Detailed Book Review “12 rules for life an antidote to chaos”

2.0 rating
  • PublisherJordan Peterson
  • Pages448

If you have seen Jordan Peterson videos on Youtube, you were probably impressed by how he answers questions with his views on many things such as gender and equality. No one can deny that Jordan Peterson is a sophisticated individual, and you might be thinking that you should read his book. This post will give you a detailed review of Jordan Peterson Book 12 rules for life an antidote to chaos.

12 Rules for Life is a self-help book written by Jordan B Peterson, a Canadian clinical psychologist. The book aims to give a set of principles for individuals to bring order and meaning to life hence the “antidote to chaos”. The rules are not difficult to understand and are mostly perceived as common sense; however, Jordan goes in-depth using analogies to prove the importance of the rules.

Jordan Peterson has received a lot of attention in the past few years because of his controversial views on gender, equality and politics. In 2013, he started a youtube channel by uploading his lectures which made him very famous afterwards.

When I started reading his book, I could not help but get easily confused, distracted and miss the meaning of the metaphor that Jordan was trying to explain. He explains the rules using biblical stories and familiar fairytale stories. He goes into too much detail that sometimes comes to a conclusion that does not relate to the original argument.

The book is definitely readable and useful, but it is not a straightforward book. You need to be focused and maybe even need to go back a few lines to understand what he wants to tell you.

What are Jordan Peterson 12 rules for life?

  1. Stand up straight with your shoulders back.
  2. Treat yourself like you are 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 skate-boarding.
  12. Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street.

Who Should Read the 12 Rules for Life An Antidote to Chaos?

I do not think this book was written for a specific group of people, as with all self-help books. However, the controversy with Jordan Peterson has maybe marketed this book to men specifically who are suffering from a midlife crisis. However, after reading this book, I can see that most of what was said on Youtube by People and Jordan himself does not give this book justice – The book is much deeper than that. And It is definitely for anyone.

If you are thinking of reading this book, maybe you should watch the video above as it is a quick summary of the book by Jordan himself. If you think that this book is for you and can help you in certain areas in your life, then this book might be for you.

On the other hand, if you have been mesmerised by Jordan speaking in his youtube videos, you might need to think twice before reading the book, as it might not be easy to understand books like the way he breaks information in his videos and Podcasts. He goes into too many analogies that were enjoyable at the beginning of the book, but it got boring quickly afterwards that I almost wanted to drop this book after the sixth rule.

I am not discouraging anyone from reading this book; I am simply saying that this book is not a simple read. I wish this book were a lot simpler as I did find it useful, but it was torture to read sometimes. I do not think that Jordan Peterson writing style is as good as his charisma on the camera.

Why did I give 12 Rules for Life a bad rating?

The reason for giving this book a bad rating is because of the way that it was written, not because of the contents of the book. I felt that the many examples used to prove the importance of the rules were unnecessary and almost degraded the clearness of the book. I thought I was not engaging with the book as I read it, but I found many people had the same problem after looking online.

When reading the book, most of my reactions were: What the hell are you saying, man??

Unfortunately, it could have been much simpler and less wordy. I enjoyed the conclusion at the end of each chapter, but the way it took to get to that conclusion was too confusing that I felt that he was almost talking about something entirely different.

Jordan Peterson knows his staff; he is defiantly knowledgeable. After the success of this book, Jordan released a second book which is Beyond Order 12, more rules for life. This is a continuation of this book. I am very much tempted to read the second book, but honestly, I do not want to go through the misery of reading another Peterson book. His writing style is just not my cup of tea.

What will you learn after you finish this book?

After reading this book, I respected and admired the rules. The rules seem like something you should follow because it is almost common sense. Yet when you read the book, you get the most appreciation for the depth of the rules and the consequences of following them. You will build self-confidence and learn to act responsibly within your environment.

My favourite quote from the book:

To stand up straight with your shoulders back is to accept the terrible responsibility of life, with eyes wide open. It means deciding to voluntarily transform the chaos of potential into the realities of habitable order

Jordan Peterson

Should you buy it?

If you have read this far, you might have figured out that I only decided to read his book because I enjoyed Jordan lectures and Podcasts. Honestly, the book was not my cup of tea of books—excellent concepts but not well written, in my opinion. The book is too long and full of examples that made me tired. However, I did learn a fair bit, and I will definitely use what I learned from this book in the future.

My advice is if you do buy it, read it slowly to grasp the concepts. If you stick to his youtube videos, you will still learn a lot. Yet I know that many people, including myself, love to read books as it has the more direct domain of teaching and solidifying information. Therefore, if you want to give this book a shot, you can buy the book on Amazon using the link below:

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