How Jordan Peterson taught me an antidote to chaos.

Three of the Twelve rules that Jordan Peterson explains in his book, I find as a way to get out of a rut and into what I want to do with my life.

Part 1: Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping

In the opening to this chapter, Jordan Peterson talks about people needing medication and if they will take it. His proportions are broken down as follows, “One-third of them won’t fill the prescription. Half of the remaining sixty-seven will fill it, but won’t take the medicine correctly.” (Page 31). In my own life I often see that I can care more for the well being of others than for my own well being. I put others needs before my own, which is what my religion says to do, but I see myself doing it to an unhealthy extent. My own needs are completely neglected to finish editing a video for a friend or client or I haven’t eaten today but a friend wants to talk online. I find myself relating to another quote Peterson says, “People appear to love their dogs, cats, ferrets, and birds more than themselves.” I find myself relating to this with my friends, who aren’t just these needy people who I feel like I always need to help, family, and clients. 

                     I stop caring for my own health to help them. I find myself loving them more than I love myself and trying to help them more than I would ever help myself.

...people appear to love their dogs, cats, ferrets, and birds more than themselves...

In a subsection of this chapter titled: “The Domain, Not of Matter, But of What Matters” (35) Peterson explains what chaos is; it is, “..the domain of ignorance itself. It’s unexplored territory…It’s the foreigner, the stranger…the despair and horror you feel when you have been proundly betrayed…” (35). In my own words, chaos is the lack of knowledge, the feeling of helplessness that I feel I know all to well. Peterson then goes on to say that order is what we do know, the opposite of chaos. After reading this chapter, I believe that to stop chaos in your own life you need knowledge, and to help yourself just as much as you help others.

Part 2: Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today

In modern days, we all have a habit of comparing ourselves to everyone else around us. We see what someone else has, and we want it. We see what they know and we wish we knew it. We are constantly comparing ourselve to others, without a thought about where we were yesterday, just where they were. Even subconsciously we constantly do this, from comparing test scores, to who turned things in first. Even down to physical things we can’t change, like heights.We all constantly criticize ourselves relative to others rather then criticizing ourselves relative to ourselves, as we should be. 

To quote Star Wars, "There's always a bigger fish"

As Peterson says under the header ‘Many Good Games’, “If something can be done, it can be done better or worse.” (87). There will always be someone who does something better than you do. To quote Star Wars, “There’s always a bigger fish”. Even if you think you are the best in the world, there is some young person who is now doing it more efficiently and faster, so don’t bother comparing yourself to them. Instead, compare yourself to yourself, and see what you could do yesterday, and what you can now do today.

In my own life I see this with graphic design and video editing, there will always be someone who is better than me, but tomorrow,  I can do better than what I am doing today. I have now pushed myself to edit one to two videos a week just to get better. Even though someone will always be better than me, I can push myself to be better than I am today.

Part 3: Make friends with people who want the best for you

We’ve all heard the saying, “show me who you’re friends are and i’ll show you who you are,”. It’s something that my dad says a lot and something that worship pastor says as well, and I used to take it and ponder it, but not change anything. Until I decided that I needed to change. But friendships are hard, and ending them, no matter how bad they are, is difficult because you still feel attached to the person. If you hand out with drugees, you will, more than likely, become someone who uses drugs. 

If you make friends with people who want the best for you, according to this saying, you will start to want what’s best for you. Everyone you surround yourself with affects you, for better or worse. If you surround yourself with people who hate you, you will start to hate them and yourself. Its peer pressure in every sense of it.

Everyone around you affects you, for better or worse.

It’s really something that people can influence you that much, and that easily. It’s something I really don’t like but at the same time I am thankful for. I don’t like how easily I change, but I love how easily I can change. There is good and bad in every relationship with someone else, but the more good there is, the more it will influence you and then you can start to influence the people around you.

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