Jordan Peterson’s “12 Rules for Life”: A Comprehensive Summary of the Rules for Meaningful Living


Jordan Peterson’s “12 Rules for Life” is a bestselling book that offers a comprehensive philosophy on how to live a meaningful and fulfilling life. The book delves into the importance of taking responsibility for one’s actions, facing one’s fears, and living with purpose. Each rule is explained in detail and provides practical advice on how to implement them in daily life.

Here is a summary of the 12 rules from the book:

  1. Stand up straight with your shoulders back: This rule is about the power of posture and the impact it has on our mental and physical state. Peterson argues that by standing up straight, we can improve our confidence and self-esteem, and project a sense of authority and leadership.
  2. Treat yourself like you would someone you are responsible for helping: This rule is about self-care and self-compassion. Peterson argues that we should treat ourselves with the same kindness and respect that we would show to someone we care about. By doing so, we can improve our self-worth and build resilience.
  3. Make at least one thing better every single day: This rule is about taking small and manageable steps towards our goals. Peterson argues that by making small improvements every day, we can build momentum and achieve a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
  4. Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today: This rule is about being content with our own progress and not comparing ourselves to others. Peterson argues that by focusing on our own progress, we can avoid the negative effects of comparison and build self-confidence.
  5. Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them: This rule is about parenting and setting boundaries. Peterson argues that by setting appropriate boundaries and discipline, we can help our children develop self-control and a sense of responsibility.
  6. Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world: This rule is about taking responsibility for our own lives before pointing fingers at others. Peterson argues that by fixing our own problems and taking control of our own lives, we can make a positive impact on the world.
  7. Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient): This rule is about finding purpose and meaning in our lives. Peterson argues that by pursuing what is meaningful, we can achieve a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.
  8. Tell the truth or, at least, don’t lie: This rule is about honesty and authenticity. Peterson argues that by telling the truth and being authentic, we can build trust and respect in our relationships.
  9. Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t: This rule is about humility and open-mindedness. Peterson argues that by assuming that others might know more than we do, we can learn from them and improve ourselves.
  10. Be Precise in your speech: This rule is about the power of words and the importance of being clear and specific in our communication. Peterson argues that by being precise in our speech, we can avoid misunderstandings and build stronger relationships.
  11. Do not bother children when they are skateboarding: This rule is about respecting the boundaries of others and allowing them to pursue their own interests. Peterson argues that by respecting others’ boundaries, we can build trust and respect in our relationships.
  12. Pet a Cat when you encounter one on the street: This rule is about the power of small acts of kindness and the impact they can have on our lives. Peterson argues that by performing small acts of kindness, we can improve our mood and make a positive impact on the world around us.

In conclusion, Jordan Peterson’s “12 Rules for Life” is a must-read for anyone looking to improve their life and find a sense of purpose and fulfillment. The book offers practical advice on how to implement each rule in daily life and stresses the importance of taking responsibility for one’s actions, facing one’s fears, and living with purpose. It is a guide for self-improvement and leading a meaningful life. The book emphasizes the importance of honesty, humility, open-mindedness, authenticity and self-care, values that are universally applicable and relevant.

A Bible reference that can be used as a motivation for readers to buy the book is James 1:22 which states “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” This verse highlights the importance of taking action and not just reading or hearing about self-improvement, but actively implementing it in our lives.


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