12 Rules for Life

An antidote to chaos.

By: Jordan B. Peterson

Published: 2018

Read: 2018


12 broad rules to help you purse meaning from life’s daily challenges and create a habitable order out of potential chaos.

The most interesting parts of the book combined lessons from his clinical psychology practice with simple neuroscience and psychology concepts. For instance, in the rule “Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to someone else”, he links how you play many different “games” in life and how you may be better or worse at some of them with the neurological importance of focus [seeing some things but not others, bias] leading to the small habitual steps you can incorporate in your daily life to effect positive change [what could you change, that you actually would change, reward yourself when you do it].

Worth Reading:

Concepts that were explained particularly well were the importance of not avoiding conflict, not lying, having and pursuing goals, giving up something today for a better future (ie, delayed gratification / sacrifice).

Less interesting were the constant biblical references and the attempts to find some great historic arc by connecting old stories, gods and Disney movies. We use stories, and the same themes and patterns emerge, because human nature is largely unchanged, but the problem with attaching too much weight to ancient myths, stories and archetypes is that they become rigid and absolutes (this or that must always happen: for instance, sacrifice is always good, because it will always improve the future).

Practical Takeaways:

  • Patterns emerge; learn how to recognize them and use them to your advantage.
  • You are the thing that maintains constancy across transformations.
  • The reality you bring out of potential with truth is good.
  • Love is wanting the best possible outcome for someone.


Leave a Reply