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12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan Peterson

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Long book that mixes between being very interesting and very boring, below are the most interesting points, rather than all the rules. Tries to outline fundamental laws of life. Main concept is Order vs Chaos. Contains information about religious symbols and history to elaborate on the concept of order vs chaos (such as Ying and Yang).

Chaos is unplanned things that occur when you’re struggling, order is when you know what you’re doing. You’re aiming for order!

First rule is that you should stand tall and adopt a good posture. In essence meet challenges with your full efforts. This chapter is interesting as it has studies on lobsters mating patterns and the social dominance structure of lobsters. If a lobster is dominant it has better posture, which then provides it with better mating opportunities and prime locations to live as a lobster. Mentions how this same theory works for humans, good posture provides positive feedback to you and is correlated in how you are seen by others.

The next rule is about being good to yourself. Treat yourself like how you would treat someone that you are trying to help. States people give their pets better concordance with medications than themselves, implying they don’t look after themself well. Uses this as a weird argument to relate this concept Adam and Eve stating that humans are aware of of the bad things they can do. Therefore by being aware of this their secrets can cause self sabotage.

There is a rule is about who you associate with, select people you think that you can make better. If not, they will undoubtedly drag you down. Has an example of a friend of the author who sadly died after associated himself with people who were not a good influence.

Rule four is about disciplining children and has rather bizarre Disney analogies. If you don’t discipline your child and just shield them from all bad things this won’t help them in the long term. Relates this to Sleeping Beauty, who it argues had an ineffective coping strategy to life by just sleeping. If you don’t go through with your your word and your children are not disciplined then they can develop like Peter Pan. Peter Pan assumes all adults are ineffectual. This isn’t a good thing, particularly as unlike Peter Pan your child will grow up to be an adult one day. Outlines if you don’t discipline your child in future others will and they will be punished much more severely at that stage.

Suggests time out as an effective excluding strategy remove the child from activities until and anger died down. Supports the benefits of raising children as a parental couple so that you can both support each other through the process.

Has more information about enjoying little bits in life, refers to this as stroking cats. Goes into detail about his daughter having inflammatory arthritis and pain, then having to overcome an OxyContin addiction.

States that in challenging situations you should just try and have a time set aside to focus on that particular problem. As day to day life needs to go on. Throughout contains lots of rather unusual analogies to Disney and the Bible. Stresses man was made because of limitations, without these, particularly if you’re everywhere and nowhere at the same time, everything would just be boring.

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