Beyond Order: 12 More Rules Of Life – Jordan B. Peterson
Jordan Peterson is one of a kind. His books are his evolved brain itself, speaking to us about things we didn’t realize we didn’t know. His work is such that first-hand quotes are the best way to understand him.
In Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life, Dr. Jordan B. Peterson states that excess order in our lives is just as dangerous as excess chaos, contrary to what some of us may think. Striking a great balance between chaos and order, yin and yang, is the ultimate ingredient of a meaningful life.
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3 Do not hide unwanted things in the fog
The fog is willful blindness. It is our refusal to notice emotions and motivational states as they arise—and the refusal to communicate them to ourselves and to the people around us. We, as human beings, are very capable of deception and oftentimes willing to deceive in order to remain “hidden behind the fog.” Life is primarily composed of habits and routines. Pretending to be happy about a situation when we know very well, deep inside, that we are not, is willful blindness.
4 Notice that opportunity lurks where responsibility has been abdicated
Responsibility is what propels the world forward. The potential of human beings is “the meaning that most effectively sustains life.” The true source of positive emotions is not happiness. Happiness breeds hedonic adaptation. The quintessential source of positive emotion is aiming at a goal, maybe with other individuals or a broader community, and experiencing progress along the path to achieving that objective. That is responsibility.
Turning around and confronting the future means “standing up with your shoulders back” and enjoying the journey.
5 Do not do what you hate
If we do not object when we feel that there is a minor transgression happening around us merely for the sake of maintaining the perception of stability and order in our lives, that is dangerous. It is dangerous because following the status quo, even when we deeply feel there is something toxic about it, is a failure to take responsibility.
If there is something in life that we are doing right now that makes us feel contemptuous and weak, it is possible that it is time to deeply reconsider our position, strategize, and make firm decisions that involve saying “no.” Doing what you hate merely to maintain a fake order in your life may be detrimental to your existence.
6 Abandon Ideology
Have some humility. Pay close attention to how you place the blame on something external to you. It is easy to fall prey to bitterness, resentment, and hostility when you can distort the truth by identifying a seemingly clear enemy that is not you. But you know full well what you are capable of. Assume you are the enemy. Your weaknesses and flaws can truly damage the world. “Set your house in perfect order before criticizing the world.”
7 Work as hard as you possibly can on at least one thing and see what happens
Aiming at something precise is what adds fuel to our existence. If we aim at nothing, the immense array of possibilities in life manifests itself in front of us, and we can become weak and “plagued by everything.” Aiming at nothing means not having a well-defined direction, and that is a dangerous trajectory to take in life. Bad decisions are everywhere around us. But deciding something is far better than staying idle and waiting for nothing.
8 Try to make one room in your home as beautiful as possible
There is deep power and meaning in artistic endeavors. Working to make one room in your home as beautiful as possible is an artistic endeavor. Art can be frightening because of its wide and encoded nature. “We need the new, merely to maintain our position. And we need to see what we have become blind to, by our very expertise and specialization, so that we do not lose touch with the Kingdom of God and die in our boredom, ennui, arrogance, blindness to beauty, and soul-deadening cynicism.”
9 If old memories still upset you, write them down carefully and completely
We keep a map of the world and our existence that is composed of our experiences. We understand the world through experience and shape our personality and values. Not integrating events that belong to the past into our present self is dangerous for our psychological and physiological well-being. A truly integrated person is one that has deconstructed, understood, and broken free from more or less traumatic events that happened in the past.
10 Plan and work diligently to maintain the romance in your relationship
Maintaining a healthy, long-lasting relationship is a process that requires deep commitment, patience, and a clear expression of thoughts and emotions from both parties involved. Something as complex as a marriage cannot be managed without a proper long-term balance between order and chaos.
The first way you can keep the crucial romantic component in your marriage is through your authentic commitment to not lie. Lying erodes trust, and trust is the core foundation of a genuine relationship. Not lying even when things are rough—because you better be aware that tough times come and go—is a milestone in a relationship founded on negotiation.
11 Do not allow yourself to become resentful, deceitful, or arrogant
We must integrate the concept that malevolence and “good and evil” exist within each of us. Each of us harbors immense potential and the possibility for immense chaos as well. Understanding that the world can be damaging, dishonest, and a negative force playing against you means not being naive. Keeping trust in people and their innate potential for making the world a better place is an antidote to cynicism, which is an attitude toward life that we need to avoid.
12 Be grateful in spite of your suffering
There is value in authentic gratitude. Despite the seemingly inherent pain of existence, we can maintain a grateful attitude toward our surroundings. We can decide so and take responsibility for that. Pain is inherent in life. Suffering is a choice. We can, ultimately, live a life that is filled with gratitude, despite suffering.