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Jordan Peterson shares the "secret" to a meaningful life

Jordan Peterson shares the "secret" to a meaningful life

Jordan Peterson establishes the framework with the message which most people do not want to hear: you must take accountability, both in his book 12 Rules for Life and in several presentations that have been viewed by millions of people on YouTube.

That entails taking responsibility for your errors. Peterson claims that even though life is painful if you always pretend to be the victim, you'll never find any purpose. The journey begins when you acknowledge your part in it, even if it is only a small perpetrator. The goal is to use this realization to pivot toward the meaning and life you genuinely seek, not to fixate on your shortcomings or faults, which may sound like a sad viewpoint.


Photo from Thought Catalog on


It's difficult to accept responsibility, yet that's the goal. Where is the satisfaction if your goals are too low? This "phenomena of meaning" calls for realism, though. You won't receive the reward if your aims are unattainable. This tension, which Peterson refers to as a "nuance of order," between success and difficulty (or chaos), is where meaning will appear in your life.

The following is a succinct summary of Peterson's suggestions for leading a meaningful life:

  1. Choose to be valuable. Peterson refers to it as "a decision of love."
  2. Embrace personal accountability. You won't move forward if you externalize your obligation. According to Peterson, if you take responsibility for the turmoil in your life, you'll paradoxically be able to transcend it.
  3. Avoid acting like a victim. Let go of your anger and hatred. By accepting responsibility, you give yourself positive power!
  4. Quit lying. Without being overly critical, be honest with yourself and others.
  5. Be prepared to give up your life to find it. This is the riskiest, according to Peterson, but also the most rewarding.
  6. Instead of comparing yourself to someone else today, compare yourself to who you were yesterday. According to Peterson, it's impossible to compare yourself to anyone other than yourself because every person is different. Be mindful about developing personally.
  7. Be modest. The first step toward improvement is admitting your need for it.
  8. Embrace learning. Although it may seem counterintuitive, realizing your potential requires first recognizing your weaknesses. Peterson advises, "Don't let what you keep you from becoming what you could be."
  9. Describe your own hell. You can now concentrate your efforts on averting it and achieving your perfect existence.
  10. Take on difficulties. It's preferable to be actively involved in the solution of a complex problem than to have no problem at all if you're searching for meaning, as Peterson puts it: "I want to find out where there's not enough of me yet."
  11. Make use of your own inner critic. To determine the improvements you want to and can make, use your inner critic. Your full potential is the reward, even though change might be challenging. Also, starting small is acceptable!
  12. Know your boundaries. Regardless matter how much work you have, prioritize your vacations since you can change that, not the work!