Action Plan for 12 Rules of Life


#1

This topic will facilitate the formulation of a 12 Rules of Life action plan.

Each of the below rule posts are wiki topics, so anyone registered can edit them.

Each rule is to have the following sections:

  • Action (quotes from the book) - do this …
  • Benefit (quotes from the book) - so that this …
  • Suggestions (things the community has come up with)

Use > at the start of a paragraph to make it quote format, like so:

this is a quote


Jordan B Peterson - 12 Rules for Life
#2

Rule 1: Stand up straight with your shoulder’s back

Action:

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.

Peterson, Jordan B… 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (pp. 27-28). Penguin Books Ltd. Kindle Edition.

Benefit:

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.

Peterson, Jordan B… 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (p. 28). Penguin Books Ltd. Kindle Edition.

Suggestions:

  • Exercise back muscles to retain posture.
  • Be mindful of when you are in good posture or not through meditation or by continually reminding yourself. (Maybe set a repeated notification, wear something distinct on your person, Have a written reminder around where you’ll continually see it.)

John and Sumit


#3

Rule 2: Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for

Action:

You need to consider the future and think, “What might my life look like if I were caring for myself properly? What career would challenge me and render me productive and helpful, so that I could shoulder my share of the load, and enjoy the consequences? What should I be doing, when I have some freedom, to improve my health, expand my knowledge, and strengthen my body?”

Peterson, Jordan B… 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (pp. 62-63). Penguin Books Ltd. Kindle Edition.

You must discipline yourself carefully. You must keep the promises you make to yourself, and reward yourself, so that you can trust and motivate yourself.

Peterson, Jordan B… 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (p. 63). Penguin Books Ltd. Kindle Edition.

Strengthen the individual. Start with yourself. Take care with yourself. Define who you are. Refine your personality. Choose your destination and articulate your Being.

Peterson, Jordan B… 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (p. 63). Penguin Books Ltd. Kindle Edition.

Benefit:

You need to know where you are, so you can start to chart your course. You need to know who you are, so that you understand your armament and bolster yourself in respect to your limitations. You need to know where you are going, so that you can limit the extent of chaos in your life, restructure order, and bring the divine force of Hope to bear on the world. You must determine where you are going, so that you can bargain for yourself, so that you don’t end up resentful, vengeful and cruel. You have to articulate your own principles, so that you can defend yourself against others’ taking inappropriate advantage of you, and so that you are secure and safe while you work and play.

Peterson, Jordan B… 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (p. 63). Penguin Books Ltd. Kindle Edition.

You could help direct the world, on its careening trajectory, a bit more toward Heaven and a bit more away from Hell. Once having understood Hell, researched it, so to speak— particularly your own individual Hell— you could decide against going there or creating that. You could aim elsewhere. You could, in fact, devote your life to this. That would give you a Meaning, with a capital M. That would justify your miserable existence. That would atone for your sinful nature, and replace your shame and self-consciousness with the natural pride and forthright confidence of someone who has learned once again to walk with God in the Garden.

Peterson, Jordan B… 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (pp. 63-64). Penguin Books Ltd. Kindle Edition.

Suggestions:

  • Set up a schedule that even the worst version of yourself would/could be willing/able to do.
  • Meditation, to notice every time your inner demon is about to take over.
  • Set up a plan B set of routines in the case of unplanned circumstances. (I.E: When about to falter take a walk to refresh.)
  • Set up a compromise, so the darkest part of yourself will not be tyrannical in the same way you were towards it.
  • Make a to-do list of things you’re already going to be doing, (to decrease the imposing nature of the to-do list) [This may not help, by some things I’ve heard. Could easily fall into busy work to avoid responsibilities]
  • Prepare, and expect, failure for every thing you set out to do, so that you’re ready if it does.
    Imagine yourself as a small child that has to do certain things, how are you going to coax that child into it?
  • Be compassionate for yourself. Forgive your failings.
  • Keep track of the things you’ve done that you are proud of.
  • Take the time to appreciate; yourself, and others.

John and Sumit


#4

Rule 3: Make friends with people who want the best for you

Action:

@todo

Benefit:

@todo

Suggestions:

  • Friendships are formed from people with shared ‘battles’, goals, values.
  • You have to first show how you can benefit them in their needs/goals. Then they may show the same response towards yours.
  • Placing the other person’s interests even above your own. (these are true friendships, and they may still reward you more so in the long-run)
  • Finding people you can be, and are, honest with and argue with.
  • Placing the other person as an end unto themselves. [Still not sure exactly what this means. ~Homework.]
  • Move on from those acting against your own, and their own, best self-interests.
  • Find people who you can say unsaid things to.

John and Sumit


#5

Rule 4: Compare yourself to who you were yesterday

Action:

@todo

Benefit:

@todo

Suggestions:

  • Make a physical daily chart of your progress in whatever habits you want to build, test different strategies, and analyze the results.
  • Scale down all your goals into being achievable. (Give yourself tiny tasks, one at a time, and ask what you’d be willing to do: "Can I read 1 page tonight? Yes? Good, do it. Done? Can I read 1 more?..)
  • Make your plans grounded within action, things you can physically do
  • Weekly course correction. (forgive your failures and be thankful for them, because they are useful pieces of knowledge for ineffective strategies that you can stop trying.)
  • Set strategies instead of goals. (A goal is a desired end-product, a strategy is a series of actions that could lead to that end-product)
  • Write down the worst day you’ve had. That’s an anti-ideal, a ‘do not do list’. Cross off the things from there that you thankfully ‘haven’t done’ successfully.
  • Also write down the best day you’ve had (or could have) and then maybe create a composite day, a synthesis between the two so that your opposite selves can work in balance to achieve both sets of needs in the best possible way that benefits you both positively.
  • Cut out anything that makes you feel small and weak. (People, objects, social media, etc.)
  • Come up with an alternate habit to replace a bad. (from your worst day) that still fulfill the underlying needs for why you act out that bad habit. (if you smoke, maybe you use smoking to give yourself a break and de-stress, give yourself those necessary breaks that you need but do so in another way, like a small walk around.)
  • Articulate your problems.

John and Sumit


#6

Rule 5: Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them

Action:

First, figure out what you want. Then, watch the people around you like a hawk. Finally, whenever you see anything a bit more like what you want, swoop in (hawk, remember) and deliver a reward. Your daughter has been very reserved since she became a teenager. You wish she could talk more. That’s the target: more communicative daughter. One morning, over breakfast, she shares an anecdote about school. That’s an excellent time to pay attention. That’s the reward. Stop texting and listen.

Peterson, Jordan B… 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (p. 130). [hardcover print copy.]

@todo

Benefit:

@todo

Suggestions:

  • Treat yourself like your own child, watch for any good behaviors when you exhibit them and reward yourself with an underlying need in that moment. (A reward could be something small that you like, requires setup so that you have those rewards in place)
  • Find something that you love, and only reward yourself with that while you’re doing the work that you require.
  • Keep track of your negative behavior, analyze what need you had that that negative behavior was fulfilling, come up with an alternative solution to fulfill that need.

John and Sumit


#7

Rule 6: Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world

Action:

Clean up your life
Consider your circumstances. Start small. Have you taken full advantage of the opportunities offered to you? Are you working hard on your career, or even your job, or are you letting bitterness and resentment hold you back and drag you down? Have you made peace with your brother? Are you treating your spouse and your children with dignity and respect? Do you have habits that are destroying your health and well-being? Are you truly shouldering your responsibilities? Have you said what you need to say to your friends and family members? Are there things that you could do, that you know you could do, that would make things around you better?
Have you cleaned up your life?
If the answer is no, here’s something to try: Start to stop doing what you know to be wrong. Start stopping today. Don’t waste time questioning how you know that what you’re doing is wrong, if you are certain that it is. Inopportune questioning can confuse, without enlightening, as well as deflecting you from action. You can know that something is wrong or right without knowing why. Your entire Being can tell you something that you can neither explain nor articulate. Every person is too complex to know themselves completely, and we all contain wisdom that we cannot comprehend.

Peterson, Jordan B… 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (p. 157). [hardcover print copy.]

@todo

Benefit:

@todo

Suggestions:

  • Clean your room. (Start small, say, a shelf, set aside some time to devote to just that)
  • Are there things that you could do, that you know you could do, that would make things around you better?
  • Only think about the things that you can accomplish right there in the moment. (or set aside time and strategize for longer-term needs/problems. Don’t use the size of the problem in order to avoid having to fix it.)
  • If a problem is recurring, look to see what the source is. Instead, deal with that.

John and Sumit


#8

Rule 7: Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)

Action:

@todo

Benefit:

@todo

Suggestions:

  • Whenever faced with a need, come up with two options that fulfill that need. Choose the wiser of the two.
  • If two needs conflict with each other, show empathy for the opposing need, come up with a compromise that will satisfy both of them. (may require the delay of one)
  • If a need you have is not one that you want to satisfy, seek the underlying need behind it, perhaps it’s a needed sense of reward, gratify the underlying need instead of the negative strategy with bad consequences.
  • How to deal with your Shadow’s needs? He wants to be listened to. Give him at least that and see where he and you can compromise.

John and Sumit


#9

Rule 8: Tell the truth—or, at least, don’t lie

Action:

@todo

Benefit:

@todo

Suggestions:

  • Practice saying smaller controversial statements that you believe, with the caveat that you yourself may be mistaken and are willing to hear an opposing argument that deals with your perspective of things.
  • In confrontations first agree upon a shared higher value, and analyze how your opposing perspectives and suggestions aid or harm that value.
  • Compare the strongest arguments of each other against themselves. (Be sure to understand and repeat the other person’s to stay on track)
  • Consider someone you disagree with. What is something that you’d like to say to them. Imagine saying that and their reaction to it. Improve your statements so as to get the best reaction in your mind, (be honest), and then try it out. Hopefully you’ve expected all of the worst responses and planned your responses to those if they do occur.
  • Use online groups perhaps to build up nerves for speaking. To help formulate your thoughts properly. (Also writing down your stances and arguments is very useful for this.)

John


#10

Rule 9: Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t

Action:

[Carl Rogers] suggested that his readers conduct a short experiment when they next found themselves in a dispute: “Stop the discussion for a moment, and institute this rule: ‘Each person can speak up for himself only after he has first restated the ideas and feelings of the previous speaker accurately, and to that speaker’s satisfaction.’ ”

Peterson, Jordan B… 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (p. 246). [hardcover print copy.]

@todo

Benefit:

@todo

Suggestions:

  • Seek out people that disagree with you and learn from them (if only to strengthen your own side by understanding theirs)
  • Give yourself an out -(an allowance to be wrong)- for all your statements and give them one as well.
  • Fully consider that you may still be wrong in your opinion.
  • Do not lock your opponent into a position of having to either be wrong or to ignore you and your arguments.
  • Work off of the same base-level needs as your opponent. (Hear what they are trying to accomplish, agree on that, and mutually find how to achieve that goal in the best possible way for both of you)

John


#11

Rule 10: Be precise in your speech

Action:

@todo

Benefit:

@todo

Suggestions:

  • Leave nothing vague. Organize a list of problems you have around you, no necessary intention to fixing them, just so that you know they’re there.
  • List your problems with your habits. Discover the root to these. Avoid the roots. (or treat them.)
  • Once you know the problems you have, break them down into their core aspects, discover what part is at fault and what might be done to treat that smaller part.

John


#12

Rule 11: Do not bother children when they are skateboarding

Action:

@todo

Benefit:

@todo

Suggestions:

  • Set out to fail at something that you admire. (The expectation of failure makes it less devastating if it arises)
  • Spend the time to know how to fail properly.
  • Reward your attempts, no matter the outcome.

John


#13

Rule 12: Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street - stop and smell the roses

Action:

[…]If you cannot understand why someone did something, look at the consequences—and infer the motivation.[…]

Peterson, Jordan B… 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (p. 289). [hardcover print copy.]

@todo

Benefit:

@todo

Suggestions:

  • Keep track of opportunities that are presented to you, calling out to you. Analyze them and nurture them into something better than was there before.
  • Work towards helping all creatures reach their best outcomes. Only they know they’re needs. You may be able to facilitate them if you listen and observe.
  • Keep track of your regular interactions with people. Set out to make those repeated interactions better.

John


#14

(borrowed advice from ‘Don’t Shoot The Dog’ by Karen Pryor)
She suggested creating a personal graph of achievement for the month, and place a pushpin for every success.
I did this with a series of Lego 1x1s in different colors, tracking how many pages I’ve read (green), how many minutes of meditation (red), etc.


#15

For rule 12, perhaps look at all of the repeated interactions you have and come up with a small way to make those little interactions nicer in some way. (IE, if you see a person regularly, maybe take the time to learn their name)


#16

Based upon my experience if you hit the GYM and work on your chest/back, your posture improves significantly and you automatically begin to stand up straight.


#17

I’ve made the rule posts above Wiki posts, so anyone registered should be able to edit them.