How to be a Badass Like Jordan B Peterson
Jordan B Peterson is a quintessential badass. The NY Times best-selling author, clinical psychologist, and public figure turned YouTube star, became infamous after his interview with Cathy Newman on Channel 4 News went viral. During their debate, which covered a variety of topics from attempts to legally regulate speech, to the gender pay gap, Peterson emerged as the clear victor, squashing Newman’s amateur attempts to go toe-to-toe with the intellectual giant. Since then, Peterson’s book 12 Rules for Life: an Antidote to Chaos has dominated on best-seller lists, and he’s travelled the globe, selling out venues worldwide on his accompanying book tour.
While there are just two camps when it comes to Jordan B Peterson: you either love him, or you hate him, he is, undeniably, a powerful leader and public thinker, who has, through his writing, lectures, and interviews, influenced millions. I’ve been following Peterson and his work since he exploded on the scene, and after reading his book and watching countless interviews, I’ve synthesized his main points and have come up with 3 ways you can be a badass (in your own right), following his philosophy and rules. Here’s the list:
#1 Dare to find a meaning for your life.
Peterson believes that inherent to life is the act of suffering, as we cannot escape the trials and tragedies that come our way. Rather than resisting chaotic events (or worse, complaining about them), Peterson believes that the solution is to find meaning, despite the difficulties and upsets. So, how do you find meaning, according to Peterson? You find a reason to get up in the morning. You find something that you believe is worthwhile (something you really want, not what you think you should want), and you start becoming productive by asking yourself what it would take to make movement on your goals.
“You could force yourself through your daily grind and kick your dog in frustration when you come home. You could watch the precious days tick by. Or you could lean how to entice yourself into sustainable, productive activity…Dare, instead, to be dangerous. Dare to be truthful. Dare to articulate yourself, and express (or at least become aware of) what would really justify your life,” Peterson writes.
#2 Align your purpose with a Higher Good.
An integral aspect of creating a meaningful life is aligning with a Higher Good. Peterson suggests that the way to create the most fulfilling life is to think about the greater good and consider what you can contribute. There are so many areas to focus on in the world, it’s important to pick one that you care about and devote yourself entirely. When you step back from your individual desire and set your focus on something more, something higher, you experience more joy and fulfillment. Oftentimes, we are so concerned with our small, individual desires: to have lots of money, buy a new car, and keep up with our appearances, that we lose sight of the bigger picture.
“Aim high. Set your sights on the betterment of Being. Align yourself, in your soul, with Truth and the Highest Good. There is habitable order to establish and beauty to bring into existence. There is evil to overcome, suffering to ameliorate, and yourself to better,” says Peterson.
#3 Have faith.
Joseph Campbell said, “Leap and the net will appear.” If you want to be a badass like Peterson, you have to be willing to surrender your own will to a Higher will, that of God; and that willingness to turn your life over to something of greater significance is no small act. It requires incredible faith, which is ballsy.
“…you have to risk your particular, individual life to find out. It is this risk that the ancients described as the sacrifice of personal will to the will of God. It is not an act of submission (at least as submission is currently understood). It is an act of courage. It is faith that the wind will blow your ship to a new and better port.”
To make real change (to go to another port), you must have faith. You must trust that you are not the sole reason your ship is moving, but that there are energies beyond what you can see that are contributing to your movement and success.
If you find meaning, align your purpose with a Higher Good, and have faith, you too, can be a badass like Jordie B. While you might not find that the Universe wants you to contest new laws, get in fights with television personalities, or constantly appear on Joe Rogan’s podcast, it might ask you to adopt some of Peterson’s swagger and ask yourself: How can I really make a change in this world? When you start each day with that question and from that mindset, you begin to step into your true power and become a real badass.