s twelve rules for life because I didn’t want to abandon the book so fast. Some made me smile, some got me thinking. I was close to the end of the book, when I finally found the rhythm got more engaging, and more insights were offered. I found one of them very useful, and it was the reason not regretting reading the book. Here’s what got my attention:

If you and your partner are fighting, you should go each other in different rooms, and ask yourself the following questions: “what had we each done to contribute to the situation we were arguing about? However small, however distant… we had each made some error. Then we would reunite, and share the results of our questioning: Here’s how I was wrong… “

“The problem with asking yourself such a question is that you must truly want the answer. And the problem with doing that is that you won’t lie the answer. When you are arguing with someone, you want to be right, and you want the other person to be wrong. Then it’s them that has to sacrifice something and change, not you, and that’s much preferable. If it’s you that’s wrong and you that must change, then you have to reconsider yourself – your memories of the past, your manner of being in the present, and your plans for the future. Then you must resolve to improve and figure out how to do that. Then you actually have to do it. That’s exhausting. It takes repeated practice, to instantiate the new perceptions and make the new actions habitual. It’s much easier just not to realize, admit and engage. It’s much easier to turn your attention away from the truth and remain wilfully blind. But it’s at such a point that you must decide whether you want to be right or you want to have peace.”

“You must decide whether to insist upon the absolute correctness of your view, or to listen and negotiate. You don’t get peace by being right. You just get to be right, while your partner gets to be wrong – defeated and wrong. Do than ten thousand times and your marriage will be over (or you will wish it was). To choose the alternative – to seek peace – you have to decide that you want the answer, more than you want to be right.That’s the way out of the prison of your stubborn preconceptions. That’s the prerequisite for negotiation. That’s to truly abide by principle of Rule 2.”

You don’t get peace by being right. I loved this piece of advice. We sometimes forget this. Because being right nurtures our ego, not our soul. Don’t forget this, and please, do follow the 12 rules for life proposed by Jordan Peterson.

12 rules for life (an antidote for chaos):

  1. Stand up straight with your shoulders back
  2. Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping
  3. Make friends with people who want the best for you
  4. Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today
  5. Do not let your children to anything that makes you dislike them
  6. Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world
  7. Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)
  8. Tell the truth – or at least don’t lie
  9. Assume that the persons you are listening to might know something you don’t
  10. Be precise in your speech
  11. Do not bother children when they are skateboarding
  12. Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street

You can also watch this video to see if it’s worth reading the book too.

Enjoy your readings,