Skillful truth-avoiding is the evasive tactic of withholding one’s actual feelings by instead inserting a less relevant, albeit true, statement, and is far from being honest. It is essentially to replace a lie of commission with a lie of omission. Although Harris rails against active lies in this book, he fails to acknowledge that ‘skillful truth-telling’ is nothing more than lying by another name.
Recognize that there is only so much you can do right now, and that makes you human, not powerless. Envision the best , while being realistic. People tend to overestimate the risks and negative consequences and that leads to a lot of anxiety. You've faced uncertainty before. Take time to think and reflect on what helped you before. Although dealing with uncertainty is hard, there are consequences for not facing it head-on. See the Possibility.
Sam Harris’s major, and dubious, assumption, is that complete honesty is possible. The concept of unconscious motives or maladaptive psychological underpinnings that we can know nothing about, or of ‘bad faith’ (a form of self-deceit), are not considered in Harris’s analysis. Since we are then all liars by nature, the best course of action is only to lie in ways that are intended to promote another’s well being.
Consider that any hierarchy creates winners and losers . The winners are more likely to justify the hierarchy and the losers to criticize it. Understand that hierarchy is inescapable. The pursuit of goals lends life meaning and the collective pursuit of goals produces hierarch, as some are more competent than others. Beware of single cause interpretations and t will hose who purvey them. Things are rarely as simple. Understand that power is one of the fundamental motivational forces, not the only one. Competence should be your measure of status, not power. Understand that group membership cannot capture individual complexity, signing up to it can be detrimental . Don’t expect people to read your mind. In confrontations, tell them what you expect instead of what they are doing or have done. Try to face your challenges yourself, unnecessary dependence is dangerous. Understand that harassment sometimes is just a veiled test of competence and character. Accept that most mature women want a man that will challenge and better them. It’s important to ask why people don’t behave in a certain way as much as why they do. Our ancestors had behaviors and rules we often dismiss but doing so comes with the risk of introducing new or old problems. Make decisions , here and now, even though the best means and goals can’t be discerned with certainty. An aim provides the structure necessary for action and reduces anxiety, because having no aim everything can mean anything or nothing. Don’t expect external solutions to your problems, find the truth and devise ways to solve them yourself. Identify your contribution to problems , fix them if possible and let others know you made a mistake. Aim for Paradise, and concentrate on today.
12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson: Summary, Notes, and Lessons - Nat Eliason