12 Rules for Life Book Review

“12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos” by Jordan Peterson is a captivating blend of practical advice, psychological insights, and philosophical musings that aims to help us navigate the complexities of life. Having read it myself, I’ll share my thoughts and opinions on this bestseller, exploring its key messages and how they resonate with me.

1 Sentence Summary:

“12 Rules for Life” offers a profound guide to living a meaningful and purposeful life by providing 12 practical rules that encompass everything from personal responsibility to understanding the human condition.

12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson

Title12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos
AuthorJordan B. Peterson
GenreSelf Help
Publication DateJanuary 16, 2018
Length409 pages

Where to Purchase

Best Quotes from the Book:

  1. “Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today.”
    • This quote emphasizes the importance of personal growth and self-improvement. It encourages us to focus on our own progress rather than constantly measuring ourselves against others. It’s a powerful reminder that the journey of self-betterment is unique to each individual.
  2. “To stand up straight with your shoulders back is to accept the terrible responsibility of life, with eyes wide open.”
    • Peterson stresses the significance of adopting a confident and assertive posture. This goes beyond physical appearance; it symbolizes the courage to face life’s challenges head-on. It’s a call to confront adversity and chaos with strength and resilience.
  3. “Treat yourself as someone you are responsible for helping.”
    • This rule urges us to extend the same care and compassion to ourselves as we would to others. It touches upon the concept of self-compassion and emphasizes the importance of self-care as a foundation for helping others effectively.
  4. “Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world.”
    • Peterson argues that we should address our own flaws and shortcomings before attempting to change the world. This rule encourages self-reflection and personal accountability as a prerequisite for making a positive impact on the larger scale.
  5. “Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them.”
    • This rule delves into the importance of parenting and the impact it has on the future of society. It encourages parents to set boundaries and instill discipline while also fostering a loving and nurturing environment for their children.

Book Summary

“12 Rules for Life” offers readers a comprehensive guide to leading a more purposeful and fulfilling life. Jordan Peterson draws upon his background in psychology, mythology, and philosophy to provide practical advice for personal growth and self-improvement. Each of the 12 rules is supported by anecdotes, psychological insights, and references to literature and myth.

The book’s central theme revolves around the idea that life is inherently challenging and chaotic. However, by taking responsibility for our own lives, confronting our fears, and striving for self-improvement, we can find meaning and order amid the chaos. Peterson’s rules serve as a roadmap for readers to navigate this journey toward a more meaningful existence.

Book Review

Jordan Peterson’s writing style is both engaging and thought-provoking. He seamlessly combines academic knowledge with personal anecdotes, making complex ideas accessible to a broad audience. His use of storytelling and references to literature and mythology adds depth to the book’s content, making it not only informative but also captivating.

The book’s rules are generally easy to understand, and Peterson’s writing style ensures that readers can relate to the examples he provides. However, some readers might find certain sections of the book a bit dense, particularly when he delves deeply into philosophical and psychological concepts. Additionally, while the anecdotes are powerful, a few more practical, real-life examples could have been included to help readers apply the rules more effectively.

Comparing “12 Rules for Life” to other self-help and personal development books, what sets it apart is its unique blend of psychology, philosophy, and mythology. Peterson offers a fresh perspective on personal growth, emphasizing the importance of individual responsibility and self-improvement. While many self-help books focus on positive thinking and affirmation, Peterson takes a more nuanced approach, encouraging readers to confront the complexities of life with courage and honesty.

This Book is Recommended For:

  1. Individuals Seeking Personal Growth: If you’re on a journey of self-discovery and personal improvement, “12 Rules for Life” provides valuable insights and actionable advice.
  2. Parents and Caregivers: The book offers valuable guidance on parenting, emphasizing the importance of setting boundaries and fostering a loving environment for children.
  3. Those Facing Chaos and Uncertainty: In a world filled with challenges and chaos, this book offers a roadmap for finding meaning and order in your life.
  4. Anyone Interested in Psychology and Philosophy: If you have an interest in psychology and philosophy, you’ll appreciate the deep insights and references in the book.

Small Actionable Steps You Can Do:

  1. Rule 1: “Stand up straight with your shoulders back” – Start by improving your posture. Good posture not only makes you appear more confident but can also boost your self-esteem over time.
  2. Rule 2: “Treat yourself as someone you are responsible for helping” – Practice self-compassion by taking time for self-care. It can be as simple as setting aside a few minutes each day to relax and reflect.
  3. Rule 3: “Make friends with people who want the best for you” – Evaluate your social circle and prioritize relationships that are supportive and nurturing.
  4. Rule 4: “Compare yourself to who you were yesterday” – Set achievable daily goals for self-improvement and track your progress over time.
  5. Rule 5: “Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them” – As a parent, establish clear boundaries and communicate your expectations with love and understanding.


  • Michael Corbin

    Michael Corbin stands out as a dynamic content writer which combines his dual passions for self-help and digital marketing literature. A fervent believer in the transformative power of books, Michael delves deep into self-help titles, extracting valuable lessons and insights that he actively integrates into his daily life. Simultaneously, his keen interest in digital marketing books has not only expanded his knowledge but has also played a pivotal role in the success of his business ventures. Always on a quest for self-improvement and growth, Michael's reviews are a testament to his commitment to personal and professional development. His writings offer readers a unique perspective, as they are infused with real-world applications and experiences derived from the books he reviews. For those seeking to elevate their personal lives or enhance their business strategies, Michael Corbin's reviews serve as a trusted guide, pointing them to the most impactful and actionable books in the realms of self-help and digital marketing. His relentless pursuit of knowledge and betterment makes him an invaluable asset to the literary community and an inspiration to readers and entrepreneurs alike.

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