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12 Things I Learned Reading “12 Rules for Life” by Jordan B. Peterson

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Image of Jordan Peterson in thumbnail attributed to Gage Skidmore.
Image of Jordan Peterson attributed to Gage Skidmore.

I am excited to share with you 12 things that I learned while I was reading the popular book “12 Rules for Life – An Antidote to Chaos” by Jordan Peterson. It is definitely an interesting read, from a very interesting author and person being Jordan Peterson who people seem to either really like, or really dislike, but I definitely think the book is a must-read for anyone who wants to live a better life.

I tried reading this book twice and only got a chapter or two in before I put it down, but the third time was the charm as I listened to it on Audible and I’m definitely glad I did! Here are my thoughts about the 12 rules Peterson shared in his book.

RULE 1 – STAND UP STRAIGHT WITH YOUR SHOULDERS BACK

With this first rule, I was reminded of the importance of good posture, yes, but also of a good life lesson. Standing tall and with our shoulders back tells people that we are confident and focused. We know who we are, what we’re doing, and why we’re doing it and people take us more seriously. It’s not about having your chest puffed out so others think you are cocky or arrogant, but it’s about setting the tone and communicating that you are on-mission.

RULE 2 – TREAT YOURSELF LIKE SOMEONE YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR HELPING

This was probably my favourite rule from the book because I feel like it can be applied in many situations and solve a lot of problems people face in life. I think that we can find ourselves in positions where it might seem easier to give advice to someone else who’s going through a challenge or difficulty and we often don’t want to listen to our own advice, which we might know is best, but we come up with a variety of excuses like “it’s going to be too much work to get out of debt” or “that solution might work for you, but my situation’s different…”. Just like the people in our lives need the best version of ourselves, you deserve the best version of yourself, too, and it’s your responsibility to make that happen.

RULE 3 – MAKE FRIENDS WITH PEOPLE WHO WANT THE BEST FOR YOU

You become who you hangout with, it’s simple. If you want to be a good person, friends who want the best for you will help you achieve this, but it you want to be a good person and hang around with friends who don’t want the best for you, it’s not going to happen. These people will tear you down, put their selfish desires ahead of yours, and look out for them and them alone. I think people can hear this third rule and want this to happen, but it’s a lot harder for them to create it in their life for many reasons. You might have history with people that goes way back, someone is family, or a coworker you spend a lot of time with, but if someone doesn’t want the best for you, that’s not best for you!

RULE 4 – COMPARE YOURSELF TO WHO YOU WERE YESTERDAY, NOT TO WHO SOMEONE ELSE IS TODAY

This rule ties perfectly into my mission with this YouTube channel. I want to create content that challenges people to get better. Every Day. And that doesn’t happen when you compare yourself to other people. It happens when you take an honest look at yourself and where you are today and then ask “HOW CAN I BE BETTER?” It’s a simple question that will bring you massive growth in life. Those 1% gains will add up big time when it comes to your mindset, your money, your relationships and anything else you want to improve in your life!

RULE 5 – DO NOT LET YOUR CHILDREN DO ANYTHING THAT MAKES YOU DISLIKE THEM

I’ll start my thoughts on this rule by saying that I don’t have kids, maybe one day I will, but I’m coming at this one purely speaking from my thoughts. I believe that a huge majority of who we are comes from the environment we are in and what we learn. With this rule, I think that some people could hear it and mistakenly interpret it as “I MUST LIKE MY KID AND BE LIKED BY THEM” but that’s not what the rule says. Kids will push boundaries, I was probably the one of my siblings that did that to my parents, but in roles of responsibility we need to do what’s right for the kid, and what’s right for the kid might not always be easy to do or make you the most popular in their eyes.

RULE 6 – SET YOUR HOUSE IN PERFECT ORDER BEFORE YOU CRITICIZE THE WORLD

I wish we lived it a world where this rule was the norm, but it’s not. Still, I think we can take a lot away from this rule when we live by it ourselves. I think it was a good reminder for me not to criticize others because I truly don’t know what the situation they might be in is like. There are too many variables for this to be the case, so I couldn’t possibly know what the solution is and I have too many things that need solutions in my own life to spend my time and energy criticizing someone else.

RULE 7 – PURSUE WHAT IS MEANINGFUL (NOT WHAT IS EXPEDIENT)

A big lesson I’ve learned over the past few years is to pursue purpose and meaning and not just the easy option. If we want to live an extraordinary life, we need to do extraordinary things, and that doesn’t have if we’re always doing the easiest, or most convenient things. I look at building my business, it’s been three years of putting content out, learning skills I never had, and failing time and time again, but I know what I want to accomplish and I’m going to make that happen. If I only did what was easy, I wouldn’t be here, so my challenge to you is to figure out what is meaningful to you and why aren’t you doing it?

RULE 8 – TELL THE TRUTH – OR AT LEAST, DON’T LIE

This is a simple one. Our words are powerful. Tell the truth, say what you mean and mean what you say.

RULE 9 – ASSUME THAT THE PERSON YOU ARE LISTENING TO MIGHT KNOW SOMETHING YOU DON’T

When you learn this lesson, your world will open up to so much potential. Approaching everyone you have a conversation with this way and go into the conversation without judgement and expectation, you conversations will come alive and you will love where they take you!

RULE 10 – BE PRECISE IN YOUR SPEECH

I said it in Rule 8. Say what you say and mean what you say and if I am being honest, I believe being precise in my speech is an area of my life I can work on after reading this book.

RULE 11 – DO NOT BOTHER CHILDREN WHEN THEY ARE SKATEBOARDING

One quick thought I had while reading this chapter is to be aware of situations I am in with responsibility and only use my power when necessary. There were also a lot of interesting stats in this rule that I don’t want to reveal and I’d rather you take-in on your own, so this is a good time to say that if you want to get a copy of “12 Rules for Life” by Jordan Peterson, click the here.

RULE 12 – PET A CAT WHEN YOU ENCOUNTER ONE ON THE STREET

The last rule surprised me a bit, but challenged me to be open to the idea that there are moments that happen in life where I should be open to simply let things happen as they happen and not miss out on the simple and unexpected things in life. 

After reading the book, I have to say that the biggest thing I liked about this book was the simple practicality of the 12 rules and the fact that anyone can start doing these things right away. Have you read “12 Rules for Life”? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below!

You can also watch the full video on our YouTube channel here.

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