FT Press offers excellent discounts on this book when ordered in quantity for bulk The rules of life: a personal code for living a better, happier, more successful. The Rules of Life: A personal code for living a better, happier, more successful Rewire Your Brain is meant to be a practical resource book that describes how. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or 12 rules for life: an antidote to chaos / Jordan B. Peterson.
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Jordan B. Peterson 12 RULES FOR LIFE An Antidote for Chaos Foreword by . In Jordan's first and only book before this one, Maps of Meaning, he shares his. The 12 Rules for Life is a book by Jordan B. Peterson that touches on many topics including science, philosophy, psychology, religion, and. Editorial Reviews. Review. "The Rules of Life: A Personal Code for Living a Better, Happier, Similar books to The Rules of Life, Expanded Edition: A Personal Code for Living a Better, Happier, More Successful Life (Richard Templar's Rules).
But, as with the unfairness of life, we all got thrown out of the Garden of Eden.
Like Yin and Yang , we all carry both light and dark inside us. That means instead of just striving for either one, we should seek balance, which is why his second rule is to care for yourself like you would care for a loved one: do what is best for you, even though it might not always make you happy.
Who Should Read “12 Rules for Life”? And Why?
Lesson 3: Seek meaning through sacrifice, not happiness through pleasure. Balancing your light and your dark side can take many different forms. Sometimes, it may be staying in bed to get healthy, even though you want to work.
Other times, it might mean staying late at work on a Friday. However it looks like, it always involves choosing meaning by making a sacrifice, rather than temporary happiness by choosing pleasure. Peterson says this is a great coping mechanism, because it helps balance your life between drowning in hedonism and being so righteous it drives you mad.
First, we know that lobsters have been around, in one form or another, for more than million years. Sixty-five million years ago, there were still dinosaurs. That is the unimaginably distant past to us. To the lobsters, however, dinosaurs were the nouveau riche, who appeared and disappeared in the flow of near-eternal time.
This means that dominance hierarchies have been an essentially permanent feature of the environment to which all complex life has adapted. A third of a billion years ago, brains and nervous systems were comparatively simple. Nonetheless, they already had the structure and neurochemistry necessary to process information about status and society. The importance of this fact can hardly be overstated. The Nature of Nature It is a truism of biology that evolution is conservative.
When something evolves, it must build upon what nature has already produced. New features may be added, and old features may undergo some alteration, but most things remain the same. It is for this reason that the wings of bats, the hands of human beings, and the fins of whales look astonishingly alike in their skeletal form.
They even have the same number of bones. Evolution laid down the cornerstones for basic physiology long ago. Now evolution works, in large part, through variation and natural selection. Variation exists for many reasons, including gene-shuffling to put it simply and random mutation.
Individuals vary within a species for such reasons. Nature chooses from among them, across time. We make many assumptions about nature—about the environment—and these have consequences. The environment—the nature that selects—itself transforms. The famous yin and yang symbols of the Taoists capture this beautifully. Being, for the Taoists—reality itself—is composed of two opposing principles, often translated as feminine and masculine, or even more narrowly as female and male.
However, yin and yang are more accurately understood as chaos and order. The Taoist symbol is a circle enclosing twin serpents, head to tail. The black serpent, chaos, has a white dot in its head. The white serpent, order, has a black dot in its head. This is because chaos and order are interchangeable, as well as eternally juxtaposed.
There is nothing so certain that it cannot vary. Even the sun itself has its cycles of instability. Likewise, there is nothing so mutable that it cannot be fixed. Every revolution produces a new order. Every death is, simultaneously, a metamorphosis. Considering nature as purely static produces serious errors of apprehension. If that demand is conceptualized as static—if nature is conceptualized as eternal and unchanging—then evolution is a never- ending series of linear improvements, and fitness is something that can be ever more closely approximated across time.
The still-powerful Victorian idea of evolutionary progress, with man at the pinnacle, is a partial consequence of this model of nature. It produces the erroneous notion that there is a destination of natural selection increasing fitness to the environment , and that it can be conceptualized as a fixed point. But nature, the selecting agent, is not a static selector—not in any simple sense. Nature dresses differently for each occasion. Nature varies like a musical score—and that, in part, explains why music produces its deep intimations of meaning.
As the environment supporting a species transforms and changes, the features that make a given individual successful in surviving and reproducing also transform and change. It is more that creatures are in a dance with nature, albeit one that is deadly. Nature is not simply dynamic, either. Some things change quickly, but they are nested within other things that change less quickly music frequently models this, too. Leaves change more quickly than trees, and trees more quickly than forests.
Weather changes faster than climate. The order that is most real is the order that is most unchanging—and that is not necessarily the order that is most easily seen. The leaf, when perceived, might blind the observer to the tree. The tree can blind him to the forest. It is also a mistake to conceptualize nature romantically.
Rich, modern city- dwellers, surrounded by hot, baking concrete, imagine the environment as something pristine and paradisal, like a French impressionist landscape.
Eco- activists, even more idealistic in their viewpoint, envision nature as harmoniously balanced and perfect, absent the disruptions and depredations of mankind. It is because of the existence of such things, of course, that we attempt to modify our surroundings, protecting our children, building cities and transportation systems and growing food and generating power.
And this brings us to a third erroneous concept: It does not matter whether that feature is physical and biological, or social and cultural. The dominance hierarchy is not capitalism. It is instead a near-eternal aspect of the environment, and much of what is blamed on these more ephemeral manifestations is a consequence of its unchanging existence.
We the sovereign we, the we that has been around since the beginning of life have lived in a dominance hierarchy for a long, long time.
We were struggling for position before we had skin, or hands, or lungs, or bones. There is little more natural than culture. Dominance hierarchies are older than trees. The part of our brain that keeps track of our position in the dominance hierarchy is therefore exceptionally ancient and fundamental.
It powerfully affects every aspect of our Being, conscious and unconscious alike. This is why, when we are defeated, we act very much like lobsters who have lost a fight. Our posture droops. We face the ground. We feel threatened, hurt, anxious and weak. If things do not improve, we become chronically depressed. And it is not only the behavioural and experiential similarities that are striking.
Much of the basic neurochemistry is the same. Consider serotonin, the chemical that governs posture and escape in the lobster. Low-ranking lobsters produce comparatively low levels of serotonin. This is also true of low-ranking human beings and those low levels decrease more with each defeat. Low serotonin means decreased confidence. Low serotonin means more response to stress and costlier physical preparedness for emergency—as anything whatsoever may happen, at any time, at the bottom of the dominance hierarchy and rarely something good.
Low serotonin means less happiness, more pain and anxiety, more illness, and a shorter lifespan—among humans, just as among crustaceans. Higher spots in the dominance hierarchy, and the higher serotonin levels typical of those who inhabit them, are characterized by less illness, misery and death, even when factors such as absolute income—or number of decaying food scraps—are held constant.
The importance of this can hardly be overstated. It monitors exactly where you are positioned in society—on a scale of one to ten, for the sake of argument. People compete to do you favours. You have limitless opportunity for romantic and sexual contact.
You are a successful lobster, and the most desirable females line up and vie for your attention. And, like your dominant male counterpart, you will compete ferociously, even pitilessly, to maintain or improve your position in the equally competitive female mating hierarchy. Although you are less likely to use physical aggression to do so, there are many effective verbal tricks and strategies at your disposal, including the disparaging of opponents, and you may well be expert at their use.
If you are a low-status ten, by contrast, male or female, you have nowhere to live or nowhere good. You are more likely to fall ill, age rapidly, and die young, with few, if any, to mourn you.
Money will make you liable to the dangerous temptations of drugs and alcohol, which are much more rewarding if you have been deprived of pleasure for a long period. Money will also make you a target for predators and psychopaths, who thrive on exploiting those who exist on the lower rungs of society. The bottom of the dominance hierarchy is a terrible, dangerous place to be.
The ancient part of your brain specialized for assessing dominance watches how you are treated by other people. On that evidence, it renders a determination of your value and assigns you a status. If you are judged by your peers as of little worth, the counter restricts serotonin availability.
That makes you much more physically and psychologically reactive to any circumstance or event that might produce emotion, particularly if it is negative. You need that reactivity. Emergencies are common at the bottom, and you must be ready to survive. Unfortunately, that physical hyper-response, that constant alertness, burns up a lot of precious energy and physical resources.
This response is really what everyone calls stress, and it is by no means only or even primarily psychological. You will therefore continually sacrifice what you could otherwise physically store for the future, using it up on heightened readiness and the possibility of immediate panicked action in the present.
Too much of that and everything falls apart. The ancient counter will even shut down your immune system, expending the energy and resources required for future health now, during the crises of the present.
It will render you impulsive,20 so that you will jump, for example, at any short-term mating opportunities, or any possibilities of pleasure, no matter how sub-par, disgraceful or illegal. It will leave you far more likely to live, or die, carelessly, for a rare opportunity at pleasure, when it manifests itself.
The physical demands of emergency preparedness will wear you down in every way. It thinks the chance that something will damage you is low and can be safely discounted. Change might be opportunity, instead of disaster. The serotonin flows plentifully. This renders you confident and calm, standing tall and straight, and much less on constant alert.
Because your position is secure, the future is likely to be good for you. You can delay gratification, without forgoing it forever. You can afford to be a reliable and thoughtful citizen.
Malfunction Sometimes, however, the counter mechanism can go wrong. Erratic habits of sleeping and eating can interfere with its function. Uncertainty can throw it for a loop. The body, with its various parts, needs to function like a well-rehearsed orchestra.
Every system must play its role properly, and at exactly the right time, or noise and chaos ensue.
It is for this reason that routine is so necessary. The acts of life we repeat every day need to be automatized. They must be turned into stable and reliable habits, so they lose their complexity and gain predictability and simplicity. It is for such reasons that I always ask my clinical clients first about sleep. Do they wake up in the morning at approximately the time the typical person wakes up, and at the same time every day?
If the answer is no, fixing that is the first thing I recommend. Anxiety and depression cannot be easily treated if the sufferer has unpredictable daily routines. The systems that mediate negative emotion are tightly tied to the properly cyclical circadian rhythms. The next thing I ask about is breakfast. I counsel my clients to eat a fat and protein-heavy breakfast as soon as possible after they awaken no simple carbohydrates, no sugars, as they are digested too rapidly, and produce a blood- sugar spike and rapid dip.
This is because anxious and depressed people are already stressed, particularly if their lives have not been under control for a good while. Their bodies are therefore primed to hypersecrete insulin, if they engage in any complex or demanding activity. If they do so after fasting all night and before eating, the excess insulin in their bloodstream will mop up all their blood sugar. Then they become hypoglycemic and psycho-physiologically unstable. Their systems cannot be reset until after more sleep.
I have had many clients whose anxiety was reduced to subclinical levels merely because they started to sleep on a predictable schedule and eat breakfast. Sometimes this happens directly, for poorly understood biological reasons, and sometimes it happens because those habits initiate a complex positive feedback loop. A positive feedback loop requires an input detector, an amplifier, and some form of output. Imagine a signal picked up by the input detector, amplified, and then emitted, in amplified form.
So far, so good. The trouble starts when the input detector detects that output, and runs it through the system again, amplifying and emitting it again. A few rounds of intensification and things get dangerously out of control. Most people have been subject to the deafening howling of feedback at a concert, when the sound system squeals painfully. The microphone sends a signal to the speakers. The speakers emit the signal. The sound rapidly amplifies to unbearable levels, sufficient to destroy the speakers, if it continues.
Addiction to alcohol or another mood- altering drug is a common positive-feedback process. Imagine a person who enjoys alcohol, perhaps a bit too much. He has a quick three or four drinks.
His blood alcohol level spikes sharply. This can be extremely exhilarating, particularly for someone who has a genetic predisposition to alcoholism. When he stops, not only does his blood alcohol level plateau and then start to sink, but his body begins to produce a variety of toxins, as it metabolizes the ethanol already consumed.
He also starts to experience alcohol withdrawal, as the anxiety systems that were suppressed during intoxication start to hyper-respond. A hangover is alcohol withdrawal which quite frequently kills withdrawing alcoholics , and it starts all too soon after drinking ceases.
To continue the warm glow, and stave off the unpleasant aftermath, the drinker may just continue to drink, until all the liquor in his house is consumed, the bars are closed and his money is spent. The next day, the drinker wakes up, badly hungover.
So far, this is just unfortunate. Such a cure is, of course, temporary. It merely pushes the withdrawal symptoms a bit further into the future. But that might be what is required, in the short term, if the misery is sufficiently acute. So now he has learned to drink to cure his hangover. When the medication causes the disease, a positive feedback loop has been established. Alcoholism can quickly emerge under such conditions. Something similar often happens to people who develop an anxiety disorder, such as agoraphobia.
People with agoraphobia can become so overwhelmed with fear that they will no longer leave their homes. Agoraphobia is the consequence of a positive feedback loop.
The first event that precipitates the disorder is often a panic attack. The sufferer is typically a middle-aged woman who has been too dependent on other people.
Perhaps she went immediately from over-reliance on her father to a relationship with an older and comparatively dominant boyfriend or husband, with little or no break for independent existence.
In the weeks leading up to the emergence of her agoraphobia, such a woman typically experiences something unexpected and anomalous. Some real event typically precipitates the initial increase in fear of mortality and social judgment. This makes her even more stressed. The thoughts of vulnerability occupying her mind since her recent unpleasant experience rise close to the surface. They trigger anxiety. Her heart rate rises. She begins to breathe shallowly and quickly. She feels her heart racing and begins to wonder if she is suffering a heart attack.
This thought triggers more anxiety. She breathes even more shallowly, increasing the levels of carbon dioxide in her blood. Her heart rate increases again, because of her additional fear. She detects that, and her heart rate rises again. Positive feedback loop. Soon the anxiety transforms into panic, regulated by a different brain system, designed for the severest of threats, which can be triggered by too much fear. She is overwhelmed by her symptoms, and heads for the emergency room, where after an anxious wait her heart function is checked.
There is nothing wrong. But she is not reassured. It takes an additional feedback loop to transform even that unpleasant experience into full-blown agoraphobia. The next time she needs to go to the mall, the pre-agoraphobic becomes anxious, remembering what happened last time.
But she goes, anyway. On the way, she can feel her heart pounding. That triggers another cycle of anxiety and concern.
To forestall panic, she avoids the stress of the mall and returns home. But now the anxiety systems in her brain note that she ran away from the mall, and conclude that the journey there was truly dangerous. Our anxiety systems are very practical. They assume that anything you run away from is dangerous. The proof of that is, of course, the fact you ran away. Perhaps that is not yet taking things far enough to cause her real trouble. There are other places to shop. But maybe the nearby supermarket is mall-like enough to trigger a similar response, when she visits it instead, and then retreats.
Now the supermarket occupies the same category. The agoraphobic will even eventually become afraid of her house, and would run away from that if she could. Anxiety-induced retreat makes the self smaller and the ever-more-dangerous world larger. There are many systems of interaction between brain, body and social world that can get caught in positive feedback loops.
Depressed people, for example, can start feeling useless and burdensome, as well as grief-stricken and pained. This makes them withdraw from contact with friends and family. Then the withdrawal makes them more lonesome and isolated, and more likely to feel useless and burdensome. Then they withdraw more. In this manner, depression spirals and amplifies.
If someone is badly hurt at some point in life—traumatized—the dominance counter can transform in a manner that makes additional hurt more rather than less likely. This often happens in the case of people, now adults, who were viciously bullied during childhood or adolescence. They become anxious and easily upset. They shield themselves with a defensive crouch, and avoid the direct eye contact interpretable as a dominance challenge.
This means that the damage caused by the bullying the lowering of status and confidence can continue, even after the bullying has ended. Their now- counterproductive physiological adaptations to earlier reality remain, and they are more stressed and uncertain than is necessary.
In more complex cases, a habitual assumption of subordination renders the person more stressed and uncertain than necessary, and their habitually submissive posturing continues to attract genuine negative attention from one or more of the fewer and generally less successful bullies still extant in the adult world.
12 Rules for Life Book Summary
This can happen to people who are weaker, physically, than their opponents. This is one of the most common reasons for the bullying experienced by children. Even the toughest of six-year-olds is no match for someone who is nine.
This happens not infrequently to people who are by temperament compassionate and self-sacrificing—particularly if they are also high in negative emotion, and make a lot of gratifying noises of suffering when someone sadistic confronts them children who cry more easily, for example, are more frequently bullied.
I have seen people with a particularly acute sensitivity to petty tyranny and over- aggressive competitiveness restrict within themselves all the emotions that might give rise to such things. Often they are people whose fathers who were excessively angry and controlling. Psychological forces are never unidimensional in their value, however, and the truly appalling potential of anger and aggression to produce cruelty and mayhem are balanced by the ability of those primordial forces to push back against oppression, speak truth, and motivate resolute movement forward in times of strife, uncertainty and danger.
When skillfully integrated, the ability to respond with aggression and violence decreases rather than increases the probability that actual aggression will become necessary. If you say no, early in the cycle of oppression, and you mean what you say which means you state your refusal in no uncertain terms and stand behind it then the scope for oppression on the part of oppressor will remain properly bounded and limited.
The forces of tyranny expand inexorably to fill the space made available for their existence. Naive, harmless people usually guide their perceptions and actions with a few simple axioms: These axioms collapse, or worse, in the presence of individuals who are genuinely malevolent.
In my clinical practice I often draw the attention of my clients who think that good people never become angry to the stark realities of their own resentments. No one likes to be pushed around, but people often put up with it for too long. So, I get them to see their resentment, first, as anger, and then as an indication that something needs to be said, if not done not least because honesty demands it.
Then I get them to see such action as part of the force that holds tyranny at bay—at the social level, as much as the individual.
Many bureaucracies have petty authoritarians within them, generating unnecessary rules and procedures simply to express and cement power. Such people produce powerful undercurrents of resentment around them which, if expressed, would limit their expression of pathological power.
It is in this manner that the willingness of the individual to stand up for him or herself protects everyone from the corruption of society. When naive people discover the capacity for anger within themselves, they are shocked, sometimes severely. A profound example of that can be found in the susceptibility of new soldiers to post-traumatic stress disorder, which often occurs because of something they watch themselves doing, rather than because of something that has happened to them.
They react like the monsters they can truly be in extreme battlefield conditions, and the revelation of that capacity undoes their world. And no wonder. Perhaps they were never able to see within themselves the capacity for oppression and bullying and perhaps not their capacity for assertion and success, as well. Such individuals typically come from hyper-sheltered families, where nothing terrible is allowed to exist, and everything is fairyland wonderful or else.
They develop more self-respect. Then, perhaps, they begin to resist oppression. They see that they have the ability to withstand, because they are terrible too. They see they can and must stand up, because they begin to understand how genuinely monstrous they will become, otherwise, feeding on their resentment, transforming it into the most destructive of wishes.
To say it again: There is very little difference between the capacity for mayhem and destruction, integrated, and strength of character. This is one of the most difficult lessons of life. Maybe you are a loser. Maybe you just have a bad habit. Circumstances change.
If you slump around, with the same bearing that characterizes a defeated lobster, people will assign you a lower status, and the old counter that you share with crustaceans, sitting at the very base of your brain, will assign you a low dominance number. Then your brain will not produce as much serotonin. This will make you less happy, and more anxious and sad, and more likely to back down when you should stand up for yourself.
It will also decrease the probability that you will get to live in a good neighbourhood, have access to the highest quality resources, and obtain a healthy, desirable mate. It will render you more likely to abuse cocaine and alcohol, as you live for the present in a world full of uncertain futures.
It will increase your susceptibility to heart disease, cancer and dementia. Circumstances change, and so can you. Positive feedback loops, adding effect to effect, can spiral counterproductively in a negative direction, but can also work to get you ahead.
Some of these upwardly moving loops can occur in your own private, subjective space. Alterations in body language offer an important example. If you are asked by a researcher to move your facial muscles, one at a time, into a position that would look sad to an observer, you will report feeling sadder.
If you are asked to move the muscles one by one into a position that looks happy, you will report feeling happier. Emotion is partly bodily expression, and can be amplified or dampened by that expression. If your posture is poor, for example—if you slump, shoulders forward and rounded, chest tucked in, head down, looking small, defeated and ineffectual protected, in theory, against attack from behind —then you will feel small, defeated and ineffectual.
The reactions of others will amplify that. People, like lobsters, size each other up, partly in consequence of stance. If you present yourself as defeated, then people will react to you as if you are losing. If you start to straighten up, then people will look at and treat you differently.
You might object: Being at the bottom is equally real. A mere transformation of posture is insufficient to change anything that fixed. And fair enough. Standing up physically also implies and invokes and demands standing up metaphysically. Standing up means voluntarily accepting the burden of Being. Your nervous system responds in an entirely different manner when you face the demands of life voluntarily.
You respond to a challenge, instead of bracing for a catastrophe. You see the gold the dragon hoards, instead of shrinking in terror from the all-too-real fact of the dragon. You step forward to take your place in the dominance hierarchy, and occupy your territory, manifesting your willingness to defend, expand and transform it. That can all occur practically or symbolically, as a physical or as a conceptual restructuring. To stand up straight with your shoulders back is to accept the terrible responsibility of life, with eyes wide open.
It means deciding to voluntarily transform the chaos of potential into the realities of habitable order. It means adopting the burden of self-conscious vulnerability, and accepting the end of the unconscious paradise of childhood, where finitude and mortality are only dimly comprehended. It means willingly undertaking the sacrifices necessary to generate a productive and meaningful reality it means acting to please God, in the ancient language.
To stand up straight with your shoulders back means building the ark that protects the world from the flood, guiding your people through the desert after they have escaped tyranny, making your way away from comfortable home and country, and speaking the prophetic word to those who ignore the widows and children.
It means shouldering the cross that marks the X, the place where you and Being intersect so terribly. It means casting dead, rigid and too tyrannical order back into the chaos in which it was generated; it means withstanding the ensuing uncertainty, and establishing, in consequence, a better, more meaningful and more productive order. So, attend carefully to your posture.
Quit drooping and hunching around. Speak your mind. Put your desires forward, as if you had a right to them—at least the same right as others.
Walk tall and gaze forthrightly ahead. Dare to be dangerous. Encourage the serotonin to flow plentifully through the neural pathways desperate for its calming influence. People, including yourself, will start to assume that you are competent and able or at least they will not immediately conclude the reverse. Emboldened by the positive responses you are now receiving, you will begin to be less anxious.
You will then find it easier to pay attention to the subtle social clues that people exchange when they are communicating. Your conversations will flow better, with fewer awkward pauses.
This will make you more likely to meet people, interact with them, and impress them. Doing so will not only genuinely increase the probability that good things will happen to you—it will also make those good things feel better when they do happen. Thus strengthened and emboldened, you may choose to embrace Being, and work for its furtherance and improvement. Thus strengthened, you may be able to stand, even during the illness of a loved one, even during the death of a parent, and allow others to find strength alongside you when they would otherwise be overwhelmed with despair.
Thus emboldened, you will embark on the voyage of your life, let your light shine, so to speak, on the heavenly hill, and pursue your rightful destiny. Then the meaning of your life may be sufficient to keep the corrupting influence of mortal despair at bay.
Then you may be able to accept the terrible burden of the World, and find joy. Look for your inspiration to the victorious lobster, with its million years of practical wisdom. Stand up straight, with your shoulders back. Imagine that a hundred people are prescribed a drug. Consider what happens next. They might not even take it at all.
Physicians and pharmacists tend to blame such patients for their noncompliance, inaction and error. You can lead a horse to water, they reason. Psychologists tend to take a dim view of such judgments. We are trained to assume that the failure of patients to follow professional advice is the fault of the practitioner, not the patient. We believe the health-care provider has a responsibility to profer advice that will be followed, offer interventions that will be respected, plan with the patient or client until the desired result is achieved, and follow up to ensure that everything is going correctly.
This is just one of the many things that make psychologists so wonderful —: Imagine that someone receives an organ transplant. A transplant typically occurs only after a long period of anxious waiting on the part of the recipient. Only a small number of donated organs are a good match for any hopeful recipient. This means that the typical kidney transplantee has been undergoing dialysis, the only alternative, for years.
It must happen five to seven times a week, for eight hours a time. It should happen every time the patient sleeps. No one wants to stay on dialysis. Now, one of the complications of transplantation is rejection. Your immune system will attack and destroy such foreign elements, even when they are crucial to your survival. To stop this from happening, you must take anti-rejection drugs, which weaken immunity, increasing your susceptibility to infectious disease.
Most people are happy to accept the trade-off. Recipients of transplants still suffer the effects of organ rejection, despite the existence and utility of these drugs. This beggars belief. It is seriously not good to have your kidneys fail. Dialysis is no picnic. Transplantation surgery occurs after long waiting, at high risk and great expense. How could people do that to themselves?
How could this possibly be? Many people who receive a transplanted organ are isolated, or beset by multiple physical health problems to say nothing of problems associated with unemployment or family crisis. They may be cognitively impaired or depressed. But modern society is so complex that everyone has different goals — which makes comparing to other people pointless.
Drill deeply into your discontent and understand what you want, and why. Define your goals. Transform your goals into something achievable today. Let every day end a little better than it started. Rule 5: Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them. Children test boundaries of behavior to learn the rules of the world. As a parent, your purpose is to serve as a proxy for society.
They will be poorly adjusted and rejected by society, which will severely hamper their happiness. Set the rules, but not too many.
كتاب Rules of Life
Use the minimum necessary force to enforce the rules. Rule 6: Put your house in order. But before you do this, question — have you taken full advantage of every opportunity available to you? Or are you just sitting on your ass, pointing fingers? Are you doing anything you know is wrong? Stop it today.
Stop saying things that make you feel ashamed and cowardly. Start saying things that make you feel strong. Do only those things about which you would speak with honor. Rule 7: Pursue what is meaningful, not what is expedient. Doing good preventing evil from happening, alleviating unnecessary suffering provides your life with meaning.
Meaning defeats existential angst; it gratifies your short-term impulses to achieve long-term goals; it makes your life worth living. Think — how can I make the world a little bit better today? Pay attention. Fix what you can fix. Think more deeply — what is your true nature? What must you become, knowing who you are? Work toward this. Rule 8: Tell the truth. You may lie to others to get what you want; you may lie to yourself to feel better. You must develop your personal truth, and then act only in ways that are consistent with your personal truth.Doing good preventing evil from happening, alleviating unnecessary suffering provides your life with meaning.
They can cooperate. This forces you to genuinely understand what is being said; it distills the moral of the story, perhaps clarifying more than the speaker herself; and you avoid strawman arguments while constructing steelman arguments. This is the kind of is from which you can derive an ought.
They need it to grow. His analogous recommendation for girls would be to allow them to remain submissive as biology wills it — this may have been too controversial, or he may not actually believe this.
Recognizing your position in the social hierarchy, signaling it, and competing for position are deeply evolved, biological behaviors. Sometimes it seems the only people willing to give advice in a relativistic society are those with the least to offer.