Jordan Peterson's 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

Jordan Peterson's 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos
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We all have our ways of directing our lives and in choosing who to approach for life advice when we need it most. Many of us look to our friends and family for words of wisdom, and at other times, we refer to motivational books and advice columns that can answer some of those questions we often ponder. If you haven’t heard of Jordan Peterson, he recently wrote a book about the 12 most valuable things everyone should know, and we’re here to give you the breakdown of this “life guru’s” message to all of us. Guaranteed, you’ll want to take notes.

Who Is Jordan Peterson and What’s Significant About Him?


Jordan Peterson is a Canadian clinical psychologist, cultural critic, author, and psychology professor at the University of Toronto. His first book entitled Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief was published in 1999. It described the structure of beliefs and myths, regulating emotions, and the motivation for genocide. When he explained his thoughts before writing it, he said, “I had frightening, re-occurring nightmares about the possible destruction of the world. I decided, in consequence, that I would devote myself to the alleviation of my ignorance,” which gave him the urge to write his first book.

The 2nd one called “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos” contains ethical principles about personal responsibility. It dives into discipline, freedom, and adventure that helps us live a practical and profound life. This book became a number one best-seller on Amazon in the US and Canada and number four in the UK. Here is the list of rules that this book tells us to live by.

12 Rules for Life That You Should Know

1. Stand up straight with your shoulders back

There’s more to standing up straight with your shoulders back than just a guide on how to have the right body posture. Doing so exudes confidence, and it shows that you have a “bring-it-on” attitude. In turn, it makes you feel powerful. So, when problems come your way, don’t hide from them. Instead, look for a solution and approach them with diligence.

2. Treat yourself like someone you are responsible

Sometimes, people get so busy taking care of others that they forget to give themselves the attention they need. No one knows you better than yourself, so it’s crucial that you make self-improvement as one of your main responsibilities in life. That applies to taking good care of your health, cultivating your skills, and focusing on things that help you grow. After all, that’s the best gift you can give yourself.

3. Make friends with people who want the best for you

supportive friends

We all know there are a lot of toxic people and if we’re not careful, they could hurt us if we let them and can bring a lot of negativity in our lives. Word of advice, find people that will encourage you and celebrate your successes with you. In turn, stay away from people who take pleasure in your failures.

4. Compare yourself with who you were yesterday, not with who someone else is today

You’ll likely feel discouraged and disappointed in yourself when you compare your life to someone else’s. This information is not new, but it’s important to reiterate that everyone follows their own pace and path. The only benchmark you should use to see if you’re experiencing personal growth and if you’re better than you were yesterday –that’s it. Everyone else’s life course should not affect yours.

5. Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them

If you disapprove of your children’s actions, confront them about it. Don’t forget that as their parent, your role is to guide them in being the best people they could be and hopefully, they respect it enough to listen. So while they’re under your care, correct their ways when you’re not in favor of the things they do. You don’t want to live a life disliking your children because of some things they do that you could’ve at least tried to correct when you had the chance.

6. Set yourself in perfect order before you criticize the world

If you’re going to criticize someone for something they’ve done or are currently doing, then you better make sure that you’re walking your talk. For example, if you’re criticizing a person on how to handle their finances, then your own should be so well intact that if the criticism were to be flipped back to you, you have evidence to prove you’ve got it all figured out. As they say, practice what you preach.

7. Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)

hard work 

Choose to do things that matter to you, even if the process takes longer. Sometimes, convenient solutions will only give you results that are fulfilling on a short-term basis. When it comes to cultivating relationships, honing a skill, or achieving a goal, everything that truly matters takes time and effort. So, enjoy the process and put less focus on short-cuts just to get there.

8. Tell the truth, or at least don’t lie

Honesty is the best policy. Always tell the truth! When you find the urge to lie, don’t. Being honest always trump lying, no matter how trivial the situation may be. If you really can’t muster up the courage to be honest, then the least you can do is not saying at all. At all cost, refrain from lying.

9. Assume the person you are listening to might know something you don’t

Don’t think that everyone you talk to knows the same things or less than you do. So, be mindful of how you to people and don’t always assume you know more than they do. In a sense, don’t think you’re a know-it-all and you’ve got the answers to everything. Practice humility and be open to learning from others.

10. Be precise in your speech

be direct in your speech

Be direct when you talk to people. Avoid being vague in what you have to say just because you’re afraid to communicate it or how someone will respond to it. The better you are at being clear and straightforward with your words, the more likely you’ll get across what you mean and often, people respect that kind of boldness from someone.

11. Do not bother children when they are skate-boarding

This may sound a bit strange to you so let’s dig into what it means. Letting children plays allows them to confront danger and learn from it. As a parent, you cannot shield your children from harm (as much as you want to) and they’re going to have to face risks, mistakes, and maybe even physical hurt in the future. They have to learn how to deal with them, so allow them to experience an appropriate amount of danger.

12. Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street

You can take this in a literal sense, but essentially, the saying that you should pet a cat means you should try to be mindful of your surroundings. Appreciate what’s around you and what you may encounter. If you only lived a life with a tunnel vision perspective, then you’ll less likely notice that you even passed by a cat. So, live every day being in awe of what surrounds you.

What did you think of Jordan Peterson’s 12 rules for life?

Let us know if this helped you gain a better perspective on life or even just remind of things that you already knew. If you want to know more about how you can nurture not only your thoughts but your overall physical health, then check out this article on top 10 tips for healthy living

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