A fervent basher of both communism and fascism, and a bit too mild when it comes to our current system, which through its own structural violence kills millions each year, but we in the west never really get to see that, so we assume our system is somehow more humane than these two ideologies which we know left a trail of blood.
If for a moment we overlook how very westernly oriented Jordan Peterson is, we can focus on the great stuff this psychologist has to say. He’s kinda obsessed with myths, legends, Jung, the values in our stories, in christianity, etc. You learn a lot about what exactly our western culture, with its many stories, is trying to tell us, through his YouTube lectures, look them up. They tend to meander in all kinds of directions, but his passion keeps you glued to the screen.
1. Clean up your room!
How can you hope to change anything for the better about such an incredibly complicated thing as the economy, or education or the political system or housing, or any other bigger issue, if you can’t even keep your own room clean? This is what the stalinists in Belgium also didn’t understand, that you can manifest all you want for better, more humane world, but if you can’t be humane yourself, if you can’t keep order on your own work floor, how could you possible change the entire world for the better?
START WHERE YOU ARE. Clean out your email inbox, declutter, give your own life some shape, get organized, at least get some positive grip on yourself, before you advocate policies that the whole world should adopt according to you.
2. Get a routine
To function optimally, you can’t go without a routine. It saves you so much trouble, gives less room for worrying and overthinking, let’s you be much more productive. And you lose less will power points.
Jordan Peterson doesn’t explain it with ‘willpower points’, but the gist of it is the same. Suppose you get 10000 willpower points every day, and that every little decision you have to consider expends some points. If you don’t have a clear routine you will constantly face far more tiny decision making processes that eat away your willpower points. Ever notice that you don’t get anything done if you don’t know which task to tackle first? Get a routine, you have to automate quite a lot of processes, or you’ll just hack into your willpower points, and when you’re out, that’s the moment you start overeating and sinking away in the couch in front of a screen. Out of willpower points for that day.
Eliminate bad habits one by one. Today you can give up porn. Tomorrow you can give up scrolling through newsfeeds as the start of your day. People waste about 6 hours a day, doing stuff that does not serve them at long. It may kill time in the short term, but it simply devastates your potential in the long run.
4. Be of maximum service
Is there anything more fulfilling than helping others? Depending on how deep you’ve been pushed into the quagmire of our commodified system of interaction between humans, there’s hardly a better feeling the world than helping others along and spreading kindness.
We are all going to die. ‘Nobody dies a virgin, life fucks us all’, said Kurt Cobain. Why not make sure every day that we are maximizing the good we can do in this world?
Do you want to feel like you have a purpose that fills you? REDUCE SUFFERING.
Life IS suffering, life is hard, but imagine what drive you could have if your goal was to minimize unnecessary suffering in this world, how fulfilling that could be.
Want a happiness boost? Go and reduce some suffering, make someone smile.
5. Learn to really express yourself
Read great books, learn to speak, learn to really formulate an argument, that’s the way to impact people you meet, to ‘self-actualize’. Express yourself in the most coherent, impactful way you can. Speak up.