“Be an adult. Quit your whining. Grow up.”
Jordan Peterson is the crusty, old coach who does not tolerate excuses, lack of effort, or stupid choices. He expects the best from you and won’t settle for anything less—not because he needs another victory but because he wants the best for you.
Listening to him read his book, 12 Rules for Life, you hear how he’s fed up with parents who coddle and refuse to correct their children, with people who won’t take care of their own health, with those who expect only good things in life and are surprised when bad things happen.
Judging by the sales of his books and views on YouTube, people seem to love his no-nonsense lectures—even when he’s shaking a finger at them. In an age when no one seems to know what’s right or wrong (or doesn’t believe in such things), how reassuring it is to hear from someone who confidently tells us exactly what to do.
Fortunately, Peterson has much wisdom to offer—yes, common sense.
- If friends are having a bad influence on you, break the relationship. Instead, find people who will help you in life.
- Tell the truth, even when it is hard, because if you don’t, the prevarication will come back to bite you.
- Listen, really listen, to other people. You might learn something.
Peterson illustrates his principles with compelling stories from his own life, and backs his thinking with research from psychology, brain science, evolutionary science, and religion. He takes the Bible seriously, viewing it through the lens of his Jungian perspective on myth. That is, he sees the Bible as a valuable source of truth about human nature and how life works, leaving aside whatever spiritual realities it might contain.
I don’t agree with everything the old coach says, but there is so much of value here that it well deserves five stars and the wide reading it is getting.