12 Rules for Life

An Antidote to Chaos

by Jordan Peterson

Number of pages: 409

Publisher: Random House

BBB Library: Personal Success

ISBN: 978-0345816023

About the Author

Jordan Peterson is a Canadian clinical psychologist, cultural critic, and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto.


Editorial Review

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 and about success in life? 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.

Book Reviews

“Grow up and man up is the message from this rock-star psychologist.”

"Once the cloud of testosterone has cleared (leaving behind the lingering curiosity as to why, exactly, one would want a longhouse upstairs), the reader discovers that each of Peterson’s 12 rules is explained in an essay delivered in a baroque style that combines pull-your-socks-up scolding with footnoted references to academic papers and Blavatskyesque metaphysical flights. He likes to capitalise the word “Being” and also to talk about “fundamental, biological and non-arbitrary emergent truth”."

"Jordan Peterson's '12 Rules for Life' is a standout read that goes beyond the usual self-help fare. The blend of psychology, philosophy, and practical advice resonates on various levels. As someone with an architecture background, I've found the insights not only intellectually stimulating but also highly applicable. The book earns a solid 6/5 stars for its depth and practical wisdom, making it a must-read for anyone navigating life's complexities."

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Wisdom to Share

Friendship is a reciprocal arrangement. You are not morally obliged to support someone who is making the world a worse place. Quite the opposite; you should choose people who want things to be better, not worse.

How can we benefit from our imaginativeness, our ability to improve the future, without continually denigrating our current, insufficiently successful and worthless lives?

If we wish to take care of ourselves properly, we will have to respect ourselves.

You no longer have to be frustrated, because you have learned to be patient. You are discovering who you are, and what you want, and what you are willing to do.

Be cautious when you’re comparing yourself to others.

Children are damaged when those charged with their care, afraid of any conflict or upset, no longer dare to correct them, and leave them without guidance.

What’s the proper punishment for someone who will not stop poking a fork into an electrical socket? The answer is simple: whatever will stop it fastest, within reason. Because the alternative could be fatal.

Deprivation of liberty causes pain in a manner essentially similar to that of physical trauma. The same can be said of the use of social isolation (including time out).

Every child knows the difference between being bitten by a mean, unprovoked dog and being nipped by his own pet when he tries playfully but too carelessly to take its bone.

To have meaning in your life is better than to have what you want, because you may neither know what you want, nor what you truly need.