A reading club with a view to the future

080 Jordan B. Peterson: 12 Rules for Life

Peterson’s 12 practical and thought-provoking rules for living emphasize personal responsibility, honesty, humility, and the pursuit of excellence.

Jordan B. Peterson: 12 Rules for Life


Peterson draws on psychology, philosophy, and religion to provide a practical guide to living a fulfilling life through his 12 rules, including standing up straight with your shoulders back, treating yourself like someone you are responsible for helping, and pursuing what is meaningful, not what is expedient.


Title: 12 Rules for Life

Author: Jordan B. Peterson

Publishing Year: 2018

Publisher: Random House Canada

Length in hours: 15 hours and 40 minutes

5 main ideas

  1. Take responsibility for your life.
  2. Treat yourself with care and respect.
  3. Pursue meaning and purpose, not pleasure.
  4. Embrace the chaos of life and find order within it.
  5. Form meaningful relationships and contribute to the world.
Jordan B. Peterson: 12 Rules for Life

5 funny quotes

  1. "Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street."
  2. "Pursue what is meaningful, not what is expedient."
  3. "Don't let your kids do anything that makes you dislike them."
  4. "Don't bother children when they are skateboarding."
  5. "Do not allow yourself to become arrogant or resentful. Remember: when you are at the peak of your success, there are also people at the bottom."

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today."
  2. "The purpose of life is finding the largest burden that you can bear and bearing it."
  3. "To stand up straight with your shoulders back is to accept the terrible responsibility of life, with eyes wide open."
  4. "If you don't say what you think, then you kill your unborn self."
  5. "Order is not enough. You can't just be stable, and secure, and unchanging, because there are still vital and important new things to be learned. Nonetheless, chaos can be too much. You can't long tolerate being swamped and overwhelmed beyond your capacity to cope while you are learning what you still need to know."

5 dilemmas

  1. Balancing freedom and responsibility.
  2. Navigating the tension between order and chaos.
  3. Wrestling with the concept of meaning and purpose.
  4. Choosing between short-term pleasure and long-term growth.
  5. Balancing individuality with social contribution.

5 examples

  1. Pinocchio: Learning the importance of telling the truth.
  2. Abraham and Isaac: Accepting responsibility and making sacrifices.
  3. King Solomons' Judgment: Finding creative solutions to complex problems.
  4. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: Overcoming suffering and finding meaning.
  5. The Simpsons: Analyzing popular culture and finding life lessons.

Referenced books

  1. "The Brothers Karamazov" by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  2. "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor E. Frankl
  3. "The Bible"
  4. "Faust" by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  5. "Crime and Punishment" by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Share a quote

"Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today."

Jordan B. Peterson: 12 Rules for Life
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