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.
The primary focus of this chapter is on finding people who want the best for you. That can include finding that person within yourself. It is important to surround yourself with people who challenge you and challenge themselves. Friends who struggle through life will bring you into their struggles. You can help them, but if they want to revel in the struggles and get nowhere, it may not be the best thing for you to do.
Rule 3 — Make Friends with People Who Want the Best for You
Your desires might not line up with the people around you. You are the one who has to realize this and potentially fix it. If you want something different from those around you, you must know what you want. The next step will be either in making it so that you find that different thing with those people or find different people.
People want entirely different things from life. Some people will want to suffer and there is nothing that can be done about it.
You can’t assume things about people. If someone looks like a victim to you, it might be that they are just a victim of themselves.
Helping others is a noble aim, but it has the potential to pull you down with them. You can’t bring someone into a group or a team and expect them to suddenly strive for greatness. They must already be striving for greatness.
It is so much more likely that all those who are looking to succeed will end up suddenly being attracted to vices and failure than the person who is struggling will fix themselves. People will begin to resent the person who isn’t achieving and either be forced out due to them or start failing on purpose due to them.
If you label someone a victim of their circumstance, you make that person into a victim. You remove all agency they may have had in the choices that got them to their low place. It might make you better able to see them in a positive light that it is not their fault, but it may make it impossible for them to fix themselves.
Being a complete person is hard work. Being friends with a complete person can also be hard work. If you see them as an ideal, it makes you extremely vulnerable in their presence. What happens if they are unhappy with your actions?
If you don’t make yourself vulnerable, you will never amount to more than you are. So you must take chances and step into the chaos.
Being friends with someone who is a complete person makes it more likely that you are a complete person. They may not accept you when you show signs of lacking. Is that acceptance of you no matter what a good thing for you becoming better?