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Jordan Peterson: 'The pursuit of happiness is a pointless goal'

The Aim of Living

Psychology Professor Jordan Peterson's self-help book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos provides some out-of-the-box ways of living life, borrowing from the works of Nietzsche, Freud, Jung, and Dostoevsky, which are unconventional sources for this kind of work.

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Jordan Peterson: 'The pursuit of happiness is a pointless goal'

Jordan Peterson: 'The pursuit of happiness is a pointless goal'

https://www.theguardian.com/global/2018/jan/21/jordan-peterson-self-help-author-12-steps-interview

theguardian.com

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Key Ideas

Jordan Peterson

Jordan Peterson

"You’re not as nice as you think. And you’re not as useless as you think"

The Aim of Living

Psychology Professor Jordan Peterson's self-help book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos provides some out-of-the-box ways of living life, borrowing from the works of Nietzsche, Freud, Jung, and Dostoevsky, which are unconventional sources for this kind of work.

Life as a Tragedy

Jordan Peterson’s view of the world around him is complex, and he tries to simplify this with books.
  • We are just a speck in this huge, complex world, inviting us to be humble. 
  • Happiness, he says, is a pointless goal,
  • Only compare yourself with your yesterday, not with others.

The Dark Side

Humans are essentially full of darkness, and that is now visible in social media with the flood of hatred, abuse, and outrage.

Happiness like Cotton Candy

Happiness is just a side effect of good things happening. It is temporary, fleeting and unpredictable. 

Do not make happiness into a constant desire or purpose.

Act Right

Jordan Peterson believes that everyone is born with an instinct for ethics and meaning. 
Build meaning in your life by being ethical and righteous. Being responsible and taking the right, noble path is the way.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Idea 1: White Privilege Doesn’t Exist
Idea 1: White Privilege Doesn’t Exist

Jordan Peterson describes race as “post-modernist“ and claims that “white privilege” is instead “majority privilege” in a country founded by a white majority. 

In doing so he over...

Idea 2: The Left And Identity Politics

Peterson believes that neither sides of the political extremes, right or left, represent the values of the majority and have gone too far on their demands. 

Idea 3: On The Existence Of God

Peterson believes that currently what makes someone a believer in God or not is not clearly defined. 

“Belief” and “God” are very generic terms and deriving meaning from them is nearly impossible. 

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Dr. Jordan B. Peterson
Dr. Jordan B. Peterson

Is a Canadian clinical psychologist, cultural critic, and professor of psychology. He has taught at Harvard and the University of Toronto and is an accomplished scientist on the psychology f...

Lewis Carroll
Lewis Carroll

“If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there.”

Jordan Peterson
Jordan Peterson

"To stand up straight with your shoulders back is to accept the terrible responsibility of life, with eyes wide open. It means deciding to voluntarily transform the chaos of potential into the realities of habitable order. It means adopting the burden of self-conscious vulnerability, and accepting the end of the unconscious paradise of childhood...It means willingly undertaking the sacrifices necessary to generate a productive and meaningful reality."

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Jordan Peterson Writing Template
Jordan Peterson Writing Template
Jordan Peterson, a psychology professor at The University of Toronto, created a template for his students that takes them step by step through the detailed process of writing an essay.  
Jordan Peterson
Jordan Peterson
"Thinking makes you act effectively in the world.  Thinking makes you win the battles you undertake...If you can think and speak and write you are absolutely deadly!  NOTHING can get in your way.  That's why you learn to write...It's the most powerful weapon you can possibly provide someone with."
The Levels of Resolution

An essay exists at multiple levels:

  • The choice of words
  • The formation of sentences
  • The arrangement of sentences in a paragraph
  • The arrangement of paragraphs in a logical progression, beginning to end
  • The essay as a whole

A good essay works at every one of those levels simultaneously.

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Thomas Hobbes explained

Hobbes, an English philosopher, believes mankind's nature to be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short as described in his book, The Leviathan.

This is why people adhere to social c...

Moral issues

The 'Show, don't tell' rule is especially pertinent when it comes to immoral acts.

Until a book becomes moving pictures, any moral issue with it doesn't seem to reach national press levels, because it shows these contentious issues to a wider audience.  If you show the act, but don't tell anyone what to think about it, the fact that an author or film-maker hasn't clanged down a big sign saying 'And this is bad' is tantamount to advocation. 

GoT's similarities with the Leviathan

A Song of Ice and Fire might very well deliberately echo Leviathan. The notion that, without protection from the Iron Throne, the land falls into an every-man-for-himself struggle does echo the ideas laid down in Leviathan. 

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The Flaw in Jordan Peterson’s Argument On Hierarchy

Peterson suggests human hierarchies aren’t socially created, but are effects of human evolution. His evidence for this is the fact that lobsters also have hierarchies.

Human and lobsters

The Flaw In Jordan Peterson’s Comparison Between Humans And Lobsters

Serotonin is linked to aggression and is found in the brains of most animals, humans and lobsters include, as expected of creatures with a common ancestor. But serotonin has a completely different effect in arthropods and vertebrates.

In vertebrates lowered levels of serotonin has been shown to lead to increased aggression, the opposite happens on humans.

Dealing with difficult times

We may wonder if it is even possible to thrive during difficult patches in our lives. 

The word difficult could mean something different for every person, but the constant is our commitm...

Keep the big picture in mind

What you're going through is just a chapter of your life. The rest of the story is still unwritten. Once you emerge from a difficult period, a blank page will await you to change the record.

At the moment, everything feels confusing, but hindsight will be 20/20 vision. 

Define your success

Define your success. It is critical in order to know yourself. Success could be your health, career, friendships, being a good spouse or parent.

Difficult times in life require us to redefine our objective, to modify them to fit our new situations. What does betterment look like to you? Is it better health, better grades, healthy relationships? Write down your priorities and work towards them daily.

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Napoleon Hill...
... is the most famous con man you’ve probably never heard of. 

Born into poverty in rural Virginia at the end of the 19th century, Hill went on to write one of the most successful self-...

Hill was a charlatan

Napoleon Hill was said to be an advisor to two presidents: Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
In fact, there’s no evidence whatsoever outside of Hill’s own writings that Hill met President Wilson or President Roosevelt, let alone acted as a trusted advisor to both.

Hill and Carnegie

Napoleon Hill’s most infamous claim was that he met and interviewed at length the industrialist Andrew Carnegie in 1908.

Andrew Carnegie's biographer David Nasaw found no evidence of any sort that Carnegie and Hill ever met.

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Exercising Integrity

Not every leader is benevolent. Many leaders have insight, initiative, influence, and impact but their lives and legacies are tainted by a lack of integrity.

A great leader must have a lif...

Being Impactful

The measure of leadership is the impact they have on their followers. How much of a difference they make.

They’re either instrumental in creating real lasting change, or they’re not leaders. They’re just entertainers.

Exerting Influence

An authentic leader draws people and compels them to act with his vision and values. He also gives off a positive vibe and is good at persuading others to his point of view.

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Create the conditions to write
Create the conditions to write
  • Make the time for writing. We all have those absent-minded moments in our day when we're not doing anything. If we use that time to write, we can actually get a lot done...
There's no one "right" way to write

Some people plan ahead their and outline their novels, others just jump in a wing it.Experiment, start with something and see what works for you.

Try to show up for your characters. It's not important how you do it, as long as you do it.

Find your people
  1. When you feel a bit stuck, and walking the dog or organizing the closet doesn't help, speak to a friend with a different way of thinking. Or talk to a friend who's writing a book.aaa

  2. You don't just have to stick to friends. Reach out to other writers who can talk through any issue you're having with your book.

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Happiness can’t be a goal in itself. Therefore, it’s not something that’s achievable.

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” - Ralph Waldo Emerso...

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happiness is merely a byproduct of usefulness. You don’t have to change the world or anything. Just make it a little bit better than you were born. When you do little useful things every day, it adds ...

Happiness is merely a byproduct of usefulness. You don’t have to change the world or anything. Just make it a little bit better than you were born. When you do little useful things every day, it adds up to a life that is well lived. A life that mattered.

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