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ITT 143: Turning Chaos into Order with Dr. Jordan Peterson

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Jordan Peterson on In The Trenches with Tom MorkesDr. Jordan Peterson is a professor at the University of Toronto, a clinical psychologist and the author of 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief, and many scientific papers which have been cited literally thousands of times (according to Google Scholar Citations). As a Harvard professor, he was nominated for the prestigious Levinson Teaching Prize, and his classroom lectures on mythology and psychology, based on his book Maps of Meaning, were turned into a popular 13-part TV series on TVO.

I first stumbled across Dr. Peterson’s work via his Maps of Meaning lecture series on YouTube. Within minutes I was hooked, and proceeded to binge watched more than 24 hours of these lectures, which use the story of Pinocchio to articulate the way in which you and I act in the world, the deeply biological origin of “meaning” and “sacrifice,” and how we can better navigate the world through understanding stories, meta-stories, and archetypes.

If you had told me two years ago that my favorite videos on YouTube would be a professor’s university lecture series on YouTube, I would have called you crazy. But that’s a testament to Dr. Peterson; how he can take topics that could be seen as otherwise mundane or cliche, and turn it into a compelling narrative that gives the best Hollywood films a run for their money.

Unsurprisingly, Dr. Peterson’s YouTube channel, Jordan Peterson Videos, which features his university and public lectures (including his recent 15-part biblical series), has over 1 million subscribers, with 10s of millions of views.

In this broadcast, Jordan Peterson and I talk about:

  • Dr. Peterson’s morning routine
  • How Dr. Peterson creates time to write (and why it’s so important to develop a practice of writing)
  • How Dr. Peterson uses Twitter to develop content for his blog
  • What Dr. Peterson means when he says “Don’t let bullies get away with it” (from a Quora response that’s generated over 326,000 views and more than 5,000 upvotes)
  • The difference between meaning and suffering; why you should strengthen the former and reduce the latter to lead the best life you possibly can, and why courage is so important
  • What Dr. Peterson thinks of Nassim Taleb (including how several of their ideas align, including the concept of antifragility and “skin in the game,” and his interest in having a conversation with Taleb)
  • Why the hard-right / hard-left dichotomy is an imperfect, if practical way to navigate the complexity of our modern political environment
  • How to raise your kids traditionally, without sheltering them (this is an answer to a reader question)

And much more.

How to connect with Jordan Peterson online:

View this interview with Jordan Peterson on YouTube:

Great quote from Jordan Peterson:

“Here’s something you can do with your life: devote it to making everything you possibly can better, and see what happens. Tell the truth, aim high, and make things better – see where you can get with that.” – @jordanbpeterson

If you enjoyed today’s podcast, please leave a review on iTunes here. Thanks so much in advance for your support.

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