On "12 Rules for Life"

Written by Nick Hoang • October 6, 2020

Jordan Peterson's 12 Rules for Life is a gem. As the book title suggests, he puts forth 12 rules that everyone should abide to lead a "less chaotic, painful" life. He doesn't say "follow these rules, and you'll be successful and happy." Far from that. Jordan begins with the simple truth that life is hard and full of sufferings, which is a pretty radical point in itself. And these rules will help you prepare for the worst, face life problems with a prepared mental state, and enjoy the brief (or abundant, if you're lucky) moments of happiness.

The book reads like a monologue in which Jordan builds up each rule with reason, scientific evidence, and mythology. Such interdisciplinary approach is refreshing and persuasive, but can make the chapters a challenge to digest for those who are not so familiar with mythology and philosophical thoughts.

Either way, if you are able to follow his reasoning and relate these rules to your own experience, I think you'll have a lot of "aha" moments and want to apply these rules to your life.

I highly recommend this book.

Here are the 12 rules for life:

1. Standup 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 someone else is today

5. Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them

6. Set yourself in perfect order before you criticize 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’re listening to might know something you don’t

10. Be precise in your speech

11. Do not bother children when they are skateboarding

12. Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street