Jordan B. Peterson on 12 Rules for Life

Published 2018-01-16
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The clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson sets out twelve profound and practical principles for living a meaningful life. His 12 Rules for Life will offer an antidote to the chaos in our lives: with eternal truths applied to our modern problems.

All Comments (21)
  • Luca
    I was obese, unemployed, without a girlfriend...a meaning, this man and his books helped me massively, now I have a job, I'm graduating at the university in foreign languages, I have an incredible person with girlfriend, I've lost 50kg of bodyweight life is not that bad guys, thank you Jordan Peterson
  • Deniz feneri
    Before I heard of Jordan Peterson I did not even realise that in these new times we were missing a public figure who we can look up to, someone who inspires us, teaches and gives us a good example. For me, and millions of others, JP feels like the father figure
  • bougeac
    This man is a gift to humanity
  • Never have I been so moved than when I listen to Jordan Peterson.
    His humility and pure concern for us as humans, as individuals in need, calls to my soul.
    Each day, to be just a little bit better, a little kinder, a little more honest, to listen with real interest, all of this and so much more.
    To be just a little more, than I was yesterday.
  • Dream Surfer
    To anybody reading this, I pray that whatever is hurting you or whatever you are constantly stressing about gets better. May the dark thoughts, the overthinking, and the doubt exit your mind may clarity replace confusion. may peace and calmness fill your life.
  • Ms. B
    I just came across this amazing man today on 7/30/2022 and I feel very compelled to read everything he has written.
  • Samuel Braddock
    Being 18 years old watching him is probably the best choice ive ever made
  • Car Groves
    21:50 "You have a light you have to bring into the world, and if you don't bring it into the world, the world is a dimmer place, and that's a bad thing because when the world is a dimmer place it can get very very very dark." This is so profound in many ways. You caught me by surprise and put words to my 40 years of action, and got a tear as a reward. I like to think of my light as a torch to light others lights, I hope that makes sense Mr Peterson. Best of wishes to you. Thanks you for the mental health breaks :)
  • TelecasterXL
    I’m in a time of my life where I really needed to hear these words. I can not wait to read the entire book.
  • Super Meow
    Here are my notes:
    Stand Up Straight With Your Shoulders Back
    • Read the great clinicians: Jung, Freud, Adler, Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow + Skinner (behaviourist).
    • The neuropsychology of anxiety – Jeffrey Grey (1800 papers worth of understanding!
    • Affective neuroscience – Yak Pengsak (rats laugh).
    • Lobsters and serotonin (status, emotional regulation & posture).
    • Competence (intelligence and confronting fears with courage) define hierarchies.
    • Confidence gives you the benefit of the doubt, for better emotional regulation + being taken seriously.
    Treat Yourself Like You’re Someone You’re Caring For
    • Jung says it’s an invitation for reciprocity – people will treat you exactly how you want them to, you need to define this (the golden rule)!
    • How would you like your child to be treated?
    • People are fragile, prone to temptation and imperfect, which often gets worse, and capable of malevolence – this is why we don’t like ourselves.
    • Love the sinner but hate the sin!
    • Taking care of yourself is a moral obligation to humanity, you have a light to bring into the world!
    Make Friends With People Who Want The Best For You
    • People that aim down while you aim up are toxic (this can be part of you too).
    • You have an ethical responsibility to surround yourself with the best people that support your needs.
    • Be careful about who you share good/bad news with (jealousy and habit perpetuation).
    • Bad people don’t think life isn’t worth it, they demonstrate to themselves there is no necessity to strive forward by putting you down.
    Compare Yourself To Who You Were Yesterday, Not Who Someone Is Today
    • Know Dostoevsky novels (crime and punishment – murderer gets away with it [see don’t let you children…]).
    • Pareto distribution – height, weight and intelligence are normally distributed.
    • Creative products are distributed in a Pareto distribution.
    • If you run a company, 80% of the employees do 20% of the work, 20% of customers are responsible for 80% of calls and sales.
    • In a given domain, the square root of a particular group of people do half the amount of work.
    • Matthew principle: To those who have everything, more will be given. From those who have nothing, everything will be taken away.
    • Consider this in terms of opportunity.
    • There is always going to be someone around who is better than you.
    • Jung thought the Book of Revelation was a pendant to the Bible, because the Christ in Gospels was too merciful. An ideal is always a judge. Revelation has Christ coming back as a judge.
    • You need an ideal because you have nothing to aim at, but an ideal is a judge and you will always fall short of the ideal.
    • Set a high aim, then break the goal down into parts that are challenging enough to push yourself past where you are, but not crushingly distant (reasonable probability of success).
    • At 30, the idiosyncrasies of your life make comparison futile as accomplishments are tailored by factors.
    • Make today some tiny increment better than yesterday.
    • Goals need to be laid out to justify life’s suffering.
    • Nietzsche says, “he who has a why can bear almost any how”.
    Do Not Let Your Children Do Anything That Makes You Dislike Them
    • Freudian nightmare: Circle where people are squeezing each other’s necks hard enough to strangle them in twenty years.
    • Carl Jung: The shadow (dark side of humanity) has roots reaching all the way to hell.
    • Literal & metaphysical application – the very worst and then more proximal kinds of hell.
    • If you understand your dark side, you will see in yourself a reflection of the darkest potential. People don’t want to see this so they don’t, but this confrontation is an inevitable barrier to enlightenment.
    • Joseph Campbell: “Follow your bliss”
    • Jung: “Pursue what’s meaningful and you’ll encounter that which you least want to encounter”.
    • God of Horus (Egypt) was a God, but lost an eye in the battle when encountering evil. The Egyptian eye is that lost to Seth, the precursor to Satan.
    • Nietzsche punishment: don’t punish people when they do something wrong, this is a moral relief to them. Wait until they do something good, then hurt them.
    • When people do something you wish to be replicated, reward them!
    • Consult your irritability to prevent conflict and shape the times when others hurt.
    • Children must be socially desirable by four, we develop by playing! Adults like developed kids.
    Set Your House In Order Before Your Criticise The World
    • Carl Panzram – Panzram (autobiography) – “Hurry up you bastard, I could kill ten men in the time if takes you to hang me”.
    • Columbine kids diaries – why did the kids shoot up the school?
    • The above were judges of being as motivated by resentment.
    • You must admit to resentment, its fantasies and the way out.
    • A resentful person wants others to change are not to be trusted.
    • TS Eliot: The cocktail party – “I hope that there’s something wrong with me”.
    • If I don’t like life, is my judgement to be trusted if I haven’t done everything I possibly can to set life right?
    • The Gulag Archipelago – Solzhenitsyn. One man that stopped lying could spread the dissolution of the Soviet Empire.
    • GO over your life with a fine-tooth comb and determine when you took the wrong path when not shieled by ignorance. Take responsibility for where you are, what increased the probability that you came here and what would happen if set everything right in the present.
    • Try not doing the things you shouldn’t do, not saying the things you know aren’t true (Mandela agrees).
    Do What Is Meaningful, Not What Is Expedient
    • The Messiah takes the world’s sins upon Himself – associated with Jung’s shadow.
    • The terror that comes in the night <- book about sleep paralysis.
    • Ordinary men – bourgeois police battalion moved into Poland, but told they could go back to Germany if it was too hard for them. They were sickened by what they did but didn’t stop (don’t compartmentalise this!)
    • For there to stop being Nazis, know that the Nazis were you, then decide not to do that.
    Assume That The Person You Are Listening To Knows Something That You Don’t
    • Humility: What you don’t know is more important that what you know. There is more of what you don’t know in the world and your life isn’t what it could be. Make the identification of ignorance your friend!
    • Listen to people: Use wisdom as tools – do you want to be right or learning?
    • People will tell you what is wrong in their life and how to fix that!
    • Engrossing conversations are transformative!
    • People think by talking… what do you want?
    • Use others as a foil for your thoughts.
    • Carl Rogers dictum (a trick to tell if you’re listening): someone lays out their thoughts, then you say, “look here’s what I think you said”, is that right. You summarise their argument for them, and you don’t get to make them into a strawman.
    • Don’t win the argument, fix the damn problem.
    • The misery of fixing the problem is worth evading the misery of not. What are you running both to and away from in your life?
    • Also listen to your enemies and how they criticise you.
    Don’t Bother Children When They’re Skateboarding
    • ‘Strong men are dangerous and hierarchies are built on power and society is a tyrannical patriarchy’ – historically ignorant.
    • eBay proved the Western society is built on honesty.
    • Success is built upon conscientiousness.
    • Last 1800s, Nietzsche announced the death of god in the decimation of the divine masculine.
    • Adopt responsibility for your life, your failure to participate in being leaves a hole in the cultural landscape.
    • Restricting children’s play is a pathological inhibition of our fundamentally honest light.
    Pet A Cat When You Encounter It On The Street
    • In overwhelming crisis or illness, shorten your timeframe until it can be coped with (the power of the present!).
    • You can put up with a whole lot and not be corrupted.
    • Be alert to the unexpected beauty in life.
    • Be grateful for what you have and sustain yourself whether you’re successful or not.
    • If we didn’t all attempt to make terrible things worse than they already are, then maybe we could tolerate the suffering we have to and make the world a better place!
    • Do not cast pearls before swine – New Testament. If people are not listening to you, stop talking. Watch them instead, they will tell you what they’re up to. By offering what you have to say to those who reject it, you are devaluing what you are saying.
    • Look into John Taylor Gatto – the relationship between the classic Trivium and the Holy Trinity and how has that changed over time.
    • Ideals recede as you approach them. A good person is someone who is attempting to be better.
    • Christ is the dying and resurrecting hero. You learn things painfully. In this, a part of you has to die. Life is a constant process of death and rebirth. The thing that emerges in the place of dead wood is worthy.
    • Until the entire world is redeemed, we all fall short.
  • JamieN
    He’s 100% right about stopping talking to the ones not listening. I’ve lived this way for a long time & my life is drama-free.
  • Jason Schuerr
    Holy Crap! The best lecture I've ever heard. I was in tears at some points. Smart? Inciteful? That doesn't even begin to describe this. JP, you are a beast! And also the most well grounded person ever. I can't even express the impact this video has had on me.
  • Lily
    The moment I found Jordan Peterson, my love of learning returned. This world has really got me down. Jordan brings me hope.
  • Resanlo
    The fact of having been listening to jordan b. peterson for 1 hour and a half, has made me realize how smart he is, and how subtle and delicate language he uses. You can appreciate the contrast of wisdom with the part of the questions of the spectators. He has given us in a podcast an incredibly useful amount of information. Keep it up jordan
  • Terrioestreich
    I re watch this video once every 6 months or so, I end up going back to it when I'm feeling like I'm not going on the right track. It always resets my mind, I always find it interesting how our minds can wander around and start doing the things that aren't in our best interests again
  • SeeNightingale
    Where was Jordan in my teens or 20's? Wow, wow, wow!
    Being on the other side of much that he touched on fascinated me because I did a lot of work without understanding how powerful of a transformation I was going through.
    Recently [quite recently] I thought to myself (so spontaneous) if I was born to a monster how easy I would fall into that role myself. As kind of a person that I am, with a life goal to be better every day, I acknowledge my dark side. It is relieving to hear that to be an effective parent that's the type of knowledge someone should have beforehand.
    This was an excellent talk; enlightening and confirming.
  • one thought
    This man BREEDS the intelligent, self-aware, honest, conscious, genuineness, deep-thinking, ++ that we all have.
    Looking at this man speak, is like looking at myself, the difference being that he put my scrambled thoughts into words.
  • Kayla Ferrin
    I love how the media brands him as this insane far-right talking head that hates women and feminists. They clearly haven't heard him speak, or researched him any further than Twitter. As a proud owner of a uterus, and as someone who grew up in a completely chaotic household raised by horrifically abusive meth-heads- I find his books and talks to be so informative and useful in my life (even healing at times). Victimhood is no way to live, my friends :)
  • Goliath Sack
    1. Stand up straight with your shoulders back 4:30
    2. Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping 16:22
    3. Make friends with people who want the best for you 22:53
    4. Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today 25:45
    5. Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them 37:23
    6.Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world 48:51
    7. Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient) 58:46
    8 Tell the truth, or at least don't lie
    9. Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don't 1:05:00
    10. Be precise in your speech
    11. Do not bother children when they are skateboarding 1:11:45
    12. Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street 1:17:06

    12 Personal Notes
    1- Chapter titles come from the book. 12 Rules for Life
    2- I realize that some else has probably done this already, but I scrolled through the comments to no avail, so I helped myself
    3- Be a good friend & give me a thumbs up
    4- I started this last night, today I finished
    5- I spent some time with my daughter today, it was good
    6- work in progress
    7- I plan to outlive most everyone I know
    8- I only lie in bed
    9- Tell me something I don't know
    10- 3.1415926535
    11- I give kids skateboards to leave me alone
    12- My cats mostly stay outdoor & they know to avoid people, but you better be nice if you ever run into one
  • Nick Collishaw
    Every time I listen to this I discover some new meaning or reflective and enquiring thought. I don’t know if JBP the greatest mind and author alive, but he’s certainly my favourite and perhaps the most important to mankind and western civilisation at this present time ❤️