#1 : Stand up straight with your shoulders back.
As simple as that. Stand up straight with confidence. We’re always figuring out where in the social hierarchy we stand. We end up conveying a lot just from our posture itself.
Peterson goes on to give an example where two lobsters are placed in the same tank & within sometime they’ll realise who the dominant lobster is and who is the subordinate.
No matter what’s going on in your life, always walk with your head held high.
#2 Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping.
Stop self-loathing. Don’t focus too much on your faults (don’t beat yourself up) You are on a mission here & it’s your job to take care of yourself. You deserve better.
#3 Make friends with people who want the best for you.
“Don’t cast pearls before swine” – People who don’t want to improve cannot be helped. If you have people around you who don’t believe in your vision or are constantly dragging you down – leave them.
#4 Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today.
In the day & age of social media, you’ll always find someone who is better than you in any particular field. Don’t set unrealistically high standards. Ofcourse, you need to keep getting better & measure your success but stop comparing it to someone else’s.
#5 Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them.
Peterson emphasizes the importance of setting boundaries for your kids & teaching them the what’s right & wrong in our society. He goes on to signify that it’s the parent’s job to convey to the child, what’s right & what’s wrong so that the child eventually grows up to become a worthy member of the society.
#6 Set your house in order before you criticize the world.
Have you done everything possible to improve your stiuation? Is there anything else that can help you become a better person? If there is anything that’s bothering you – do something about it before criticizing the world.
#7 Pursue what is meaningful, not what is expedient.
Stop looking for short term pleasures & start pursuing what’s meaningful. Deep down in our heart of hearts we know what we should be doing & what we shouldn’t.
#8 Tell the truth or at least don’t lie.
Sometimes to others, but sometimes to ourselves. We end up shying away from the truth. Peterson urges us to seek the truth in any situation & act accordingly. This also includes everything you tell yourself.
#9 Assume the person you are listening to knows something you don’t.
Shut up & listen to what the other person is saying. You might end up learning something new. Also, as a listener, you’re helping the other person think. So help the other person organise their thoughts & convey what exactly they want before you have the urge to interrupt them.
#10 Be precise in your speech.
If you’re facing a problem, confront it head on. Don’t run away from it. Be precise when you’re thinking about what’s bothering you. Do you want to switch your career? Do you hate what you’re doing currently? It’s better to deal with such harsh questions sooner than later. Ignoring these will only lead to bigger problems & more pain.
#11 Do not bother children when they’re skateboarding.
Let children take risks & learn themselves. Rather than protecting them on every step, it’s better to let them experience things themselves. This will help them in becoming more competent & independent. In fact, if we keep protecting them from these dangerous activities, eventually they’ll stop testing their abilities & stop exploring.
#12 Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street.
Suffering in life is guaranteed. The only thing that matters is how we deal with it & our attitude. It’s better to accept that there will be days or even weeks when you feel like a brick. So why not pet a cat/dog when you see one? Enjoy the little things in life.