You should be afraid of taking risks and pursuing something meaningful, but you should be more afraid of staying where you are if it’s making you miserable. It’s on you. The problem with being okay the way you are is that you don’t have a goal then and people need to have a goal in order to come to terms with their life. You’re full of biological potential that won’t be realized unless you move yourself around in the world in different challenging circumstances and that’ll turn on different circuits need for motivation.
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Pursuing Something Meaningful ▼
Today’s lessons from a man who went from being introduced to George Orwell’s writings at a young age to becoming a Harvard professor writing hundreds scientific papers and becoming one of YouTube’s Incredible Motivational Speech- Defining Success latest internet sensations he’s Jordan B Peterson and here’s my take on his top ten rules a success volume for joy okay let’s kick it off with rule number one my personal favorite pursue what is meaningful you write in the book there is no faith and no courage and no sacrifice in doing what is expedient what do you say to those viewers that don’t pursue their dreams and are locked into their careers because they are too afraid to take risks and pursue something meaningful well the first thing I would say is well you should be afraid of taking risks and pursuing something meaningful but you should be more afraid of staying where you are if it’s making you miserable it’s like the first thing you want to do is dispense with the idea that you get to have any permanent security outside of your ability to contend and adapt it’s the same issue with children it’s like you’re paying a price by sitting there being miserable and you might say well the devil I know is better than the one I don’t it’s like don’t be so sure of that the clock is ticking yeah and if you’re miserable in your job now and you change nothing in five years you’ll be much more miserable. How do you become successful? and you’ll be a lot older but this into the luxury to pursue what is meaningful our viewers have mortgages they have children yeah they have payments and loans it’s a luxury to pursue because we lack the resources well I don’t think I don’t remember now I’m not talking about what makes you happy it’s a luxury to pursue what makes you happy it’s a moral obligation to pursue what you find meaningful and that doesn’t mean it’s easy it might require sacrifice if you need to change your job to let’s say you have family and children and a mortgage you have responsibilities you’ve already picked up those responsibilities you don’t just get to walk away scot-free and say well I don’t like my job I quit that’s no strategy but what you might have to do is you think well this job is killing my soul all right so what do I have to do about that well I have to look for another job well no one wants to hire me it’s like okay maybe you need to educate yourself more maybe you need to update your curriculum vitae your resume maybe you need to overcome your fear of being interviewed maybe you need to sharpen your social skills like you have to think about these things strategically if you’re to switch careers you have to do it like an intelligent responsible person that might take you a couple of years of effort to do properly I’ve dealt with hundreds of people in my clinical and consulting practice and we set a goal we develop a vision and work towards it and it things inevitably get better for people so unstoppable confidence is not a luxury it’s difficult it’s a moral responsibility and it isn’t happiness it’s not the pursuit isn’t for happiness it’s a moral responsibility to push you what is meaning absolutely rule number two fight for your beliefs the first way in which you captured the world’s attention was that University and that’s what I want to talk about now because the c16 law in Canada was being proposed contextualized for us what it is precisely that you were being that you were opposed to in that well bill c16 purported to do nothing but extend human rights provisions to an excluded group let’s say to the transgender and non-gender binary types and that was the federal legislation it also made it a hate crime to to discriminate or harass essentially so now then the question is well what exactly do you mean by discriminator harass and why exactly is that a hate crime under the Criminal Code well there was an answer to that the answer was well this bill will be interpreted in light of the policies generated by the Ontario Human Rights Commission very large set of policies now the Ontario Human Rights Commission is a radically leftist organization I think it’s the most dangerous organization in Canada although you could debate that and they said are all sorts of policies about how this these LED this legislation was going to be interpreted and the federal government linked to their website to state that bill 16 c 16 would be interpreted in light of those guidelines so i went and read all the policies well one of the policies was that if you didn’t use the preferred pronouns of a given group that you could be charged essentially with a hate crime and i thought no that group is that you can talk about transgender people yeah and so there’s all these pronouns that have come up there’s 70 different sets of pronouns approximately to to hypothetically describe people who don’t fit anywhere on the gender spectrum which is also something that I don’t really I don’t understand that conceptually like okay so now I’m coming is compelled under Canadian law to use the pronoun of another individuals choice pipe on pain of law and I thought well no that’s not acceptable it’s one thing to put limits on what a person can’t say like say with hate speech laws which I also don’t agree with by the way but that’s a different argument I think it’s a narrower argument but to compel me to use a certain content when I’m formulating my thoughts or my actions under threat of legislative action I thought no what’s happened there is the government has introduced compelled speech legislation into the private sphere it’s never happened in the history of English common law and so I said there’s no way I’m abiding by that I don’t care what your damn rationale is we’re compassionate it’s like no you’re not know you’re not you’re playing this radical collectivist left-wing game you’re trying to gain linguistic you’re trying to gain linguistic supremacy in the in the area of public discourse you’re doing that using compassion as a guise and you’re pulling the wool over people’s eyes and you’re not going to do it with me rule number three take on challenges we’re built for struggle as human beings you know you’re not after the bubbles of bliss that Dostoyevsky described in his guide to success notes from underground we’re built to contend with the world we’re built to contend with reality you want a challenge and the best way that you can take on a challenge because the challenge fortifies you so you don’t want to be secure you want to be strong and you get strong by taking on optimal challenges and so you lay out your destiny in the world and you take the slings and arrows of fate and you make yourself stronger while you’re doing so and you might fail and fortune might do you in but it’s your best bet and you know people have also people that have extracted unbelievable successes out of catastrophic failures and so and I’m not saying that in a naive way I know perfectly well what happens to people you know you’re doing fine in life and then you get cancer and then six months later you’re dead and all the heroism in the world isn’t going to save you at that point but that’s not the point that’s not the point life is bounded by mortality but that doesn’t mean that you don’t get out there and ten and you develop by contending and you minimize the net amount of suffering in the world and that’s something man that’s something to do rule number four don’t compare yourself to others rule four compare yourself to who you were yesterday and not to who someone else is today because if you’re comparing yourself to someone else I mean first of all you don’t know very much about the life of the person you’re comparing yourself to you don’t know innate you know what across all of its dimensions and second people are very different and so comparing yourself to someone else it’s it’s kind of useful I guess when you’re young but as you get older and more singular and more particularly it becomes increasingly less useful better to compare yourself to a previous version of yourself and work for improvement in that way rule number five develop resilience life is difficult and you cannot protect your children what you can do is prepare them and you can prepare them to be strong and courageous and truthful and resilient and reciprocal in their interactions with other people and that means you equip them for what life will be which is at minimum a series of difficult challenges and often more than that because of course people go through very difficult times in their lives and a resilient person is capable of standing up to things in the face of fear and moving forward voluntarily convinced of their own competence and ability to prevail and so the primary your primary goal as a parent apart from facilitating your child’s social desirability which is a major obligation on your part is to encourage your children and to and I mean that literally to instill in them a sense of courage in the face of the difficulties of life and not to protect them from that we don’t even want to be protected from those difficulties because a major part of life and its meaning is the challenge that comes with confronting difficulties rule number six get your act together I said with Bill c16 that I wouldn’t speak the language of the radical leftist because I don’t think that that language should define the game but let’s say it does so here’s the game the world is a battleground of groups and the they’re battling for power that’s it that’s the game and some of them win and they oppress those who don’t win so that’s how we’re going to view the world okay now the left is say okay well here’s the oppressed people the oppressors the patriarchy type patriarchal types they should be ashamed of themselves and give up some power the right-wingers the radical right wingers look at that and they say oh I see so the game is ethnic identity is it its identity politics okay we’re white males we’re not going to lose that’s the right wing version of identity politics it’s like screw you if we’re divided into groups if we’re going to divide into tribes and I’m in my tribe I’m not going to get all guilty and lose to get all cruel and win and that’s like then you think well there’s people in the middle they’re kind of looking back and forth which side of the identity politics spectrum I am I going to fall in do I want to go with do I want to go do I want to be driven primarily by compassion and I’m am I going to accept guilt for my historical privilege so that’s one possibility and then I’m the oppressor I’m the member of the oppressor group or am I say Oh to hell with that I’m just playing the wind well then I’m going to go to the right it’s like well my sense is how about we don’t play either of those games and the reason we shouldn’t play them is well the Soviets played the left wing game and like killed who knows how many tens of millions of people you can’t even count it accurately the estimates range from twenty to a hundred million those are pretty big error bars and that in the Maoists maybe a hundred million certainly 60 million so okay that didn’t work out so well and then there’s the Nazis like they played ethnic identity politics and racial superiority it’s like what do we want to play that game see what I’d been trying to do really what I’ve been trying to do for the last 30 years is say look there’s heavy temptations to play those sorts of games but that’s not the only game in town it’s a much better game to play individual it’s like get your act together stand up in the world make something of yourself stay away from the ideological oversimplifications set your house in order that’s rule 6 in the in this book so I have a book rule in there says set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world and it’s a very dark chapter about the motivations of the Columbine High School killers and this other guy who is a serial rapist and arsonist and murderer and these he wrote an autobiography and the Columbine kids also wrote about why they did what they did they’re resentful to the core bitter resentful terrible and well I’m suggesting that people stay away from that resentment resentfulness and bitterness even though life is hard and there’s malevolence in the world it’s like yeah you can you can tell a story where everyone’s a victim because we all die we all get sick you know and things happen to us that are bitter and terrible betrayal deceit lies like people hurt us on purpose you know so it’s not just the tragedy of life it’s malevolence as well it’s everyone’s a victim you can tell that story the problem is if you tell that story you start to act it out you make all of that worse that’s the problem and it’s so this is why partly I got attracted to Christian imagery at least in part because there’s an idea in Christianity that you should pick up your goddamn cross and like walk up the hill and that’s dramatically that’s correct that’s the right answer it’s like you’ve got a heavy load of suffering to bear and a fair bit of it’s going to be unjust it’s what are you going to do about it accept it voluntarily and try to transform as a consequence that’s the right answer it’s the right answer because the rest of it is tribalism and we’re too technologically powerful to get all tribal again rule number seven concentrate on who you could be people have an unspecified potential for development educationally obviously with regards to the skills they have but also in relationship to their character and it’s much it’s much more encouraging for people I think to concentrate on who they could be rather than who they are especially when they’re young because they still have most of their life ahead of them and they’re not everything they could be yet and so to tell people even something like well you should feel good about yourself the way you are is like well that there’s something there that’s seriously lacking because there’s so much more that you could be that you need to be and that you should be aiming at the Sun you’re the problem with being okay the way you are is that you don’t have a goal then and people need to have a goal in order to to come to terms with their life rule number eight get out of your comfort zone now this baboon here who’s supposed to be basically just a fool when the story was first written he turned into what’s essentially a shaman across time and they so he represents the self from the Union perspective now the self is everything you could be across time so you imagine that there’s you and there’s the potential inside you whatever that is you know and potential is an interesting idea because it’s represents something that isn’t yet real yet we act like it’s real because people will say to you should live up to your potential and that potential is partly what you could be if you interacted with the world in a manner that would gain you the most information right because you build yourself out of the information in the Piagetian sense but it’s deeper than that too because we know that if you take yourself and you put yourself in a new environment new jeans turn on in your nervous system they encode for new proteins and so you’re full of biological potential that won’t be realized unless you move yourself around in the world in two different challenging circumstances and that’ll turn on different circuits so it’s not merely that you’re incorporating information from the outside world in the constructivist sense it’s that by exposing yourself to different environments you put different physiological demands on on yourself all the way down to the genetic level and that manifests new elements of you and so one of the things that happens to people and this is a very common cultural notion is that you should go on a pilgrimage at some point to somewhere central and that would be say like the rock in the Pride Rock and the Lion King because you take yourself out of your dopey little village and that’s just a little bounded you that everyone knows and that isn’t very expanded and then you go somewhere dark and dangerous to the central place and while you do that you have adventures and they toughen you and pull more out of you like partly you’re becoming informed which means information’ it means you’re becoming more organized at every level of analysis but there’s also more of you too rule number nine find your why by primary motive as a clinical psychologist and educator is to help individuals live more meaningful and productive lives in harmony with their families and their community that’s my motive and the evidence for that I think is well if people go online and first of all you can watch the lectures and decide for yourself but you can also go there’s I suspect probably maybe 250,000 people have commented on the lectures and their effects on them and so that’s what people say I’m watching the lectures yeah I’m trying to develop a vision for my life I’m trying to become more responsible and it’s really helping and that’s and that’s what I hear all the time when I do these public lectures which aren’t political but when we gain success we raise the bar we set our ambitions higher I mean what is your end game what do you want that’s all that’s what I want I want I want to help as many individuals as possible become more courageous more truthful and more engaged in the pursuit of individual familial and social harmony that’s what I want and rule number 10 the last one before a very special bonus clip is pick the lesser risk you’re doing a great job of modeling courage in the face of farm well there’s something I’d like to say maybe in closing about courage people say that to me and you know I don’t think it’s exactly right doesn’t there’s a line in the Old Testament the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom and I think it’s more like that it’s not that I’m courageous it’s that I’m afraid of the right things so when I made my videos it wasn’t like that didn’t make me nervous but I was less nervous about going back to bed and not saying what I had to say that I was about making the videos because I know where this is going I don’t want to go there and so it’s not so much courage it’s that it’s a matter of I it’s less risky to say something than to remain silent when you know there’s something to be said I know that to be the case and so lots of times in life it’s like there’s no pathway forward that’s going to shield you from risk you get to pick this risk or you get to pick this risk and I think I picked the lesser risk and that might be wise but I’m not so sure it’s courageous now I’ve got a really special bonus Jordan Peterson clip around having humility that i think you’re going to enjoy but before that I want to know question of the day which clip which message resonated more with you have resilience or find your why let me know in the comments below thank you guys so much for watching I believe in you I hope we continue to believe in yourself and whatever your one where it is much love I’ll see you soon and enjoy the bonus clip oh yes chapter 9 is assumed that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t this is a chapter about conversation and about the different forms conversation takes and so chapter about humility and it’s a chapter about listening and humility element is it took me a long time to understand why there’s religious injunctions supporting humility but even understand what the word really meant and that sort of technical sense and it means something like this it means what you don’t know is more important than what you know and that’s a lovely thing too then then what you don’t know can start to be your friend you see people are very defensive about what they know and for the reasons we’ve already discussed but the thing is you don’t know enough and the Ruin can tell you don’t know enough because your life is not what it could be and neither is the life of the people around you just don’t know enough and so what that means is that every time you encounter some evidence that you’re ignorant someone points it out you should be happy about that because you think of you just told me how I’m wrong it’s like great like maybe I had to sift through a lot of nonsense to get through the real message that you’re telling me but if you could actually tell me some way that I’m wrong and then maybe give me a hint about how to not be wrong like that well then I wouldn’t have to be wrong like that anymore that that would be a good thing and you can you can you can embark on that adventure by listening to people and if you listen to people they will tell you they’ll tell you amazing things if you listen to them and many of those things are little tools that you can put in your toolkit like Batman and then you can go out into the world and use those tools and you don’t have to fall blindly into a pit quite as often and so the humility element is well do you want to be right or do you want to be learning and it’s deeper than that it’s do you want to be that the tyrannical king who’s already got everything figured out or do you want to be the continually transforming hero or fool for that matter who’s getting better all the time and that’s actually a choice you know it’s a deep choice and it’s better to be the self-transforming fool who’s humble enough to make friends with what he or she doesn’t know and to listen when people talk and listening is a transformative exercise like if you listen to the people in your life for example if you actually listen to them they’ll tell you what’s wrong with them and how to fix it and what they want they can’t even help it if you start listening because people are so shocked if you actually listen to them that they tell you all those sorts of things that they might not have even intended to things they don’t even know and then you can you can work with that if you tell yourself a story long enough you start to believe it won’t you believe it you act like I am Tulsa what a wail out of a handcuffed lightning though.