Jordan Peterson, professor of psychology, clinical psychologist, author and YouTube personality, shares why you need to discipline yourself, pursue meaning not happiness and don’t waste your life.
Special thanks to Lewis Howes for providing this interview! To watch the full interview see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylTHKT4HSBc
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“Aim at something. Discipline yourself. Or suffer the consequences. Make a damn schedule and stick to it. Set it up so you have the day that you want!”
― Jordan Peterson
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Jordan Peterson is North America’s most popular psychologist. He is a professor at the University of Toronto and focuses on abnormal, social and personality psychology.
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What do you want in your life it's a Very hard question to answer you're Going to have to put some effort into Your life set up some aims for yourself Goals that you actually value you need To be motivated to do that if you're Extroverted you want friends if you're Agreeable you want an intimate Relationship if you're disagreeable you Want to win competitions if you're open You want to engage in Creative activity If you're high neuroticism you want Security so now you've got your thing Day Matt think well I'm motivated Because I got my thing to aim at it's Like you're not as motivated as you Could be because you don't yet have your Thing to run away from because if you Really want to be motivated you want to Be going somewhere and you want to be Not going somewhere else you gotta aim At something otherwise your life is Meaningless well what should you aim at Well pick something aim at it as you Move toward it you'll get wiser then Maybe your aim will change that's okay But at least it'll change in an informed Way discipline yourself in one dimension See what happens in some sense life is a Game the analogy is that in in life like In sports you're setting forth a name And then arranging your perceptions and Your actions and pursuit and that you Also generally do it while cooperating
And competing with other people so That's also the game-like element as Well okay so once you get your goal Structure set up you think okay if I Could have this life looks like that Might be worth living despite the fact That it's going to be anxiety provoking And threatening and there's going to be Some suffering and loss involved in all Of that the goal is to to have a vision For your life such that all things Considered that justifies your effort Put yourself in the right frame of mind Treat yourself like you're someone Responsible for helping you're someone That you are responsible for helping so What that means is you have to start From the presupposition that despite all Your flaws and insufficiencies that it's Worth having you around and that it Would be okay if things were better for You it's like if you want to have Everything you could possibly want and More then be a good person The better a person you are the more Likely that is to happen that doesn't Mean you that you're completely Protected against getting cut off at the Knees but there's no better strategy Then what do you do Well then then you turn down to the Micro routines it's like okay well this Is what I'm aiming for how does that Instantiate itself day to day week to
Week month to month and that's where Something like a schedule can be Unbelievably useful Google Calendar it's Like make a damn schedule and stick to It okay so what's the rule with the Schedule It's not a bloody prison That's the first thing that people do Wrong they say well I don't like to Follow a schedule it's like well what Kind of schedule are you setting up well I have to do this then I have to do this Then I have to do this you know and then I just go play video games because who Wants to do all these things that I have To do it's like wrong set the damn Schedule up So that you have the day you want that's The trick it's like okay I've got Tomorrow if I was going to set it up so It was the best possible day I could Have Practically speaking what would it look Like Well then you schedule that and Obviously there's a bit of Responsibility that's going to go along With that because if you have any sense One of the things that you're going to Insist upon is that at the end of the Day you're not in worse shape than you Were that then at the beginning of the Day right because that's a stupid day if You have a bunch of those in a row you
Just dig you know you dig yourself a Hole and then you bury yourself and it's Like sorry that's just not a good Strategy now it's okay now you've got Your vision you're trying to get through A territory you don't understand and Here's your option no map A map that's not so good but has some Things about it or a great map well Obviously the great map is the thing you Want but the the map that something is Way better than the map that's nothing Plus as you explore because of your map You can start to fill in the details Let's say you you aim at something and You and you develop some skills along The way and then you get like a third of The way there and you think oh that's Not for me it's like well yeah fair Enough but now you've still got the Skills you've developed you know exactly Why it's not for you now and then you Can bring that wisdom back even though It's not perfect you can bring it back To your next plan and so as you plan you Get better at planning which is the Crucial thing so then we say to people Take your positive vision and make it Into eight Sustainable goals right so and then rank Them in a hierarchy break the goals into Incremental goals so that you have a Reasonable probability of succeedings in Some time frame that's the other thing
You have to parameterize it with regards To time frame that's right and when You're in the zone you're expanding your Skills At in a manner that's intrinsically Rewarding because you're succeeding and So you want to set if you're good to Yourself you think okay I need to set a Goal but I need to set a goal that Someone as stupid and useless as me Could probably attain if they put some Effort into it right and then you go Then you've got it perfectly because It's not so high that it's grandiose or Impossible that you fail necessarily and Then justify your bitterness well I set A goal and I didn't attain it so I'm not Going to set any more goals right it's Like no you set a goal that was Inappropriate and you're playing a trick On yourself because you want it to fail So that you could justify not having to Try which isn't helpful you're still Going to be a victim it's like there's No way out of that man so you know Because life is this life is a challenge That in some sense can't be surmounted So there's no way out of your problem But there are certainly proper ways of Dealing with it and then the next thing Is okay you need a rationale for them Because you're going to have doubts and Other kind of people are going to put up Obstacles why would it be good for you
Okay why would it be good for your Family if you attain that goal why would It be good for the broader Community Because if it's a good goal it should be Good for you that's fine but if it's a Really good goal it should be good for You in a way that's good for other People win win yes exactly and you and If you're going to decide what your Goals are why not set up the ones that Benefit the largest number of people Simultaneously yes if you can do that You should start with your own concerns Because you have to take care of Yourself because it needs first yes put Your own oxygen mask on then put your Child's oxygen mask on yeah right and Then you can as you as you build up the Basis of competence locally you might Develop enough skills so that you can Expand that outward and it also gives Your goal a certain amount of nobility And so and if someone challenges you and Says well why are you doing that that Seems stupid you could say I'm doing That because it helps me take care of Myself but it benefits my family and Here's the reasons why and this is the Repercussions out into the broader Community people who are putting up Objections and doubts aren't aren't Armed to deal with that kind of response Wants and then when you have those Doubts in your mind that plague you say
Why why am I doing this oh yeah it's Because well I have to take care of Myself because otherwise I'm pathetic And useless and bitter and cruel and Then I'm going somewhere terrible so That's a bad idea and here's how it Would help my family and here's how it Would help the community and that's good Enough set of reasons for it unless I Can think of better ones right right if Without better ones that's good enough When the unknown emerges you tend to Experience anxiety And then there's the the known and I Define the known very specifically and Very carefully the known is the place You are When what you're doing result produces The results you want And I say want because that brings Motivation and emotion into the game so You're motivated to pursue something you Pursue it and what you want happens not Only do you get what you want but you Get validation for the structure that Governs your perceptions and your Actions [Music] Foreign [Music] [Music]