Life is short. It is cliché that hold true. As such how best we live it is subject to a lot of relative assumptions. The pandemic of depression and stress is evident in the rising cases of suicide and domestic violence across the globe. Men are the most affected. Dr Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote of Chaos is so far one of the most brutally candid assessment of what is wrong with world and how to face life head-on without any apologies. Jordan admits that he speaks mostly to men in his book, but the wisdom is profitable for all.
Here is a summary of the 12 rules for life:
- Stand Up Straight with Your Shoulders Straight
We must confidently accept the reality of responsibility in life. We must voluntarily face the fact that life has certain expectations. Maturity is accepting the reality of vulnerability and consciously undertaking a sacrificial lifestyle that is necessary for productive and meaningful existence. It also means speaking out one’s mind as it is our right to contribute as it is the right of others too.
2.Treat Yourself Like Someone You Are Responsible for Helping
Personal responsibility over ourselves in a prerequisite for meaningful existence. Most men do not meet the female human standards, that is, most women fine most men to be below their expected standard of attractiveness. To be competent, men should treat themselves are ‘projects.’ However, this is not the pursuit of ultimate happiness but a trajectory of how life would be if we care for ourselves properly.
3. Make Friends with People Who Want the Best for You
Bad company ruins good morals. It is not naturally obvious that good morals alleviate bad morals. To improve our lives, we must have the desire or willingness. Therefore, we must seek associations that are have a progressive idea of what is better. Would you recommend your circle of friends to your sister/brother, son/daughter, or wife/husband? If not, then they are not good for you. However, it is not easy to find such friends since it requires strength, humility, and courage to stand up near such people.
4. Compare Yourself to Who You Were Yesterday, Not Who Someone Else is Today
Comparing yourself to other is an insult to who you are. There is always going to be someone who is better than us by any standard. There is no one person that is going to be better than everyone else at everything. In fact, succeeding at everything means we are not doing anything difficult or new! There is always something better. Realistic and meaningful growth is asking yourself if you are better today than yesterday. Find something that bothers your today, that you can and would fix, and fix it. Then move on to the next thing.
5.Do Not Let Your Children Do Anything that Makes You Dislike Them
The assumption that children are ‘little angels’ is misleading. Statistics show that two-year-olds are the most violent people. It is a stage in which they explore the extreme limits of permissible behaviour. It is also a fact that crying is more often an expression of anger than sadness and hurt. We have the responsibility to mould the behaviour of our children in four ways. First, limit the rules to manageable and memorable ones. Second, use the least force necessary to enforce these rules. Third, parents should not underestimate their psychological propensities for being harsh and vengeful. Finally, parents must be proxies or agents for modelling real-life value such as love, mercy, and care.
6. Set Your World in Perfect Order Before You Criticize the World
Remove the log in your eye before you can see the speck in another’s eye, Jesus implied. It is our personal prerogative to stop doing that which we know to be wrong immediately. No ultimatums, no epistemological questions for this knowledge, and no excuses. We should not attempt to raise our fingers at the state (or anyone else for that matter) before we have organized our own lives.
7. Pursue What is Meaningful (Not What is Expedient)
Delayed gratification is the bedrock of success. The successful people sacrifice. To do this, we must examine the end. Expediency leads to temporary satisfaction that eats into the goals that we seek to achieve in the long run. This calls for humility and diligent attention to what is meaningful. This principle can be applied in all aspects of life from financial discipline to political discourses.
8. Tell the Truth, or at Least Don’t Lie
Truths with motives can be untrue. Telling the truth means accepting the constructs of reality but not bending them to service predetermined motives. Therefore, we need to establish an aim to make sense of our lives. However, this aim should always be subjected to what we could be without ignoring what we are. We should speak truth about our states without flavouring with tones of ambition that may make things what they are not. As men, we should be honest with our states and feelings to be truthful.
9. Assume that the Person You Are Listening to Might Know Something You Don’t
Memory is not a mere description of the past, that is, of something that cannot be changed. In fact, memory is a tool that can be used to make the future better by figuring out what caused something bad to happen in the past and trying to avoid it in the future. We are often tempted to analyse rather than listen. Analysis is usually leads to premature judgement. Listening allows us to learn something we didn’t know from others.
10. Be Precise in Your Speech
Most meltdowns are gradual. We try to ignore what is uncomfortable and suspend what is not politically correct until one day everything breaks down and all that filth comes spewing down. All because no one was confident enough to say anything against the negotiated order of community. Being precise means confronting the least of problems head-on by stating them as they are. We have to confront these issues candidly and look for ways of solving them.
11. Do Not Bother Children when they are Skateboarding
Over-protection is debilitating in the long run. Human beings are wired to be curious and even enjoy risk. However, when we are overprotected we crumble at the slightest manifestation of risk. A risk which could have been a rare opportunity to display our competence and prowess crushes us to ashes. Women desire men who are competent enough to be their mates. As such it is requirement for men to be competent men if they are to be desirable. Both gender should strive to attain their competences. Let men be men. Let women be women.
12. Pet a Cat When You Encounter One on the Street
The world is as bad/good as it is. We must contend with diverse challenges every day. We have to perish the thought that we can deal with all these problems at the same time. Deal with problems one at a time without missing the chance to cherish fond distractions. Once in a while treat yourself to a nice meal, take a break, knowing that although all your problems are real, they should not sink you beyond the wonder of being alive.