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  • Mikuláš Vochozka

Book Review - "12 Rules For Life"

I never expected to read a self help book, but after hearing that J. B. Peterson’s book was translated to Czech I decided to give it a try. I watched Peterson’s lectures quite a lot and I liked his ideas and points of views on life issues. In December 2020, after his return from the hospital with health problems, he announced a new book “Beyond Order - 12 More Rules For Life”. The book is already on the market.

Jordan B. Peterson (Source: Tennessee Star)

Jordan Peterson is a Canadian professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, a clinical psychologist, and his YouTube channel is followed by almost 4 million people. But he is a controversial figure, mostly because of his conservative views on modern day issues. He became very famous around year 2016 when he criticized the Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code that introduced "gender identity and expression" as a prohibited grounds of discrimination. His arguments were that the bill would make the use of certain gender pronouns into compelled speech, and related this argument to a general critique of political correctness and identity politics.

His second book was published in 2018 and quickly became a bestseller. The book’s primary goal is to help young people to get their life in order and to help them grow into functioning adults. He uses examples from his own life and talks about issues of his patients when he was a clinical psychologist. He tells stories of his childhood, his time as a university student and parenthood.

You can find a lot of symbolism from The Bible in the book. He uses stories of The Bible and puts them in a different perspective. But do not worry if you do not know much about the Bible, as it will not affect your reading experience. He also talks about philosophy and literature and he explains the work of authors and philosophers he refers to very simply so if you are not that educated in this field you can still understand the core point clearly.

One of my favourite rules was probably rule number four: “Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today”. This rule is very important to keep in mind as along with the other eleven rules. But the reason I think this one is more important is that we live in time where we can see so many people who are the same age as we are living a dream life and we get jealous or even depressed about it. It is important to keep looking up to our own successes and focus on our own development. Otherwise we end up bitter and jealous and we lose so much time, that could have been invested into becoming the best version of ourselves

The series of twelve rules that Peterson presents in his book is not some kind of cheap self-help book you find everytime you are in a bookstore. He is offering a reader a set of rules that is not anything new, but his explanations of the importance of the rules are very powerful. So I would definitely recommend to read this book and to clean your room!

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