Nobody likes rules, and everyone loves freedom. There are various parameters of success, and its definition is different for everyone. But one element remains constant – freedom. People want more money because money buys luxuries that provide you freedom. If you are wealthy enough, you can take early retirement, chill in your forest cabin and read books. For the longest, people thought the accurate definition of success is your net worth. Still, as our civilization advanced, it can be seen, especially in millennials, that their meaning of success has changed drastically.
12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (Review)
Yes, money still happens to be the determining factor for most of it, but millennials value complete freedom over just financial freedom. What is total freedom, though? You are completely free when you have control over your finance, time, schedule, and location. Freedom is a big deal because every employment agreement requires you to attend an office for a determined period. Millennials don’t like this. They hate 9 to 5. That’s why we can see a surge in the number of entrepreneurial ventures. In a nutshell, people hate rules. Norman Doidge writes the foreword of the book ’12 Rules for Life’, and the very first sentence he writes is – ‘Rules? More Rules? Really?’ But rules are essential for life. They make us disciplined, and we become more harmonious with our overall purpose in life. But why will you follow the rules given in this book? Well, the answer lies in the name of the author itself. If you don’t already know, Jordan B. Peterson is one of the most influential and vital personalities in the field of psychology. He is a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. He has published more than a hundred scientific papers with the assistance of his students. His works have revolutionized psychology, making him one of the most prominent faces of this field.
Peterson starts the first rule of the book with a detailed analysis of lobsters. Yes, lobsters! He goes on and on, rambling brilliant facts and observations about lobsters and how serotonin affects their actions. For the first couple of pages, I was lost and, honestly, a bit disappointed. I enjoyed the observations on lobsters, but I found them highly unnecessary. But soon, the author established a correlation between the lobster’s behavior and us humans. So, if you are thinking about buying this book, be prepared for the long routes that the author takes to make his point, which is worth it in the end, by the way.
Another very fascinating thing I learned from the book is the variance between our definition of nature and nature itself. He states that city dwellers that live in a concrete jungle imagine nature as something pure, pristine, and like a ‘French impressionist landscape.’ Furthermore, he writes, ‘the environment is also elephantiasis and guinea worms, anopheles mosquitoes and malaria, starvation-level droughts, AIDS and the Black Plague. We don’t fantasize about the beauty of these aspects of nature, although they are just as real as their Edenic counterparts.’
I never thought about nature like that. Peterson’s approach opened my mind. There is so much humility in this approach. It ultimately grounds you to your roots.
‘Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping,’ this is the second rule, also one of my favorites out of the twelve. In this chapter, Peterson follows up on some critical studies to state how people don’t care for themselves. He shares how people tend to ignore taking their medicines but would go to any length to keep their pets healthy and safe. And it isn’t even hard to believe because somewhere or the other, all of us are guilty of doing this; we miss out on our medications even when we know they are necessary. However, when it comes to pets, people make sure they are getting the right medicine at the right time, get them vaccinated as per requirements, feed them the food that will bring them the best health possible. Why is it so? Why do we hate ourselves? The answer lies in our psychological history. The way we function is inspired by the kind of life our ancestors lived and the kind of things they did. Peterson states that human beings barely have enough reasons to like themselves. The lack of self-love is rampant and affects every area of our lives. He concludes, ‘But you know so much more about yourself. You’re bad enough, as other people know you. But only you know the full range of your secrets transgressions, insufficiencies, inadequacies. No one is more familiar with all the ways your mind and body are flawed. No one has more reason to hold contempt, to see you as pathetic – and by withholding something that might do you good, you can punish yourself for all your failing. A dog, a harmless, innocent, unselfconscious dog, is clearly more deserving.’ This paragraph completely blew my mind. I have annotated this book so heavily to go through the rules repeatedly until I absorb them entirely.
You will also learn about parenting from this book, where the author shares examples of his clients’ and friends’ children. It doesn’t matter if you are a parent or not; the chapter on parenting is funny and highly accurate. Often, we tend to blame parents for their children’s behavior, and Peterson states the dangers of ‘lurking at the extremes of every moral continuum.’
I particularly loved Rule number seven, which is such an important lesson for young adults. It’s honestly a life skill that rarely do we acknowledge – ‘Pursue what is meaningful, not what is expedient.’ This chapter will majorly teach you how to delay gratification. Even though we listen to so many motivational speakers share tips and hacks to delay gratification, it’s always a good idea to go to the root of the issue and understand the psychology behind it. Peterson takes a deep dive into this topic and brings out wisdom to the surface for his readers. By the end of the chapter, you will learn the life skill of avoiding and delaying gratification to be more focused and productive.
Rule number nine will teach you the importance of listening to others and actively so. Peterson writes, ‘Psychotherapy is genuine conservation. Genuine conversation is exploration, articulation, and strategizing’. Throughout the chapter, the author shares several examples from his client therapy sessions. Through each one of them, he guides us on improving our communication skills just by listening better. It may sound super simple but in reality, being a good listener is a life skill that nobody teaches us.
Throughout our academic life, we study various subjects and learn myriad things. But rarely do we get the opportunity to put all that knowledge into practice. When we graduate from our schools and universities and enter the real world – which doesn’t necessarily follow a code of discipline and uniformity, people tend to get overwhelmed. This happens because these educational institutions do not teach us the life skills necessary to survive and thrive in the raw, natural, competitive world. The world doesn’t function on formulas. If you want to cope in this highly competitive and complex environment, you have to strengthen your psychological base. You got to understand that more than physical solutions, the world relies on psychological ones. Most market strategies are based on psychology rather than other factors. Life skills will take you a long way in life. Failures are a part of our lives. There isn’t anyone who has not tasted failure to achieve something. Someone who has never come across failure has either never done anything in their lives or has just begun their journey.
Jordan B. Peterson’s book provides you with twelve beneficial rules and innumerable lessons that will take you a long way in life. Chris Evans said, ‘Everyone must read 12 Rules for Life. And then pass it on to a friend.’ I am in complete agreement with this statement. This book contains the amount of wisdom that you won’t find in multiple books combined. This book, however, is not beginner-friendly as the author tends to dive deep into a specific topic and from there takes many turns to bring the best material possible. Since he is a professor of psychology, naturally, he uses terms and phrases that may not be easy for a beginner reader to grasp. However, if you have read many self-help and non-fiction books before, and now you are looking for something unique and ground-breaking, this book is for you. You won’t find this book repetitive, even for a single second. Peterson’s approach to every topic in this book is outstanding and inimitable. I highly recommend this book to everyone. This book has made its way into my favorites list, and I read a lot of non-fiction books. So, the competition is pretty intense. But Jordan B Peterson’s book is so good that it easily made its way to the top of the list. So, definitely add this book to your cart, place your order, and thank me later! You can get the book here! 📖
12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos
Nobody likes rules, and everyone loves freedom. There are various parameters of success, and its definition is different for everyone. But one element remains constant - freedom. People want more money because money buys luxuries that provide you freedom. If you are wealthy enough, you can take early retirement, chill in your forest cabin and read books. For the longest, people thought the accurate definition of success is your net worth. Still, as our civilization advanced, it can be seen, especially in millennials, that their meaning of success has changed drastically.
Author: Jordan B. Peterson
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