12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson: A Comprehensive Book Review

12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson-Book Review

Looking for a new perspective on how to deal with things life throws at you? Want to learn how to stop comparing yourself to others? Then this book is for you!

12 Rules For Life is a book by Jordan B. Peterson, who is a psychologist and a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. Peterson is also a YouTube influencer with an audience of millions from all over. Peterson grew up in Fairview, Canada, which is a small town in Northern Alberta.

12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson

In this book, Peterson discusses discipline, self-esteem, responsibility, freedom, and adventure. He discusses in the last chapter how one can cope with tragic situations in life-the ones that are out of someone’s control. He talks about his own struggle upon finding out that his daughter had a rare bone disease. He claims that focusing on the next minute and not focusing on the next three months helps difficult situations. Below, we will summarize Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life. Maybe you can relate to some or all of them.

Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life include: 

  1. “Stand up straight with your shoulders back.”

    • Peterson claims that posture has a lot to do with how people treat you and how you treat yourself. He says to fix your posture to get others to treat you better, which will make you feel better and stand tall. 
  2. “Treat yourself like you are someone you are responsible for helping.”

    • He says that people are sometimes better at giving their dog medicine than giving themselves their medicine. He discusses that you may self-sabotage yourself daily by not taking care of your health. Make sure to put yourself first. 
  3. “Make friends with people who want the best for you.”

    • This rule talks about associating with being around people who lift you up and vice versa. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good and genuinely want what is best for you.
  4. “Compare yourself with who you were yesterday, not with who someone else is today.”

    • Peterson discusses that our media today makes it easy to compare ourselves to others. Comparing yourself to others doesn’t do anything besides lowers your self-esteem. 
  5. “Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them.”

    • Raising kids is never easy, but Peterson has some advice on doing so. Set rules for your kids, but not too many. 
  6. “Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world.”

    • Peterson said this can be a tough one for people to swallow. But basically, this one is asking you to not always blame the outside world for your misfortunes. Sometimes, it is your fault and that is okay. Family
  7. “Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient).”

    • He asks his audience to think, “how can I make the world a little bit better today?” And do that!
  8. “Tell the truth — or, at least, don’t lie.”

    • You may lie to others to get what you want or you may lie to yourself to feel better, Peterson claims. But deep down you know what the truth is and that is unsettling. 
  9. “Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t.”

    • Listen to other people thoughtfully. You might learn something.
  10. “Be precise in your speech.”

    • Peterson says to be precise and tell people what you need. Be direct. 
  11. “Do not bother children when they are skate-boarding.”

    • Peterson asks the question, “When children are taking risks, such as skateboarding, should you stop them?” The intuitive answer is to protect your child from any activity that is considered dangerous, including skateboarding. But denying your child from taking risks is more dangerous in the long run, he claims.
  12. “Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street.”

    • We don’t want to give up the ending, read the book and find out this last rule!

If you would like to know the meaning behind these 12 rules for life, read Peterson’s book. He discusses his intentions on why he believes these are the main rules for life. 

Want to talk more about books like this? Join one of our men’s groups! The groups are online, and are around $10 USD an hour! There is no pressure to talk during our meetings and you will be paired up with like-minded individuals who are going down a similar path. Visit our website Men’s Group to learn more.

You might also be interested in reading our book review on Men’s Work by Paul Kivel.

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