12 Rules for Life: Book Review

A book that I love is 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson. If I could recommend anything in 2018, it would be to read this book. Here is my quick review, with a summary of the 12 rules.

12 Rules for Life brilliantly lays out how one should conduct themselves in their day-to-day lives, and the practical advice is refreshing among a sea of overdone self-help books.

The book is written by a credible psychology professor, in language that is intellectual, yet easy enough to understand. There is no fluff – 12 Rules for Life has the intention of setting readers straight on a path that might sound obvious, but is rarely put to use by some.

Here is a summary of the 12 rules:

1. Stand up straight with your shoulders back
2. Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping
3. Make friends with people who want the best for you
4. Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today
5. Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them
6. Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world
7. Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)
8. Tell the truth – or, at least, don’t lie
9. Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t
10. Be precise in your speech
11. Do not bother children when they are skateboarding
12. Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street

Each rule is elaborated on by their respective chapters. Peterson originally posted 42 rules on a Quora answer here. Some of the content can be humorous and dark. This is much appreciated, as we get to know and connect with the author on a deeper level. A real story can have a more powerful effect compared to a typical self-help fairy tale, which may explain the popularity and uniqueness of Peterson’s book.

With a mix of science, intellect and anecdotal storytelling, it is quite convincing to take Peterson’s advice and follow this set of rules or guidelines.

From a self-improvement standpoint, 12 Rules for Life is a must-read, and will likely become a popular bookshelf staple for many years to come.

From a marketing perspective, Dr. Peterson’s viral success is quite fascinating to study. Ever since a political controversy, Peterson’s knowledgeable YouTube videos have become popular among a majority of millennial men seeking life guidance. Adding fuel to his popularity, Peterson has been conducting speaking and podcast tours all across the world to spread his message. He may be one of the most popular psychologists and thinkers of our 21st century.

Pick up a copy of 12 Rules for Life on Amazon here.

2019 Update:
There will be another 12 rules to follow in a new book. Here is a sneak peek of those rules:

1. Do not carelessly denigrate social institutions or creative achievement
2. Imagine who you could be, and then aim single-mindedly at that
3. Work as hard as you possibly can on at least one thing and see what happens
4. Do not hide unwanted things in the fog
5. Abandon ideology
6. Notice that opportunity lurks where responsibility has been abdicated
7. Do not do things that you hate
8. Try to make one room in your house as beautiful as possible
9. If old memories still make you cry, write them down carefully and completely
10. Plan and work diligently to maintain the romance in your relationship
11. Be grateful in spite of your suffering
12. Do not allow yourself to become resentful, deceitful, or arrogant

Scroll to Top