“This has been my favorite podcast of all time.”
— Joe Rogan after talking with Jordan Peterson
Many of you reading this will know and love Dr. Jordan B Peterson.
For those who don’t, I’m going to show you why you should.
Jordan Peterson is an award-winning lecturer at the University of Toronto, a practicing clinical psychologist, and the author of the revolutionary book on the psychology of religion Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief.
He is most famous, however, for his YouTube channel, which has 270,000+ subscribers. An insane amount considering most of his videos are over an hour long and cover very deep topics such as philosophy, mythology, psychology, and religion.
He is a man worth paying attention to.
On Quora, Jordan Peterson was asked this question:
“What are the most valuable things everyone should know?”
Instead of answering in a long essay, he wrote 40 maxims that I’ve presented below.
Before you read, keep in mind that these maxims are not your ordinary list of self-help tips.
They are simple. They are short. But they contain within each of them decades of study and thought.
Jordan Peterson said in his video entitled 45 minutes on a single paragraph of Nietzsche’s Beyond Good & Evil:
Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil isn’t a book at all. It’s a series of bombs. And each sentence is a bomb. And each sentence blows things up that people don’t even know exist.
That description is a great way to think about the sentences that follow.
Note: Jordan Peterson has a self-development program which is backed by science. It’s called Self Authoring and you can learn all about it here.
Jordan Peterson on the most valuable things everyone should know:
Do not do things that you hate.
Act so that you can tell the truth about how you act.
Pursue what is meaningful, not what is expedient.
If you have to choose, be the one who does things, instead of the one who is seen to do things.
Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you need to know. Listen to them hard enough so that they will share it with you.
Plan and work diligently to maintain the romance in your relationships.
Be careful who you share good news with.
Be careful who you share bad news with.
Make at least one thing better every single place you go.
Imagine who you could be, and then aim single-mindedly at that.
Do not allow yourself to become arrogant or resentful.
Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today.
Work as hard as you possibly can on at least one thing and see what happens.
If old memories still make you cry, write them down carefully and completely.
Maintain your connections with people.
Do not carelessly denigrate social institutions or artistic achievement.
Ask someone to do you a small favour, so that he or she can ask you to do one in the future.
Make friends with people who want the best for you.
Do not try to rescue someone who does not want to be rescued, and be very careful about rescuing someone who does.
Nothing well done is insignificant.
Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world.
Dress like the person you want to be.
Stand up straight with your shoulders back.
Don’t avoid something frightening if it stands in your way — and don’t do unnecessarily dangerous things.
Do not transform your wife into a maid.
Notice that opportunity lurks where responsibility has been abdicated.
Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street.
Do not bother children when they are skateboarding.
Remember that what you do not yet know is more important than what you already know.
I try to read that list often to remind me of my priorities.
Which of these life rules do you like the most and which ones are you going to implement today?
Jon Brooks is a Stoicism teacher and, crucially, practitioner. His Stoic meditations have accumulated thousands of listens, and he has created his own Stoic training program for modern-day Stoics.