12 Rules For Life – Jordan Peterson
Life is full of chaos. Jordan Peterson has 12 rules to live your life by that he calls an antidote to chaos. A way to turn the chaos in to order. A way to live a happy and meaningful life.
I highly recommend this book and to show you how valuable it can be, I’ll give you a brief overview of the 12 rules.
1: Stand Up Straight With Your Shoulders Back
Standing up straight with your shoulders back shows that you are confident and ready to take on life’s challenges.
Studies have shown that your posture when you are sitting or standing can actually effect how you are feeling. When we are feeling anxious or self-conscious we might naturally slouch and when we are feeling confident we’ll stand up straight. This link between posture and emotions works the other way too. If you stand up straight you will naturally start feeling more confident. If you purposefully slouch you’ll start feeling less confident.
2: Treat Yourself Like Someone You Would Be Responsible For
A lot of people are not very good at looking after themselves. They’ll eat a terrible diet, they’ll stay in bed longer then they need too, they won’t exercise as much as they should and they’ll waste their free time on unproductive activities.
However, when people are reponsible for someone they care about they are likely to encourage that person to do all the things they are not doing. People will actually feel worse because somebody they know isn’t living to their full potential then when they aren’t doing it themselves.
This even occurs with very serious things like taking medicine. People often start forgetting to take their daily does of medicine they desperately need; even if it means they will become seriously ill because of it. However, when someone is responsible for giving somebody else a life saving medicine daily, they will make sure to never forget.
So act as you would want to see somebody you are responsible for, and want the best for, acting.
3: Make Friends With People That Want The Best For You
Friends are very important in life. We are often heavily influenced by our friends so we should be choosing them wisely. You want to find friends that encourage you to achieve your goals. Seeing them regularly will help keep you motivated and working hard. You won’t want to let down the friend that is excited to see you deliver a project.
Having friends that want to do challenging things can also greatly influence your life. You might not be learning much from your friends if they mainly like to watch TV. Find friends that might lead you to interesting life experiences like travelling, trying new activities or embarking on a project together
4: Compare Yourself With Who You Were Yesterday, Not To Who Somebody Else Is Today
A lot of people compare themselves to others and see themselves as coming up short. This is a bad idea for many reasons. An important reason to note is we have no idea what the lives of others are really like. You might wish to have the life of the cool, hard-worker in the office but maybe her life is actually a lot worse then yours. Her personal relationships are a mess, Stress from work could be effecting her health or she might just have a negative outlook on life.
Instead, compare yourself to who you were yesterday. Look back at your past self and see how you have improved. Not only is this healthier, it might motivate you to keep improving; as you will be looking back in the future at the you now to see how you have improved even more.
5: Do Not Let Your Children Do Anything That Makes You Dislike Them
Many people believe that it is impossible to not love your child. Jordan Peterson believes it is very possible and takes it one step further: He believes you can start to dislike your child.
You should be careful when raising your child that they don’t start showing extremely negative behaviour. You need to be able to spot negative behaviours and change them. If your child ends up lazy, spoilt, entitled and rude, you might start to not like them very much.
And of course, if a child is lazy, spoilt, entitled and rude, people will be looking to the parents to blame.
6: Set Your House In Perfect Order Before You Criticize The World
Before you try to go out in to the world and change it, you might want to make sure you are prepared for it. For example, how can you expect to start a movement for political change when you can’t even keep a tidy house. Will you really be able to organise a complicated political movement when you can’t even keep your kitchen clean?
Make sure you have the ability to stay well organised at home before you venture out in to something that requires you to be well organised.
7: Pursue What Is Meaningful, Not What Is Expedient
It’s just too easy and fun to smoke a bit of weed, have a drink with your buddies or play a video game all day. It’s instant gratification that requires absolutely no work.
Instead of giving in to these impulses and having a good time, look for something that is more productive. It might not be as fun and exciting as hitting a club and knocking back some shots, but in the long run it will probably be a lot more beneficial to your life as well as being something to be proud of achieving.
8: Tell The Truth – Or Atleast Don’t Lie
Marcus Aurelius, the roman emporer and stoic philosopher said, “If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true then do not say it.”
Lying will often get your nowhere. You will be found out eventually and people will start to not trust you. This could happen socially, your friends start to realise that they can’t always believe what you are saying is true; this could lead to you losing friends. This could also happen in business. If you are known to bend the truth, companies might be less inclined to sign contracts or invest in you. They just don’t know if you will keep to the promises you have made.
9: Assume That The Person You’re Listening To Might Know Something That You Don’t
There are a lot of arrogant people with certain views on certain subjects and when they encounter somebody of the opposite view, their attitude is often, “This person’s opinion is wrong and they can’t teach me anything.”
In reality you can learn anything from absolutely anybody. If you discount somebody because of opinions they hold, what they look like or any other reason, you could be missing out on valuable information that you might need later. Always be willing to listen and learn; even if you believe the person you are listening to is extremely stupid.
10: Be Precise In Your Speech
People can misunderstand what you mean if you are not being very precise and detailed with your speech. You may have gone to see the Foo Fighters play live and decided it was the best show you had ever seen.
If somebody asks you how the show was and you reply with “It was good” as oppossed to “It was literally the best show I have ever seen”, the person might think you didn’t enjoy it too much and simply thought it was good. Maybe even that you didn’t like it much at all and just said it was good so as not to sound negative.
You don’t want somebody to misunderstand you like this when it really matters.
11: Do Not Bother Children When They Are Skateboarding
A lot of parents see their children involved in certain activities(for example, skateboarding), become worried and want to keep a watchful eye; ready to jump in to save them from danger at any minute. They might even want to stop their child from doing it completely in case they hurt themselves.
It’s best to let your child experience these things on their own. You don’t want them to feel like they are always safe because their parents are there. Kids need to learn. Let your child skateboard. They are learning a new skill, exercising and socialising with friends.
Let them make their own mistakes. If they become injured they might learn to be more cautious in the future.
12: Pet A Cat When You See One On The Street
Life is short so enjoy it. If you see a cat on the street, stop and say hello to it. It’s too easy to worry about who the owner might be or if it’s a savage beast that might get it’s claws out. It’s too easy to think, “Oh, I’m too busy to pet this cat. I need to get home and finish my work.”
You need to stop and enjoy life. Stop to pet a cat, visit the friend you haven’t seen in a while and try that new restaurant.