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Jordan Peterson - Quotes and excerpts

“You cannot be protected from the things that frighten you and hurt you, but if you identify with the part of your being that is responsible for transformation, then you are always equal or more than the equal of the things that frighten you.”

― Jordan B. Peterson


“Don’t underestimate the power of vision and direction. These are irresistible forces, able to transform what might appear to be unconquerable obstacles into traversable pathways and expanding opportunities. Strengthen the individual. Start with yourself. Take care of yourself. Define who you are. Refine your personality. Choose your destination and articulate your Being. As the great nineteenth-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche so brilliantly noted, “He whose life has a why can bear almost anyhow.”

― Jordan B. Peterson, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos


“In the West, we have been withdrawing from our traditions, religion- and even nation-centered cultures, partly to decrease the danger of group conflict. But we are increasingly falling prey to the desperation of meaninglessness, and that is no improvement at all.”

― Jordan B. Peterson, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos


“If you have a comprehensive explanation for everything then it decreases uncertainty and anxiety and reduces your cognitive load. And if you can use that simplifying algorithm to put yourself on the side of moral virtue then you’re constantly a good person with a minimum of effort.”

― Jordan B. Peterson


“Ideologies are substitutes for true knowledge, and ideologues are always dangerous when they come to power because a simple-minded I-know-it-all approach is no match for the complexity of existence.”

― Jordan B. Peterson, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos


“You don't get to choose not to pay a price, you only get to choose which price you pay” ― Jordan B. Peterson


“Order is not enough. You can’t just be stable, and secure, and unchanging, because there are still vital and important new things to be learned. Nonetheless, chaos can be too much. You can’t long tolerate being swamped and overwhelmed beyond your capacity to cope while you are learning what you still need to know. Thus, you need to place one foot in what you have mastered and understood and the other in what you are currently exploring and mastering. Then you have positioned yourself where the terror of existence is under control and you are secure, but where you are also alert and engaged. That is where there is something new to master and some way that you can be improved. That is where meaning is to be found.” ― Jordan B. Peterson, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos


“We deserve some respect. You deserve some respect. You are important to other people, as much as to yourself. You have some vital role to play in the unfolding destiny of the world. You are, therefore, morally obliged to take care of yourself. You should take care of, help and be good to yourself the same way you would take care of, help and be good to someone you loved and valued. You may, therefore, have to conduct yourself habitually in a manner that allows you some respect for your own Being—and fair enough. But every person is deeply flawed. Everyone falls short of the glory of God. If that stark fact meant, however, that we had no responsibility to care, for ourselves as much as others, everyone would be brutally punished all the time. That would not be good. That would make the shortcomings of the world, which can make everyone who thinks honestly question the very propriety of the world, worse in every way. That simply cannot be the proper path forward.”

― Jordan B. Peterson, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos


“You must determine where you are going in your life because you cannot get there unless you move in that direction. Random wandering will not move you forward. It will instead disappoint and frustrate you and make you anxious and unhappy and hard to get along with (and then resentful, and then vengeful, and then worse).”

― Jordan B. Peterson, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos


“Perhaps you are overvaluing what you don’t have and undervaluing what you do.”

― Jordan B. Peterson, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos


“To suffer terribly and to know yourself as the cause: that is Hell.”

― Jordan B. Peterson, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos


“Sometimes, when people have a low opinion of their own worth—or, perhaps, when they refuse responsibility for their lives—they choose a new acquaintance, of precisely the type who proved troublesome in the past. Such people don’t believe that they deserve any better—so they don’t go looking for it. Or, perhaps, they don’t want the trouble of better. Freud called this a “repetition compulsion.” He thought of it as an unconscious drive to repeat the horrors of the past—sometimes, perhaps, to formulate those horrors more precisely, sometimes to attempt more active mastery and sometimes, perhaps, because no alternatives beckon. People create their worlds with the tools they have directly at hand. Faulty tools produce faulty results. Repeated use of the same faulty tools produces the same faulty results. It is in this manner that those who fail to learn from the past doom themselves to repeat it. It’s partly fate. It’s partly an inability. It’s partly … unwillingness to learn? Refusal to learn? Motivated refusal to learn?”

― Jordan B. Peterson, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos “It took untold generations to get you where you are. A little gratitude might be in order. If you're going to insist on bending the world to your way, you better have your reasons.”

― Jordan B. Peterson, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos


“So, attend carefully to your posture. Quit drooping and hunching around. Speak your mind. Put your desires forward, as if you had a right to them—at least the same right as others. Walk tall and gaze forthrightly ahead. Dare to be dangerous. Encourage the serotonin to flow plentifully through the neural pathways desperate for its calming influence.”

― Jordan B. Peterson, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos “You can only find out what you actually believe (rather than what you think you believe) by watching how you act. You simply don’t know what you believe, before that. You are too complex to understand yourself.”

― Jordan B. Peterson, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

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