12 Rules for Life

12 Rules for Life

An Antidote to Chaos

Book - 2018
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"What does everyone in the modern world need to know? Renowned psychologist Jordan B. Peterson's answer to this most difficult of questions uniquely combines the hard-won truths of ancient tradition with the stunning revelations of cutting-edge scientific research. Humorous, surprising and informative, Dr. Peterson tells us why skateboarding boys and girls must be left alone, what terrible fate awaits those who criticize too easily, and why you should always pet a cat when you meet one on the street. What does the nervous system of the lowly lobster have to tell us about standing up straight (with our shoulders back) and about success in life? Why did ancient Egyptians worship the capacity to pay careful attention as the highest of gods? What dreadful paths do people tread when they become resentful, arrogant and vengeful? Dr. Peterson journeys broadly, discussing discipline, freedom, adventure and responsibility, distilling the world's wisdom into 12 practical and profound rules for life. 12 Rules for Life shatters the modern commonplaces of science, faith and human nature, while transforming and ennobling the mind and spirit of its readers."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Toronto :, Random House Canada,, [2018]
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780345816023
Branch Call Number: 170.44 PET
Characteristics: xxxv, 409 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: Twelve rules for life

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VaughanPLDavidB Nov 25, 2020

Peterson's just-announced new book, Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life, brought me here.
I read this book more than two years ago and I am surprised to find that I never rated or reviewed it. On the surface, the titles of each chapter seem basic, almost simplistic. However, once you dive into the chapter, you see that they are anything but simplistic. You quickly realize that they are actually foundational rules for living a meaningful life. I struggled at times to follow the paths he took to make his points, but once I got to the destination, his words really hit home.

a
ASTEFANOV
Sep 09, 2020

It is a sad state of our society when the Executive Director of The Citadel Theater, Chantell Ghosh, rejected Jordan Peterson's request to have presentation and promotion of this book in Edmonton. Born and raised in Alberta, spent many years in Edmonton, admired and respected throughout the World, humiliated in his home town. CBC called him "controversial". I wouldn't be surprised if I see a book burning ceremony at the Churchill Square in my lifetime.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/citadel-theatre-jordan-peterson-1.4490587

j
jessegabriel
Aug 26, 2020

What can I even say? It's phenomenal! Just life-changing!
You'll definitely have to pick this one up, but make sure you're doing it because you want to make the choice to change your life. Reading this and not using any of this information is a waste. But it's difficult not to use any of the advice given by Jordan, because he insists on action, and he plainly gives the steps for that action.

It's got a lot of big and impressive words in it, but the entertaining story-telling and the humour definitely counteract that. He does go on tangents about religion, mythology, psychology, and Nietzsche frequently, sometimes to where only someone interested in those intelligent/abstract topics could bare it, but that does not overshadow the immense value packed in this book.

Rules 11 and 12's answers are somewhat vague, and the content of those rule "chapters" don't seem to even be related to the rule at all on the surface, which is confusing, but he does pack it with a lot of abstract ideas about meaning and suffering, which are equally as valuable if you're slightly interested in it.

Is the entire book easy to read? No, Jordan's a University Professor, and heavily invested in literature and psychology, so his words, phrases, and paragraphs are sometimes going to be hard to follow for someone who isn't interested in it. But if you're interested in deep psychological life questions about meaning, suffering, God, and Being, then this book is definitely for you.

Basically, if you have no interest in abstract concepts or deep ideas, and want the information in front of your face precisely, in list form, and can't stand story-telling or tangents on deeper topics that have a vague connection to each other on the surface, then it would probably be better to find a summary online (although 12 Rules for life wouldn't be a book without all the useful side-knowledge). But you'll miss out on the phenomenal writing this book literally bleeds out of its pages, so if you want to see the deeper connection past a listed summary, read this book 100%.

a
aiden_lee
Aug 05, 2020

Whatever has been said in laud of this book has not been enough. Simply life changing. Someone in this comment section has stated that the author is verbose, but I would say I wanted more.
Jordan Peterson is a master at explaining in simple, layman terms all the knowledge that he has accumulated in his practice as a clinical Psychologist.

a
ALL0419
Aug 03, 2020

Maybe it's me- not the right time to get into this book. I found its rambling to take away from the interesting parts. Couldn't get into it. Returned it without reading more than a chapter or 2. Skimmed some of it and had no interest in a proper reading.

k
kwsmith
Aug 02, 2020

Clinical psychologist and controversial university professor Jordan Peterson presents 12 simple rules for improving your life by restoring a sense of order. Peterson writes in a very academic fashion, so each rule is mashed into long fascinating chapters that wander liberally through the scholarly weeds. Throughout the book, Peterson patiently constructs a framework for people who feel dehumanized by the "postmodern Neo-Marxism" that Peterson believes is developing within western society. From the personal stories contained in this book, it is clear that Peterson has seen enough darkness in his own life to offer credible advice to those of us who are suffering from our own modern demons. And his 12 rules are very worthy of consideration, indeed. Note that there's a lot of western Christianity and Stoicism in this book, though some is justifiably structured as a historical and philosophical examination of the roots of western society rather than the typical "bible thumping" dismissals that often follow Peterson around. On the other hand, I had more trouble justifying Peterson's very traditional views of man and woman; for example, he characterizes women as "chaos" and men as "order" while describing the many roles that men have played in constructing the foundations of western society. Still, even though I can't agree with everything in this book, it remains one of the most entertaining scholarly works that I have had the pleasure to read in recent years.

v
victoriadouglas135
Apr 17, 2020

This type of book are for those who have insatiable thirsts for different takes on living a good life. I honestly love Peterson's rambling, if you have ever heard him talk he writes in the same way. These "rules" are just guidelines, but they're darn good ones. You can take them or leave them.

c
CNLovesBooks
Apr 01, 2020

Darrell's recommendation

m
MikeHanafin
Mar 26, 2020

This book was recommended to me by two people I respect, and who respect me. Basically they said “Just read it, I’d like to know what you think.”
So I did. And I’m still not sure what I think.
Peterson is in the news these days for sad reasons (a reported near-death experience due to a reported addiction to meds—but even that is shrouded in mystery), and there’s nothing un-complicated about this guy, it seems.
General review: some good, or even great advice at times about ways to make yourself a better person in the world, mixed with some provocative ideas and principles at other times. But far, far, far, far too long-winded and meandering--400 pages that easily could have been written in 200—hell...even 150 pages. We get it, you’re smart, well read, and can recite biblical passages and the works of Freud and Jung from memory. But for at least 3 chapters later in the book I read the first 3-4 pages, skimmed through 20 , then read the last 3-4 where he concludes his “thesis”. And that’s what it felt like...every chapter—a thesis.
Like I said, some of it was really worth reading...and I’m glad I read it. But some of it was too much. It loses its impact after 50 tangents.
Chapter/Rule 11: “Do not bother children when they are skateboarding” was the most provocative chapter in the book...basically trying to debunk the modern concept of changing gender roles.
If you want to dive into all the “controversial” stuff about Peterson, feel free to Google. I just wanted to read the book.

VaughanPLJaniceA Feb 20, 2020

Great book, inspirational but too dry to read. He spend too much time on other things that are irrelevant to his rules on each of his chapters. After 6 chapters, I feel it a bit too dull... Continuous battle between consciousness and drifting off by the book, finally... I finish the book!

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Quotes

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m
mpks
Apr 29, 2019

And once in Hell, it is very easy to curse Being itself. And no wonder. But it's not justifiable. *And that's why the King of the Damned is a poor judge of Being.* 2/2

m
mpks
Apr 29, 2019

Failure to make the proper sacrifices, failure to reveal yourself, failure to live and tell the truth--all that weakens you. In that weakened state, you will be unable to thrive in the world, and you will be of no benefit to yourself or to others. You will fail and suffer, stupidly. That will corrupt your soul. How could it be otherwise? Life is hard enough when it is going well. But when it's going badly? And I have learned through painful experience that nothing is going so badly that it can't be made worse. This is why Hell is a bottomless pit. This is why Hell is associated with that aforementioned sin. In the most awful of cases, the terrible suffering of unfortunate souls becomes attributable, by their own judgment, to mistakes they made knowingly in the past: acts of betrayal, deception, cruelty, carelessness, cowardice, and, most commonly of all, willful blindness. To suffer terribly and to know yourself as the cause: that is Hell. 1/2

m
mpks
Apr 29, 2019

But it's a temporary solution, for predictable and sullen obedience. Who can live forever with that? But negotiation--that requires forthright admission on the part of both players that the dragon exists. That's a reality difficult to face, even when it's still too small to simply devour the knight who dares confront it. 2/2

m
mpks
Apr 29, 2019

In many households, in recent decades, the traditional household division of labor has been demolished, not least in the name of liberation and freedom. That demolition, however, has not left so much glorious lack of restriction in its wake as chaos, conflict, and indeterminacy. The escape from tyranny is often followed not by Paradise, but by a sojourn in the desert--aimless, confused, and deprived. Furthermore, in the absence of agreed-upon tradition (and the constraints--often uncomfortable; often even unreasonable--that it imposes), there exist only three difficult options: slavery, tyranny, or negotiation. The slave merely does what he or she is told--happy, perhaps, to shed the responsibility--and solves the problem of complexity in that manner. But it's a temporary solution. The spirit of the slave rebels. The tyrant merely tells the slave what to do, and solves the problem of complexity in that manner. 1/2

m
mpks
Apr 29, 2019

The heightened knowledge of fragility and mortality produced by death can terrify, embitter, and separate. It can also awaken. It can remind those who grieve not to take the people who love them for granted. Once I did some chilling calculations regarding my parents, who are in their eighties. It was an example of the hated arithmetic we encountered in the discussion of Rule 5 (Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them)--and I walked through the equations so that I would stay properly conscious. I see my Mom and Dad about twice a year. We generally spend several weeks together. We talk on the phone in the interim between visits. But the life expectancy of people in their eighties is under ten years. That means I am likely to see my parents, if I am fortunate, fewer than twenty more times. That's a terrible thing to know. But knowing it puts a stop to my taking those opportunities for granted.

m
mpks
Apr 29, 2019

It is necessary to be strong in the face of death, because death is intrinsic to life. It is for this reason that I tell my students: aim to be the person at your father's funeral that everyone, in their grief and misery, can rely on. There's a worthy and noble ambition: strength in the face of adversity. That is very different from the wish for a life free of trouble.

m
mpks
Apr 29, 2019

Hating life, despising life--even for the genuine pain that life inflicts--merely serves to make life itself worse, unbearably worse. There is no genuine protest in that. There is no goodness in that, only the desire to produce suffering, for the sake of suffering. That is the very essence of evil. People who come to that kind of thinking are one step from total mayhem. Sometimes they merely lack the tools. Sometimes, like Stalin, they have their finger on the nuclear button.

m
mpks
Apr 29, 2019

In societies that are well-functioning--not in comparison to a hypothetical utopia, but contrasted with other existing or historical cultures--*competence*, not power, is a prime determiner of status. Competence. Ability. Skill. Not *power*. This is obvious both anecdotally and factually. No one with brain cancer is equity-minded enough to refuse the service of the surgeon with the best education, the best reputation, and, perhaps, the highest earnings. Furthermore, the most valid personality-trait predictors of long-term success in Western countries are intelligence (as measured with cognitive ability or IQ tests) and conscientiousness (a trait characterized by industriousness and orderliness).

m
mpks
Apr 29, 2019

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. Note your errors. Articulate them. Strive to correct them. That is how you discover the meaning of your life. That will protect you from the tragedy of your life. How could it be otherwise?

m
mpks
Apr 29, 2019

If your life is not what it could be, try telling the truth. If you cling desperately to an ideology, or wallow in nihilism, try telling the truth. If you feel weak and rejected, and desperate, and confused, try telling the truth. In Paradise, everyone speaks the truth. That is what makes it Paradise.

Tell the truth. Or, at least, don't lie.

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FranciscoSandoval
Dec 29, 2019

FranciscoSandoval thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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