STOP Doing the Things That You Know Are WRONG! Jordan B Peterson Top 50 Rules | jordan peterson 12 rules for life

stop doing the things that you know are

wrong that you could stop doing if

you're failing repeatedly it's possible

that there's something wrong with the

way that you're conceptualizing the

world it's like we're built for struggle

as human beings need motivation Watts a

top ten with believe nation what's that

belief nation it's Evan I believe in you

and this channel is designed to be a

part of your daily success routine so

let's get your motivation to attend and

get you believing in you grab a snack

and join today's lessons from a man who

went from being introduced to the

writings of George Orwell at a young age

to becoming a Harvard professor and

through his thought leadership inspiring

millions of people around the world

he's Jordan Peterson and here's my take

on his top 50 rules for success also if

you want to know what Jordan Peterson

and others have to say about building

unstoppable confidence check out my 250

for confidence series where every day

for the next 254 days I will send you a

morning video for free to help you build

your confidence the link to join is in

the description below if you're gonna

speak effectively you have to know way

more than you're talking about

okay let's kick it off with rule number

one stop doing the wrong things stop

doing the things that you know are wrong

that you could stop doing right so it's

it's a fairly it's a fairly limited

attempt first of all we're not going to

say that you know what the good is or

what the truth is

in any ultimate sense but we will

presume that there are things that

you're doing that for one reason another

you know are not in your best interests

there's something about them that you

just know you should stop they're kind

of self-evident to you other things

you're gonna be doubtful about you're

not gonna know which way is up and which

way is down but there are things that

you're doing that you know you shouldn't

do now some of those you won't stop

doing for whatever reason you don't have

the discipline or maybe there's a

secondary payoff or you don't believe

it's necessary or it's too much of a

sacrifice or you're angry or resentful

or or afraid who knows so forget about

those for now but there's another subset

that you could stop doing it might be

little thing well that's fine stop doing

it and see what happens and what will

happen is your vision will clear a

little bit and then something else will

pop up in your field of apprehension

that you will also know you should stop

doing and that you could stop doing

because you've strengthened yourself a

bit by stopping doing the particular

stupid thing that you were doing before

that just puts you together a little bit

more and you could do that repeatedly

for for an indefinite period of time and

and you know that doesn't necessarily

mean that you're going to ever be able

to formulate a clear and final picture

of what constitutes the truth and the

good but it does mean that you'll be

able to continually move away from

what's untruth and what's bad and you

know well that's not a bad start rule

number two make a schedule make a damn

schedule and stick to it okay so what's

the rule with the schedule it's not a

bloody prison that's the first thing

that people do wrong is well I don't

like to have follow a schedule it's like

well what kind of schedule are you

setting up well I should I have to do

this then I have to do this then I have

to do this you know and then I just go

play video games because who wants to do

all these things that I have to do it's

like wrong

set the damn schedule up so that you

have the day you want that's the trick

it's like okay I've got tomorrow if I

was gonna set it up so it was the best

possible day I could have practically

speaking what would it look like well

then you schedule that and obviously

there's a bit of responsibility that's

gonna go along with that because if you

have any sense one of the things that

you're gonna insist upon is that at the

end of the day you're not in worse shape

than you were then then at the beginning

of the day right

that's a stupid day if you have a bunch

of those in a row you just dig you know

you dig yourself a hole and then you

bury yourself and it's like sorry that's

just not a good strategy it's a bad


so maybe 20% of your day has to be

responsibility and obligation or maybe

it's more than that depending on how far

behind you are but even that you can you

can ask yourself okay well I've got

these responsibilities I have to

schedule the damn things in what's the

right ratio of responsibility to reward

and you can ask yourself that just like

you'd negotiate with someone who is

working for you it's like okay you gotta

work tomorrow okay so I want you to work

tomorrow and you might say okay well

what are you gonna do for me

that makes it likely that I'll work for

you well you could ask yourself that you

know maybe you'd do an hour of

responsibility and then you play a video

game for 15 minutes I don't know

whatever turns your crank man but you

know you have to negotiate with yourself

and not tyrannize yourself like you're

negotiating with someone that you care

for that you would like to be productive

and have a good life and and that's how

you make the schedule it's like and then

you look at the day and you think well

if I had that day that'd be good great

you know and you you're useless and

horrible so you'll probably only hit it

with about 70% accuracy but that beats

the hell out of zero right and if you

hit it even with 50% accuracy another

rule is well aim for 51% the next week

or 50 and a half percent for God's sake

or because you're gonna hit that

position where things start to loop back

positively and spiral you upward rule

number three clarify your thoughts

sometimes you know oh I can't sleep at

night because I'm thinking about

something and usually what I'll do is go

write it down I have some writing to do

so I get up and I go

down what I'm thinking and that usually

does the trick but because I had been

playing with YouTube I thought well I'll

try making YouTube video and telling

people what I'm thinking about and see

if that performs the same function as

writing and to me the function of

writing while it's twofold one is

conceivably to communicate with people

although the fundamental purpose for me

is to clarify my thoughts so that I know

do you know because if you're if

something is disturbing you what that

means is that it needs to be articulated

it what it's the emergence of unexplored

territory something that disturbs you

that that's the right way to think about


it's unmapped territory that's

manifesting itself it's like a Vista of

threat and possibility and you need to

articulate a path through it and so

that's what I was doing it's like I was

thinking well this is bothering me and

this seems to be why and here's what I

think is going on and and so I made the

videos and in some sense I I didn't

think anything more of it Rula before

take the meaningful path you don't have

to necessarily have done anything wrong

for things to get completely out of

control it's a terrifying doctrine but

it's not a hopeless doctrine because it

still says that there's a way forward

there's a pathway forward and the

pathway forward is to adopt a mode of

being that has some nobility so that you

can tolerate yourself and perhaps even

have some respect for yourself as

someone who's capable of standing up in

the face of that terrible vulnerability

and suffering and that the pathway

forward as far as the existentialists

are concerned is by well certainly by

the avoidance of deceit particularly in

language but also by the adoption of

responsibility for the conditions of

existence and some attempt on your part

to actually rectify them and the thing

that's so interesting about that is

though up to as far as I'm concerned and

some of this is from clinical experience

you know if you take people and I've

told you this and you expose them

voluntarily to things that they are

avoiding and are afraid of you know that

they know they need to overcome in order

to meet their goals their self defined

goals if you can teach be

to stand up in the face of the things

they're afraid of they get stronger and

you don't know what the upper limits to

that are because you might ask yourself

like if for ten years if you didn't

avoid doing what you knew you needed to

do by the depth by your own definitions

right within the value structure that

you've created to the degree that you've

done that what would you be like well

you know there are remarkable people who

come into the world from time to time

and there are people who do find out

over decades long periods what they

could be like if they were who they were

if they said if they spoke their being

forward and they'd be get stronger and

stronger and stronger and we don't know

the limits to that we do not know the

limits to that and so you could say well

in part perhaps the reason that you're

suffering unbearably can be left at your

feet because you're not everything you

could be and you know it and of course

that's a terrible thing to admit and

it's a terrible thing to consider but

there's real promise in it right because

it means that perhaps there's another

way that you could look at the world in

a number another way that you could act

in the world so what it would reflect

back to you would be much better than

what it reflects back to you now my

experience is with people that were

probably running at about 51% of our

capacity something mean you can think

about this yourselves I often ask

undergraduates how many hours a day you

waste or how many hours a week you waste

and the classic answer is something like

4 to 6 hours a day

you know inefficient studying watching

things on YouTube that not only do you

not want to watch that you don't even

care about that make you feel horrible

about watching after you're done that's

probably four hours right there no what

do you think well that's 2025 hours a

week it's a hundred hours a month that's

two and a half full work weeks it's half

a year of work weeks per year and if

your time is worth twenty dollars an

hour which is a radical under estimate

it's probably more like 50 if you think

about it in terms of deferred wages if

you're wasting 20 hours a week

you're wasting fifty thousand dollars a

year and you are doing that right now

and it's because you're young wasting

fifty thousand dollars a year is a way

bigger catastrophe than it would be for

me to waste it because I'm not gonna

last nearly as long and so if your life

isn't everything

it could be you could ask yourself all

what would happen if you just stopped

wasting the opportunities that are in

front of you you be who knows how much

more efficient 10 times more efficient

20 times more efficient that's the

Pareto distribution you have no idea how

efficient efficient people get it's

completely off its off the charts well

and if we all got our act together

collectively and stop making things

worse because that's another thing

people do all the time not only do they

not do what they should to make things

better they actively attempt to make

things worse because they're spiteful or

resentful or arrogant or deceitful or or

homicidal or genocide allure all of

those things all bundled together in an

absolutely pathological package if

people start really really trying just

to make things worse we have no idea how

much better they would get just because

of that so there's this weird dynamic

that's part of the existential system of

ideas between human vulnerability social

judgment both of which are our major

causes of suffering and the failure of

individuals to adopt the responsibility

that they know they should adopt it

isn't merely that your fate depends on

whether or not you get your act together

and to what degree you decide that

you're going to live out your own

genuine being it isn't only your fate

it's the fate of everyone that you're

networked with and so you know you think

well there's nine billion seven billion

people in the world we're going to peak

at about nine billion by the way and

then it'll decline rapidly but seven

billion people in the world and who are

you you're just one little dust mote

among that seven billion and so it

really doesn't matter what you do or

don't do but that's simply not the case

it's the wrong model because you're at

the center of a network you're a node in

a network of course that's even more

true now that we have social media

you'll you know you'll know a thousand

people at least over the course of your

life and they'll know a thousand people

each and that puts you one person away

from a million and two persons away from

a billion and so that's how you're

connected and the things you do there

like dropping a stone in a pond the

ripples move outward and they affect

things in ways

that you can't fully comprehend and it

means that the things that you do and

that you don't do are far more important

than you think and so if you act that

way of course the terror of realizing

that is that it actually starts to

matter what you do and you might say

well that's better than living a

meaningless existence it's better for it

to matter but I mean if you really ask

yourself would you be so sure if you had

the choice I can live with no

responsibility whatsoever the price I

pay is that nothing matters or I can

reverse it and everything matters but I

have to take the responsibility that's

associated with that it's not so obvious

to me that people would take the

meaningful path now when you say well

denialists suffered dreadfully because

there's no meaning in their life and

they still suffer yeah but the

advantages they have no responsibility

so that's the payoff and I actually

think that's the motivation say well I

can't help being nihilistic all my

belief systems have collapsed it's like

yeah maybe maybe you've just allowed

them to collapse because it's a hell of

a lot easier than acting them out and

the price you pay is some meaningless

suffering but you can always whine about

that and people will feel sorry for you

and you have the option of taking the

pathway of the martyr so that's a pretty

good deal all things considered

especially when the or when the

alternative is to bear your burden

properly and to live forthrightly in the

world well what Solzhenitsyn figured out

and so many people in the 20th century

it's not just him even though he's the

best example is that if you live a

pathological life you pathologize your

society and if enough people do that

then it's hell really really and you can

read the Gulag Archipelago if you have

the four tit fortitude to do that and

you'll see exactly what hell is like and

then you can decide if that's a place

you'd like to visit or even more

importantly if it's a light if it's a

place you'd like to visit and take all

your family and friends because that's

what happened in the 20th century rule

number five specify your goals the next

best predictor of lifetime success is

conscientiousness well so and although

of the two aspects of conscientiousness

say orderliness and industriousness

the better predictor is industriousness

so the question is well what can you do

about your in dose

business and the answer to that is well

that's kind of rough too because there's

a strong genetic component but you can

work on micro habits with regards to

your conscientiousness and I think the

best micro habits this is partly to do

with this future authoring program

processes I think the best thing you can

do with regards to your

conscientiousness is to set up some aims

for yourself goals that you actually

value and the future authoring program

helps people do that and basically it

does a situational analysis of it helps

you do a situational analysis of your

life more than a psychological analysis

I would say and so the questions are

something like well alright you're gonna

have to put some effort into your life

and you need to be motivated to do that

and so what are the potential sources of

motivation well you could think about

them in in the Big Five manner you know

if you're extroverted you want friends

if you're agreeable you want an intimate

relationship if you're a disagreeable

you want to win competitions if you're

open you want to engage in creative

activity if you're high in neuroticism

you want security okay so those are all

sources of potential motivation that you

could draw on that you could tailor to

your own you know your own personality

but then there are dimensions that you

want to consider your life across and so

we ask people about well you know if you

could have your life the way you wanted

it in three to five years if you were

taking care of yourself properly you

know what would you want from your

friendships what would you want from

your intimate relationship how would you

like to structure your family what do

you want for your career well how are

you going to use your time outside of

your job and how are you gonna regulate

your mental physical mental and physical

health and maybe also your drug and

alcohol use because that's that's a good

place to auger down you know because

alcoholism for example wipes out you

know five to ten percent of people so

you want to keep that under control and

then and then so maybe you know you you

you develop a vision of what your life

what you would like your life to be and

that associates the so the goal once the

goal is established and then you break

down the goal into micro processes that

you can implement the micro process has

become rewarding in proportion in

relation to their causal association

with the goal and that tangles in your

your incentive reward system you know we

talked about the dopaminergic

consent of reward system and that's the

thing that keeps you moving forward and

the way it works is that it works better

if it produces positive emotion win it

can see you moving towards a valued goal

okay well what's the implication of that

better have a valued goal because

otherwise you can't get any positive

motivation working out and so the more

valuable the goal in principle the more

the micro process is associated with

that goal start to take on a positive

charge and so what that means is well

you get up in the morning and you're

excited about the day you're ready to go

and so as far as I can tell what you do

is you specify your long term ideal

maybe you also specify a place you want

to stay the hell away from so that

you're terrified to fail as well as

excited about succeeding because that's

also useful you specify your goal you do

that you do that in some sense as a

unique individual you want to you want

to specify goals that make you say oh if

that could happen as a consequence of my

efforts it would clearly be worthwhile

because the question always is why do

something because doing nothing is easy

you just sit there and you don't do

anything that's real easy the question

is why would you ever do anything and

the answer that has to be because you've

determined by some means that it's

worthwhile and then the next question

might be well where should you look for

worthwhile things and one would be well

you could consult your own temperament

and the other would be well you kind of

look at how look at what it is that

people accrue that's valuable across the

lifespan look look what so you do a

structural analysis of the subcomponents

of human existence and already did that

you need a family you need friends like

you don't need to have all these things

but you better have most of them family

friends career educational goals plans

for you know time outside of work

attention to your mental and physical

health etc you know those are that's

what life is about and if you don't have

any of those things well then all you've

got left is misery and suffering so

that's that's a bad that's a bad deal

for you so so once you but once you set

up that that goal structure let's say

and that's really in many in many ways

that's what you should be doing at

universities is that's exactly what you

should be doing is trying to figure out

who it is that you're trying to be right

and you aim at that and then use

everything you learned as a means of

building that person that you want to be

and and I really mean want to be I don't

mean should be even those things those

things are going to overlap and it's

important to distinguish between those

because that's partly and this is back

down to the micro routine analysis so as

I saying well you're gonna try to make

yourself more industrious okay number

one specify your damn goals because how

are you gonna hit something if you don't

know what it is that isn't going to

happen and often people won't specify

their goals too because they don't like

to specify conditions for failure so if

you keep yourself all vague and foggy

which is real easy because that's just a

matter of not doing as well then you

don't know when you fail and people

might say well I really don't want to

know when I fail because that's painful

it's so I'll keep myself blind about

when I fail that's fine except you'll

fail all the time then you just won't

know it until you've failed so badly

that you're done and that can easily

happen by the time you're 40 so so I

would recommend that you don't let that


so that's willful blindness right you

could have known but you chose not to

okay so once you get your goal structure

set up you think okay if I could have

this life it looks like that might be

worth living despite the fact that it's

going to be you know anxiety provoking

and threatening and there's gonna be

some suffering and loss involved in all

of that obviously the goal is to have a

vision for your life such that all

things considered that justifies your

effort rule number six stop saying

things that make you weak I started to

pay very careful attention to what I was

saying I don't know if that happened

voluntarily or involuntarily but I could

feel a sort of split developing in my

psyche and the split and I've actually

had students tell me the same thing that

has happened to them after they've

listened to some of the material that

that I've been describing to all of you

but split into two let's say and one

part was the let's say the old me that

was talking a lot and that liked to

argue and that liked ideas and there was

another part that was watching that part

like just with its eyes open and

neutrally judge

and the part that was neutrally judging

was watching the part that was talking

and going that isn't your idea you don't

really believe that you don't really

know what you're talking about

that isn't true and I thought hmm that's

really interesting so now I've and that

was happening to like 95% of what I was

saying and so then I didn't really know

what to do I thought okay this is

strange so maybe I've fragmented and

that's just not a good thing at all I

mean it wasn't like I was hearing voices

or anything like that I mean it wasn't

like that it was it was well people have

multiple parts so then I had this weird

conundrum it's like well which of those

two things are me is it the part that's

listening and saying no that's rubbish

that's a lie that's you're doing that to

impress people you're just trying to win

the argument you know was that me or was

the part that was going about my normal

verbal business me and I didn't know but

I decided I would go with the critic and

then what I'd tried to do what I learned

to do I think was to stop saying things

that made me weak and now that I mean

I'm still trying to do that because I'm

always feeling when I talk whether or

not the words that I'm saying are either

making me a line or making me come apart

and I think the alignment I really do

think the alignment is I think alignment

is the right way of conceptualizing it

because I think if you say things that

are as true as you can say them let's

say then they come up they come out of

the depths inside of you

because we don't know where thoughts

come from we don't know how far down

into your sub structure the thoughts

emerge we don't know what processes of

physiological alignment are necessary

for you to speak from the core of your

being we don't understand any of that we

don't even conceptualize that but I

believe that you can feel that and I

learned some of that from reading Carl

Rogers by the way who's a great

clinician because he talked about mental

health in part as the coherence between

the the the spiritual or the or the

abstract and the physical that the two

things were aligned and and there's a

lot of idea of alignment in in

psychoanalytic and clinical thinking but

anyways I decided that I would start

practicing not saying things that would

make me weak and what happened was that

I had to stop saying almost everything

that I was saying I would say 95% of it

as a hell of a shark to wake up and I

mean this was over a few months but it's

a hell of a shark to wake up and realize

that you're mostly dead wood it's a


you know and you might think well do you

really want all of that to burn off it's

like well there's nothing left but a

little hospital it's like well if that

5% is solid then maybe that's exactly

what you want to have happen rule number

seven adopt the mode of authentic being

adopt the mode of authentic being and

that is something like refusing to

participate in the lie in deception in

the lie to orient your speech as much as

you can towards the truth and to take

responsibility for your own life and

perhaps also for the lives of other

people and there's something about that

that's meaningful and responsible and

Noble but also serves to mitigate the

very suffering that produces say the

nihilism or the flee into the arms of

fleet or or the or the escape into the

arms of totalitarians to begin with you

need something to shelter you against

your own vulnerability rule number eight

learn from your errors you can think

about the world this way you can think

about it as your orderly little plan

that's a place and you can think about

it as the place that things that disrupt

your plan comes from that's another

place this is a bigger place than this

because there's an endless number of

things that can disrupt your plan and

only a tiny number of them that can you

know that will help you work it out so

part of the question then too is like

are you the friend of your plan or are

you the friend of the thing that

disrupts your plan and I would say you

should work to become the friend of the

thing that disrupts your plan because

there's a lot of that and then if you

become the friend of the thing that

disrupts your plan then you start to

develop strength in proportion to the to

the disruptive force and that's really

what you want you want to be able to

implement your plan obviously but you

want to be

to take on the consequences of error and

learn from it and then then you win

constantly because even if something

goes sideways you think there's

something to be derived from this that's

wisdom fundamentally rule number nine

have a conversation with yourself plan a

life you'd like to have and and you do

that partly by referring to social norms

that's more or less rescuing your father

from the belly of the whale but the way

other way you do that is by having a

little conversation with yourself about

as if you don't really know who you are

because you know what you're like you

won't do what you're told

you won't do what you tell yourself to

do you must have noticed that it's like

you're a bad employee and a worse boss

and both of those work you know for you

you don't know what you want to do and

then when you tell yourself what to do

you don't do it anyway so you should

fire yourself and find someone else to

be but but you know what my point is is

that you have to understand that you're

not your own servant so to speak you're

someone that you have to negotiate with

and that's and you're someone that you

want to present the opportunity of

having a good life to and that's hard

for people because they don't like

themselves very much so you know they're

always like cracking the whip and then

procrastinating and cracking the whip

and then procrastinating and it's like

god it's so boring and such a pathetic

way of spending your time rule number

ten aim high if you configure your life

so that what you are genuinely doing is

aiming at the highest possible good then

the things that you need to to survive

and to thrive on a day to day basis will

deliver themselves to you that's a

hypothesis and it's not some simple

hypothesis right because it what it

basically says is if you dared to do the

most difficult thing that you can

conceptualize your life will work out

better than it will if you do anything

else well how are you gonna find out if

that's true well it's a Kierkegaard

ian's leap of faith there's no way

you're gonna find out whether or not

that's true unless you do it so no one

no one can tell you either because just

because it works for someone else I mean

that's interesting and all that but it's

no proof that it'll

for you you have to be all-in in this

game there is no more effective way of

operating in the world than to

conceptualize the highest good that you

can and then strive to attain it there's

no more practical pathway to the kind of

success that you could have if you

actually knew what success was the world

shifts itself around your aim is you're

you're a creature that has a name you

have to have a name in order to do

something you're an aiming creature you

look at a point and you move towards it

it's built right into you and so you

have a name well let's say your aim is

the highest possible aim well then so

that sets up the world around you it

organizes all of your perceptions it

organizes what you see and you don't see

it organizes your emotions and your

motivations so you organize yourself

around that aim and then what happens is

the day manifests itself as a set of

challenges and problems and if you solve

them properly then you stay on the

pathway towards that aim and you can

concentrate on the on the 8 on the day

and so that way you get to have your

cake and eat it too

because you can you can point into the

distance the far distance and you can

live in the day and it seems to me that

that's that makes every moment of the

day supercharged with meaning that

that's how because if everything that

you're doing every day is related to the

highest possible aim that you can

conceptualize well that's the very

definition of the meaning that would

sustain you in your life rule number 11

set up criteria for success but one of

the main reasons that people do get what

they want is because they don't actually

figure out what it is and the

probability that you're going to get

what would be good for you let's say

which would even be better than what you

want right because you know you might be

what wrong about what you want easily

but maybe you could get what would

really be good for you well why don't

you well because you don't try you don't

think okay here's what I would like if I

could have it and and I don't mean I

don't mean in a way that you manipulate

the world to force it to deliver you

goods for status or something like that

that isn't what I mean I'm

something like imagine that you were

taking care of yourself like you were

someone you actually cared for and then

you thought okay I'm caring for this

person I would like things to go as well

for them as possible

what would their life have to be like in

order for that to be the case what

people don't do that they don't sit down

and think alright you know let's let's

figure it out you've got a life it's

hard obviously it's like three years

from now you can have what you need

you've got to be careful about it you

can't have everything you can have what

would be good for you but you have to

figure out what it is and then you have

to aim at it well my experience with

people as being is if they figure out

what it is that would be good for them

and then they aim at it then they get it

and it's strange because they don't

necessarily an idea about what would be

good for you and then you take ten steps

towards that and you find out that your

formulation was a bit off and so you

have to reformulate your goal you know

you're kind of going like this as you

move towards the goal but a huge part of

the reason that people fail is because

they don't ever set up the criteria for

success and so since success is a very

narrow line and very unlikely the

probability that you're going to stumble

on it randomly is zero and so there's a

proposition here in the proposition is

if you actually want something you can

have it now the question then would be

well what do you mean by actually want

and the answer is that you reorient your

life in every possible way to make the

probability that that will occur as

certain as possible and that's a

sacrificial idea right it's like you

don't get everything obviously you

obviously but maybe you can have what

you need and maybe all you have to do to

get it is ask but asking isn't a whim or

today's wish it's like you have to be

deadly serious about it you have to

think okay like I'm taking stock of

myself and if I was going to live

properly in the world and I was going to

set myself up such that being would just

defy itself in my estimation and I don't

mean as a harsh judge exactly what is it

that I would aim at sit on your bed one

day and ask yourself what's what

remarkably stupid things am i doing on a

regular basis to absolutely screw up my

life and if you actually ask that

question but you have to want to know

the answer right because that's actually

what asking the question means it

doesn't mean just mouthing the words it

means you have to decide that you want

to know you'll figure that's out so fast

it'll make your hair curl rule number 12

learn how to think critically the best

thing you can do is teach people to

write because there's no difference

between that and thinking and one of the

things that just blows me away about

universities is that no one ever tells

students why they should write something

it's like well you have to do this

assignment well why are you writing well

you need the great it's like no you need

to learn to think because thinking makes

you act effectively in the world

thinking makes you win the battles you

undertake and those could be battles for

good things if you can think and speak

and write you are absolutely deadly

nothing can get in your way so that's

why you learn to write it's like what I

can't believe that people aren't just

told that it's it's it's like it's the

most powerful weapon you can possibly

provide someone with and I mean I know

lots of people who've been staggeringly

successful and watched them throughout

my life I mean those people you don't

want to have an argument with them

they'll just slash you into pieces and

then not in a malevolent way it's like

if you're gonna make your point and

they're gonna make their point you

better have your points organized

because otherwise you're gonna look like

and be an absolute idiot you are not

gonna get anywhere and if you can

formulate your arguments coherently and

make a presentation if you can speak to

people if you can lay out a proposal god

people give you money they give you

opportunities you have influence rule

number 13

don't be harmless if you're harmless

you're not virtuous you're just harmless

you're like a rabbit rabbit isn't


it's just just can't do anything except

get eaten it's not virtuous if you're a

monster and you don't act monstrously

then you're virtuous but you also have

to be a monster while you see this all

the time Harry Potter's like that too

it's like he's he's flawed he's hurt

he's got evil in him he can talk to

snakes man he breaks rules all the time

all the time he's not at OPD --nt at all

but you know he has a good reason for

breaking the rules and if he couldn't

break the rules him in his little clique

of rule breaking you know troublemakers

if they didn't break the rules

they wouldn't attain the highest goal so

it's very peculiar but it's it's very

there it's a very very very very common

mythological notion you know the hero

has to be the hero has to be a monster

but a controlled monster Batman is like

that you know I mean it's it's

everywhere it's it's the Tor story you

always hear rule number fourteen compare

yourself to who you were yesterday rule

4 compare yourself to who you were

yesterday and not to who someone else is

today because if you're comparing

yourself to someone else I mean first of

all you don't know very much about the

life of the person you're comparing

yourself to you don't know in it you

know it across all of its dimensions and

second people are very different and so

comparing yourself to someone else it's

it's kind of useful I guess when you're

young but as you get older and more

singular and more particularly it

becomes increasingly less useful better

to compare yourself to a previous

version of yourself and work for

improvement in that way

rule number 15 start small I know you

stated in the last lecture that the

importance for setting aims in life and

to kind of have goals to work towards

right so my question was where do you

how do you do that if you don't know

where you want to go because that's kind

of where I got stuck on you're your

future off authoring program because

okay that's that's a good question

that's a really good question so there's

this notion in the Old Testament that

morality is following a sequence of


there's a bunch of bad things you

shouldn't do and then basically you're

good enough and and and I think there's

wisdom in that I think that's kind of

where children start right you you I

mean I love children and all that but

they're they're they're crazy little

creatures and they need to be you know

civilized and partly what you do is you

you lay prohibitions on them and mostly

what you're trying to do is lay

prohibitions on them for the behaviors

that if they manifested would make their

life miserable

so this is why this thing that I've said

the people has become this crazy

internet meme but that's to clean up

your room and which which is a lot

better and more useful than people think

it's a lot harder to but the thing the

first thing you do I think and I learned

this in part from Solzhenitsyn when he

was trying to iron out his soul when he

was in the gulag because he was trying

to figure out how he got there how he

contributed to how he got there you know

not Stellan and Hitler even though they

were kind of a blade you know but he

wasn't much he could do about that I

think what you have to do and this is

part of humility is you have to look

around you within your sphere of

influence like the direct sphere of

influence and fix the things that

announce themselves as in need of repair

and those are often small things you

know and they can be like your room put

it in order because the thing is it

isn't exactly so important that your

room is in order although it is what's

important is that you learn how to

distinguish between chaos and order and

to be able to act in a manner that

produces order and I think you can you

can do something as simple as just sit

on your bed and think okay there's

probably like five things I could do

today so that tomorrow morning is

slightly better than this morning was at

least or at least I'm not falling behind

and those will usually be it's like

having eat a toad in the morning right

it's like it's not gonna be something

you want to do there'll be things you're

trying to avoid there's snakes

essentially but if you ask yourself like

you're asking someone which i think is a

form of prayer if you ask yourself

instead of telling yourself you know

what is it that I could do to set things

more right today that I would actually

do it's usually some small thing because

you're not that disciplined you know

then you can go do it

and then you you put the world together

a little more

when you do that and that spreads out

but you also put your you also construct

yourself into something that's better

able to call order forth from chaos and

that makes you just incrementally

stronger and then the next day you can

maybe take on a slightly larger task and

like you get the benefit of compound

interest if you do that it's a

tremendously powerful technique and they

think if you do that at some point

instead of just having to fix things up

that are not good you'll start to get a

glimmer of the positive things that you

could do you know the positive things

that you could do that would actually

constitute a vision and now that's what

I would recommend

rule number 16 don't make excuses when

people are beset with a catastrophe like

let's say the death of their father that

they are prone to use that as an excuse

for not going about the business that

they should be going about because they

can say to themselves well I would

accept and accept there's always good

reasons I mean believe me there's always

good reasons for not doing what you

should that's for sure the reasons pile

up day after day to not do what you

should especially because you're you're

aiming at things in the future you can

put them off indefinitely right because

of the demands of the day like there's

no excuse whatsoever for not getting at

what it is that you should be doing it's

absolutely reprehensible to justify

you're in action with a catastrophe that

extracts mercy from other people right

there's a tricky tricky game that's

going well of course I can't do that

look at the terrible thing that's just

happened to me it's see how okay I

understand you're absolved of any

necessity to move forward because of

your current catastrophe it's like well

actually you're not and it's rather rude

of you to use it as an excuse and it's

certainly counterproductive rule number

17 change yourself when I was 25 or so I

probably weighed about 138 pounds I

smoked like a pack of cigarettes day I

drank tremendous amount of alcohol I was

from northern Alberta this rough little

town up and

northern Alberta called Fairview and you

know there were long winters there and

my friends were heavy drinkers and most

of them dropped out of school by the

time they were 15 or 16 went off to work

on the oil rigs and you know it was a

rough town and we drank a lot I started

when I was 14 and you know and so I was

I had a lot of bad habits let's say and

things that were and I wasn't in great

shape physically and I was also still

intellectually obsessed by as I am now

and so that would have been that would

have been in 85 but when I but I decided

around that about 85 84 or something

like that maybe a little earlier that I

was really going to try to get my act

together and so I started doing that I

you know I first of all I quit smoking

well that took a long time because I

eventually had to quit drinking to in

order to quit smoking and I started

working out starting playing sports

which I'd never done I had a fine town

when I was a kid and but I needed really

to get disciplined and I had to do it

because I was working on these hard

problems that you know that I've been

discussing with all of you and I've been

working on them really you know

obsessively since I was probably about

18 maybe even earlier than that got to

the point around 25 when I was in

graduate school trying to get my PhDs

doing all my research like I published

15 papers by the time I graduated with

my PhD which was but I think by a fairly

large measure the most papers that any

graduate student at that time had ever

published at McGill I think that's right

might have been twice as many or maybe

twice as many maybe even three times as

many and at the same time I wrote maps

of meaning which was a terrible terrible

terribly difficult thing to do because I

was writing about three hours a day

doing that and I couldn't do all that

and continue with my misbehavior you

know my sort of my what would you say my

my my hedonistic my hedonistic my

massive hedonistic consumption of

alcohol and all of that I just couldn't

keep it up and also work seriously on

the issues that were at hand so you know

I had to stop that's a sacrifice I had

to stop messing about and straight my

cell phone rule number 18

you're actually tougher than you think

you never knew that and maybe you didn't

want to take on the responsibility

because you know people play a role in

their own demise so to speak when you

had opportunity to go out and explore or

withdraw because you were afraid you

chose to withdraw because you were

afraid so it's not only that you were

over protected often it's that you were

willing to take advantage of the fact

that you were over protected and run

back there whenever you had the

opportunity you know so maybe you're a

kid in the playground right and you're

having some trouble with other kids and

you know in the back of your mind

I should deal this with deal with this

myself but you go and tell your mom and

get her to intervene and you know that

that's not right you know that you're

breaking the social contract but it's

easier and so that's what you do you run

off to an authority figure and hide

behind the Great Father right roughly

speaking well the problem with that is

you don't learn how to do it yourself so

then you have to relearn it painfully

when you're 40 so then you take people

out you say well what are you afraid of

rank it from 1 to 10 so 10 is what make

a list of 10 things you're afraid of the

least the thing you're least afraid of

will call number 10 so we'll start with


okay well I'm afraid of elevators ok

well let's let's look at a picture of an

elevator let's have you imagine being in

an elevator let's go out to an elevator

and let you watch the terrible jaws of

death open because that's how you're

responding to it symbolically right and

you're gonna do that at it at the the

closest proximity you can manage you

find out you go do that

it works you're nervous as hell

especially an it from an anticipatory

perspective shaking you go out you stop

you watch it happen and you actually

calm down you do that 10 times it no

longer bothers you well what you've

learned that you didn't die but more

importantly than that you've learned

that you could withstand the threat of

death that's what you've learned and

then you move a little closer and then

you move a little closer and then you

move a little closer and finally you're

back in what's no longer the elevator

from a symbolic perspective it's a tomb

right it's it's it's a place of

enclosure and isolation and you learn


turns out I can withstand that and then

you're met much more

together much more confident and that's

often one of the things that often

happens in situations like that I've

seen this multiple times is that if you

run someone through an exposure training

process like that and toughen them up

they'll often start standing up to

people around them in a way they never

did before

rule number 19 find your winning


if you concentrate solely on your career

you can get a long way in your career

and I would say that that's a strategy

that a minority of men preferentially do

that that's all they do they worked like

70 80 hours a week they go flat out on

their career they're staking everything

on the small probability of exceptional

status in a narrow domain but it's it's

hard on them they don't have a life it's

very difficult for them to have a family

they don't know how to take any leisure

activity like they get very

one-dimension now it may be that that

unit dimensionality is the price you

have to pay to be exceptional at one

thing right because if you're going to

be something like a genius level

mathematician and you want to do that

for a scientist say it's like you're in

your lab you're in your lab all the time

you're working 70 hours a week or 80

hours a week you're smart you're

dedicated your unit dimensional and

that's how you get to beat all the other

people who are doing that it's the only

way but the problem is you don't get

life now if you love being a scientist

and you have that kind of focus of mind

well first of all you're a rare person

and second you're gonna pay for it but

find more power to you but but it's a

it's a risky business to do that you

sacrifice a lot for it you know and I

would say most often if you're speaking

about having a healthy life that isn't

what you do you spread yourself out more

so you know you have a family you have

some things that you do outside of work

that are meaningful to you and useful

you you have a network of friends that

that those three things alone are four

things alone are plenty to keep you well

oriented and then if one of those things

collapses you know everything doesn't go

now the price you pay for that is the

more you strive to optimize that balance

the less likely you are to be fantastic

please successful at any single one of

them but you might have a very you know

if you consider your life as a whole

that might be a winning strategy

rule number 20 make yourself into

something right a plumber once you know

it was the night it was the night before

we were putting drywall in our house we

were redoing a house and he had put in

all the plastic piping you know and I

was going to test the joints steel are

supposed to be glued together with this

pipe glue right and I said I told him I

had to test the joints and he said well

you don't have to test my joints they

never leak and I thought yeah that's

okay how about if I test them so I went

up on the third floor and filled the

pipes with water capping them in the

basement like you're supposed to and

like half an hour later had two inches

of water in the basement there were

thirty leaking joints that was the night

before the drywallers were supposed to

show up so well so he wasn't

particularly competent that's the point

of that story but even more so he had

put a bunch of the plastic pipe outside

where the drywall would be so it would

have been sticking through the wall so I

spent a frenetic night you know sawing

through plastic pipe and reglue in

joints so that my well so that the dryer

owners could come in what's the point if

you're going to be a plumber man be a

good plumber because otherwise all you

do is go out there and cause trouble we

don't need people to cause more trouble

we need people to solve problems you

know and so you can be a tradesman and

you can be you can make a lot of money

as a trades person it's a bloody

reliable honorable forthright productive

way of making a living and there is a

hell of a lot of difference between a

working man who knows what he's doing

and one who doesn't both in terms of

skill and ethics right and you work with

someone who knows what they're doing

it's a bloody pleasure they tell you

what they're gonna do they tell you how

much it will cost they go and do it it

works and you pay them perfect

everyone's happy and that's what happens

when you have genuine hierarchies of

competence and so you to listen to these

panderers of egalitarian gely

egalitarianism and equity and they fail

to recognize completely that there are

differences in rank between people it's

not such a terrible thing man maybe you

wouldn't be a great lawyer like it's

certainly possible most people aren't

but that doesn't mean there isn't

something you could be great at there's

lots of hierarchies to attempt to climb

and if he

in one go try in another but the point

is you're still trying to aim for the

top and what the hell are you gonna do

if you don't try to aim for the top you

know flap about uselessly and whine

about your life it's not helpful it'll

just make you miserable

you're not reliable to anyone you can't

help out in a crisis it's like so you

tell young people and this is another

message for conservatives like I don't

care what you're gonna do but go out

there and make something of yourself for

God's sake be an honest person and work

and get to the top of whatever it is

that you want to get to the top of you

know and and and and that you stand up

for yourself like a respectable human

being and be a bit of a light on the

world instead of a blight you know and

you can tell young people that and they

haven't been told that by anyone now and

so the young men are so hungry for that

that it's it's painful to watch

they're so relieved when finally someone

finally comes up and says hey you know

you get your act together a bit

discipline yourself see if you can learn

to tell the truth concentrate on

something for a year or two you could be

a bloody world beater they think really

that's possible wow that would be that

would be interesting that might make

life or life worth living it's like yeah

it might so why don't you go do it

that's what the damn universities we're

supposed to be teaching people they've

forgotten that I went to Harvard

a month ago a month and a half he used

to teach there and I talked to a bunch

of students you know and I told them

it's not easy to get into Harvard you

know like you're a valedictorian if

you're at Harvard and not only are you a

valedictorian you're way better than

most people at at least two other things

or you don't get in and so that gets I

don't know what the acceptance rate is

like 5% and believe me not everybody

applies so it's a very selective school

and so why am I saying that it's like

these are high quality kids so I told

them what I just told you it's like here

you are at Harvard like get yourself

educated man read some books learn to

talk learn to think make yourself into

something get the hell out there and

make the world that put you here happy

that you were put there in that great

institution you know and they came up to

me afterwards and said god I wish

someone would have told us that when we

were in our first year

Jesus why didn't someone tell the math

for God's sake it's supposed to be the

greatest university in the world is it

so difficult to figure that out

rule number 21 encourage others I'm

really sad to see that people are

disenchanted and nihilistic and

depressed and anxious and aimless and

and perverse and vengeful and and all of

those things it's terrible and then to

see people question whether that's

necessary and then to start to rise out

of it it's like it's so fun like last

night I was at after my talk it's

overwhelming I don't usually think about

these things but I was I was after my

talk last night and so all these people

line up and you know they have their 15

15 seconds with me and they're kind of

tentative they're excited and a

tentative when they come up to talk to

me and then they have you know 15

seconds of time to tell me something I'm

really listening to them and they're

hesitant about whether or not to share

the good news about their life you know

and I think it's often because when

people share good news about their life

people don't necessarily respond

positively you know they don't get

encouragement and people need so little

encouragement it's just unbelievable and

so they tell me something good and I'm

like ah that's so good you know somebody

says well I'm getting along way better

with my father I haven't seen him for 10

years and now we get along great and

then the power of that you can't

overstate the power of that for

individuals to get their life together

the individual is an unbelievably

powerful force and every single person

who gets their act together a little bit

has the capacity to spread that around

them it's it's a chain reaction and so

it's a lovely thing to see

rule number 20 to take responsibility

one of the things that's really

interesting about the Old Testament is

that and the Jews in the Old Testament

is that they don't take the path of Cain

every time they're walloped by God which

is like fairly frequently they say we

must have done something wrong and we

have to set our self right and that's a

an unbelievably heroic attitude because

that's the alternative to cursing fate

it's like you take the risk

instability for failure unto yourself

and you think well if I was just maybe

if I just had my act together a little

bit more if I took advantage of every

opportunity that was put in front of me

if I wasn't resentful and bitter then I

could have done something that would

have tilted the situation in a different

direction and like that's almost

inevitably true

Dostoevsky I think said something like

every man is responsible for everything

that happens to him and everything that

happens to everyone else and that's you

know that that's that's it's a crazy

statement right it's a crazy statement

and he was a pretty extreme person in

many many ways but there's a level at

which that's metaphysically true you

know because what happens is that it's

you its failure to act often that's the

most catastrophic you know I mean it's

it's it's to not do the right thing when

the when the situation presents itself

and it's very specific you know you're

constantly in situations where you could

do the right thing if you were willing

to take a risk

that's actually a relatively moderate

size and you know that you could take

the risk and you know that you should

take the risk and you don't and that

happens to people all the time and then

what happens is the thing that they

didn't oppose grows a little bit and

they shrink a little bit and that starts

a loop a rule number 23 know when to

pull back I noticed that there's always

a group of my friends who always

criticize what I'm saying and not even

try to understand what I'm wearing I'm

coming from and I've always wondered how

to deal with that I mean I want to

listen to what they're saying but they

are not understanding what I'm they're

not trying to listen to what I'm saying

so what would you do in that situation

answer that very briefly okay there's a

line in the New Testament that's

relevant to that do not cast pearls

before swine and what that means is that

if people are not listening to you stop

talking to them and that's really that

is the best piece of advice that I can

give you and what happens is is that if


stop talking to people who aren't

listening to you and start watching them

instead they will tell you what they're

up to but so if you have things to say

say them but you find people that will

listen talk to them the ones who aren't

listening pull back because you're

you're devaluing what you have to say by

offering it to an audience that does

nothing but reject it and that's a good

guideline to life in general

so pull back rule number 24 change

yourself psychologists have been not all

psychologists obviously but the

psychological profession is its neck

deep in this in this pathology has been

beating these self-esteem drum for 50

years oh no you're okay you should feel

good about yourself like you're fine the

way you are it's like you think well

that's a calming message for people it's

like no it's not it's not at all and I

watch my audiences is like it's full of

people in the audience who think I'm

suffering a lot more than I think is

tenable a whole bunch of it's my fault

my life is not in the order it should be

I know I'm doing 50 things wrong it's

like what the hell's wrong with me

what's wrong with the people around me

this is really serious and some you know

well-meaning person comes up and says oh

you're okay just the way you are it's

like no one wants that message it's like

no I'm not okay the way I am I'm not

okay at all the way I am I know that and

so you know when I'm when I'm speaking

to to when I'm speaking now I say to

people oh you're nowhere near what you

could be that's that that's the positive

message it's like yeah you're a mess but

you don't have to stay that way as

you're a mess you know it obviously

you're suffering away like like so much

you can barely tolerate it it's like

that's okay you can do something about

it so yeah that's the thing that that

turns the lights on it's like you had do

something about it Oh

rule number 25 find your purpose if

you're hungry and you eat well that's

good but it's over and then you're on to

the next thing right it's not exactly

sustaining it's just necessary that's

called consume Ettore reward by the way

this other reward system is incentive

reward and the incentive reward system

works on dopamine this neurochemical

dopamine which is also the neuro

chemical tracks that opiates and cocaine

and amphetamines the drugs that people

really like to abuse alcohol often for

some people activate and so you might

say if you don't have enough

in your life then you're more prone to

addiction and that's definitely the case

even with rats if you take a rat you put

him in a cage by himself and he has

nothing to do and then you give him

access to cocaine he'll get addicted to

the point where he won't do anything but

take cocaine but if you throw the rat

back in with a bunch of other rats and

he gets to do rat things then it's very

hard to get him addicted to cocaine and

so the purposeless rat is prone to

addiction well it's the same with human

beings now here's a corollary to that

which is really cool so the magnitude of

the reward you experience as you're

moving towards a goal is proportionate

to the importance of the goal so that

means the more important the goal you

pick the more possibility there is for

the kind of reward let's say that it's

really a state of being that is

life-affirming and it is directly

life-affirming in that you know like if

you're in a football game and you're and

it's an important football game and

maybe you break a finger and you know

normally that's that's a problem it

hurts and you're gonna stop doing

whatever you're doing but if you're

right in the middle of the game then

you'll be so amped up on this reward

system that its analgesic it stops the

pain it also suppresses anxiety so if

you have a purpose then its analgesic it

takes some of the pain out of life it's

very positive in that it motivates and

energizes you and focuses you and makes

you able to remember and pay attention

and it quells fear and so those things

are all direct and so then you might

think well what's the best possible goal

well and that's that's the purpose I

would say of religious training and

philosophical training it's like just

what the hell are you doing in the world

rule number 26 tell the truth or at

least don't lie tell the truth or at

least don't lie yeah well it's not that

easy to tell the truth because who knows

about the truth but you can learn not to

say things that you know to be false and

if you stop saying things that you know

to be false then your life will improve

a lot simplifies it and it puts you in

the linemen with reality and you should

be in alignment with reality because

there's a lot more of it than there is

of you rule number 27 treat yourself

like you matter first of all you have to

yourself like you matter because if you

don't then you don't take care of

yourself and you become vengeful and and

and cruel and you you take you take it

out on people around you and you're not

a positive force none of that's good

so you suffer more and so does everyone

around you and there's a malevolence

that enters into it none of that's good

so that's what happens if you don't

treat yourself like you matter and then

what happens if you don't treat other

people like they matter

well you lie to them you cheat them you

steal you you you enter into impulsive

relationships with them they can't trust

you that doesn't go anywhere they don't

like you you you end up alone at best

and maybe like incarcerated at worst

like that doesn't work and so you watch

the people around you who thrive

regardless of what they say they act out

the proposition that everyone matters

and then you have a functional society

and I think okay well if if if when you

act out the proposition that everyone

matters you have a functional society

maybe that's evidence that that

proposition is true it's like I think

it's I think it's true

rule number 28 don't be arrogant if

you're failing repeatedly then there's

probably something wrong it's possible

that there's something wrong with the

way that you're conceptualizing the

world because you have a choice right if

if you keep making sacrifices and they

don't work there's a binary choice and

one is well there's something wrong with

the structure of reality and the other

is there's something wrong with your

approach and so then you might say well

let's take the first idea there's

something wrong with the structure of

reality it's like you're really gonna

say that are you you're really going to

come out and say I know enough to judge

the nature of being and and then the

alternative is also quite frightening

because then you know you it's you

that's making the mistakes and you might

be wrong at a really deep level and that

might mean that a lot of you has to burn

off and be transformed maybe even things

about yourself that you think are

admirable and that you like because your

position you know your your self

conceptualization is so warped and wrong

and that's really daunting but you know

when people set themselves up as the

judge of being I mean I've written about

this a fair bit in my new book which is

twelve rules for life when people set

themselves up as the judge of being then

they take on what can only be described

as a kind of satanic arrogance because

they've actually taken to themselves the

moral right to criticize the structure

of existence itself it's like you better

be careful when you do something like

that because you're setting yourself up

as the judge of being rule number

twenty-nine listen to others there's

another rule in my book which is rule

nine assume that the person that you're

listening to knows something you don't

well they do the person you're listening

to knows some things you don't you can

be sure of that now whether or not you

can get to them is a different matter

but if you do get to them it's a real

deal for you that's why you want to

listen to the other person's arguments

it's because you're not everything you

could be you don't know the pathway

forward with as much clarity as you

could and it's possible this is one of

the wonderful things that I've had the

privilege of experiencing as a clinician

no because people it's like I live

inside a Dostoyevsky novel as a

clinician people come in and they tell

me about their lives and I listen to

them and they tell me things that are

just absolutely beyond belief you know

and I learn from my clients constantly

there they're telling me honestly about

their experience they tell me things

they wouldn't tell anyone else because I

actually listen to them but part of the

reason I listen is because I'm desperate

to listen it's like there's a

possibility I'm gonna do something

stupid in the next five years that's

gonna be like fatal and there's some

small possibility that if we have a

decent discussion that you'll tell me

something that will eliminate some of my

blindness so that I don't have to fall

into that particular pit and if you have

a good sensitivity for the depth of the

pit then you know you're pretty bloody

motivated to avoid it and so and that

and that and that dialogue is it's it's

dialogic it's dial logos right it's

shared logos it's the way that we redeem

ourselves mutually moving forward rule

number 30 be precise in your speech I

like this one and I think I mean this is

very clearly what you do be precise in

your speech so in in Genesis one of the

things God has Adam do first so God

makes the world by speaking okay so

that's the first thing to think about

you're supposed to think

like in a sophisticated way about this

that the idea is that some integral

relationship between communication and

the structure of being it's part of the

role that consciousness plays in the

world whatever that role is language

takes the chaos and makes it into things

and so God has Adam named all the

animals they're not even really real

until they have names now those are more

implicit that's another you know here's

a here's an example let's say that

you're having a rough patch in your

relationship and you don't know why it's

unnameable is it real well yeah it's

manifesting itself in it like a

physiological discomfort then you talk

about it and you name it it's like it

goes from this blurry thing that's kind

of potential it goes snap and then it's

this thing right and then that's a

horrible thing it's like a little

poisonous thing but it's not a whole

foggy cloud of potential poison it's

like this little sharp poison thing and

then you think okay it's real it's a

little monster but it's not it's little

at least and now probably we can do

something about it if we can admit to it

so it's this precision that specifies

and like so this is a little bit of the

Voldemort effect right if you since

you're a Harry Potter guy they wouldn't

name right this problem we got to name

them first oh yeah you got to name them

first absolutely because the unnameable

is far more terrifying than the nameable

you see that in there was a great Blair

Witch Project terrifying move oh yeah

it's unnamed there's nothing terrible

happens in that movie it's all there

unnameable it's like what's goin on

what's goin on what's goin on and no

matter how terrible the actuality is

it's rarely as terrible as your

imagination because your imagination

like it's an old thing it's seen a lot

of terrible things in the history of

life like it can put monsters everywhere

and so it's almost always better it

might be better without exception to

name the thing no matter how terrible it

is and if you can't name it what that

means is that you're you're telling

yourself that you're so terrified that

you can't bring your attention to

bear on it and that makes you you're the

loser instantly if it's so terrifying

that you cannot face it it's what rule

number 31 pursue what is meaningful

write in the book there is no faith and

no courage and no sacrifice in doing

what is expedient what do you say to

those viewers that don't pursue their

dreams and are locked into their careers

because they are too afraid to take

risks and pursue something meaningful

well the first thing I would say is well

you should be afraid of taking risks and

pursuing something meaningful but you

should be more afraid of staying where

you are if it's making you miserable

it's like the first thing you want to do

is dispense with the idea that you get

to have any any permanent security

outside of your ability to contend and

adapt it's the same issue with children

it's like you're paying a price by

sitting there being miserable and you

might say well the devil I know is

better than the one I don't it's like

don't be so sure of that the clock is

ticking yeah and if you're miserable in

your job now and you change nothing in

five years you'll be much more miserable

and you'll be a lot older but this into

the luxury to pursue what is meaningful

our viewers have mortgages they have

children yeah they have payments and

loans it's a luxury to pursue because we

lack the resources well I don't think I

don't remember now I'm not talking about

what makes you happy it's a luxury to

pursue what makes you happy

it's a moral obligation to pursue what

you find meaningful and that doesn't

mean it's easy it might require

sacrifice if you need to change your job

to let's say you have family and and and

and children and a mortgage you have

responsibilities you've already picked

up those responsibilities you don't just

get to walk away scot-free and say well

I don't like my job I quit that's no

strategy but what you might have to do

is you think well this job is killing my

soul all right so what do I have to do

about that well I have to look for

another job well no one wants to hire me

it's like okay maybe you need to educate

yourself more maybe you need to update

your your curriculum vitae your resume

maybe you need to overcome your fear of

being interviewed maybe you need to

sharpen your social skills like you you

have to think about these things

strategically if

you're going to switch careers you have

to do it like an intelligent responsible

person that might take you a couple of

years of of effort to do properly I've

dealt with hundreds of people in my

clinical and consulting practice and we

set a goal we develop a vision and work

towards it and it things inevitably get

better for people so it's not a luxury

it's it's difficult it's a moral

responsibility and it isn't happiness

it's it's not the pursuit isn't for

happiness it's a moral responsibility to

push you what is meaningful absolutely

rule number 30 to fight for your beliefs

the first way in which you captured the

world's attention was that University

and that's what I want to talk about now

because the c16 law in Canada was being

proposed contextualized for us what it

is precisely that you were being that

you were opposed to in that well bill

c16 purported to do nothing but extend

human rights provisions to an excluded

group let's say to the transgender and

non gender binary types and and that was

the federal legislation it also made it

a hate crime to to to discriminate or

harass essentially so now then the

question is well what exactly do you

mean by discriminator harass and why

exactly is that a hate crime under the

Criminal Code well there was an answer

to that the answer was well this bill

will be interpreted in light of the

policies generated by the Ontario Human

Rights Commission very large set of

policies now the Ontario Human Rights

Commission is a radically leftist

organization I think it's the most

dangerous organization in Canada

although you could debate that and they

said are all sorts of policies about how

this these LED this legislation was

going to be interpreted and the federal

government linked to their website to

state that bill 16 c 16 would be

interpreted in light of those guidelines

so i went and read all the policies well

one of the policies was that if you

didn't use the preferred pronouns of a

given group that you could be charged

essentially with a hate crime and i

thought no that group is that you can

talk about transgender people yeah and

so there's all these pronouns that have

come up there's 70 different sets of

pronouns approximately to to

hypothetically describe people who don't

fit anywhere on the gender spectrum

which is also something that I don't

really under

Stan I don't understand that

conceptually like okay so now I'm comin

is compelled under Canadian law to use

the pronoun of another individuals

choice pipe on pain of law and I thought

well no that's not acceptable it's one

thing to put limits on what a person

can't say like say with hate speech laws

which I also don't agree with by the way

but that's a different argument I think

it's a narrower argument but to compel

me to use a certain content when I'm

formulating my thoughts or my actions

under threat of legislative action I

thought no what's happened there is the

government has introduced compelled

speech legislation into the private

sphere it's never happened in the

history of English common law and so I

said there's no way I'm abiding by that

I don't care what your damn rationale is

we're compassionate it's like no you're

not no you're not you're playing this

radical collectivist left-wing game

you're trying to gain linguistic you're

trying to gain linguistic supremacy in

the in the area of public discourse

you're doing that using compassion as a

guise and you're pulling the wool over

people's eyes and you're not going to do

it with me

rule number 33 take on challenges we're

built for struggle as human beings you

know you're not after the bubbles of

bliss that Dostoyevsky described in in

notes from underground

we're built to contend with the world

we're built to contend with reality you

want a challenge and the best way that

you can take on a challenge because the

challenge fortifies you so you don't

want to be secure you want to be strong

and you get strong by taking on optimal

challenges and so you lay out your

destiny in the world and you take the

slings and arrows of fate and you make

yourself stronger while you're doing so

and you might fail and fortune might do

you in but it's your best bet and you

know people have also people that have

extracted unbelievable successes out of

catastrophic failures and so and I'm not

saying that in a naive way I know

perfectly well what happens to people

you know you're doing fine in life and

then you get cancer and then six months

later you're dead and all the heroism in

the world isn't going to save you at

that point but that's not the point

that's not the point

life is bounded by mortality but that

doesn't mean that you don't get out

there and

10 and you develop by contending and you

minimize the net amount of suffering in

the world and that's something man

that's something to do

rule number 34 don't compare yourself

with others rule 4 compare yourself to

who you were yesterday and not to who

someone else is today because if you're

comparing yourself to someone else I

mean first of all you don't know very

much about the life of the person you're

comparing yourself to you don't know it

in it you know what across all of its

dimensions and second people are very

different and so comparing yourself to

someone else

it's it's kind of useful I guess when

you're young but as you get older and

more singular and more particular it

becomes increasingly less useful better

to compare yourself to a previous

version of yourself and work for

improvement in that way

rule number 35 develop resilience life

is difficult and you cannot protect your

children what you can do is prepare them

and you can prepare them to be strong

and courageous and truthful and

resilient and reciprocal in their

interactions with other people and that

means you equip them for what life will

be which is at minimum a series of

difficult challenges and and often more

than that because of course people go

through very difficult times in their

lives and a resilient person is capable

of standing up to things in the face of

fear and moving forward voluntarily

convinced of their own competence and

ability to prevail and so the primary

your primary goal as a parent apart from

facilitating your child's social

desirability which is a major obligation

on your part is to encourage your

children and to and I mean that

literally to instill in them a sense of

courage in the face of the difficulties

of life and not to protect them from

that we don't even want to be protected

from those difficulties because a major

part of life and its meaning is the the

challenge that comes with confronting

difficulties rule number 36 get your act

together I said with Bill c16 that I

wouldn't speak the language of the

radical leftist because I don't think

that that language should define the

game but let's say it does so here's the

game the world is a battleground of

groups and the they're battling for

power that's it that's the game and some

of them win and they oppress those who

don't win so that's how we're gonna view

the world

okay now the left is say okay well

here's the oppressed people the

oppressors the patriarchy type

patriarchal types they should be ashamed

of themselves and give up some power the

right-wingers the radical right wingers

look at that and they say oh I see so

the game is ethnic identity is it its

identity politics okay

we're white males we're not gonna lose

that's the right wing version of

identity politics it's like screw you if

we're gonna divide into groups if we're

gonna divide into tribes and I'm in my

tribe I'm not gonna get all guilty and

lose I'm gonna get all cruel and win and

that's like then you think well there's

people in the middle they're kind of

looking back and forth which side of the

identity politics spectrum I am I going

to fall in do I want to go with do I

want to go what do I want to be driven

primarily by compassion and I'm am I

going to accept guilt for my historical

privilege so that's one possibility

and then I'm the oppressor I'm the

member of the oppressor group or am I

going to say Oh to hell with that I'm

just gonna play to win well then I'm

gonna go to the right

it's like well my sense is how about we

don't play either of those games and the

reason we shouldn't play them is well

the Soviets played the left-wing game

and like killed who knows how many tens

of millions of people you can't even

count it accurately the estimates range

from twenty to a hundred million those

are pretty big error bars and that in

the Maoists maybe a hundred million

certainly 60 million so okay that didn't

work out so well and then there's the

Nazis like they played ethnic identity

politics and racial superiority it's

like what do we want to play that game

see what I've been trying to do really

what I've been trying to do for the last

30 years is say look there's heavy

temptations to play those sorts of games

but that's not the only game in town

it's a much better game to play

individual it's like get your act

together stand up in the world make

something of yourself stay away from the

ideological over simple

vacations set your house in order that's

rule 6 in the in this book so I have a

book rule in there says set your house

in perfect order before he criticized

the world and it's a very dark chapter

about the motivations of the Columbine

High School killers and this other guy

named carl panzram who is a serial

rapist and arsonist and murderer and

these he wrote an autobiography and the

Columbine kids also wrote about why they

did what they did they're resentful to

the core bitter bitter resentful

terrible and well I'm suggesting that

people stay away from that resentment

resentfulness and bitterness even though

life is hard and and there's malevolence

in the world it's like yeah you can you

can tell a story where everyone's a

victim because we all die we all get

sick you know and and and things happen

to us that are bitter and terrible

betrayal deceit lies like people hurt us

on purpose you know so it's not just the

tragedy of life it's malevolence as well

it's everyone's a victim you can tell

that story the problem is if you tell

that story and you start to act it out

you make all of that worse that's the

problem and it's so this is why partly I

got attracted to Christian imagery at

least in part because there's an idea in

Christianity that you should pick up

your goddamn cross and like walk off the

hill and that's dramatically that's

correct that's the right answer it's

like you've got a heavy load of

suffering to bear and a fair bit of it's

going to be unjust it's what are you

gonna do about it

accept it voluntarily and try to

transform as a consequence that's the

right answer it's the right answer

because the rest of it is tribalism and

we're we're too technologically powerful

to get all tribal again rule number 37

concentrate on who you could be people

have an unspecified potential for

development educationally obviously with

regards to the skills they have but also

in relationship to their character and

it's it's much it's much more

encouraging for people I think to

concentrate on who they could be rather

than who they are especially when

they're young because they still have

most of their life ahead of them and and

they're not everything they could be

and so to tell people even something

like well you should feel good about


the way you are is like well that

there's something there that's seriously

lacking because there's so much more

that you could be that you need to be

and that you should be aiming at the Sun

you're the problem with being okay the

way you are is that you don't have a

goal then and people need to have a goal

in order to to come to terms with their


rule number 38 leave your comfort zone

now this baboon here who's supposed to

be basically just a fool when the story

was first written he turned into what's

essentially a shaman across time and

then so he represents the self from the

Union perspective now the self is

everything you could be across time so

you imagine that there's you and there's

the potential inside you whatever that

is you know and potential is an

interesting idea because it's represents

something that isn't yet real yet we act

like it's real because people will say

to you you should live up to your

potential and that potential is partly

what you could be if you interacted with

the world in a manner that would gain

you the most information right because

you build yourself out of the

information in the piagetian sense but

it's deeper than that too because we

know that if you take yourself and you

put yourself in a new environment new

jeans turn on in your nervous system

they encode for new proteins and so

you're full of biological potential that

won't be realized unless you move

yourself around in the world in two

different challenging circumstances and

that'll turn on different circuits so

it's not merely that you're

incorporating information from the

outside world in the constructivist

sense it's that by exposing yourself to

different environments you put different

physiological demands on on yourself

all the way down to the genetic level

and that manifests new elements of you

and so one of the things that happens to

people and this is a very common

cultural notion is that you should go on

a pilgrimage at some point to somewhere

central and that would be say like the

rock in the Pride Rock and The Lion King

because you take yourself out of your

dopey little village and that's just a

little bounded you that everyone knows

and that isn't very expanded and then

you go somewhere dark and dangerous to

the central place and while you do that

you have adventures and they toughen you

and pull more out of you

like partly because you're becoming

informed which means information' it

means you're becoming more organized at

every level of analysis but there's also

more of you to rule number 39 find your

why by primary motive as a clinical

psychologist and educator is to help

individuals live more meaningful and

productive lives in harmony with their

families and their community

that's my motive and the evidence for

that I think is well if people go online

and first of all you can watch the

lectures and decide for yourself but you

can also go there's I suspect probably

maybe 250,000 people have commented on

the lectures and their effects on them

and so that's what people say I'm

watching the lectures yeah I'm trying to

develop a vision for my life I'm trying

to become more responsible and it's

really helping and that's and that's

what I hear all the time when I do these

public lectures which aren't political

but when we gain success we raise the

bar we set our ambitions higher I mean

what is your end game what do you want

that's all that's what I want I want I

want to help as many individuals as

possible become more courageous more

truthful and more engaged in the pursuit

of individual familial and social

harmony that's what I want

rule number forty pick the lesser risk

you're doing a great job of modeling

courage in the face of fog well there's

something I'd like to say maybe in

closing about courage people say that to

me and you know I don't think it's

exactly right doesn't there's a line in

the Old Testament the fear of God is the

beginning of wisdom and I think it's

more like that it's not that I'm

courageous it's that I'm afraid of the

right things so when I made my videos it

wasn't like that didn't make me nervous

but I was less nervous about going back

to bed and not saying what I had to say

that I was about making the videos

because I know where this is going I

don't want to go there and so it's it's

not so much courage it's that it's a

matter of I it's it's it's less risky to

say something

than to remain silent when you know

there's something to be said I know that

to be the case and so lots of times in

life it's like there's no pathway

forward that's going to shield you from

risk you get to pick this risk or you

get to pick this risk and I think I

picked the lesser risk and that might be

wise but I'm not so sure it's courageous

rule number 41 set goals properly tell

your kid here is an impossible thing why

don't you go out and fail you say here's

something worth going after here's a

step you could take that would push you

beyond where you are but that you also

have a reasonably high probability of

succeeding at right they called that

within a time frame if then some time

frame that's the other thing you have to

parameterize it with regards to time

frame that's right and that puts you in

the zone of proximal development and

that's that's a concept that was

generated by a guy named Vygotsky he was

a Russian developmental psychologist and

the smart one that's where the idea of

the zone comes from to be in the zone

and when you're in the zone you're

expanding your skills in a manner that's

intrinsically rewarding because you're

succeeding and so you want to set if

you're good to yourself you think okay I

need to set a goal but I need to set a

goal that someone is stupid and useless

as me could probably attain if they put

some effort into it and then you got it

then you've got it perfectly because

it's not so high that it's grandiose or

impossible that you fail necessarily and

then justify your bitterness it's like

well I couldn't do it well because that

happens to Pete how much all the time

yeah it's like this all the time you

know it's like it's yes exactly well I

set a goal and I didn't attain it so I'm

not gonna set any more goal right it's

like no you set a goal that was

inappropriate for the time frame that's

right you didn't calibrate it properly

and and you're playing a trick on

yourself because you wanted to fail so

that you could justify not having to try

that's why I've been a victim mmm yeah

it's just in helpful you're still gonna

be a victim right there's no way out of

that man so you know because life is

this life is a challenge that in some

sense can't be surmounted so there's no

way out of your problem but there are

certainly proper ways of dealing with it

yeah Lee number 42 find your why not

only do you have to move from point A to

B in life but point a is often a very

difficult place to be because we're four

and bounded and mortal and limited and

because we know that and so one of the

implications of that as many great

religious traditions are at pains to

illustrate or demonstrate or proclaim is

that life is essentially suffering and I

believe that to be a fundamental truth

but but perhaps not the most fundamental

truth because I think the most

fundamental truth is that despite the

fact that life is suffering people can

transcend that and partly the way they

transcend that is by pursuing things of

value and so that if there is no value

proposition at hand then you have no

meaning to justify the difficult

conditions of your life and that's

brutally difficult for people no

Nietzsche said he who has a why can bear

anyhow and you see and I've certainly

seen this as a clinical practitioner

that people who have no purpose in their

life are embittered by the difficulties

of their life and they become first

bitter and then resentful and then

revengeful and then cruel and there's

plenty of places to go past cruel that's

just where you start if you're really on

a downhill path rule number 43 eat a

little poison every day the more radical

than necessary change the more pain that

accompanies it like the more opportunity

as well but and a lot of what we learn

we learn painfully and so it's not

surprising that people shrink away from

learning we learn in pain and anxiety

very frequently everyone knows that like

the things that really that you really

learned in life it's like there was no

joy man like it took you out and so the

fact that people flee from that is

hardly surprising but it doesn't help

that's the thing it just stores up the

catastrophe for later and so the better

the better idea is to eat a little

poison every day so that you don't have

to overdose in a month it's something

like that and it is the case that I

think because you don't you aren't

forced first of all you don't learn

unless you're forced to learn I know

there's alternatives to that there's the

voluntary search for knowledge and

that's a fine thing and that is an

antidote to this but apart from that

speaking more practically you tend not

to learn

unless you're forced to learn and it's

and what you tend to learn by force are

difficult lessons and so people are very

prone to not do not seek that out it's

not surprising but it's because they

don't understand the consequences very

well you know you you it's because maybe

it's because they're convinced that

there's some way of for stalling the

necessary learning and there isn't any

way of for stalling it all you do is

make it worse in the future you make

yourself smaller and you make the lesson

harder and so that's why in so many

religious doctrines there's emphasis on

humility you know and humility isn't to

debase yourself it's to understand that

you don't know enough so that your life

isn't going to be miserable and so every

chance you get to grab something new

that will help you along your way you

should take it as fast as you can but

you have to have a very tragic I would

say view of reality and also a harsh one

because it's not just tragedy it's also

malevolence you have to understand that

those are waiting for you and that makes

you desperate enough to learn and that

might be make you desperate enough to

fall out of your ideology but that's

that's a hard way of looking at the

world it beats living through it though

rule number 44 take responsibility so

one of the things I've been talking to

my audiences about is the relationship

between responsibility and meaning which

is there and what would you say it's a

it's a constant refrain in the book it's

one of its underlying messages let's say

or themes is a better way of thinking

about it you know if you start with the

presumption that there's a baseline of

suffering in life and that that can be

exaggerated by as a consequence of human

failing as a consequence of malevolence

and betrayal and self betrayal and

deceit and all those things that we do

to each other and ourselves that we know

that aren't good that amplifies the

suffering that's sort of the baseline

against which you have to work

and and and it's contemplation of that

often that makes people hopeless and

depressed and anxious and overwhelmed

and all of that it and and they have the

reasons but you need something to put up

against that and what you put up against

that is meaning meaning is actually the

instinct that helps you guide yourself

through that catastrophe and most of

that meaning is to be found in the

adoption of responsibility so if you

think for example if you think about the

people that you admire well you think

about when you have a clear conscience

first because that's a good thing to aim

at which is something different than

happiness right a clear conscience is

different than happiness that's better

yeah that's not other guilting yourself

you're not feeling bad about your sister

right you feel that you've just

acclaimed you've justified your

existence right and so you're not waking

up at 3 in the morning in a cold sweat

thinking about all the terrible things

that you've involved yourself in what

you said to someone that you shouldn't

have said or my you acted or what

opportunity you lost or yeah or or the

things that you've that you've let go

that you should have capitalized on and

all of that and so if you think about

the times when you're at peace with

yourself with regards to how you're

conducting yourself in the world it's

almost always conditions under which

you've adopted responsibility right at

least the most the most guilt I think

that you can experience perhaps is the

sure knowledge that you're not even

taking care of yourself so that you're

leaving that responsibility to other

people because that's pretty pathetic

and I unless you're psychopathic

and you know and you're living a

parasitical life and that that

characterizes a very small minority of

people and an even smaller minority

think that's justifiable but most of the

time you're in guilt and shame because

you're not you're you're not not only

are you not taking care of yourself

let's say so someone else has to but

you're not living up to your full

potential and so there's an existential

weight that goes along with that

rule number 45 become disciplined we

kind of have this idea that while you're

free as a child and then you let me see

if I can if I can put this properly that

you have a certain delightful wonderful

positive freedom as a child and then

that's given up

as you approach adulthood but the truth

of the matter is is that you have a lot

of potential as a child but none of that

is capable of manifesting itself as

freedom before you become disciplined

and discipline is a matter of the

imposition of order and the order is

necessary especially for people who are

hopeless and nihilistic and lots of

people are hopeless and nihilistic we

more people than you think and part of

that is because no one's ever really

encouraged them and so the book is in

part a matter of encouragement it's like

lay yourself lay a disciplinary

structure on yourself get the chaos in

in in check and then you can move

towards a state that's freer because

it's disciplined first like look if

you're going to become a concert pianist

there's going to be several thousand

hours of extraordinarily disciplined

practice that's the imposition of order

on your potential let's say but what

comes out of that is a much grander

freedom and so in virtually every

freedom that you have in life that's

true freedom is purchased at the price

of discipline

rule number forty-six be truthful your

best that is truth but that doesn't

necessarily mean that's always going to

do the trick right I mean sometimes you

go fight a dragon and it eats you and if

the if you being eaten wasn't a real

possibility it wouldn't be a real fight

and so you see people like I've seen

people in my clinical practice sometimes

I had one client in particular who was

undergoing a particularly vicious

divorce with someone who was really

seriously inclined to take him out and

would do pretty much everything at her

disposal to do so and I strategized with

him for about three years and we did

everything like and hyper carefully he

was a very conscientious and diligent

person and he put into practice

everything that we discussed and

strategized and he still pretty much he

got backed into a corner so hard that I

didn't know how to help him anymore so I

would say however that he like he was a

very truthful person throughout that and

one thing he did do was part of it was a

custody battle and he did manage despite

his decline in consequence of being


cornered I would say he did manage to

establish what I think was a lasting

relationship with his kids so he might

have got enough out of what he did to

justify it even though the whole

landscape was pretty awful I think that

not lying is your best bet

but life is hard and people get run over

and it doesn't necessarily mean that

you're going to emerge in any obvious

sense triumphant but if you take the

alternative path path especially when

you're facing severe tribulations let's

say and you complicate those with deceit

you can be sure that whatever tragedy

that you're confronting is going to turn

into not only tragedy but something very

much akin to hell and so you might be

able to at least minimize the degree of

suffering even if you can't overcome it

or transcendent and that's something you


rule number 47 provide value people came

to my website because they were

interested in well before the political

stuff blew up I had a million views on

YouTube which isn't nothing

a million of anything is a lot but then

when the political scandal started to

break yeah then people came for them but

stayed for the content and so and that's

really useful yeah well it's all well

and it's not that surprising well you

know because of what you do it's like

people there's a great hunger for

information that is practical and useful

and that helps people find meaning in

their lives and orient themselves

there's a great hunger for that and most

of my lectures were derived from solid

psychology some of it experimental some

of it biological some of it from from

from the domains of neuroscience a lot

of it from great clinicians it's not

surprising that people find it helpful

because well great clinicians were great

because they were really helpful and so

to distill doubt and to offer it to

people in a digestible form to have that

have a good effect on them well that's

that's what you'd expect that's what the

whole discipline is about and so that's

been that's been great rule number 48

just start doing a circumambulation that

Jung talked about was

continual will return to this this

continual circling in some sense of who

you could be you might notice for

example that there are themes in your

life you know when you go back across

your experiences you see you kind of

have your typical experience that sort

of repeats itself and there might be

variation on it like a musical theme but

it's it's like you're circling yourself

and getting closer to yourself as you

move across time that's the

circumambulation now you remember that

for a second we'll go back to it okay so

imagine that something glimmers before

you it's an an interest that's dawning

and you decide well first of all you're

paralyzed you think well how do I know

if I should pursue that it's probably a

stupid idea and the proper response to

that is you're right it probably is a

stupid idea because almost all though

all ideas are stupid and so the

probability that as you move forward on

your adventure that you're gonna get it

right the first time is zero it's just

not gonna happen

and so then you might think well maybe

I'll just wait around until I get the

right idea and which people do right so

they're like 40 year old thirteen year

olds which is not a good idea so they

wait around until it's waiting for godot

until they finally got it right but the

problem is you're too stupid to know

when you've got it right so waiting

around isn't gonna help because even if

it the perfect opportunity manifested

itself to you in your incomplete form

the probability that you would recognize

it as the perfect opportunity is zero

you might even think it's the worst

possible idea that you've ever heard of

anywhere highly likely highly likely so

so you had there's a niche of Nietzsche

called that a will will to stupidity

which I really liked

so because he thought of stupidity as

being it you know it's it's you have to

take it into account fundamentally and

work with it and so and so you can take

these tentative steps on your pathway to

destiny and you can assume that you're

gonna do it badly and that's really

useful because you don't have to beat

yourself up it's pretty easy to do it

badly but the thing is it's way better

to do it badly than not to do it at all

so you you start your path and you think

that you're heading you know towards

your star and so you go in that

direction and

then because you're here the world looks

a particular way but then when you move

here the world looks different and

you're different as a consequence of

having made that voyage and so what that

means is that now that thing that

glimmers in front of you is going to

have shifted its location because you

weren't very good at specifying it to

begin with and now that you're a little

sharper and more focused than you were

it's it's going to reveal itself with

more accuracy to you and so then you

have to take a you know it's almost like

180 degree reversal but it isn't because

you know you've I mean you've gone this

far and that's a long ways to get that

far but that's a lot farther than you

would be if you just stayed where you

were waiting and so it doesn't matter

that you overshoot continually because

as you overshoot even if you don't learn

what you should have done you're going

to continually learn what you shouldn't

keep doing and if you learn enough about

what you shouldn't keep doing then

that's tantamount at some point to

learning at the same time what you

should be doing so it's okay so it's

like this now what's cool about it

though I think is that as you progress

the degree of overshooting starts to

decline right and that we know that

there's nothing hypothetical about that

as you learn a new skill like even to

play it play a song on the piano for

example you over shoot madly you're

making all sorts of mistakes to begin

with and then the mistakes they

disappear so anyways the fact that

you're full of faults doesn't mean you

have to stop and thank God for that

that's a really useful thing and the

fact that you're full of faults doesn't

mean that you can't learn and so you can

pause it an ideal and you're gonna be

wrong about it but it doesn't matter

because what you're right about is

positing the ideal moving towards it if

the actual ideal isn't conceptualize

perfectly well for

surprise surprise because like what are

you going to do that's perfect

so it doesn't matter that it's imperfect

imperfect it just matters that you do it

and that you move forward so that's

really that's really positive news as

far as I'm concerned because you can

actually do that right you can do it

badly anyone can do that so that's

that's useful rule number 49 develop

communication skills I'm incredibly

nervous to talk in front of you because

you've got to be one of the most

formidable people that I've ever heard

up or ever listened to ever seen so my

question is again you're one of the best

communicators that I've ever listened to

if I could be half as good at you or at

communicating as you are I would be set

how can I teach myself to do that

practice you know really like well

there's a couple of things is helps to

read a lot it really helped to write so

if you want to make yourself articulate

which is a very good idea then not only

should you read but you should write

down what you think and if you can do

that a little bit every day 15 minutes

maybe you could steal 15 minutes and do

it every day

but if you do that for 10 years you

really straighten out your thinking if

you're gonna speak effectively you have

to know way more than you're talking

about you know so if you this is often

difficult for beginning lecturers at

university because they'll do a lecture

on a topic but they only know as much as

they're saying in the lecture and they

get kind of stuck to their notes because

of it but you want to know 10 times as

much as you are saying in the lecture

and then you can specify a stepping path

through it and elaborate with the other

things that you know but to do that you

have to do a lot of reading but you also

have to do a lot of reading because

that's where the synthesize that's where

the synthesizing comes so that's on the

input side and then on the output side

well there's some tricks techniques

let's say is like if you're speaking in

front of a group you are not delivering

a talk to a group that's not what you're

doing the talk isn't a

hich thing that you present to a group

there isn't a group there's a bunch of

individuals and you talk to them so when

I talk to a group I always talk to

people one at a time and that makes it

easier to because you know how to talk

to a person it's like can you talk to a

thousand people well probably not

because it's too intimidating but there

isn't a thousand people there there's a

thousand individuals and so you just

look at an individual and you say

something and you can tell if they're

engaged they look confused or they look

interested or they look angry or they

look bored or maybe they're asleep in

which case you look at someone else and

they give you feedback about how you're

doing and so one thing is to to have

something to say yeah but the next thing

is pay attention to who you're talking


because unless you're very badly

socialized and that seems unlikely in

your case because you know you present

yourself at least moderately well you

know and well I mean I don't know you

very well but at first but on first

sight you know you're doing fine so the

probability that if you pay attention to

the individuals that you're talking to

that your natural wealth of social skill

will manifest itself is extremely high

and so you don't deliver a talk to an

audience that's a really bad way of

thinking about you're actually engaged

in a conversation with an audience even

if they're not talking they're nodding

and shifting position and you know

looking like this or and you can you can

pull that in and and and use it to

govern the level at which you're

addressing the entire audience so the

last thing I would say is well having

the aim to be a good communicator is a

good start and you think well I could

but just that to some degree there isn't

anything that you can possibly this is

the whole point of a liberal education

there isn't anything that you can

possibly do that makes you more

competent in everything you do then to

learn how to communicate I don't care if

you're gonna be a carpenter I mean being

a carpenter by the way is very difficult

especially if you're a good carpenter

but if you're good at communicating as a

carpenter you're like

ten times better as a carpenter so the

and this is something that the liberal

arts colleges I think I don't know if

they forgotten it but they don't do a

very good job of marketing it's like

what's the use of a bachelor's degree

Bachelor of Arts it's like well you can

think you can write you can speak you've

read something it's like the economic

value that is incalculable the people

that I've watched in my life would be

spectacular ly successful are they have

skills clearly that that's a minimum

precondition but they're also very very

good at articulating themselves and so

whenever they negotiate they're

successful well that's kind of like the

definition of success in life right you

negotiate and you're six it doesn't mean

you win because if you're a good

negotiator if you're really good

negotiator everybody walks away from the

negotiation thrilled and so then people

line up to do things with you so and

that's all that's all dependent on your

ability to communicate so practice and

rule number 50 the lasts only for a very

special bonus clip is fight for what you

stain for with our topic is the rising

tide of compelled speech in Canada my




that's pure narcissism at work by the



you don't to hijack to hijack an event

like this that other people put time and

effort into and to use they there are

their civility of the crowd and the

civility of the organizers as an excuse

to blatantly yell out your ill informed

opinions is no way to conduct a civil

dialogue it's absolutely appalling the

people who do that should be embarrassed

these people are not your friends

do you see you know that's that that and

mark my words

that's the sounds of the barbarians

pounding at the gates right

you know that's all I'll tell you again

too that you soon inchoate what would

you call it inchoate sensation is the

best formulation of their argument and

there's not much difference between

knocking on the doors and knocking on

you so keep that in mind it's not

amusing there's nothing to it there's

nothing for it the thing that's also

quite appalling is that there's no

evidence whatsoever that the people who

are conducting these protests know what

it is that they're protesting against

you know I was in alright I was in the

midst of a discussion attempting to make

the case that it's freedom of speech

that's that is what people who have

nothing still have right so if you look

at the tyrannical structure of our

society let's say the people at the top

have access to means of communication

everyone knows that it's the people at

the bottom who have the right to say

what they think however badly they say

it that enables them to get a toehold

into the system into and to make their

suffering known that's what freedom of

speech is for and so like what's the

protest against that and I'll tell you

you know that the radical neo-marxist

types they speak the language of power

and that's what they're speaking right

now and if you want to live in a world

where everyone speaks the language of

power then just let them do what they're

doing and see what happens I wouldn't

recommend it it's not a pretty road and

you're all in a position you're on a

situation in your life now where you

have to make decisions about this sorts

of things like is this the sort of

institution that you want this to be

now I've got a special bonus clip from

Jordan Peterson on how to take risks

that I think you're going to really

enjoy but before that it's time for the

three-point landing questions time to

move from just watching another video to

taking action in your life or your

business and if you're feeling bold and

to the questions in the comments below

here we go

question number one what do you stay in

for number two what will you start doing

today and number three what poison will

you eat this week

there is definitely an epidemic of

overprotective parenting but it's useful

to ask why and my suspicions are is that

this is driven by very fundamental

biological and cultural phenomena that

aren't generally considered in

relationship to this issue we don't have

very many children we don't have 12 you

know six of whom die

we have one or two and that makes them

very precious right

we're unwilling to take risks with them

and no wonder and then we also have them

much later in life and so like if you

have a kid when you're 18 you're still a

kid you know you're gonna go out and

have your life right because you're so

well you're in the in the height of your

exploratory your ear in the height of

the exploratory part of your life

you're not gonna over protect your kid

because you're still a kid but if you're

40 and you have one child it's like all

your eggs are in one basket and the

probability that you're going to take

undue risks with that precious person is

very very low now obviously there's some

advantages to that because great you

would devote resources to your child you

know and foster their development but

the downside is that you have every

motivation to hover and maybe you're

also extraordinarily desperate as a

mother to maintain that bond with your

child because you've struggled so long

to achieve it it's highly highly


you can't take a risk well so these so

we might say well perhaps overprotective

parenting is a secondary and unintended

consequence of the birth control pill

and the fact that people now have

children later in life could easily be

you know if you have six kids it's like

what are you gonna do hi helicopter

parent them it's like little yeah you're

so tired you can't even get off the

couch if you have six kids and there

they outnumber you right there raising

each other they're competing and they're

taking each other down a peg they're not

there's no overprotection there but with

it with a single child landscape or dual

child landscape

mostly a single child landscape then

you're gonna over protect and then that

ethos starts to permeate the schools and

it starts to permeate the higher

education institutions as those children

mature and then that all reinforces it

not good it's not obvious what to do

about it either because if it is driven

by demographics and not in that sense

it's a much more intractable problem

than we think so I did some of that in

12 rules for life you know I said look

you what you have to understand is that

you're a danger to your children no

matter what right you can let them go

out in the world and be hurt or you can

over protect them and hurt them that way

so you here's your choice it can make

your children competent and courageous

or you can make them safe but you can't

make them safe because life isn't safe

so if you sacrifice their courage and

competence on the altar of safety then

you disarm them completely and all they

can do is pray to be protected if you

had to think of one word that's most

important to you that sums you Apple

that would be collect a little beacon if

you want more Jordan Peterson check out

the video we did on him and his 12 rules

for life it's right there next to me I

think you're gonna enjoy it continue to

believe and I'll see you there people in

general now have very poor posture very

bad for the junction is like take a look

at the people that are around you.....

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