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12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos [9780241351635]

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'One of the most important thinkers to emerge on the world stage for many years' - Spectator

What are the most valuable things that everyone should know?

Acclaimed clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson has influenced the modern understanding of personality, and now he has become one of the world's most popular public thinkers, with his lectures on topics from the Bible to romantic relationships to mythology drawing tens of millions of viewers. In an era of unprecedented change and polarizing politics, his frank and refreshing message about the value of individual responsibility and ancient wisdom has resonated around the world.

In this book, he provides twelve profound and practical principles for how to live a meaningful life, from setting your house in order before criticizing others to comparing yourself to who you were yesterday, not someone else today. Happiness is a pointless goal, he shows us. Instead we must search for meaning, not for its own sake, but as a defence against the suffering that is intrinsic to our existence.

Drawing on vivid examples from his clinical practice and personal life, cutting edge psychology and philosophy, and lessons from humanity's oldest myths and stories, Peterson takes the reader on an intellectual journey like no other. Gripping, thought-provoking and deeply rewarding, 12 Rules for Life offers an antidote to the chaos in our lives: eternal truths applied to our modern problems.

Praise for Jordan Peterson

'Jordan Peterson is the most important and influential Canadian thinker since Marshall McLuhan. His bold synthesis of psychology, anthropology, science, politics and comparative religion is forming a genuinely humanistic university of the future' - Camille Paglia

'Profound, charismatic and serious ... Peterson has become increasingly difficult to ignore - and whoever chooses to do so will deprive themselves of an intriguing intellectual journey' - Tim Lott, Spectator

'A master at helping his students become more reflective, and take themselves and their futures more seriously' - Norman Doidge, author of The Brain That Changes Itself (from the foreword)

'12 Rules for Life hits home - from identifying the deeply engrained hierarchical ladder that motivates our decision-making to asking indispensable and sometimes politically unpopular questions about your life and suggesting ways to better it' - Howard Bloom, author of The Lucifer Principle

AUTHOR: Jordan B. Peterson is a Professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. Raised in the frigid wastelands of Northern Alberta, he has flown a hammer-head roll in a carbon-fiber stunt-plane, and built a Kwagu'l ceremonial bighouse on the upper floor of his Toronto home after being invited into and named by that Canadian First Nation. He's taught mythology to lawyers, doctors and business people, consulted for the UN Secretary General, helped his clinical clients manage depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety, and lectured extensively in North America and Europe. With his students and colleagues, Dr. Peterson has published over a hundred scientific papers, and his book Maps of Meaning revolutionized the psychology of religion. Formerly a professor at Harvard University, he was nominated for its prestigious Levenson Teaching Prize.

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Jordan B. Peterson
Allen Lane
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805 Grams
  • 5
    Enlightening, uplifting, honest.

    Posted by Adam Croston on 9th Jun 2020

    Corona Lockdown Book #8

    Peterson is a divisive figure, and one that has been made out to be a bad guy by many. There’s no evidence to suggest he’s anything other than a well meaning clinical psychologist and public figure. I was therefore curious to read his widely popular 12 Rules for Life.

    With varying levels of success Peterson attempts to outline and articulate 12 Rules for Life - better understood as rules to navigate the path between order and chaos (a big theme in this book) and instil meaning into life and contend with the existence of Being (another continued theme). Drawing on his psychological analysis of religion (see Maps of Meaning) and the seminal works of great minds throughout history (Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Solzhenitsyn, Freud, Jung, Nietzsche... to name a few), Peterson really sinks his teeth into big questions of life. How do we conduct ourselves best, in the face of adversity? What can be do to stay clear of the temptations of nihilism? How can we give our lives meaning, and do right by ourselves and others?

    As I read through each rule (broken into single chapters per rule) I found myself (naturally) applying his rules, logic and examples to my own life. This is, after all, often referred to as a “self-help” book, for lack of a better term. Rule 1 - Stand Up Straight With Your Shoulders Back - easy enough to understand, the back interactions in life are often when you present yourself with confidence, naturally good can and surely will come of this. Rule 2 - Treat Yourself Like You Are Someone Responsible For Helping - Look after yourself of course, this seem simple but to truly look after yourself you need to grant yourself the knowledge of Being. Chaos and struggle give life a purpose, if everything was orderly life would have no meaning. To come to terms with this, Peterson argues, this is no small thing. Look after yourself and give credit where it is due.. this similarly flows into Rule 6 - Set Your House In Perfect Order Before You Criticise The World - look inward to solve your own problems before taking on the world, perhaps if everyone heeded this advice the world would see a vast collective improvement.

    I’m not going to write a point about every rule, but I feel like I took something positive from each one. Some are better than others. Some get bogged down for too long in looping verbiage and excessive religious (largely Christian) analysis. I much preferred the contemporary examples drawn by Peterson, especially those drawn from his own life experience both professional (clinical psychologist) and personal (a fascinating collection of anecdotal tales are present in this book, but all serve a meaningful point).

    I think I will find myself living (or at least trying) to live by these rules. As Peterson states, he is not trying anything revolutionary here, he is simply (but effectively) teaching us what we already knew deep down.

    Unfortunately his I found on a few occasions seeing Peterson split his teachings into very black and white distinctions. Often the grey was obscured or omitted from his consideration. Chaos and Order, Masculine and Feminine, Good and Evil, Heaven and Hell, Being and Nonbeing. While Peterson avoids over-categorisation and cultural-Marxism at an absolute, it would have been nice to at least see some deeper thought offered on outliers to his explanations.

    Nevertheless, this is worth checking out. I was surprised considering how politically divisive this man is, how apolitical this books was (perhaps more an indicator of how tribal such spheres have become). This is a fantastic read. Not life changing for all, but I can certainly see how it would be for some.

  • 5
    Hits the nail on the head

    Posted by Unknown on 1st Mar 2018

    Fascinating, well written, amusing. Peterson is well informed, well read and totally immersed in his subject. He has lots of highly useful and significant things to say that help me move forward in my life and make sense of my difficulties

  • 5
    Life Changing

    Posted by Unknown on 8th Feb 2018

    Life and people are going to mess you up. Don't go in a destructive huff about it. Get going on the hero's journey - start by cleaning your room, rescue your dad from the belly of the whale (embrace and improve upon tradition) and follow the Messiah in trying to bring heaven on Earth. Simples.Oh, and stand up straight like a lobster. :) Jordan Peterson is a modern day hero and I only wish I had read this book a long time ago. Definitely recommend

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