I hadn’t heard of Jordan Peterson in December, but the second I watched his videos online I was hooked.
Hook, line and sinker.
I ordered his new book and devoured it over a weekend, all 370 pages. I even read it to my kids.
Here’s what I learnt.
Given the world we live in, it’s easy to point the finger at capitalism (or something else) for creating rich and poor, have and have-nots.
It turns out that social hierarchies have been around since pretty much the beginning of complex life. We didn’t invent it.
Social hierarchy and social structure is a million years old. Our brains are built on it, even the lobsters brains are.
And in a hierarchy the people on top have it a lot easier. They actually live longer, happier lives. The people at the bottom have unhappier, harsher and shorter lives.
But, in a world full of hierarchies we can use ‘signaling’ to our advantage.
Signal that you are ‘high status’ and you will be treated as such.
Signal that you are ‘low status’ and you will be treated as such.
If you want to be at the top of the heap then:
And don’t be like me — I used to complain about being an immigrant or an introvert — both excuses I used for many years before I decided to take some responsibility.
You and only you are responsible for yourself — Act Like It.
Repeat this: I am responsible. I am responsible. I am responsible.
With great responsibility, will come great power. Trust me.
Just start taking responsbility for your life and start making it better, one task at a time.
It turns out that we know ourselves too well.
We see our every mistake, we see every bad decision, every opportunity missed. It’s easy to hate yourself.
We end up believing we are inadequate.
After all you haven’t seen anyone else make that many mistakes.
This slowly leads us to believe that we aren’t good enough. That we aren’t worth it. That we aren’t worth focusing on.
Before you know it, you are drinking, eating badly, hanging out with the wrong people. And it all started because you thought you weren’t good enough.
I have felt this often. Very often.
But you must take the opposite view.
Believe that you can make good happen. That you are good.
Believe that it’s your duty to make good happen.
If you believed this then how would you act?
What would your life look like if you really cared about yourself ?
Who would you hang out with, what would you read, what would you do if you really cared about yourself ?
It’s critical to be precise in your beliefs, facts and opinions.
Don’t make shit up.
Observe clearly what your reality looks like.
Sometimes we don’t notice things because we don’t want to know. We don’t want to have the conflict. We don’t want to face the truth.
My first marriage ended in a divorce. My ex-wife was cheating on me. I literally didn’t see it. Didn’t want to see it. I couldn’t admit it.
My ex-wife’s daughter had to tell me this fact years later. Then it was obvious !
Seeking truth brings peace. Reality is good for us.
But seeking truth also means going through chaos. It also means suffering.
Truely seek truth. Seek opinions and views opposite from your own.
Sacrifice today to invest in your future.
Do what is meaningful today. Do what is right today. Not what is expedient. Do what creates order and reduces chaos in the world. Even if it’s as simple as making your bed or paying your bills.
Remember to watch carefully what you are becoming everyday. Your character is being defined every single second.
The most important thing you can do is to strengthen your character and resolve at all times.
Are you becoming someone you would be proud of ? Someone you would trust ?
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