I was reading an article which quoted heavily excerpts from the book of noted Psychologist Jordan B. Peterson entitled “12 RULES FOR LIFE – An Antidote to Chaos”. ( Thanks to Philippine Star columnist Bong R. Osorio whose column “Commonness” was carried at the Lifestyle section last week and which I will heavily henceforth be quoting).
Here are practical tips that many of us may have taken for granted that surprisingly debunk old-fashioned norms — that we all normally and usually accept— with revolutionary scientific research . These rules will help you understand what you already know: that your soul eternally hungers for the heroism of your genuine self and that the willingness to take on that heroic responsibility is identical to the decision to live a meaningful life.
Here we go with the 12 rules and self-check if they apply to you:
STAND UP STRAIGHT WITH YOUR SHOULDERS BACK. This is to accept responsibility of life with eyes wide open. Pay attention to your posture. Avoid bowing and stooping. Speak your mind. Assert your rights and desires as others do. Walk tall and gaze ahead. Dare to be dangerous.
TREAT YOURSELF LIKE SOMEONE YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR HELPING. While one may feel responsible for others, accept the reality first that there’s no one else who can better take care of yourself but YOU.
MAKE FRIENDS WITH PEOPLE WHO WANT THE BEST FOR YOU. Use your judgment. There may be many people around you but a good healthy person is ideal to be close with; people who can inspire you to improve yourself across time. Avoid them who may eventually bring you more harm to your life.
COMPARE YOURSELF TO WHO YOU WERE YESTERDAY, NOT WHO SOMEONE ELSE IS TODAY. Pay close attention to your own self and not to others. Ask the question: “What could I do, that I would do, to make my life a little better?”
DO NOT LET YOUR CHILDREN DO ANYTHING THAT MAKES YOU DISLIKE THEM. If a child has not been taught to behave properly by the age of four, it will forever be difficult for that child to be good and make friends.
SET YOUR HOUSE IN PERFECT ORDER BEFORE YOU CRITICIZE THE WORLD. Have you cleaned up your life? Don’t reorganize the state until you have attended and organized your own life. Have some humility. If you cannot bring peace to your own household, how dare you try to rule a community or a city?
PURSUE WHAT IS MEANINGFUL , NOT WHAT IS EXPEDIENT. Aim high. Pay attention. Fix what you can fix. Don’t be arrogant in your knowledge. Become aware of your own insufficiency. Strive for humility. Ask yourself: “What should I do today?” in a manner that means :”How could I use my time to make things better, instead of worse?”
TELL THE TRUTH OR AT LEAST DON’T LIE. If you have rejected the truth for a long time, then you’ve run up a dangerously large sacrificial debt.
ASSUME THAT THE PERSON YOU ARE LISTENING TO MIGHT KNOW SOMETHING YOU DON’T. Listening is a bit difficult to do than saying something so others may listen. Listening is courage. If you sincerely listen, people will tend to tell you everything they are thinking.
BE PRECISE IN YOUR SPEECH. When things are no longer specified with precision, the walls crumble and chaos dominates. Focused intent, precision of aim and careful attention protect us all the time from harm.
DO NOT BOTHER CHILDREN IF THEY ARE SKATEBOARDING. Don’t call someone’s attention by the usual confrontational: “Hey what are you doing?” Assume ignorance before malevolence. No one has direct pipeline to your wants and needs — not even you!
PET A CAT WHEN YOU ENCOUNTER ONE ON THE STREET. Set aside some time to talk and think about issues and problems and how they should be managed everyday. It’s like taking a walk bothered with some problems, then suddenly a cat shows up; take a moment giving attention to that cat. When everything has become chaotic and uncertain, all that remains to guide you is the character you have constructed by aiming upwards and concentrating on the moment at hand.
Let’s all take time again and again to mull on those 12 rules for life, one at a time. They can give us other thoughts and perspectives; in various situations, forms and shapes.
“Order happens when people around you act based on well-understood social standards, and such actions are sustained with predictability and cooperation. It’s a world of social structure and familiar ground. In contrast, chaos is where or when something unexpected happens!”