Today we’re going to learn from Jordan Peterson and some of his most amazing moments.
What’s up Believe Nation? It’s Evan. My one word is believe, and I believe that you have the ability to create something special that will help change the planet. So to help you in your journey, I started the Mentor Me series, and the goal here is to try to hang around people who have done a lot more than us, who achieve massive success, and hopefully by hanging around them a little bit longer, some of their mindsets or attitudes or beliefs, the way they see the world, will seep into us to help us become the best version of ourselves.
Jordan B. Peterson’s Amazing Moments
#1: Stop Wasting Opportunities
My experience is with people that we’re probably running at about at 51% of our capacity. So, you can think about this yourselves. I often ask undergraduates, how many hours a day you waste, or how many hours a week you waste. The classic answer is something like four to six hours a day.
Ya know, inefficient studying, watching things on YouTube, that not only do you not want to watch that you don’t even care about that make you feel horrible about watching after your done. That’s probably four hours right there.
Now, you think, well that’s 25 hours a week, it’s 100 hours a month, that’s 2 1/2 full work weeks, it’s half a year of work weeks per year. And if your time is worth $20 an hour, which is a radical underestimate. It’s probably more like $50 if you think about it in terms of deferred wages.
If you’re wasting 20 hours a week, you’re wasting $50,000 a year. And you are doing that right now. It’s because you’re young, wasting $50,000 a year is a way bigger catastrophe than it would be for me to waste it, because I’m not going to last nearly as long.
And so if your life isn’t everything it could be, you could ask yourself, well, what would happen if you just stopped wasting the opportunities that are in front of you? You’d be who knows how much more efficient, ten times more efficient, 20 times more efficient.
That’s the Pareto distribution. You have no idea how efficient efficient people get. It’s completely off the charts. Well, and if we all got our act together collectively, and stopped making things worse, because that’s another thing people do all the time.
Not only do they not do what they should to make things better, they actively attempt to make things worse because they’re spiteful or resentful or arrogant or deceitful or homicidal or genocidal, or all of those things all bundled together, in an absolutely pathological package.
If people stopped really, really trying just to make things worse, we have no idea how much better they would get just because of that.
#2: Toughen Up!
You are actually tougher than you think. You never knew that. And maybe you didn’t want to take on the responsibility. Because, you know, people play a role in their own demise, so to speak. When you had an opportunity to go out and explore or withdraw because you were afraid, you chose to withdraw because you were afraid.
So it’s not only that you were over-protected often, it’s that you were willing to take advantage of the fact that you were overprotected and run back there whenever you had the opportunity. So maybe you’re a kid in the playground, and you’re having trouble with other kids, and you know in the back of your mind, I should deal with this myself.
But you go and tell you mom and get her to intervene. And you know that that’s not right. You know that you’re breaking the social contract, but it’s easier, so that’s what you do. You run off to an authority figure, and hide behind the great father, roughly speaking.
Well, the problem with that is you don’t learn how to do it yourself. So then you have to relearn it painfully when you’re 40. So then you take people out, and you say, what are you afraid of? Rank it from one to ten. So ten, make a list of ten things you’re afraid of.
The thing you’re least afraid of, we’ll call number ten. So we’ll start with that. Okay, well I’m afraid of elevators. Okay, well let’s look at a picture of an elevator. Let’s have you imagine being in an elevator. Let’s go up to an elevator and let you watch the terrible jaws of death open, because that’s how you respond to it symbolically. Right?
And you’re going to do that at the closest proximity you can manage. You find out you go do that, it works. You’re nervous as hell, especially from an anticipatory perspective. Shaking. You go out, you stop, you watch it happen, and you actually calm down.
You do that ten times, it no longer bothers you. Well, what you’ve learned that you didn’t die, but more importantly than that, you’ve learned that you can withstand the threat of death. That’s what you’ve learned. Then you move a little closer, and then you move a little closer, and then you move a little closer, and finally you’re back in what’s no longer the elevator from a symbolic perspective. It’s a tube.
It’s a place of enclosure and isolation. And you learn, it turns out I can withstand that. And then you’re much more together, much more confident. And that’s often one of the things that often happens in situations like that. I’ve seen this multiple times, is that If you run someone through an exposure training process like that and toughen them up, they’ll often start standing up to people around them in a way they never did before.
#3: Stop Doing The Wrong Things
Stop doing the things that you know are wrong, that you couldn’t stop doing. Right? So, it’s a fairly limited attempt. First of all, we’re not going to say that you know what the good is or what the truth is in any ultimate sense. But we will presume that there are things you’re doing that for one reason or another you know are not in your best interest. There’s something about them that you just know you should just stop. They’re kind of self-evident to you.
Other things you’re going to be doubtful about, you’re not going to know which way is up and which way is down. But there are things that you’re doing that you know you shouldn’t do. Now some of those you won’t stop doing, for whatever reason.
You don’t have the discipline, or maybe there’s a secondary payoff, or you don’t believe it’s necessary, or it’s too much of a sacrifice, or you’re angry or resentful, or afraid. Who knows? So forget about those for now. But there’s another subset that you could stop doing.
It might be little things. Well, that’s fine. Stop doing it, and see what happens. And what will happen is, you’re vision will clear a little bit. And then something else will pop up, and you feel the apprehension that you will also know you should stop doing, and that you could stop doing, because you strengthened yourself a bit by stopping doing the particular stupid thing that you were doing before.
That just puts you together a little bit more. And you could do that repeatedly for an indefinite period of time. And that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to ever be able to formulate a clear and final picture of what constitutes the truth and the good. But it does mean that you’ll be able to continually move away from what’s untrue and what’s bad. And you know, that’s not a bad start.
#4: Get A Routine
No one can live without a routine. Just forget that. If you guys don’t have a routine, I would recommend that you get one going, because you cannot be mentally healthy without a routine. You need to pick a time to get up, whatever time you want, but pick one and stick to it, because otherwise, you dis-regulate your circadian rhythms, and they regulate your mood.
And eat something in the morning. I have lots of clients who have anxiety disorders. I had one client who was literally starving, very smart girl. There was very little that she liked. She kind of tried to subsist on half a cup of rice a day. She came to me and said, I have no energy.
I come home. All I want to do is watch the same movie over and over. Is that weird? And I thought, it depends on how hard you work. It’s a little weird, but whatever. It’s familiar, and you’re looking for comfort. So I did an analysis of her diet, and it’s like 3/4 cup of rice.
It’s like, you’re starving. Eat something. Ya know, you’ll feel better. So, she modified her diet, and all of her anxiety went away, and she had some energy. It was like, yeah, you got to eat. So, a schedule. That’s a good thing, man. Your brain will thank you for it, It will stabilize your nervous system. When it’s a bit of a plan, that’s a good thing.
#5: Don’t be Harmless
Well if you’re harmless, you’re not virtuous. You’re just harmless. You’re like a rabbit. A rabbit isn’t virtuous. It just can’t do anything except get eaten. It’s not virtuous. If you’re a monster, and you don’t act monstrously, then you’re virtuous. But you also have to be a monster.
Well, you see this all the time. Harry Potter’s like that, too. It’s like he’s flawed, he’s hurt, he’s got evil in him, he can talk to snakes, man. He breaks rules all the time. All the time. He’s not obedient at all. But, you know, he has a good reason for breaking the rules.
And if he couldn’t break the rules, him and his little clique of rule-breaking trouble-makers, if they didn’t break the rules, they wouldn’t obtain the highest goal. So it’s very peculiar, but it’s a very, very, very common mythological notion. The hero has to be, the hero has to be a monster, but a controlled monster. Batman is like that. Ya know, it’s everywhere, it’s the story you always hear.
#6: Stop Saying Things Make you Weak
I started to pay very careful attention to what I was saying. I don’t know if that happened voluntarily or involuntarily, but I could feel a sort of split developing in my psyche. And this split, and I’ve actually had students tell me the same thing has happened to them after they’ve listened to some of the material that I’ve been describing to all of you.
But, it’s split into two, let’s say, and one part was the, let’s say, the old me that was talking a lot, and that liked to argue and that liked ideas, and there was another part that was watching that part, just with its eyes open, and neutrally judging, and the part that was neutrally judging, was watching the part that was talking and going, that isn’t your idea.
You don’t really believe that. You don’t really know what you’re talking about. That isn’t true. And I thought, hmmm, that’s really interesting. And that was happening to like 95% of what I was saying, so then I didn’t really know what to do. I thought, okay, this is strange. So maybe I fragmented enough, just not a good thing at all.
It wasn’t like I was hearing voices or anything like that. It wasn’t like that. It was, well, people have multiple parts. So then I had this weird conundrum, and I was like, well which of these two things are me? Is it the part that listening and saying, no, that’s rubbish, that’s a lie.
You’re doing that to impress people. You’re just trying to win the argument, ya know. Was that me or was the part that was going about my normal verbal business me? And I didn’t know, but I decided I would go with the critic. Then what I tried to do, what I learned to do, I think, was to stop saying things that made me weak.
I mean, I’m still trying to do that, because I’m always feeling that when I talk, whether or not the words I’m saying are either making me align or come apart. And I think the alignment, I really do think alignment is the right way of conceptualizing it.
Because I think if you say things that are as true as you can say them, let’s say, then they come up, they come out of the depths inside of you, because we don’t know where thoughts come from. We don’t know how far down into your sub-structure that thoughts emerge.
We don’t know what processes of physiological alignment are necessary for you to speak from the core of your being. We don’t understand any of that. We don’t even conceptualize that. But I believe that you can feel that.
And I learned some of that from reading Carl Rogers, by the way, who’s a great clinician. Because he talked about mental health, in part, as the coherence between the spiritual or the abstract, and the physical. That the two things were aligned.
And there’s a lot of idea of alignment in psychoanalytic and clinical thinking. But anyways, I decided that I would start practicing not saying things that would make me weak, and what happened was that I had to stop saying almost everything that I was saying.
I would say 95% of it. It’s a hell of a shock to wake up, I mean, this was over a few months, but it’s a hell of a shock to wake up and realize that you’re mostly dead wood. It’s a shock. Ya know, and you might think, well do you really want all of that to burn off? Well, there’s nothing left but a little husk, 5% of you. It’s like, well, if that 5% is solid, then maybe that’s exactly what you want to have happen.
Thank you guys so much. I hope you enjoyed. I’d love to know what did you learn from this article that you’re going to immediately apply somehow to your life or your business? What was the single most important lesson that you learned? Leave it in the comments below. I’m really curious to find out.
I also want to give a quick shout-out to Surge Wisdom. Thank you so much for picking up a copy of my book, Your One Word, and for doing multiple reviews on the book for each chapter. You can go check it out on this channel. I really appreciate the support, and I’m so glad you enjoyed the book.
So thank you guys again. I believe in you, and I hope you continue to believe in yourself and whatever your one word is, much love, and I’ll see you soon.