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I have searched for the 12 truths behind Jordan Peterson’s 12 rules for life. A limitation with this format is that the rules aren’t completely independent. Rather they are all part of a single framework. Let’s now look for the general truth that lies behind all the rules.

Looking for the video on the article? Here it is:

Final Analysis of Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life – It All Comes Together

I have searched for the 12 truths behind Jordan Peterson’s 12 rules for life. A limitation with this format is that the rules aren’t completely independent. Rather they are all part of a single framework. Let’s now look for the general truth that lies behind all the rules.

Here are the my previous articles:

For your convenience, here is a recap of all 12 truths, along with their rules:

  1. Social hierarchies are a harsh but unavoidable part of reality. Embrace them and strive towards something good (start by standing up straight).
  2. You are flawed, but you have the potential to transform reality. Treat yourself with some respect (like someone you are responsible for helping).
  3. Cynicism can be an excuse not to take on any responsibility. Find friends who will call bullshit on that (who want the best for you).
  4. What you aim at shapes what you see, so aim at the best possible good and follow what presents itself in front of you (and then compare yourself to who you were yesterday)
  5. Your children will be exposed to harshness, either your targeted, minimal, loving harshness, or the brutal, devastating harshness of the world (so don’t let them do anything that makes you dislike them).
  6. You are part of the reality that you judge, so try to rectify that part first (set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world).
  7. You can’t ground your life in thought, therefore ground it in meaningful action.
  8. Your map is incomplete, therefore pay attention to the things that don’t fit it (and tell the truth about them).
  9. Creation requires a mold, lend yourself as a mold for people who are crafting their story (and listen) – plus, you might learn something.
  10. Language structures soul and word (therefore use it carefully)
  11. Both femininity and masculinity have negative poles, yes, curb aggressiveness but also don’t be overprotective (e.g. don’t bother children when they are skateboarding)
  12. Your expectations determine the goodness you see in the world, therefore appreciate the small things in moments of crisis (and pet a cat when you encounter one on the street)

It All Comes Together

The problem peterson tries to solve is: existence is fundamentally flawed, it presents us with ineradicable challenges like:

  • Suffering
  • Death
  • Malevolence
  • Uncertainty
  • No fully definable meaning
  • Inequality

The good news is that you still have a choice and a responsibility: you determine the kind of world you bring about (no matter your group identity). This is a godlike quality that deserves some dignity and respect (the core value of western civilization).

The fundamental question you have to ask yourself then is: are you aiming at the highest good or is something else your god? Is your god

  • Pleasure
  • Certainty
  • Safety
  • Laziness
  • Success
  • Idealism
  • Resentment
  • Your tribe?

All these “lesser goods” (or lesser gods) are topics that Peterson wrestles with in this book. But in the end it all boils down to your fundamental attitude. Your fundamental aim.

You decide whether to:

  • Hide from the problems in front of you or face the unknown forthrightly
  • Blame the world for its insufficiency or aim for the good regardless
  • Bend everything towards the pursuit of your forever inadequate goals or allow them to die and be reborn for the higher good

If I had to summarize Peterson’s advice into 1 single rule it would be

Aim for the good, pay attention to your instinct of meaning, allow the truth to calibrate your aim.

This is a life-long adventure that might justify the limits of existence.