12 More Rules for Life
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About Jordan Peterson
Jordan Peterson is a Canadian YouTube personality, clinical psychologist, and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. He grew up in the wastelands of Northern Alberta. He earned his Ph.D. and post-doctorate in clinical psychology from McGill University prior to working as a professor at Harvard University.
Peterson’s various TV appearances for commentary on personality, religion, and cultural Marxism put his name on the map. More recently, in 2016, Peterson released a series of YouTube videos that criticized new discrimination laws based on gender identity. Because of these videos, he received significant media coverage ranging from criticism to praise.
Peterson describes himself politically as a classic British liberal and traditionalist. He supports individual liberty and maintaining tradition. That said, he doesn’t align with a right-wing ideology, even though he is often mischaracterized as right-wing.
Peterson is passionate about exploring the world. He has flown a hammer-head roll in a carbon-fiber stunt plane and explored an Arizona meteorite crater with astronauts. He has also taught mythology to lawyers, doctors, and business people. He has consulted the UN secretary-general and served as an adviser to senior partners of major Canadian law firms.
Beyond Order is a follow-up to Peterson’s International bestseller, 12 Rules for Life. In Beyond Order, he provides 12 more rules for living happier, more fulfilling, and successful lives. While 12 Rules for Life offers an antidote to chaos, Beyond Order asks the reader to go further. Neither complete order nor complete chaos will bring you fulfillment. So, Peterson’s 12 rules in Beyond Order encourage the readers to reach out into the domain beyond. Doing so is essential for adjusting to an ever-changing world.
StoryShot #1: Let Innovators Inspire You
Although Peterson describes himself politically as a British liberal, he insists liberals need to remember that social institutions exist for a reason. The reason they are maintained over long periods is that they offer many benefits. At the same time, Peterson offers advice to conservatives. Although social institutions are important, conservatives should be open to new ideas and ways of thinking. We should not marginalize those who are seeking to improve and innovate how society works. The world will change, and you have to be ready to adapt.
So, Peterson suggests the readers look at successful individuals and creative inventions as inspiration. All thriving societies feature a bottom-up hierarchy. This structure enables having an impact on the world but only on the condition that you accept the balance of society. Once you accept this balance, you must seek beneficial solutions. However, only those solutions to important problems are viable that can be repeated without decay across repetitions.
StoryShot #2: Imagination Is A Key to Success
Your mind has the potential to change your future self. Peterson describes imagination as a key to self-improvement. The most successful individuals had visions of things nobody had seen or done before. They challenged the social order and offered their chaos. We are all part nature and part culture. From the cultural side, a fantastic story has the potential to inspire us with unrivaled motivation. This is why our imagination is a priceless asset. It allows us to voluntarily confront the unknowns of the world around us.
So, encourage your imagination and use visualization to make these ideas a reality.
StoryShot #3: Life Can Make Us Scared to Grow.
Peterson describes the fear we develop as we grow older. Many of us are nostalgic about our younger years when things were easier and trust had not yet been broken. As we grow older, many of us become scared of ourselves, others, and the world we live in. According to Peterson, dark times in your life are like fog. We are afraid of not knowing what we want or knowing exactly what we want but failing to acquire it. We fear that failure is the most likely outcome. Finally, we are often terrified to define failure. This is because when we fail, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we were to blame. The outcome of these fears is that we don’t let ourselves understand what we want.
Along with this, we are afraid of letting other people know our desires. This is because:
- We worry that others are going to tell us what we want, even though we would like to remain ignorant.
- These people might decide to prevent us from fulfilling our wishes.
According to Peterson, people tend to hide things they don’t like in the so-called fog. This fog is the refusal to consider emotions as they emerge, and a failure to communicate them to yourself and the people around you. To be successful, you should be able to notice and convey your emotions regarding the things you want and don’t want to do. If you manage to do this, you and your loved ones are able to help you determine your purpose. This is particularly important because Peterson believes you cannot have happiness without purpose.
Once you establish your purpose, you should invest your effort into achieving it. Ask yourself how hard you are willing to work to achieve things you are passionate about. The degree of effort you associate with your passion will determine whether it can become an effective purpose.
StoryShot #4: Taking Responsibility Encourages Happiness
Taking upon responsibility offers a chance to excel in the areas where others abdicated. People tend to avoid responsibility and procrastinate because they are looking for easier ways to satisfy their desires. A prime example of this is social media. Likes, subscribers, and comments provide us with an instant dose of dopamine. Meanwhile, when we do the necessary work, we expose ourselves to more opportunities. Oftentimes, we get more benefits tomorrow when we sacrifice the pleasures of today. At the end of the day, nothing can compare with the feeling of accomplishment that arrives when we reach our goals. Responsibilities, no matter how formidable they can be, create meaningful paths that encourage happiness.
StoryShot #5: Find a Career You Enjoy
Peterson believes that life is too short to be spending time doing what you hate. Although there will be times that you have to overcome challenges, you should not make a deliberate decision to do things that are not to your liking. For example, you should find a career you enjoy. Work takes up such a significant proportion of your time that it makes no sense to do a job that makes you miserable.
StoryShot #6: Never Blindly Follow Ideas
This rule recommends moving away from strict ideologies. Although we should respect ideas that have stood the test of time, we cannot follow them blindly. Instead, we ought to admire people and their ideas but challenge them nevertheless. Along with that, it is beneficial to be open to people and groups who have opposing views. We are shifting toward a world in which only our opinions are perceived as good. The issue with this is that it creates a dichotomy where individuals with different views are considered the enemy. This leads us to an imaginary world where we are surrounded by enemies who want to destroy us, hence we must fight back. Something similar is happening with modern politics. The good news is that we can change it by respecting the ideas of others rather than accepting or rejecting them.
The solution to the problem of blindly following ideology is focusing on small tasks that we can tackle on an individual level. We should then accept that we are responsible for the outcome of our actions at the individual level. Specifically, Peterson recommends having some humility by cleaning your room and taking care of your family. These individual responsibilities give your life meaning without God and ideology. If you can find something significant to you and commit to it, you’ll feel fulfilled. Once you master these responsibilities, you can start considering tackling bigger problems that affect more people.
StoryShot #7: Diamonds Become Beautiful When They’re Put Under Pressure
Peterson uses diamonds as a metaphor to explain the importance of working hard. When exposed to extreme heat and pressure, coal can turn into diamonds, and these are one of the hardest and most beautiful substances in the world. So, place yourself under pressure by working hard and see what the outcome is.
StoryShot #8: Start Your Day By Making a Room Beautiful
This rule builds on one of the fundamental features of Peterson’s first book, 12 Rules for Life. In his first book, Peterson talks about how you must sort your own house before helping others. A practical example of this is making sure your bedroom is clean before doing anything else. Peterson believes that making one room as beautiful as possible is not merely useful for aesthetic reasons. This room can actually act as motivation. He believes that beauty shows us how the world could possibly be. Eventually, a tidy room becomes a motivation to go out into our imperfect world and make it better.
Peterson also notes that beauty can be scary. If we are surrounded by beauty, this can further highlight our own imperfections. That said, having just one room in your home offers a balance where you don’t feel overwhelmed but are prompted to consider ways you and the world can improve.
StoryShot #9: Don’t Let Memories Prevent You From Progressing
Memories can upset you as a perpetrator or a victim. Either way, you should not let these memories impact your life today. The best way of addressing these emotions is to write them down carefully and in lots of detail. This allows you to be in a better position to face your emotions and stop them from influencing your decisions. If you are emotionally influenced by a memory, then you have not fully processed it. Articulating this memory and writing it down in as much detail as possible accelerates processing it.
StoryShot #10: Communicate Your Needs to Your Partner
Most people rely on intuition and passion to maintain their relationships. These approaches will lack consistency and ultimately lead to an unhappy relationship. So, Peterson recommends relying on your willingness to listen and negotiate instead. This allows you to better communicate your wishes to your partner. You should respond with seriousness if your partner isn’t communicating with you effectively.
You must also avoid being naive about the beauty of love carrying your relationship. Relationships require hard work, and you should act as if all-out effort at all times is essential for the relationship’s success. You should divide household duties in a manner that you both find acceptable. So, do not subject yourself to slavery, but also do not expect your partner to do more without repercussions.
Finally, Peterson points out an essential key change that all partners should implement in their relationship. Talking to each other for at least 90 minutes per week gives the much-needed time to develop moments of romance and intimacy.
StoryShot #11: Find Your Purpose to Stay Positive
Being a human is strongly associated with uncertainty. Nature can hurt us in painful ways. Society and individual acts of evil can make us suffer. However, this doesn’t mean that we can’t be a good person or that society can’t be improved. If we all held back our resentment, deceit, and arrogance, the world would be an infinitely better place. The best way to defend yourself against these negative concepts is through diligence and continual purpose. Find purpose in your life and reject resentment, deceit, and arrogance.
StoryShot #12: Be Grateful For Your Suffering
We often love other people despite and because of their limitations. Peterson encourages readers to think of suffering in the same way. We can be thankful for our existence despite our suffering. At the same time, we can be thankful that our suffering makes our experiences of love, happiness, and trust even more special. Being grateful for your suffering can help you discover an antidote to the abyss and the darkness.
Final Summary and Review of Beyond Order by Jordan Peterson
Beyond Order and Peterson’s first book, 12 Rules for Life, act like Yin and Yang. 12 Rules for Life describes the importance of order in a chaotic world. In contrast, Beyond Order highlights that a bit of chaos is essential for innovation and positive change. Although the Left needs to understand that our social institutions are tried and tested, the Right needs to accept that creativity, change, and innovation is essential in an environment bristling with chaos.
The author provides 12 more rules for life:
1. Don’t belittle social institutions and creative accomplishments.
2. Have a picture in your mind of a person you’d like to be, and work purposefully toward becoming one.
3. Don’t put things you don’t like in the fog.
4. Pay attention to the fact that opportunities come with responsibilities.
5. Don’t dedicate all of your time to the things you hate.
6. Free yourself of ideology.
7. Pick a goal, work as hard as you can to achieve it, and see where it takes you.
8. If you can’t make your entire house beautiful, put at least one room in order.
9. If you are tormented by old memories, write them down in the slightest detail.
10. Be sure to put forth efforts toward sustaining romance in your relationship.
11. Don’t let yourself cling to resentment, arrogance, and falsehood.
12. Cherish what you have despite your suffering.
StoryShots Rating: 4.6/5
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This article was first published in April 2021. It was updated in March 2022.
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