12 Rules for Life
Jordan Peterson
Contributed by Nina Calhoun
Chapter 7

Many people look at the satisfaction of the needs of today at the expense of the needs of tomorrow. To manipulate the fundamentals of reality for better development, individuals must sacrifice the present for the benefit of tomorrow. There are many times in life where an individual must make decisions that can greatly impact the present or the future. Peterson says that "It's time to let go. It might even be time to sacrifice what you love best so that you can become who you might become, instead of staying who you are." He indicates that some present practices, values, and beliefs have tremendous effects on the personal development of individuals. At times, the decision to drop certain things that you may love or enjoy can be the catalyst for future success.


In many situations, the world can be responsible for the calamities humans experience. The chaos may result from natural catastrophes that is beyond the control of mankind. However, there are many instances in which humans are responsible for tragedies because of certain choices they make. In many cases, individuals tend to sacrifice the benefits of tomorrow for the short-term gains of the present times. According to Peterson, this tendency emphasizes that living a life that satisfies momentary desires is the greatest enemy of progress. Alluding to the challenges that humans face today, Peterson says that, "sometimes, when things are not going well, it’s not the world that’s the cause. The cause is instead that which is currently most valued, subjectively and personally." Rather than placing blame on others or larger events that are out of their control, individuals must acknowledge, understand, and take responsibility for the consequences of their own decisions. If they are successful in doing so, they can improve their future greatly.

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