Imagine you live on your own little island. It has just what you need and you live comfortably.
But one day you realize that you’ve seen everything there is to see on this little island.
Over time you start to feel sick. Life feels like it’s on repeat.
So you start to obsess about what’s beyond your island. You want to know what’s out there.
But you’re torn. Between the safety and order of what you know. And the fear and chaos of what you don’t know.
Dread fills your soul and a storm conjures up in the distance.
You want change. But you know nothing will happen unless you make it happen.
So you set yourself straight and set your sight on the horizon.
Over time you build a raft and you gather, plot, and prepare.
Until one day you feel a storm closing in.
It’s time to leave.
“I’m still not done finishing my raft”, you say.
You know that’s an excuse.
You shake off your hesitation, “I have to do this.”
Then you jump on your raft and you take your leave.
Even with feelings of doubt, something pushed you to sail beyond the horizon.
Maybe it was the churning call deep inside. Or the storm approaching in the distance. Perhaps both.
But you wanted more, despite the risks. So you took the opportunity.
And now that you’re out at sea, you must learn to navigate the chaotic oceans until you reach land again. Or be engulfed by darkness.
Jordan B. Peterson teaches you how to navigate through the chaos and expand your world in his book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.
How can you navigate through the chaos?
Everyone lives with Chaos. Because chaos is everything you don’t know. And no one knows everything.
And what we know is never enough. If it were, then we wouldn’t want more out of life.
And as human beings – we want all that we can get.
But to get more, we must sacrifice Order. We must let go of the routine if we want more out of life.
This book teaches you that it’s your duty to tread through chaos because chaos is everywhere. It borders your daily living and it sneaks its way into it.
And it’s our duty to learn more about the world beyond our little island.
To search for truth and experience so you can bring Order to the Chaos.
Jordan B. Peterson shows us how by following 12 Rules for Life:
- Stand up straight with your shoulders back
- Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping
- Make friends with people who want the best for you
- Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today
- Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them
- Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world
- Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)
- Tell the truth – or, at least, don’t lie
- Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t
- Be precise in your speech
- Do not bother children when they are skateboarding
- Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street
What do these 12 Rules for Life do?
They make life simpler. Not only for the present, but also the future.
For example, Rule 3 shows you that your friends who are stagnant and lowly have already accepted a life of failure. And they hold you back because they expect you to do the same.
Rule 5 shows us that it’s best to end the bad habits we enable in our relationships quickly. Before these chaotic episodes become the identity of the relationship.
That being said, every rule listed isn’t exactly as it seems.
Jordan B. Peterson has much to say for each of these rules. As he uses research, biblical references, personal stories and long-lived tales to show us what brings about chaos and order.
The Book’s Impact on Me
A part of me was always stuck in the past. And for a long time I’ve been absolutely sick of having it all playback inside my head.
I didn’t know how to put it to rest but thanks to this book I finally did. And it starts with knowing this:
At this very moment you are bargaining with the future. In the same way you bargained for this present moment in the past.
When I was young I had a vision, so I bargained, sacrificed, and worked for it. But when I didn’t get my desired results, I felt rejected by fate.
It’s that ‘rejection of fate’ that kept me stuck in the past. Although I learned my lesson, a part of me couldn’t come into terms with it.
Like many of us, I was a visionary. Except in a pathetic kind of way.
Here’s a quote paraphrased from one of my earliest posts:
“These people who built what they envisioned aren’t visionaries. They are builders. Because they realized their vision.
Martyrs have a vision too. But they are visionaries in the insulting sense of the word. Because they can’t see reality.”
The reason you don’t get what you want is either due to an unclear sense of reality or disengenuine efforts.
And people grow bitter about life because of this. To them, life becomes a laundry list of failures.
And Jordan B. Peterson makes a huge point about having feelings of victory for the sake of our mental health.
I wanted to lay this bitter ‘rejection of fate’ feeling to rest.
So I brought out my camera and pointed it at myself.
“I’m going to talk about what goes through my mind every day. I’m going to tell myself the truth…”
As I heard myself talk aloud until my camera’s battery died, I realized something.
Speaking the truth aloud helps organize your thoughts and sets you free.
It takes the truth to keep the past in the past, where it can no longer haunt you.
Because the truth is simple.
It’s Order in a world of Chaos.
This is what bitter people need to do to come in terms with their ‘rejection of fate’.
They need to hear the truth come out of their own mouths. So they know it’s real.
12 Rules for Life: An Antidote To Chaos is a profound book. It’s full of stories, insight, and practical advice to take on life.
And that personal experience I just shared with you above wasn’t my only episode of enlightenment. It was just the beginning.
Despite this post barely scratching the surface of what he has to say. I don’t want to give too much away.
So I’ll leave you with this quote:
Don’t underestimate the power of vision and direction. These are irresistible forces, able to transform what might appear to be unconquerable obstacles into traversable pathways and expanding opportunities
Note: I couldn’t give less of a shit about all that political stuff. I didn’t read to look for problems with political correctness like a psycho. I read for insight that I could rightfully apply in my own life (like everyone should).