12 Rules for Life

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

By Dr. Jordan Peterson

Brett Dwyer writes:

I had not heard of Jordan Peterson when I read this book in mid-2020. Whilst I couldn’t follow all of his writing, I was astonished at the intelligence of what I did understand. I guess much of the material, at a surface level, could be considered “common sense” (although we all know that such a thing doesn’t really exist), but it’s Peterson’s deep analysis that I find fascinating.

Peterson, a clinical psychologist, outlines 12 different rules that are intended to help deal with facing chaos or uncertainty. Ones that I found particularly interesting were “Treat yourself like you are someone you are responsible for helping”, “Do not let your children do anything that make you dislike them”, “Assume that the person you are listing to might know something you don’t” and “Do not bother children when they are skateboarding”.

I’ve since consumed hours of Peterson’s lectures, interviews and podcasts and read his more recent book. I think he has a lot to offer.


What are the most valuable things that everyone should know?

Acclaimed clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson has influenced the modern understanding of personality, and now he has become one of the world’s most popular public thinkers, with his lectures on topics from the Bible to romantic relationships to mythology drawing tens of millions of viewers. In an era of unprecedented change and polarizing politics, his frank and refreshing message about the value of individual responsibility and ancient wisdom has resonated around the world.

In this book, he provides twelve profound and practical principles for how to live a meaningful life, from setting your house in order before criticising others to comparing yourself to who you were yesterday, not someone else today. Happiness is a pointless goal, he shows us. Instead we must search for meaning, not for its own sake, but as a defence against the suffering that is intrinsic to our existence.

Drawing on vivid examples from the author’s clinical practice and personal life, cutting edge psychology and philosophy, and lessons from humanity’s oldest myths and stories, 12 Rules for Life offers a deeply rewarding antidote to the chaos in our lives: eternal truths applied to our modern problems.

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