(VIDEO) Jordan Peterson: Rule #2 Routines, Discipline and Casual Sex.

Top 3 Post Insights:

  1.  Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping.

  2. Casual sex is not a noble ambition.

  3. Define who you are, refine your personality.

Rule #2 treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping.

Why do we need routines or discipline? What's wrong with casual sex?

Why do we treat our pets better than ourselves? We’d happily fork out $2,000 on an operation for our dog, but when it comes to the dentist, we’d rather keep the coin for our pockets. We LOVE and ADORE our pets, but we don’t love and adore ourselves.

Jordan Peterson uses this chapter to remind us we’re worthy of being taken care of… by ourselves. Sure, we can be brats, bitches and dickheads sometimes, but we have a moral obligation to treat ourselves with the upmost respect and care.

Why? Because believe it or not, we play a huge part in the unfolding of life. Jordan Peterson often uses Stalin for example, the ruthless Soviet leader who created the worst man made famine in history –killing more than 25 million people (more deaths than Holocaust). Who created this monster, how did his mother treat him, what did his teachers say to him? We might not know it today, but we all have a weave to play in this tapestry of life.

So anyways I’ve broken the chapter down into 3 sections.

1.    Chaos and Order

2.    Consciousness

3.    Self-Respect and Care

1. Chaos and Order

The chapter starts with the concept of chaos and order, in which we can’t have one without the other. Chaos, a feminine energy, is the infinite possibility of ideas. Order, is the masculine energy of systematic stability. Too much chaos is anarchy and too much order is tyranny. Which is why we need a foot in both worlds.

He uses the Taoism Yin and Yang symbol as an example. The white swirl being chaos, the black is order. The inverted dot in the middle is a reminder that we all have a little bit of the other in us. The line in the middle is the path between chaos and order, it’s the path we should be taking.

Right now, I can definitely say my life is much more chaotic than orderly. So reading this section was a real kick up the but. I particularly like this quote:

“Place one foot in what you have mastered an understood and then the other in what you are currently exploring and mastering.” (pg 48).

It also reminded me of this quote (not in the book):

“Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.”
― Gustave Flaubert

I think as we shift careers and passions, it’s important to have some sort of routine or order in our lives (aka. stay on top of life admin). In a more practical sense, make your bed in the morning, wash your tea cups or don't leave your day job as soon as you have a new business idea (cultivate your side idea whilst keeping a steady income before you make the jump).


2. Consciousness

Humans are the only self-conscious animals. Dogs eat other dog’s dried shit, lick their private parts and shit on the footpath. They’re innocent things who have no awareness. Now there might be some humans who do this, but for the most part, we’re a little more civilised.

This gives us reason to treat ourselves with a higher regard than the animals. Not in an arrogant sense, but because we have extra knowledge about mortality (life, death, healthy not healthy, ethics and crime), we should live accordingly.

So, parent yourself per se. Eat a slice of cake don’t have the whole cake, be honest with who you are dating, pick up the dog’s shit on the foot path, call or msg the person you missed a call from, take ownership for missing a work deadline.

Or think about the 40 year old version of you. Sounds weird, but I often write letters to myself from a 40 year old Liz. By putting yourself in ‘future self’ shoes, you begin to talk to yourself from a wiser yet relatable version of you.


3.Self Respect and Care.

Knowing what makes you happy is different to what's good for you. For example, casual sex. If you are single, sex is a common want. But here’s what JP had to say about the ramifications of casual sex:

 “The problem with treating other people as casual sexual partners, is that you simultaneously treat yourself that way. I don’t think that does you any good, to be a ‘casual’ partner. It’s not a particularly noble ambition, you should be able to be more than that.”

Arghh, shit. Thanks Papa JP.. Anyways, the ending of this chapter is a reminder to define who you are and refine your personality.

  •  Have direction in your life, do what you can to limit the extent of chaos in your life and restructure the order in your life.
  • Articulate your own principles, so that you can defend yourself or play with integrity.
  • Discipline yourself but also reward yourself with an almond croissant so you can keep motivated.
  • Choose where you want to go and articulate your being.


Here are my own 10 principles (which I literally just made up now!):

1.    Be open to listening to other people’s opinions, even if they don’t align with my views.

2.    Accept what isn’t meant to be without resentment.

3.    Don’t be on the phone in front of people.

4.    If in an argument, respond with reason don’t react with emotion.

5.    Don’t stay out for the sake of it. If I’m not feeling it (eg. the bar, the environment, the date) go home.

6.    Walk with confidence but always have a friendly smile.

7.    Fess up when I’ve fucked something up. Take responsibility.

8.    Don’t bad mouth other people just because they’re doing something different to me.

9.    Work extremely hard, but take a stand when a) A client is expecting too much and B) When my body needs a time out.  

10. Say “Thanks and have a great day too” to people in service roles (ie. Check outs, baristas, wait staff), you’d be surprise how much it makes them smile.

So there you go kids, another rule down and hopefully a bit more clarity around ‘how we can be in the world’ (according to Jordan Peterson and yours truly lol).

See you next week! xx

Liz PalComment