Category: self-development

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos – a short review

Name: 12 rules for life-an antidote to chaos

Author: Jordan B. Peterson

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd.

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About the author

Jordan B. Peterson born in June in 1962 is a Canadian psychologist and a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto.

In Canada, he supposedly criticized the legislation for the use of transgender pronouns.

Some even called him a “transphobe” and he has some social justice warriors chasing him like a village mob chasing Frankenstein’s monster.

Yet after that, he went viral and he inspired millions with his enthusiasm and a quite unique look on life.

The book

12 rules for life – an antidote to chaos

I´ll try to keep it spoiler-free to the best of my ability and draw out a few notes to help you “paint” a clearer picture.

The book is divided into 12 rules each with a rich story.

Rule 1

On a neural level, it will change how people see you.

Youll get treated better, have better chances with finding a partner, increasing your serotonin level and you will be less likely to fall into the pit of substance abuse, getting cancer, heart disease, etc.

Rule 2

What I got here was that you determine your values and the direction you are heading so that you treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping. Hard?Yes. But having a vague idea, having a part of the plan in your head is better than none.

Rule 3

Check out who you hang out with. Are they pushing you to become better?

Do they make you smile and want the best for you?

If not then reconsider hanging out with them, as stated in the New Testament, by Jim Rohn and many others you become who you hang around with.

Rule 4

We are unique on one and multiple levels.

And what I got here is not to compare yourself with others but with who you were yesterday.

Let’s say you are in the gym and you don’t see progress by constantly looking at others but by looking at yourself.

Rule 5

This rule is about parenting skills.

Rule 6

Here the author suggests before we criticize the world that we should stop doing the things we know are wrong.

Rule 7

I liked this one, pursue meaning, not pleasure.

Peterson is opposed to being expedient.

He came to this conclusion by a longer analysis of Nietzsche, Dostojevski, the Bible and many more.

If there is no meaning to your life you can make one.

Rule 8

Be honest, cause dishonesty will always come back to you in one way or the other.

Rule 9

Here it’s about truly listening to others assuming they know something you don’t.

Don’t let yourself get in the way of attaining what can be vital information that can benefit you.

Rule 10

Be precise in your speech.

Let’s say that something is bothering you and you don’t go and speak to your doctor because of the fear of what it “might be”.

If you don’t know what it is you’ll assume the worst while in reality, it may be nothing at all.

Express it or it will come out as something far worse.

Rule 11

Let me say it like this.

At a young age, boys test the limits of their bikes, cars, skateboards as well as their own abilities as drivers, how much they can stay in control in a chaotic situation.

When they push against teachers, parents or any authority figure they push to see if there is any true authority that can be relied on in case of a catastrophe.

Weakness didn’t expel them from the classroom it was the strength.

Rule 12

Simple moments like petting a cat on the street may come from time to time if we pay attention.

Why? Its moments like that give both sides a smile, make a day brighter and give you a break from the everyday absurdity.

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Walking above your shadows

Who you were who you are and who you’re going to be are three different personas.

And one thing everyone has to master if he wants to move on in life is to rise above his/her past self which is embedded in his subconscious aka his/her shadow.

Therefore, the name walk above your shadow.

Feeding the wolf

It´s scary to look within, it´s difficult to embrace what shadows have been lurking on the inside for far too long and it´s necessary.

As in the old native American story about the two wolves, one is dark one is light,

Which one wins at the end the one your feed.

autumn wolves

Which wolf are you feeding? Which one is growing and which one is starving?

Or let me put it like this

what behavior, what thoughts, what unwelcome guests are you continually letting in?

Is your kid with the wrong crowd? Is your better half disrespecting or ignoring yours?

Do you have to fight for their attention all the time?

Are you doing your best at avoiding confrontations, not wanting to rattle the boat?

First, this is not some motivational hype speech, your don,t need motivation.

From my perspective its the same as nitro in a racing game, and with that nitro, you can either use it as an advantage or waste it by flying off the tracks or ramming a wall.

Now and then perhaps, but not all the time, otherwise you may use it as an escape mechanism aka an excuse.

The word here is consistency, and feeding the wolf means one thing and that is feeding, nurturing and growing a one or multiple behavioral habits, skills, etc.

Are you constantly beating yourself over a loss or a disappointment?

Or are you doing something each day ie. learning a new language, perfecting your communication or attitude?

Of the two examples above who do you think will be at the higher ground after a year, after 365 days?

Who will benefit more after a month or just a week?

Feeding the wolf is making a choice, but that alone is not enough.

Intention matters as well…

Intensions or pretensions

Intensions are the root, the cornerstone and the backbone in your actions, decisions, and plans.

Basically your character.

the only way forward

They are in everything we do and sometimes we are not even aware of them.

Or in some cases do not want to be aware, Regardless of understanding them may give one more resolution to deal with a certain issue, plan, jobs even relationships.

The newer word for them might be YOUR WHY.

We could do the same work right now but get different results because of them.

Let us say a guy whos been friends with a girl for a while suddenly has an emotional outburst confessing his undying love or something like that what we can see in tons of teen movies, and in the movies that nice guy gets the girl in the end.

In real life, that is not the case.

And it is not a good way to go. Let`s say the typical nice guy operates from a state of fear, of not being enough, low self-esteem, etc.

And then when he meets someone he likes he may take the “friend” approach because of fear of getting rejected.

What is the intention here? Well one of them may be to have her stay, not because of love but because of fear of being alone, of own insecurities, etc.

This “Nice guy Syndrome” goes both ways and Dr. Robert Glover goes into more detail about this in his book “No more Mr.Nice guy”.On the definition and the solution to it.

Another example would be the resentment the office worker faces when treated poorly by his peers.

Where on one hand he needs the job, has children to take care of and is willing to put up with everything just to make sure the little ones get something to eat and a chance for a better education, for a better life.

On the other hand, imagine the same situation just this time the worker is focused more on himself than on the child.

He/she works for stuff he/she doesn’t need for people who don’t like him/her because the selfish intentions are a priority, not the kid.

So we can see what kind of person was dealing with just by observing them.

As stated in Matthew 7:16 King James Version (KJV)

“Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles?”

and in Matthew 7:18

” A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.”

Guard your attention

Humans are more complex than plants of course.

We can choose however what our “fruits” will be, where attention goes

energy also flows.

Maybe you have heard that your thoughts from your actions which form your habits and your habits will form your destiny.

What starts in the thought process with consistency and repetition WILL come true just as a seed becomes a tree.

Here attention comes in play. One of the most primary resources alongside time.

If misleading it can cost you dearly. Hanging out with a few “buddies” who just want a drink, two, ten or a favor from your while giving nothing in return, Consulting or comforting someone who you’re interested in when they had a fight with their lover and will eventually return to them, supporting a business partner who offers the same empty promises for months.

street sign possible

You could be sitting next to a pot of gold but you wouldn´t see it because you’re focused on your empty wallet.

This can be explained through the Reticular Activating System or RAS for short.

It is a bunch of nerves in our brain that filters unnecessary information so that the important ones come through.

It is why you hear your favorite song through a crowd of people when you really want a car and then start noticing it everywhere when you miss someone with all your heart and start seeing them everywhere.

Depending on your perspective aka beliefs RAS seeks out the information to validate them.

And as the subconscious RAS can be trained by “setting your intent” as some people call it, which is basically linking your subconscious thoughts to the conscious ones.

And as such, it can be viewed as a tool for growth.

If you care about love and kindness you will start seeing more of it because that is in your belief system and RAS has no other choice but to comply.

For this, it is vital to whom or what we give our attention, our time to. As I mentioned in the last post the more you hang around a depressed or deceitful person you will subconsciously form the same behavior they have.

Into the light

By “light” here I am talking about truth aka facing your current condition as it is. Something is better left alone, some people need to be let go and some paths are better not to be walked on.

What “shadows” or what flaws you may have a need to be addressed in the first place and then with or without support one has to go that mile.

In order to get rid off the disease, you need to acknowledge it not run from it.

No hacks or simple solutions are of much use if the ground is soiled with chemicals so will the fruit be.

It will still look good on the outside but the inside will be infested.

To cleanse it first you must cleanse the ground from which it grows.

To get rid of the issue in your business, in your relationship or in your friendships you have to acknowledge it, accept that it is there and if it is stuck for some reason learn to walk with it. Eventually, it will go away and something else will take its place, quit and it will be even harder to remove.

It’s an hourly, daily, monthly even yearly walk but it is one you have to and only you can make.

into the light

Last thoughts

This one has been on my mind for a while and honestly, a part of me didn’t want to say it but I have my reasons for doing so.

Character is a slow-grow process but it’s a rewarding one too. And I can’t say it out of the woods myself yet now I know I’m walking towards someplace better.

Well, this turned out to be longer than expected but I hope you liked it.

If you have any thoughts on the article please share them below.

Till next time

Give yourself a chance


Life can bring you down.

Chase you off where you don´t want to go.

Put you in bondage to people and event´s that may or may not have happened.

…or may never happen.


Regardless off what you think or believe there is more for you.

Beware of the depths

Here I´m reffering to our inner depths.

You, me, we all have them.

The struggles, experiences, heart rob´s and heartbreaks are of of many factor of the equation in which we are the result.

The past has left us with a number of habits, belief´s and skill´s that may or may not be to our benefit.

We may not even be aware of them.

If confronted with them we may often dismiss them because of our beliefs.

If you believe you are not good enough you won´t be.

If you believe you´re useless you will be. the world is in your hands

The Bible says, As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.

Is it because of what people or events have done to you?

Or what you have been telling yourself that has been done unto you?

No matter who or what confronts you with the reality of the situation.

You may lash out on them,

Degrade, belittle or render them useless.

Be it your family, friends or someone you look up to.

And the fact that we have this little mechanism called ego integrated within our system

doesn´t make it easier.

I´m not demonizing it.

What I am saying if it goes out of control It WILL cause you only more problems.

This goes for beliefs and basically all of our internal “systems”.

For example,

If there is an imbalance in your body it will show in your health.

The same goes for your mental health.

OCD,depression,anxiety,panic attacks…

These kinds of behaviors may lay dormant for years with us not even be aware of it.

These kinds of moments and event will eventually repeat themselves

Some things are unavoidable.

The good thing?

No human behavior is set in stone.

If you don´t believe me, that´s ok, it will change with time.

Just ask yourself are the thoughts you think right now yours or did you pick them up along the way?


You probably heard of the late Jim Rohn and one of his famous quotes,

“You are in average the 5 people you surround yourself on a daily basis”?

There is a scientific fact to this called Mirror neurons

Meaning? enigma

A Mirror neuron is a neuron that activates both when a one acts and when the one observes the same action performed by another.

So the neuron reflects or “mirror´s” the behavior of the other, as though the observer were acting itself .

They have been observed in animals as well as humans.

Meaning that we reflect our surroundings or precisely said other people.

If you are long enough around them you will basically adopt some same behavioral patterns.

Just look at your daily life and see it for yourself

Lets say If one of your family members was a smoker, drinker, abuser or whatever the case may be there´s a chance that you may become one as well.

But let me say it again It IS NOT set in stone.

Even if you recognize such behaviors in yourself there are solutions to it.


Now if you have recognized such behaviors in yourself,good job, but its not over yet.

It is one thing to recognize such behaviors, another one is overcoming them.

Have you ever tried to get better at your job, diet or in your relationships but continuously kept failing at it?

Do you suffer from depression, panic attacks, bad habits or limiting beliefs that “set your skies gray”?

Are you taking more and more prescription pills to get through the day?


There is a term for this called the “Terror barrier”.

You can also find more information on it at the Proctor Gallagher institute.

The thing is since our brains are designed to “keep us safe” and if you try to move beyond that point,

From that which is familiar, even when that is your own inner prison where you spent most of your time at,

The mind will put up walls to try to keep you from getting to the unfamiliar, “from getting hurt”.

Now that most of our fear´s and habit´s we are TAUGHT.


The thought taught you´re not good enough, that you´ll never be someone or achieve anithing,

or the fear of taking risks, of standing up for yourself, of “not to rattle the boat”…

I didn´t believe it myself a year ago but I was proven wrong.

And while some behaviors can come from the body as well since it is connected to the mind and can be affected by some medication.

And I´m not trying to say here that all medication is bad, they have their good and bad parts as well.

If they are prescribed by someone who knows what he is doing.

Just note that they are here to merely ASSIST you in getting better not solve all your problems.

It is not a substitute for therapy, or better said the right therapy for you, but it can help to a point.

Let´s move on…

Into the process

Note that change doesn’t come from quick fix

If you think that a quick fix will give you a long-lasting result

that’s like buying the mustard seed and expecting you have the processed and done sauce in a glass tube the same second in your hands.


As Rome wasn´t built in a day it didn´t fall in one day either.

Falling apart is a process and so is progress.

And it is proven again and again to be true and possible.

Is there a one for all miracle drug for every problem?

Nope unless you count excuses.

A good life is made from a lot of small decisions that compound over time.

Decisions on a yearly, monthly,daily even hourly basis.

No new action, belief, habit or mindset comes naturally until it is repeated so often it becomes a part of you.

Just as any ill-state of body and mind is grown over time the same goes for other beliefs as well.

Saying NO, discipline to get things done, the courage, the confidence lies outside of your current mindset.

It seemed surreal to me as well, even ridiculous, but there is a point where everyone comes where enough is enough.

There was not one but many small moments that helped me make the change.

Many experiences that slowly linked to one another and regardless good or bad these experiences are the ones that make you.

In the end it is you that has to make the steps and as you pass the first barrier there may come other´s .

They may become tougher but so will you if you keep going.

As for the end looking the lives I saw even my own,

from where I was to where I am now, I know and importantly believe that something better is possible.

Your life is a gift, make a wish

And you deserve to give yourself a chance.


Hope you liked my post. It´s been on my mind for a long time only now I decided to speak up.

There is more to it than this but it would be far too long.

Comment bellow your thoughts and do tell me what you think.

Till next time Dario K.