I am doing my thoughts on each chapter. The post with my overall thoughts on 12 Rules for Life can be found here. This post also contains links to my thoughts on each chapter. If you have not done so already, you should buy Jordan Peterson’s book.
This is the now infamous lobster chapter. Cathy Newman’s staffer evidently couldn’t be bothered to get past the first chapter of the book when digging for things to bring up during the interview. The book is about chaos and order. The first chapter is about how our anatomy impacts us in dealing with those two things.
The main point of this chapter is that you should behave and present yourself in a way that is reflective of what you aspire towards. It has actual impacts on how your hormones function. Those hormones control your thoughts. Those thoughts control who you are.
Rule 1 — Stand up straight with your shoulders back
Variability and uncertainty are guaranteed. We can’t escape chaos. Even if we put things into perfect order, everything has the tendency to fall apart. We can’t control this.
Regardless of how great the chaos is, we can do something with it. Death has a sense of finality to it. It also gives the opportunity to create something new. You lose something. That doesn’t mean that within that loss you can’t create a new strength within yourself.
You will find yourself walking the line between order and chaos. Sometimes you will be too far into order. That means there is no chance for something new. If you are too far into chaos, you can’t understand what you are seeing. It can’t be useful.
You can’t stand still and come out ahead. It doesn’t matter what others are doing. Life itself requires motion. It gets even more complicated when others are moving quickly through life. You can’t relate to someone who is moving quickly while you stay still.
Not everything moves quickly. Not everything should move quickly. You need to find the pace you can set that doesn’t send you running headlong into chaos. The world will be changing around you. You can’t help that. If you stand still, the ground you stand on will become chaos.
Don’t back down because you are anxious. It will make the thing you are running from all the more real. You also won’t be better equipped to deal with it next time. Every time you retreat from something, you are less capable of coming back to deal with it. Don’t do it.
If there is a reason to be anxious that is real, find that out. The thing to fear is actual harm. Almost nothing in your life that you desire will require you to risk harm. You will know if it can harm you. If you run, you won’t stop running.
If you don’t stand up for yourself and what is yours, it will be overtaken. That is a rule of nature and man. If you stand up for yourself too late, it will be gone. If you never stand up for yourself, no one will even know you were harmed.
To avoid tyranny you must not cede ground that you know is important. There is no difference between not being able to defend something and refusing to defend something. The same is lost.