12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson [Book Summary – Review]


In Pinocchio’s story, by a small puppet, his wish is received: he gets rid of the strings used to control his life and gets the opportunity to be a real, independent child. However, what wasn’t noticed by Pinocchio was that it also coped with all the dangers of real-life and painful lessons to be discovered through loyalty, friendship, and family.

Alongside classic romances like Pinocchio, many other popular legends, fairy tales and, religious analogies all portray the duty of discovering meaning in life as an act of balancing between chaos, familiar and exotic, or protection and adventure.

Since we want universal values ​​and rules to give meaning to our lives, people proceed to transfer and re-read historical texts with the works of philosophers like Socrates and Aristotle. And these are the themes taken into account by writer Jordan B. Peterson when preparing a fresh list of 12 such values ​​to assist modern human-beings in today’s chaotic times.


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Chapter 1 – The things that are a common aspect of life in societies around the world are hierarchies, therefore, give yourself an advantage with a great attitude.


Probably, the phrase “pecking order” is heard by you, isn’t it? However, do you know where it came from?

The Norwegian zoologist Thorleif Schjelderup-Ebbe arrives when the chicken farm in the 1920s realized that there was a clear hierarchy among these birds. At the top, there were always the healthiest, most powerful ones that had to be pecked when the chicken feed came. At the bottom were the weakest chickens, their feathers fell, they just had to peck the remaining crumbs.

Pecking orders such as this are not only restricted to chickens; they exist naturally in the animal kingdom.

For example, whether lobsters are in the ocean or captivity, by them, the best and most protected spots for shelter will be aggressively fought over.

It has been discovered by scientists that these competitive conflicts will guide to various chemical balances in the brains of winners and losers. The winners will ensure that the ratio of the hormone serotonin to octopamine will be higher, while the rate of losers will be bent in the reverse route.

By these levels, even the lobsters’ posture can be affected: thanks to more serotonin, the winners are made more agile and steeper and the losers twisted by more octopus strains. As steep lobsters will look bigger and scary, this difference will lead to more conflict, which will cause tensions to obey.



As it can be imagined by you, there are alike hierarchies and cycles of gaining and losing among people.

By researches, it has been shown that people in alcoholism or depression are only less likely to enter a rival state that strengthens more immobility and maintains low self-esteem and depression.

Conversely, those on a winning line frequently offer a boring and confident body language to keep the line alive. Only like lobsters, people regularly measure every other and relate a person’s smart to their physicality.

If by you, an advantage is tried to give for yourself, watch the initial rule: keep your head up and go to the position of a winner.


Chapter 2 – Take care of yourself with the exact sensitivity you love.


If your dog was ill and the drug has prescribed by the veteran, would you not give the doctor a second guess and fill the prescription? Even so, by a third of people, medical prescriptions given by doctors are ignored, and this raises the question: why do we take care of our pets better than ourselves?

Due to we are all time aware of our flaws, we hate yourself, which can guide us to the feeling that we are not worthy of unnecessary punishment and well-being. So, others are taken care of better by us than ourselves.

The belief that we are worthless extends from the Garden of Eden of Adam and Eve to the tale of their exile. In this figurative tale, by Adam and Eve, all humanity is represented and is deceived to eat the apple of information banned by an evil snake. Following the recommendation of the snake, people are seen to be corrupt with evil forever.

Thanks to the story of the Garden of Eden, we become self-aware about this dark side within us and strengthens the feeling that we do not deserve good things, it can be read in another way: not only us but the whole world is corrupt. The things that can be seen as a mixture of natural harmony and the chaos of the whole world are the snake of the garden and the human-beings.

What can more be seen in Eastern philosophy is the duality of nature, and it can be represented on both sides of the Yin-Yang symbol: there is a bright and dark side, but both sides include part of the other in them, and none can occur without the other.

In this scenario, it is the harmony achieved by discovering a healthy balance between brilliance and dark, and by people, it should not be tried to go too far in both ways.



For instance, if by a parent, it is tried to preserve their kid from exposure to something “bad,” by them, this chaos with too much persecution would be replaced. In other terms, trying to be excellently good is in vain.

We are taken away to the second rule: take care of yourself as you desire.

So, be careful, however, don’t fight chaos, because this is not a battle that can be won. And instead of just doing what makes you delighted, try to do the best for you.

As a child, by you, somethings may not have been wanted such as brush your teeth or wear gloves, but these are things to do. As a grown-up, you should set goals to assist you identify who you are and the direction you desire to take in life. Then, you will discover the steps you require to take and the actions that work best for you.


Chapter 3 – Because you can be drag down by the wrong comrades, select your friends smartly.


One of the writer’s oldest friends has never left the prairies of his hometown in Northern Canada, Fairview, Alberta. Rather than, he got stuck and finished up among other unskilled in the city.

Once in a while, the writer returns home and meets with his friend – and every time his slow and sad fall becomes more pronounced. It was once aging anger with youth potential.

For the writer, it was obvious that those who did not make this well drop his friend and keep him alive. Moreover, this is something that can occur to anyone everywhere.

In a workplace environment, alike dynamics can be played when a similar dynamic is placed in a high-performance team. By the director, it may be thought this will cause the troubled worker to acquire good habits from others. However, according to the studies, it has been demonstrated that the opposite is more likely to occur, and bad attitudes will begin to spread and lower everyone’s performance.



Therefore, what makes sure you surround yourself with supportive friends is the third rule because these are friendships that can lead to a positive change.

Being selective about your friends is an intelligent movement and not selfish or dandy. Supportive and encouraging friendships work in both ways: when by you, support is wanted, they are going to be there for you, and if your friend requires aid from a mishap or healing, you’ll take part beside them.

Thanks to this dynamic, personal achievement can be supported and great social successes can be created as part of a team.

When the writer moved Fairview for college, by him, a similarly-thinking group who assisted each other in their work and many other achievements, like producing newspapers and running a flourishing student union was joined.

By you, it is known that you have great friends when they don’t tolerate struggling negatively; by them, the best one will be wanted for you, therefore, they will support you to go out and return.


Chapter 4 – The thing, that is done by contrasting yourself with your past successes, not your other accomplishments, is an improvement.


It was like being a big fish in a small pool. Nowadays, thanks to the internet, even the notion of a small society is a thing of the past. These days we’re all part of a global society and wherever you are, there’s every time someone else greater than you.

So, we come to self-criticism. Now, it’s significant to criticize one’s self- if it didn’t, then we would have nothing to endeavor for, no motivation to prepare ourselves better, and our lives would suddenly turn to pointless.

Fortunately, there is regularly a human tendency to notice the present as lacking and promising the future much better. There’s no reason for this trend to advance and help us stay motivated by the movement.

When the topic comes to contrasting ourselves with others, the thing that can get ugly is self-critics. So, when it occurs, we lose our improvements immediately.

Above all, this guides to thinking in black-and-white terms: either we have achieved or we have lost. This limits us from seeing incremental developments, which are often small but still significant.

Plus, the thing that guides to the disappearance of the big picture by concentrating on one aspect of our life and flying disproportionately is comparisons.

For example, let’s suppose you are evaluating last year, and let’s see that you are not as productive in the job area as some of your colleagues. You can directly sense like a complete failure. However, if you were to look and look at the whole aspects of your life, you can see that you have made some true developments in your family life.



Therefore, never comparing yourself to others and always judging yourself against your previous achievements is the fourth rule.

The things that permit you to progress is comparing current outcomes to past outcomes. If you always begin thinking that you have won, this is a red flag, where you have to do a better job to take risks and give yourself challenging purposes.

Think of yourself as a home inspector while controlling your improvement. This means looking at things from top to bottom and classifying each issue. Do you think that is a cosmetic or fundamental error? Make a list of things that require to be developed before giving a seal of permission.

This comprehensive approach is probably so busy with yourself that you aren’t going to worry about how you accumulate up with others.


Chapter 5 – The task of mothers and fathers is to raise a responsible and polite kid.


When you have seen parents who have ignored a child who has wreaked havoc so far, it can be concerned by you: are they just the worst mother and father or are they smart by letting the child tire himself?

Child-rearing approaches have shifted past the years, frequently as a result of centuries-old discussions of nature-upbringing and different ideas about our instincts that we are born with.

In the eighteenth century, there was a common belief that our ancient ancestors were sweet, tender, and childish, thought by philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. They accused our history of battle and violence under the influence of the corruption that civilization created on us.

However, nowadays, by us, it is understood better that people are born with truly aggressive instincts, and they need to learn to be gentler, more polite, more “civilized” grown-ups. After all, by you, it is remembered how vicious kids can be in an area to play; Most workplaces are a picture of peace!

According to the writer, it is actually up to parents to ensure that their normally aggressive youngsters find out to be a well-tuned grown-up, which brings us to the fifth rule: parents must be more than a friend – they have to raise responsible and cute people.

Nobody likes being a “bad person”, so it can be a challenge. Due to kids have deeply instinct to push the limits, they are aggressive, therefore, they can discover where the lines of the community are drawn. Therefore, by a parent, drawing these lines need to be confirmed and described.



While this cannot seem fun, imagine like this: if by them, these things aren’t discovered from a loving, and understanding parent, later, they will learn to include less love and understanding.

Therefore, let’s see at three main steps for better parenting:

Firstly, restricting the rules. Too many rules guide to disappointed children who continually hit obstacles. Therefore, restrict your work to a few basic, easy-to-understand principles like don’t bite, kick, or hit anyone if you do not defend yourself.

Secondly, using the minimum power needed. Effective and right discipline can be implemented just when the results are simplified. The punishment also has to “fit the crime”, that is, a child needs to be as heavy as he needs to discover not to reveal the rule again. Sometimes a disappointed look is enough; other times it may be a week without video games.

Thirdly, coming in pairs. Children are intelligent and will try to navigate one parent by playing against another – therefore, a federal front is necessary. Besides, each parent makes mistakes, however, if your partner is a promoter, you can discern and catch their faults.


Chapter 6 – Although the world has injustices, we couldn’t blame others for many things in our vita.


Chopping words makes no sense: in the world, there is a lot of difficulties and suffering – however, this does not cause desperation.

However, throughout the ages, by many human-beings, life is seemed so pitiless and unfair that harsh reactions are justified. By Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, it was seen existence as such a ridiculous injustice that he claimed that there were only four valid answers: childish ignorance, hedonistic pleasure, suicide, or struggling against everything.

By Tolstoy, these positions were examined in his article “A confession” and found that the most honest answer was a suicide while tackling and was a weak indication that he was unable to take proper action.

By others, it was responded in a parallel way, but by others, one decision was taken to take other lives with their own lives in actions known as murder-suicides, such as Sandy Hook or Columbine school shots. In June 2016, in the United States, a thousand people were shot for the previous 1,260 days and killed four or more people before someone shot themselves in many cases before.



However, although Tolstoy’s gloomy world-opinion view and no matter how painful you are or how brutal and unjust you are, by you, the world is blamed.

This is the essence of the sixth rule, namely; it is a life that pronounces that you must take responsibility for your vita before blaming the world.

There is another Russian author named Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who thinks that it is likely to refuse the persecution of life, although it is mean to you.

The person, who was among the communists who fought against the Nazis during World War II, was Solzhenitsyn, but although his service, he was imprisoned by his government after the war. And like life in a Russian gulag wasn’t bad adequate, he learned that he had cancer during serving his punishment.

However, although everything, by Solzhenitsyn, the world wasn’t blamed for his place in life. By the Communist Party, who imprisoned him, the role of support was admitted and he began using the time he left to add something beneficial and significant to the world.

The thing that he did is to write a book that involves the history of the Soviet camps he had endured firsthand, as well as the Gulag Archipelago, which offered a damn accuse. By the book, a significant role, in destroying all the back-up that Stalin’s brand of communism has amongst the intellectual rings around the world, was played.


Chapter 7 – What is an essential act is a sacrifice, and by us, a purpose of instant pleasures must be sought.


Do you know the tale of the monkey caught with his hand in the cookie can? As long as the story progressed, a cookie was left in an open jar, and although the opening of the jar was large adequate for the monkey’s hand to enter, not big enough for it to come back with the cookie inside its fist. Hence, if he insisted on trying to hold on to his feast, he would be locked.

There is a price found in moral greed: the monkey caught himself due to refusing to leave the cookie with permitting.

So, can you tell the difference of it from the human act? By how many people are following the pleasures that aren’t for their benefit each day? And by how many human-beings do desire to sacrifice for their advantages?

That it makes it particularly easy to defend life with pleasures that will make life more endurable is one of the side impacts of seeing the world as a hole of hopelessness. Moreover, if it makes you happy, it can’t be too wrong, can be? This is the rationale behind overeating and drinking, drug abuse, sexual degradation, and other self-harming actions.

The other side of this evidence is sacrifice, with leaving something now and bringing greater things in the future. This dates back to the old times when tribes would set aside food in the winter or assist those who couldn’t hunt or farm in the society.

Another topic is intensely represented in the Bible. When Adam and Eve were thrust into heaven by God, it is obvious that their original sins are the cause of the harsh and brutal life that everyone must face. However, our pain in life is the sacrifice that we have to do to live the joys in the afterlife.

And, we come to the seventh rule: search essential targets over immediate satisfaction.



Now, by you, it may be thought that this is a basic theory and something that most human beings are already doing. After all, by us, our time is sacrificed to go to a job and have a tough time so that we can go on holiday later or rest on a beach in the summer.

But this is in deep than sacrificing for your win; big and small things are found so we can sacrifice for great good, and if the bigger the sacrifice, the reward can be more.

Since thinking the flower of lotus can assist, let’s consider it.  This plant begins its life at the base of a lake and avoids darkness till it breaks into inches of water and flowers in the rays of the sun.

In different terms, when you are loyal to something and be prepared to make sacrifices to arrive at your targets, you are going to be awarded.


Chapter 8 – Although the thing that is a general vehicle of self-deception is lies, for living the correct way, an effort should be made by us.


It was believed by Friedrich Nietzsche, who was the German philosopher, that you can estimate the strength of a person’s soul based on how undiluted truth he can tolerate. Despite the facts are frequently seen as a valuable commodity in our culture, lies are told by us.

Acquiring what we desire is one of the fundamental reasons to tell lies for us. By Alfred Adler who was an Austrian psychologist, these lies of life were researched, and what we do and say to make the worst reach target a reality was defined.

For instance, you may consider that your retirement time spends place on an isolated seaside in Mexico with an unlimited source of Margarita. Such a target can be so charming that even if the events that accumulate more and more of the events are accumulating, you will continue to deceive that it is possible.

By you, allergies can be even improved to the sun, sand, and drinking, but keep lying to yourself about this perfect plan – although this isn’t a plan because you haven’t distinguished actual steps that could become reality.



Such delusions go hand in hand with our talent to trick ourselves to think that we already comprehend everything we require to know. This is a particularly stupid point of view as it eliminates our desire for natural discovering and growth.

However worse and much worse, things can occur when you live a life with a full lie and don’t desire to comprehend the accuracy. For instance, according to the epic poem Paradise Lost of John Milton, despite Lucifer is portrayed as a conceivable character, he is very proud and fascinated by his abilities – so his followers are expelled from heaven to challenge the final truth of God.

And, we come to the eighth rule: quit to tell lies and be honest.

By you, despite each of your avid purposes does not need to leave, you should be elastic so that your purposes are realistic and reflect reality. As long as your opinion and worldview change, your targets will change. And if your life goes astray, it may be time to reaffirm your truth so that you feel weak, rejected or worthless, and return to the true truth.


Chapter 9 – What is a chance to discover and grow is talking, but talking is not a race.


One of the smartest men who still lived thousands of years after his death is the former philosopher Socrates. One of the causes of this was that he believed that he knew nothing, and it was a driving force in his speeches and his openness to discovering.

When you have real communication, this should be a process that is alike to thinking.

Thinking about a subject is listening to yourself as you investigate both sides of a topic. So, in a way, your inner dialogue is created by you, which can be tough because you have to represent both sides correctly while remaining the target in your outcome.

This is a big reason why people make conversation with each other, so by them, both sides of a topic can be presented easily and concluded. Even, this is done like this by kids: if a child thinks it would be enjoyable to play on a roof, then they can advise this idea to a friend who draws attention to the dangers of this idea. The talking will allow the child with the initial idea to take the novel perspective, think about how likely it is for someone to fall and hurt himself, and expectantly make the correct choice.



Unfortunately, negotiations are not usually occurred this way. Rather, by one person, – or perhaps both – it will be declined to listen and treat as a race in which they must win the dialogue to confirm their bias. So instead of hearing what the other person is saying, they’ll plan about what they’re going to speak next, or they’ll act as a competition to bring each other together.

So, hearing what others say, assuming that you have something to find out from them is the ninth rule.

A simple hint to be a better orator is to listen and sum up or summarize what the other person has told. This assists multiple aims: it assists you to make sure you hear something rightly; it also helps it penetrate to your memory; it also reduces the possibility of distortion or over-simplification to suit you.

Sometimes the truths can be hurting and it is painful to get the knowledge that suggests you need to transform your ideas and prejudices. However, you can think that is the cost paid by you like a piece of the wonderful training and growth process.


Chapter 10 – It should be faced openly and definite language with the complexity of vita.


Life is a huge and complex tapestry, and yet we conduce to see only the isolated pieces we demand to see. When you walk around and if you see an apple on the floor, likely you do not imagine the branches, trees, rootstocks, and soil that are correlated before dropping.

Our tendency to notice or pay attention to what is only useful to us, or to continue our way, is the reason for this. The reason apple attracts our attention is that it describes food and nutrients. However, the tree and the soil are not taken into account by us because it is of no value to meet our requirements.

Of course, by us, everything cannot be thought- the world is very complicated for this, so, by the mind, things are uncomplicated and made it simpler for us to continue our lives. But once in a while, something can happen to destroy our understanding of the world and make things chaotic.

For this reason, the tenth rule is very significant: use definite language.

How does this assist? Let’s consider the word “car”. Do you comprehend that a car is correct? This is a tool that takes you from point A to point B. But when this vehicle halves between A and B, do you know exactly how a car works? Can you blow up the hood and repair this complicated machine?



When your car is corrupted, it’s a good possibility to feel the desire to swear or even kick at first, because there is no such simple thing in this situation. This is what happens when things become complicated and chaotic, so you need to reconfigure the order by openly and accurately describing what went wrong to heal.

When your body’s resistance is broken and getting sick, the same thing has to occur. There can be any amount of problems, so you have to inform your doctor about the exact symptoms. Does your stomach ache or is it fever? Did it start after eating something? What was this? With the help of being definite, you can restore the layout and take steps to start feeling better.

Thanks to the definite language, your relationships can work more smoothly. Is something done by your partner that bothers you, such as not cleaning themselves? When you are sincere and sensitive to them quickly, life becomes more comfortable.


Chapter 11 – Although there are found men who are dangerous and oppressive, pressing human nature should be escaped by us.


On the Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell, by the writer, it was concluded that socialism attracts defenders in England not because of sympathy for the tough circumstances facing workers, but for hatred against the wealthy and strong.

Nowadays, there are found alike behaviors against male-dominated management, known as patriarchy.

Max Horkheimer of the Marxism-centered Frankfurt School, an advocate of “critical theory,” is an effective source of this hatred for patriarchy. By him, it was felt that training and intellectualism should concentrate on social reform and try to fight and destroy powerful oppressors in culture, namely, ruling men, rather than working to empower women. Similarly, in humanities lessons encompassing the world now, the proposed political action is the dismantling of our macho culture.

It’s all concerning eliminating to fix or designing, and, according to the writer, it left us to with and infuriate guided at male action that could be extremely tough and narrow-minded.



For instance, by many male students, it is frequently faced with hateful blame of being part of patriarchy – although, the correct way of reform should not include treating each man as a potential sex criminal.

While it is right that many men act sincerely, by the writer, it is suggested that by men, their naturally competitive attitudes are used for good, such as participating in healthy competition, examining malignant fields, and obtaining very-needed improvement.

It recalls the writer of the skateboarders.  Some surprising skateboarders showed that they were eager to embrace admirable fear and hazard outside some structures on the University of Toronto campus. However, later by city officials, it was selected to forbid skateboarding on campus.

So, we are coming to the eleventh rule: do not disturb teen human-beings who skateboarding.

By us, rules cannot be placed against the essence of who we are as people. We must be surely guarded by our rules, but not do it in a way that will suppress genuine qualities in humans.

We have seen a pretty good fictional explanation of what can occur when men get out of their masculinity. As it is shown us in the story of the Fight Club, aggression can fit a prohibited fruit that manifests itself in fascist aims. The now rebirth of right-wing politics is another real-world feedback to emasculation.

The fact is that women are not asked boys to grow up without a possibility for them to discover and be individualistic. By him, it is suggested that each boy has a mother and what kind of mother will desire to give attention to a dependent boy?


Chapter 12 – It is significant to celebrate the little pleasures in life because life is tough and full of pain.


By you, has any sick individual had to be taken care of? Taking care of an ill person may be one of the difficulties that life makes more challenges. By the writer’s daughter, various arthritis has struggled at the age of six. By her, constant pain, requiring multiple surgeries for frequent injections and joint replacements were suffered.

In this kind of case, if you have a girl, by you, it is considered that life isn’t fair – however, the significant things are to admitting that pain, suffering, and dark parts of grief what give good moments their worth.

Let’s think Superman. When this character appeared for the first time, it was very popular. But then, by comic book writers, it was given him a power continuously after power until he was almost invulnerable. So, by readers, it was started to think about it very boring.

Unless there is a risk of danger, Superman’s winning is empty. Likewise, good moments would be pointless if we didn’t have to struggle with difficulties and suffer to arrive at them.



Therefore, it is significant to follow the twelfth rule: make the most of even the smallest joys of life.

By suiting this rule, you can be sure that you cover life with your arms and enjoy each good thing that comes your way. Besides, you will ensure to look at yourself in difficult times, even when you take a long time.

After years of grief and discomfort, the writer’s daughter finally found a novel physiotherapist who assisted her to discover more activity, fair normality, and much less pain. Although there may be other complications on the road, both are appreciated by the developments as long as they continue.

The best behavior is that; it is the kind that permits you to spend your time stopping and tame a cat when you walk on the sidewalk.

Don’t forget, a day without the darkness of night can be found, so, an order cannot occur without chaos. Although pain in life is found, it is the thing that gives worth to our patience and makes the time of peace so awarding.


12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson Book Review


Traveling life is a continuous struggle complete of experiences and troubles, and if there is any guarantee in life, there may be more problems around the edge. However, there is more beauty and joy to discover, but it may be to blow off those moments. Trying the best, being honest and reliable, and escaping being selfish and proud are things that can be done by you. Moreover, what is significant is to take responsibility for your party in life and not blame the world or others for your deficiencies. After all, you are the only one who is going to develop your vita.


Let’s think yourself by saying “How was I wrong?”

Even if you don’t like the answer, this is a way to sustain improvement and stay right. By examining yourself this question constantly, you can appreciate the satisfaction of making progress each day as you strive to be a greater person.



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Savaş Ateş

I'm a software engineer. I like reading books and writing summaries. I like to play soccer too :) Good Reads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/106467014-sava-ate

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