12 rules for life by Jordan Peterson

I wanted to read 12 rules for life by Jordan Peterson – An Antidote to Chaos after seeing Jordan Peterson in an old Munk Debate. He was arguing against political correctness. His side won with a gain of 6%, but, more than that, he was replying beautifully to attacks from the other side. I saw him on youtube as well and I had pretty high expectations from the book. So, I’ve borrowed it from the library.

12 rules for life by Jordan Peterson

1 Stand up straight with your shoulders back
2 Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping
3 Make friends with people who want the best for you
4 Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today
5 Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them
6 Set your house in perfect order before you criticise the world
7 Pursue what is meaningful, not what is expedient
8 Tell the truth, or, at least, don’t lie
9 Assume the person you are listening to might know something you don’t
10 Be precise in your speech
11 Do not bother children while they are skateboarding
12 Pet a cat when you encounter one in the street

These are the rules. They sound great, so it’s such a shame that the book is not better written. Peterson starts with a point and then moves to biblical stories (that go on and on) or… Peter Pan, Hansel & Gretel, and Sleeping Beauty?! How peculiar to read about Disney characters in the same chapter with a random religious mini-sermon. I’m also puzzled why some people ask him if he believes in God. That’s so clear in his book. I thought the religious parts will be mentioned like an example of sorts, but no, he talks and talks about things that aren’t related to the rule. I think a third of the book is religious. If I had known that, I would had give this book a miss and start directly with the bible. Or, even better, read the Quran as I already know a lot of stories from the bible.

Because he digresses so much, after reading 10 pages from one of the rules, I had to go back and read of which rule he was talking about (including rule no. 10: be precise in your speech). The stories are so far away from the idea of the rule that sometimes it makes no sense.
Not all the book is like that and some of the rules are really interesting, like the 5th one, in which he talks preponderantly about the rule. His personal stories and his experience with the clinical patients are interesting as they are a bit more to the point. Unfortunately these stories aren’t shared often enough for me to give the book more than 1 star.

12 rules for life by Jordan Peterson

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 1/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: No
Published by: Allen Lane
Year it was published: 2018
Format: Hardcover
Genre(s): Psychology
Pages: 409

About the author: Jordan Peterson is a Canadian clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto.
He studied at the University of Alberta, furthermore he got a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from McGill University in 1991. Peterson stayed as a fellow at McGill before moving as an assistant and an associate professor in the psychology department at Harvard University. He moved as a full professor at the University of Toronto in 1998.
In 2016, Peterson released a series of videos on his YouTube channel. He criticized the Canadian government’s bill C16.
Books by Peterson: Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief and 12 rules for life.
Website & Social Media Links: –

1 thought on “12 rules for life by Jordan Peterson”

  • It’s a shame this one ended up disappointing so. I thought the list of rules was such a good start. (I particularly like 6, 8, and 9)

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