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  • Writer's pictureJames Evangelista

My 12 Rules For Life

Photo by: Stefan Stefancik

Since our book of the month is 12 Rules For Life written by Jordan B. Peterson. I made my own simple list that you can follow or use it as a foundation in your life. So who is Jordan B. Peterson?

He is a Canadian clinical psychologist and public intellectual, who is a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. His primary areas of study are in abnormal, social, and personality psychology, with a particular interest in the psychology of religious and ideological belief, and the assessment and improvement of personality and performance. He became famous because of his online lectures on Youtube that has a lot of positive feedbacks. Dr. Peterson was nominated for five consecutive years as one of Ontario’s Best University Lecturers.

He is one of only three profs rated as “life-changing” in the U of T’s underground student handbook of course ratings.

This is going to be a lengthy blog post ahead so enjoy!

Here are my 12 Rules For Life:

1. Be Mindful

Mindfulness is quality of the mind. When we are mindful we learn to live in the present moment, we step back from these destructive thoughts that are messing with our mind. Becoming a conscious person helps us to be aware of what our actions will be. Mindfulness is a skill that we should practice especially in our era, wherein we are bombarded with negativity everywhere we look. So how do we practice mindfulness? Meditation is the best way to do it. When we meditate, we become still and relaxed. Meditation helps us to be more focused, get in touch with our true self and to learn how not to be affected with our thoughts.

Let's put it this way. Imagine yourself sitting in a park. You are just watching the kids play, how happy they are with their friends. Those kids are your thoughts, the noise inside your head those kids will eventually get tired and leave the park. Similar to your thoughts, it will leave your mind as long as you stay in the present moment. So be mindful, meditate for 5-10 mins a day. This skill is powerful and can help you overcome your stress, depression.

2. Speak the Truth. Be Precise with your Speech.

A person who speaks the truth is a responsible human being. When we make mistakes we often accuse other people or lie to make excuses and to let other people know that it isn’t our fault. Honesty is rare this days. We need to accept our own faults and be responsible for what we’ve done.

We love to lie especially when people asks us about our accomplishments and goals. Why do we that? So that we can look good to other people. So that people could praise us and feed our ego and pride.(you can learn more about this on Rule 5) When we are precise with our speech we can communicate better. There’s no need to curse each other out or raise our voice when we want to make a point. It will get us nowhere and just provide negativity to other people. Truth always hurts. Accept it and face your responsibilities not run away from it.

3. Stop living for the weekends. Do what you love.

A lot of us hate Mondays to Thursday. Why? It’s because we don’t love what we are doing and that’s a fact. If we start doing what we love, the weekdays are fun and exciting. Imagine how much time you are wasting when you don’t like what you are doing when you only love Friday and Sunday. That’s a lot. Yes, you are earning money, but you aren't happy.

Technology nowadays helps us make money by doing what we love. Just like showing our video editing skills by posting it on YouTube, showing the world how we write by building a blog or self-publishing a book, showing our comedic skills and start posting it on social media for it to be viral. We have a lot of opportunities nowadays. The journey of earning money by doing what we love is hard but when we love what we do when we have a purpose that process is fun and exciting! Stop living for the weekends. Do what you like. Be You!

4. Focus on What You Can Control

A lot of us love to dwell on other people’s judgment, critics or what they to us. What happens then? We got confused and lost most of the time. We can’t control other people’s narratives, actions, feelings, thoughts, and emotions. What we can control is our own. If we focus on things that we can’t control it just wastes our energy.

The great stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius said “You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” We should stop worrying, wasting our time and energy on things outside of our control.

5. Keep your Pride and Ego In Check

When we get trophies, rewards, accomplishments, and have successful projects or business we get praised all the time. We love to be praised it feeds our ego and pride. We boast about our accomplishments and often forget where we came from. We forget the people who helped us to get where we are. If a lonely person becomes successful, he/she doesn’t look down. He/she treats the person below him/her like a garbage. We forget to be humble. We need to reflect and ask ourselves am I showing too much pride on what I achieved? Remember a lot of people are better than you yet they are humble, approachable and kind.

What if one day you wake up your life falls apart. Will pride be present when that happens? Probably not. When that happens, you will beg for help. If you remain humble all the time, people will help you and be there with you.

6. Do what you can do today.

Stop procrastinating. No need for long explanation on this rule. It isn’t hard to set up a schedule. We need to balance our binge-watching and video game hours. We have 24 hours a day. 7-8 hours of sleep, we have a lot of time left to do what matters to us. This project or tasks can be a career breakthrough for us, just think about it. We love to postpone our tasks because we love to relax and be comfortable. We forget about the long-term consequences of our actions! We love to postpone our tasks because we don’t like what we are doing. Also we are afraid of the responsibilities we are facing right now.

Procrastination is a seed of fear. This seed is the fear of success. Set up a schedule. Do what you can do today.

7. Always Stay as a Student

Once we step out of school, we always have this mindset that we will never be a student again. That mindset is wrong. Life is all about learning. If we don’t learn from our mistakes, past experiences then how can we grow as a human being? How can we grow to become a better person? We can’t. We need to be humble. Keep our pride and ego in check. (Rule 5) A successful person is always open to teachings and isn’t afraid to fail.

8. Never compare yourself to others.

Comparing ourselves is always a mistake. We forget that we are unique. Society and the media continually bombard us with these comparisons. “He has more cars than I do” “She has this expensive bag that I don’t have.” “I wish I’m as sexy and beautiful like her.” “He/She is more successful than I am..” We compare each other, but we don’t know what they are going thru or are they happy in life. We often forget about the reality of life. Stop comparing yourself to other people. You are unique. Always remember that you are whole and complete.

9. Get your house and life in order before you judge, complain and lead.

We love to criticize other people. It’s part of the human DNA. A lot of us judge other people’s actions or opinions, however, do we even look at ourselves? We rant about what he/she has achieved yet our lives are in a complete mess. We love to give solutions to things that are way past our threshold. We should do this. We should do that. What if we apply those solutions first in our life? Maybe we could have better leaders if everyone does that.

10. Be kind and grateful to every other people you meet and to yourself.

Always remember that kindness, gratefulness is power and so rare these days. When you are kind to other people and to yourself, you’ll have more opportunities in life. A lot of us always want this, this and that… we forget that we already have what we want. Life is a miracle itself. Living a materialistic lifestyle will get you nowhere. You want to live that life because you want to prove to other people that you can get what you want. Stop chasing money. Have kindness. Be grateful in life.

11. Always have a backup plan. Be ready for the worst-case scenario.

Life is always up and down. Life isn’t easy. Life will always break us. Only the strong survive. When we make plans, future projects we need to have a plan B, C, D….Z. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow. The great successful people always have a backup plan. They don’t show it to the public of course. Life is uncertain and complicated, but that’s what makes it exciting. Keep your ideas to yourself, only open up to the people closest to you, when our future self is in the worst case scenario use it as a trampoline of success.

12. Live as if this is your last day. Remember you will die.

We don’t know about the future. We only have a vision of our future self. We are afraid of death, we fear it. Nobody wants to think about death. What we should do is we should use death as a motivation to accomplish our goals and to achieve our dreams. What if we get hit by a bus tomorrow morning? What if we don’t wake up anymore? What if we get diagnosed by a sickness or a deadly disease? It doesn’t matter how old you are. Once your time is up that’s it. Just because we are young, it means that we should waste our time.

Majority of people on their deathbed are asked about what they regret. The most common sentence is “I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” Those people who said those words are even lucky that they were able to speak their regrets. What about those who didn’t die in a hospital bed? Those people who died in a freak accident. Just think about it.

Live as if this is your last day. Remember you will die.


I know that my rules have some flaws. I just wanted to keep it simple. Reflect on these rules, meditate on it. Have a conversation with yourself and ask “Is this what I want in my life? Am I just existing or living?”

#Productivity #Stoicism #Millennials #Life


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