Who hasn’t felt lost or misguided at some point in their life? There’s no official road map; what works for some doesn’t work for others. Sometimes it would be nice to have some guidance. Nothing fancy – In fact, common sense would work best. And that’s exactly what Jordan Peterson seems to offer in his book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.

Some of his advice might seem basic and simple, but that’s the point: those things we think are common sense all too often are forgotten or they are made to be complicated. Peterson tries to offer us his outlook on how to navigate the messiness that can be everyday life. Let’s take a look at 12 Rules for Life to see if Peterson’s guidelines are worth reading about.

Practical Steps

Stand Tall with Your Shoulders Back: The very first rule of the book tells us to stand up tall with our chest up and shoulders back. This is followed by a detailed and humorous account of the hierarchy of lobsters that hits home for everyone, especially in the world of business. Standing tall with your shoulders back presents an air of confidence, something we need when sharing our ideas or asking for a raise.

Everyone Knows Something You Don’t: If we’re being honest, most of us are quick to share our opinions and ideas without paying too much attention to what the other person has to say. We forget that it’s a big world and almost everyone outside of ourselves knows something new and potentially helpful. Truly listen, especially when it can potentially benefit you in the work place. When you do speak…

Choose Your Words Carefully: Again, if we want to be honest, for the majority of people, words just slide out with no prior thought involved. This can quickly ruin first impressions, negotiations, and respect. Carefully consider what you’re about to say before it leaves your mouth. This can help you avoid looking silly, and it might even score you that deal.

Things to Improve

Rants Can Be Distracting: Peterson can be long-winded but all with the best of intentions. He wants to prove his points by using relevant examples… but these examples can take a while to explain so be patient.

Summary of All Lessons: Continuing with the point above, for those of us with very little free time, I think a summary of all the important lessons in the book would be incredibly helpful and preferred.

Do I Recommend 12 Rules for Life?

Absolutely. If you don’t mind Peterson’s style of lecture, you’ll love this book. The tips are practical for everyday life, but especially business when you get right down to it.

Peterson might not have been writing for the everyday executive trapped in the world of business, but that’s definitely who can benefit the most from this book. Be confident, listen to others, choose your words carefully, let yourself fail so you can success, and stand up straight dammit.

Have You Read 12 Rules for Life?

What did you think of it? Do you apply the principles you learned in the book? Would you recommend it to others? Let me know what you think in the comments below!


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