Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life

12 Rules for Life, an Antidote to Chaos


Less than 400 pages and less than $20.00, at Amazon, the

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

by Jordan B. Peterson

is The #1 Most Read Book this week, May 20, 2018, on Amazon!

Who is Jordan B. Peterson?

Jordan Peterson was born and raised in the frigid wastelands of Northern Alberta.

An academic and a clinical psychologist he has lectured and counseled in the English-speaking world of North America, Australia, and Europe. The inescapable need to clean his room and discard its pomposity has struck a hard chord in the daily lives and reading hours of the common people.

As a Canadian, I snicker, in polite admiration, at thoughts of the author’s biography. I have not spent any time in these wastelands, however, I am a product of similar frigid, Canadian wastelands.

Suffice to say that this environment has been instrumental in the cleaning of his room. A welcome breath of fresh air, Jordan Peterson is the taskmaster that we are growing to respect and the schoolmaster we strain to listen to.

Jordan Peterson is an individualist and a strong proponent of free speech.

We’ve all read and heard this stale, hackneyed expression. We, the less academic, common people, however, have never had the opportunity to have it described in such simple and plain language. Language that we can easily understand and is music to the ear.

As an author and lecturer, he is ruffling feathers and causing many to clear their throats. His greatest strength lies in the ability to fill in the words that we non-academics,  struggle to find.

What are the 12 Rules of Life?

Why are they an Antidote to Chaos? and Why do they belong on a website about the great outdoors? These are reasonable questions to ask and deserving of an equally simple answer.

These 12 Rules for Life are simple, easy to understand pathways to guide us down the road of life. Some are metaphors that have been around for ages.

Here are  Jordan B. Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life

Rule #1

Stand up Straight with your Shoulders Back

The benefits of proper posture are not only physical. Proper posture shows an inner confidence which is the result of having won a life battle or an achievement of some sort. Jordan Peterson describes this behavior very clearly with “lobster posturing”.

Serotonin levels react similarly in lobsters and humans, thus the connection to lobsters. A confident lobster and a confident human behave alike and it is very easy to tell the difference between a confident lobster that has just won a battle for territory or food and the lobster that has lost this battle.

Stand up straight and pull your shoulders back to face the day. You will accomplish more and gain greater respect in your interactions with other humans.

Rule #2

Treat Yourself like Someone you are Responsible for Helping

We are often our biggest enemies. We do not always treat ourselves as well as we can. Be proud of who you are, and proud of what you have accomplished.

This positive reflection of yourself is also good for the people you meet and hang around with. Good begets good. An all-around win-win situation.

Rule #3

Choose your Friends Carefully

Be aware of your social circles and stay away from people who are bad for you. These are the negative, toxic types that always complain, and are envious of your accomplishments and of anything positive and productive.

A wise and well-known concept practiced by the successful. You are the product of the 5 people that you spend the most time with. Suffice to say that your circle of friends contribute, in large part, to your success or failure.

People who accomplish, contribute, and grow throughout their lives and careers hang out with similar types and people who accomplish little have similar circles of friends. Choose your friends well. Stay away from toxic people who complain, have no ambition, and envy your success.

You are not obligated to associate yourself with people that make your life worse. Do not associate with toxic people that are always trying to destroy society, destroy your dreams, and even destroy themselves.

This is not selfish. This is telling them that what they doing is wrong and that you do not want to be a part of it.

Rule #4

Compare Yourself to who you were Yesterday, not to who someone else is Today

Live your own life. Spend your days learning and working hard to improve yourself. Be proud of your accomplishments and do not compare yourself to others.

Grow your skills slowly and consistently. This is the noblest means for you to spend your day.

Rule #5

Don’t let Children do things that make you Dislike them

We are not as nice as we think we are, and this often produces a subconscious imprint that later leads to revengeful behavior on our children.

Limiting the number of rules and a minimum use of force are the proper path to follow.

Parents should come in pairs.

Raising children as a team of mother and father is a more successful blueprint for success. This has been proven time and again.

Rule #6

Set your House in Perfect Order before you Criticize the World

Don’t go around telling other people how to do things that you can’t even do yourself. If you cannot set your house and your life in order, what business do you have in showing others how to do this.

Start by fixing your own life in small ways. Fix the things that are wrong in your own life first.

Stop doing things that make you weak and ashamed.

Focus on things that you would be proud to talk about in public.

Rule #7

Pursue what is Meaningful, not what is Expedient

Meaningful things make you feel good about yourself.

Meaningful is the halfway mark between order and chaos.

Rule #8

Tell the Truth – or, at least, don’t Lie

Telling the truth can be difficult at times since it can be hard to know what the truth is. It is very easy to lie. We know when we are lying and lying makes us weak.

The result of this lying is an empty feeling that it lives inside us. It can be easily seen by others.

No one wins from lying and this is always the wrong path to follow.

Rule #9

Assume that the Person you are Listening to might Know something You don’t

The wise man can learn from a fool, but a fool cannot learn from a wise man.

Listen to people when they speak. We can always learn new things.

Even your enemies, and the people that bad mouth you, can teach you important lessons about life and yourself.

Rule #10

Be Precise in your Speech

Another self-evident truth.

The ability to speak clearly and accurately is a rare skill.

To the people that are precise and forceful with their speech, it is an easy burden to carry on the road to personal success.

Rule #11

Don’t bother Children when they are Skateboarding

According to Jordan Peterson and modern psychological theory, this is mainly about masculinity. The seemingly crazy stunts that skateboarders are famous for, help to develop competence, and the strength to face dangerous situations.

This stretching of our limits moves us further along the evolutionary path.

Rule #12

Pet a Cat when you encounter One on the Street

This is an autobiographical chapter. The author discusses pain and tragedy. When tragedy confronts us, we feel powerless, but this is the time to keep your eyes open for new opportunities.

“Pet a Cat” is a personal experience with a stray cat that observed and how this cat overcame adversity.

When your life is falling apart and chaos is on the menu, break your life down into shorter time periods so that you can survive these rough periods.

Instead of months and years, break down these periods of crisis into days, hours, and even minutes.

Small chunks are much easier to digest. Shrink your time-frame into smaller windows. this will make it much easier to handle catastrophes and the harshness of life.

Always look for meaning in what you do to sustain your soul at times when you are not where you want to be.

Thoughts and Conclusions

This is a fascinating book. Selling like “hot cakes”, sold-out, and flying off the shelves are a few descriptions of this book’s popularity.

Don’t go looking for it at the local library, they’re all out of copies and you will be placed on a long list!

If you read only 1 book this month, … read this one, … thousands and thousands of people agree with me!

Many of these chapter titles can be thought of as metaphors and as such, hold much deeper meanings and greater value. Important life lessons for us all, this is an easy to understand description of 12 very useful life skills.

Comments, Questions, and Suggestions

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions about this review of The 12 Rules for Life, an Antidote to Chaos, I would be happy to hear them.

Contact Me, and share your thoughts on the popular and fascinating read.







I am an avid outdoors enthusiast, and I spend most of my free time in the great outdoors. The mountains and rivers, ... and everything in between ... is always calling me. Nature is my sanctuary.

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