12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos - by Jordan B. Peterson




my notes:


A brilliantly musical bird is a small warrior proclaiming his sovereignty.

A small fraction of the music composed by a small fraction of all the classical composers who have ever composed makes up almost all the classical music that the world knows and loves.

There is nothing so certain that it cannot vary.

Maybe you are a loser. And maybe you’re not—but if you are, you don’t have to continue in that mode.

Standing up means voluntarily accepting the burden of Being—building the ark that protects the world from the flood, withstanding the ensuing uncertainty, and establishing a more productive order.

Because we are so scientific now and so determinedly materialistic, it is very difficult for us even to understand that other ways of seeing can and do exist.

We see what things mean just as fast or faster than we see what they are.

Order, the known, appears symbolically associated with masculinity.

Chaos, the unknown, is feminine. It is mater, origin, source, mother; the substance from which all things are made.

Chaos is possibility itself, the source of ideas, the mysterious realm of gestation and birth.

Chaos, always sneaks into the inside, because nothing can be completely walled off from the rest of reality.

Eve immediately shares the fruit with Adam. That makes him self-conscious. Little has changed. Women have been making med self-conscious since the beginning of time.

Perhaps Heaven is something you must build and immortality something you must earn.

Only you know the full range of your secret transgressions, insufficiencies and inadequacies.

Predators have no comprehension of their fundamental weaknesses. But we know exactly how and where we can be hurt, and why.

Christ’s archetypal death exists as an example of how to walk with God despite the tragedy of self-conscious knowledge—and not as a directive to victimize ourselves in the service of others.

It is not virtuous to be victimized by a bully, even if that bully is oneself.

You have some vital role to play in the unfolding destiny of the world. You are morally obliged to take care of yourself.

A hero is something positive, not just the absence of evil.

It’s appropriate and praiseworthy to associate with people whose lives would be improved if they saw your life improve.

Michelangelo’s great perfect marble David cries out to its observer: “You could be more than you are.”

If the critical voice within says the same denigrating things about everyone, no matter how successful, how reliable can it be?

What you aim at determines what you see.

It takes careful observation, education, reflection and communication with others just to scratch the surface of your beliefs.

What do you know about yourself? You are, on the one hand, the most complex thing in the entire universe, and on the other, someone who can’t even set the clock on your microwave. Don’t over-estimate your self-knowledge.

Attend to the day, but aim at the highest good.

Thoughtful parents do not let someone they truly care for become the object of a crowd’s contempt.

Wikipedia is collectively written and edited and, therefore, the perfect place to find accepted wisdom.

Parents are the arbiters of society. They teach children how to behave so that other people will be able to interact meaningfully and productively with them.

When someone does something you are trying to get them to do, reward them. No grudge after victory.

You can discipline your children, or you can turn that responsibility over to the harsh and judgmental world—and the motivation for the latter decision should never be confused with love.

Bad laws drive out respect for good laws.

Watching people respond to children restores your faith in human nature.

You’re not doing your child any favors by overlooking any misbehavior.

An angry child should sit by himself until he calms down. Then he should be allowed to return to normal life. That means the child wins—instead of his anger.

It is the primary duty of parents to make their children socially desirable.

You love your kids. If their actions make you dislike them, think what an effect they will have on other people, who care much less about them than you.

Long ago, in the mists of time, we began to realize that reality was structured as if it could be bargained with.

Having friends is a form of trade.

A long period of unfreedom—adherence to a singular interpretive structure—is necessary for the development of a free mind.

An idea is not the same as a fact. A fact is something that is dead. Ideas are alive. They believe that what they are aiming for is better than what they have now.

Make the world better. It’s not bliss or happiness. It is payment of the debt you owe for the insane miracle of your existence.

Hell is eternal. It exists now. It’s where disappointed and resentful people forever dwell.

Nietzsche said that a man’s worth was determined by how much truth he could tolerate.

You should never sacrifice what you COULD be for what you ARE.

Every bit of learning is a little death. It challenges a previous conception, forcing it to dissolve into chaos before it can be reborn as something better.

All people serve their ambition. There are no atheists. There are only people who know, and don’t know, what God they serve.

Truth reduces the terrible complexity of a man to the simplicity of his word.

People are often willing to produce a lot of collateral damage if they can retain their theory.

Memory is a description of the SUBJECTIVE past.

People think they think, but it’s not true. It’s mostly self-criticism that passes for thinking.

Thinking is listening to yourself. You have to be at least two at the same time. Then you have to let those people disagree.

We find ourselves compelled to evaluate because listening is too dangerous.

A Short Experiment: When found in a dispute “Stop the discussion and institute this rule ‘ Each person can speak up for themselves only after they have first restated the ideas and feelings of the previous speaker accurately, and to that speaker’s satisfaction.”

Everyone is always broadcasting to everyone else their desire to encounter the ideal.

You have to consciously define the topic of conversation, particularly when it is difficult—or it becomes about everything, and everything is too much.

Say what you mean so that you can find out what you mean. Act out what you say so you can find out what happens. Then pay attention.

It’s competence that makes people as safe as they can truly be.

You don’t get peace by being right. You just get to be right while the other person gets to be defeated and wrong.