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Beyond Order

12 More Rules for Life

By Jordan B. Peterson
21-minute read
Audio available
Beyond Order by Jordan B. Peterson

Beyond Order (2021) is a prescription for how to navigate the complexities of modern life. While Peterson’s previous work warned of the danger of excessive chaos, this new guide to living details the perils of too much rigid order.

  • Disorganized thinkers looking to clean up their mental room
  • Inactive dreamers in need of some motivation
  • Anyone looking for a little direction in life

Jordan B. Peterson is a clinical psychologist, professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, and well-known YouTube personality. He’s the author of Maps of Meaning and the best-selling self-help book 12 Rules for Life.

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Beyond Order

12 More Rules for Life

By Jordan B. Peterson
  • Read in 21 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 13 key ideas
Upgrade to Premium Read or listen now
Beyond Order by Jordan B. Peterson
Synopsis

Beyond Order (2021) is a prescription for how to navigate the complexities of modern life. While Peterson’s previous work warned of the danger of excessive chaos, this new guide to living details the perils of too much rigid order.

Key idea 1 of 13

Social institutions are essential to an individual’s success.

Early psychologists like Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung loved to take deep dives into an individual’s mind. They believed that hidden within each person were powerful psychological forces called the id, ego, and superego. These forces roughly corresponded to one’s base urges, personal identity, and higher social calling. And the way these forces interacted determined a person's mental state.

While this model surely provided important insights, it leaves out too much. Namely, it ignores all the outside elements which can shape your mind – things like your social status, educational background, and economic outlook. These exterior forces can also have a powerful effect on your mental state.

The truth is, people don’t grow, develop, or think in isolation. We are social creatures and the structures of our social world are essential for keeping us sane.

The key message here is: Social institutions are essential to an individual’s success.

The world that surrounds us is complex, chaotic, and filled with possibilities. Deciding how to interact with this diverse landscape is a daunting task. It’s so daunting that you probably rely on outside forces to help you decide your actions. You look to friends and family for guidance, you follow laws laid out by governments and schools, and often pick up on subtle social cues to determine how to behave in different situations and contexts.

By looking to these outside forces, you can reduce the complexity of the world and more easily find the best course of action. Consider this: Everyone needs food and shelter to survive. You can obtain these essentials in a myriad of ways – you can build a hut in the woods or try stealing food from a neighbor’s house. Yet, by looking to laws and social norms, you see the best way to survive is to have a job, earn money, and buy these items. In this way, the social world gives you a manageable path to follow.

You started learning how to read these social signposts from the very moment you were born. As you grow, you acquire more skills, knowledge, and experiences that help you better navigate the world. You learn what is valuable, how to solve problems, and how to act in ways that benefit yourself and those around you. You also learn when established social rules are inadequate and when to strategically challenge or break them.

If you continually apply yourself to this process you will gradually raise your status in the social hierarchy by acquiring many friends, making lots of money, or becoming distinguished in your chosen field. We’ll look at this process more in the next blink.

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