12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson
Are you searching for a more meaningful existence?
Do you like petting cats?
Are you wondering how these things are related?
In 12 Rules for Living Life and Eliminating chaos, author and psychologist Jordan Peterson presents solutions to chaos and finding meaning that includes tasks such as standing up straight, treating yourself like a friend, and yes, even petting cats.
Seems simple enough, right?
The author writes about how the soul craves a more genuine existence, then breaks down how to get there with the following 12 simple rules.
-Stand up straight with your shoulders back. Standing up straight and meeting the world eye to eye can change your perspective on life. Speak what you desire, say what you mean. Your brain will get a chemical rush, and others will respect you more. The image you portray to the world reflects back to you. If you appear confident and sure, you will be confident and certain.
-Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping. Being kind to animals and other humans is essential, being kind to yourself is crucial. Keep the promises you make to yourself, buy yourself a piece of cake after doing your taxes, take care of yourself. Get to know yourself; design your personality. Stay true to what you learn and know about yourself.
-Make friends with people who want the best for you. Don't keep people around who enable your bad habits. Find people who genuinely support you and aid your growth.
-Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today. There will always be someone better at something you're trying to do than you are. That will never change. Instead of comparing yourself to them, compare yourself to where you were yesterday. Decide what you want to change. Ask yourself, "What could I do, that I would do, to make Life a little better?"
-Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them. It is the job of the parents to make their children socially desirable. This can be done through a variety of means, primarily by rewarding good behavior. You want your daughter to talk more? Reward her when she does. Limit the rules, and use the least force necessary to enforce them. If your kid gets angry, put them in time out until they calm down. That way, the kid wins, and the anger doesn't. Be aware of your own capacity as a parent to be vengeful and evil. Kids wear even the most patient adults out, especially temperamental ones.
-Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world. Stop doing all of the things you know are wrong, even if you aren't sure how you know they are wrong.
-Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient). Start using your time to make your life better, not worse. Do this by doing what is best, not what is easy or quick. Be humble, pay attention. Successful people are successful because they can delay gratification. What is expedient doesn't last and only works for the moment, while meaning continues.
-Tell the truth – or, at least, don't lie. What do you do when you don't know what to do? Tell the truth. If you've rejected the truth for a long time, you get closer and closer to life destruction. Everyone needs a purpose, but secondary to the purpose must be a method. Telling the truth can be the method by which you achieve your ambitions. Let things unfold as they will, while you tell the truth.
-Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don't. The purpose of memory is to prevent the same thing from happening over and over again. You need to have the courage to learn something new. If you find listening is boring, you're not doing it right.
-Be precise in your speech. Don't let little things pile up that you refuse to discuss. They will eventually destroy your relationships. Avoid this by being honest. Talk about what you want. Tell people with clarity who you are. The things you are afraid will come from this are usually much scarier than the actual result.
-Do not bother children when they are skateboarding. Humans prefer to live on the edge. If we refuse these impulses, when something arises that is full of risk and opportunity, we won't be prepared for it, and we will fail.
-Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street. When you love someone, it is often not in spite of that person's limitations, but because of their limitations. These will eventually cause you pain. When you leave the situation to deal with the pain, you might encounter a cat. Petting a cat on the street may allow you to marvel at the fact that you exist at all, at the wonder of being.
The final takeaway? Finding meaning doesn't have to be complicated. Stripping away complications, dishonesty, and quick fixes can create an opportunity for meaning to appear. Now, find a cat to pet and start living!