I just finished reading this incredible book and here are my thoughts.
The rules of this book are at the same time thought provoking, revealing and yet vaguely familiar. Almost as if these rules are truths that I have come to know through some combination of life experience, common sense, and my own observations of others but had not seen them all put into language in one place. Peterson uses examples from his life, his clients from his sessions as a clinical psychologist, literature, the Bible, history, and science to make his points. If you have ever heard him speak during an interview or a lecture, the text reads like he talks: precise, rhythmically logical, defiantly and uncompromisingly true. In a time when political correctness and spin stifle any opinion that makes us to face the uncomfortable and inconvenient questions, it is a daring but necessary act for this book to have been written.
My personal favorite rule is rule number 10 which is “be precise in your speech”. As an avid student of languages I understand the importance that articulating an idea into words is. To formulate an idea into speech is to bring it to existence. It takes an unknowable and terrifyingly limitless monster and shrinks it into a manageable and approachable problem. Putting into language what is bothering you is the first step to tackling it because then you know what you are up against and can prepare yourself accordingly. Ignore a problem and refuse to acknowledge it in precise terms and you lack the ability to know what focus and direction needs to be taken to handle it. That is why journaling or talking things through with another person is so helpful to understanding what course of action to take. It is the act of identifying a problem enough to be able to articulate its being that is so crucial to being able to solve it.
To say that I recommend this book would be an understatement. It has given me much to consider when I look at my life and I have some ideas on where to start to improve myself. One area that rule number 10 applies is my relationships. I have known for the longest time that I am a people pleaser and attempt to avoid uncomfortable conversations (however necessary) at all costs and if I do bring up an issue I feel as if I do a poor job of articulating it effectively to even have been worth bringing up it at all. But, I want to change that immediately after reading this book because the alternative is more dangerous and tragic in the long term. If you read the book, what rule spoke to you the most and how do you see yourself implementing it in your life?