Jordan Peterson Quotes

Who is Jordan Peterson?

Canadian, psychologist, cultural critic and professor all in one person? That's Jordan Bernt Peterson!

His second book, '12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos', gained him a huge following as well as a lot of haters. If it wasn't for Bernt, then 'controversial' would have been his middle name.

Born June 12, 1962

Books by Jordan Peterson


Best 110 Quotes by Jordan Peterson

“A certain amount of creativity and rebellion must be tolerated - or welcomed, depending on your point of view - to maintain the process of regeneration. Every rule was once a creative act, breaking other rules.”

Jordan Peterson
Beyond Order

“A harmless man is not a good man. A good man is a very, very dangerous man who has it under voluntary control.”

Jordan Peterson

“Always place your becoming above your current being.”

Jordan Peterson
12 Rules for Life

“An artist constantly risks falling fully into chaos, instead of transforming it.”

Jordan Peterson
Beyond Order

“Assume the person you are listening to knows something you don’t.”

Jordan Peterson
12 Rules for Life

“Be grateful in spite of your suffering.”

Jordan Peterson

“Be precise in your speech.”

Jordan Peterson
12 Rules for Life

“Beware of intellectuals who make a monotheism out of their theories of motivation.”

Jordan Peterson
Beyond Order

“Beyond Good and Evil—to think of it as a book is a really foolish framework. Because this is what a book is when people think about a book:

“It’s like a material entity. It’s eight inches high and six inches wide and two inches thick and weighs a pound, and it’s made out of paper and its between two covers. And that’s the materialist’s a priori sort of axiomatic view of a book. But Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil isn’t a book at all. It’s a series of bombs, and each sentence is a bomb. And each sentence blows things up that people didn’t even know exist.”

Jordan Peterson

“Can you imagine yourself in 10 years if, instead of avoiding the things you know you should do, you actually did them every single day? That’s powerful.”

Jordan Peterson

“Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today.”

Jordan Peterson

“Dialogue is the pathway to truth.”

Jordan Peterson

“Do not bother children while they are skateboarding.”

Jordan Peterson
12 Rules for Life

“Do not do things that you hate.”

Jordan Peterson

“Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them.”

Jordan Peterson

“Don't avoid something frightening if it stands in your way.”

Jordan Peterson

“Don’t be a slave to stupid rules.”

Jordan Peterson

“Don’t ever underestimate the destructive power of sins of omission.”

Jordan Peterson
12 Rules for Life

“Don’t underestimate the power of vision and direction. These are irresistible forces, able to transform what might appear to be unconquerable obstacles into traversable pathways and expanding opportunities. Strengthen the individual. Start with yourself. Take care with yourself. Define who you are. Refine your personality. Choose your destination and articulate your being”

Jordan Peterson
12 Rules for Life

“e outsource the problem of sanity. People remain mentally healthy not merely because of the integrity of their own minds, but because they are constantly being reminded how to think, act, and speak by those around them.”

Jordan Peterson
Beyond Order

“Face the demands of life voluntarily. Respond to a challenge, instead of bracing for catastrophe.”

Jordan Peterson

“Fix yourself; you'll do no harm.”

Jordan Peterson

“Humility is recognition of personal insufficiency and the willingness to learn.”

Jordan Peterson

“Humility: It is better to presume ignorance and invite learning than to assume sufficient knowledge and risk the consequent blindness.”

Jordan Peterson
Beyond Order

“I don't think that you have any insight whatsoever into your capacity for good until you have some well-developed insight into your capacity for evil.”

Jordan Peterson

“Ideologies are substitutes for true knowledge, and ideologues are always dangerous when they come to power, because a simple-minded I-know-it-all approach is no match for the complexity of existence.”

Jordan Peterson
12 Rules for Life

“If you are not willing to be a fool, you can't become a master.”

Jordan Peterson

“If you betray yourself, if you say untrue things, if you act out a lie, you weaken your character.”

Jordan Peterson

“If you can't understand why someone is doing something, look at the consequences of their actions, whatever they might be, and then infer the motivations from their consequences.

For example if someone is making everyone around them miserable and you'd like to know why, their motive may simply be to make everyone around them miserable including themselves.”

Jordan Peterson

“If you dare to do the most difficult thing you can conceptualize your life will work out better than it will if you do anything.”

Jordan Peterson

“If you don’t say what you think then you kill your unborn self.”

Jordan Peterson

“If you don’t say what you think then you kill your unborn self. When you have something to say, silence is a lie.”

Jordan Peterson
12 Rules for Life

“If you don’t stand your ground, then all that happens is people push you backwards.”

Jordan Peterson

“If you fulfill your obligations everyday you don't need to worry about the future.”

Jordan Peterson

“If you have a comprehensive explanation for everything then it decreases uncertainty and anxiety and reduces your cognitive load. And if you can use that simplifying algorithm to put yourself on the side of moral virtue then you’re constantly a good person with a minimum of effort.”

Jordan Peterson

“If you haven’t done anything wrong, do not apologise.”

Jordan Peterson

“If you think tough men are dangerous, wait until you see what weak men are capable of.”

Jordan Peterson
12 Rules for Life

“If you’re going to be successful you need to be smart, conscientious, and tough.”

Jordan Peterson

“If your life is not what it could be, try telling the truth. If you cling desperately to an ideology, or wallow in nihilism, try telling the truth. If you feel weak and rejected, and desperate, and confused, try telling the truth. In Paradise, everyone speaks the truth. That is what makes it Paradise. Tell the truth. Or, at least, don’t lie.”

Jordan Peterson
12 Rules for Life

“Imagine who you could be, and then aim single-mindedly at that.”

Jordan Peterson

“Intolerance of others’ views (no matter how ignorant or incoherent they may be) is not simply wrong; in a world where there is no right or wrong, it is worse: it is a sign you are embarrassingly unsophisticated or, possibly, dangerous.”

Jordan Peterson
12 Rules for Life

“It is my firm belief that the best way to fix the world — a handyman’s dream, if ever there was one — is to fix yourself.”

Jordan Peterson
12 Rules for Life

“It took untold generations to get you where you are. A little gratitude might be in order.”

Jordan Peterson

“It's a good thing, not a selfish thing, to choose people who are good for you.”

Jordan Peterson

“It’s better to do something badly than to not do it at all.”

Jordan Peterson

“Life is suffering. Love is the desire to see unnecessary suffering ameliorated.”

Jordan Peterson

“Love is the desire to see unnecessary suffering ameliorated.”

Jordan Peterson

“Make friends with people who want the best for you.”

Jordan Peterson

“My sense is that the average person, myself included, has more than enough sins on their conscience to keep themselves busy polishing themselves up for the rest of their life.”

Jordan Peterson

“Nietzsche said that a man’s worth was determined by how much truth he could tolerate.”

Jordan Peterson
12 Rules for Life

“Notice that opportunity lurks where responsibility has been abdicated.”

Jordan Peterson

“People organize their brains with conversation. If they don't have anyone to tell their story to, they lose their minds. Like hoarders, they cannot unclutter themselves.”

Jordan Peterson
12 Rules for Life

“Perhaps you are overvaluing what you don’t have and undervaluing what you do.”

Jordan Peterson
12 Rules for Life

“Pet a cat when you encounter one in the street.”

Jordan Peterson
12 Rules for Life

“Power is competence.”

Jordan Peterson

“Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient).”

Jordan Peterson

“Remember that what you do not yet know is more important than what you already know.”

Jordan Peterson

“Risk your security. Face the unknown. Quit lying to yourself, and do what your heart truly tells you to do. You will be better for it, and so will the world.”

Jordan Peterson

“Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world.”

Jordan Peterson

“Stop saying things that make you weak.”

Jordan Peterson

“Stop saying those things that make you weak and ashamed. Say only those things that make you strong. Do only those things that you could speak of with honour.”

Jordan Peterson
12 Rules for Life

“Tell the truth. Or at least don’t lie.”

Jordan Peterson
12 Rules for Life

“That which you most need to find will be found where you least wish to look.”

Jordan Peterson
Beyond Order

“The better ambitions have to do with the development of character and ability, rather than status and power. Status you can lose. You carry character with you wherever you go, and it allows you to prevail against adversity.”

Jordan Peterson
12 Rules for Life

“The creative person is always open to new possibilities.”

Jordan Peterson

“The healthy, dynamic, and above all else truthful personality will admit to error. It will voluntarily shed—let die—outdated perceptions, thoughts, and habits, as impediments to its further success and growth.”

Jordan Peterson
Beyond Order

“The purpose of life is finding the largest burden that you can bear and bearing it.”

Jordan Peterson

“The secret to your existence is right in front of you, and it manifests itself as all those things you know you should do but you’re avoiding.”

Jordan Peterson

“The shadow would be all the parts of the personality that the persona rejects, and that might be the aggressive elements - certainly that’s the case for people who are highly agreeable.”

Jordan Peterson

“The successful among us delay gratification and bargain with the future.”

Jordan Peterson

“The thing that sustains people in life is the lifting of a worthwhile burden.”

Jordan Peterson

“The thing you most need is always to be found where you least want to look.”

Jordan Peterson

“The things that pose the greatest threats to your survival are the most real things.”

Jordan Peterson
12 Rules for Life

“The truth is something that burns, it burns off deadwood and people don’t like having their deadwood burnt off often because they’re 95% deadwood.”

Jordan Peterson

“The way that you help people overcome their anxieties is by voluntarily exposing them to things that they're afraid of and disgusted by.”

Jordan Peterson

“The way that you make people resilient is by voluntarily exposing them to things that they are afraid of and that make them uncomfortable.”

Jordan Peterson

“There are some games you don't get to play unless you are all in.”

Jordan Peterson

“There is no evidence that the importance of friendship declines in any manner with age.”

Jordan Peterson
Beyond Order

“There is no faith and no courage and no sacrifice in doing what is expedient.”

Jordan Peterson

“There's lots of cultures in the world where women do all the work. It's not necessarily that easy to entice men into responsible work. We tend to think of that as a norm in the West. It's a norm that's been established through a hell of a lot of effort.”

Jordan Peterson

“Those who have accomplished something as individuals feel no need to be proud of their race.”

Jordan Peterson

“To learn is to die voluntarily and be born again, in great ways and small.”

Jordan Peterson

“To stand up straight with your shoulders back is to accept the terrible responsibility of life, with eyes wide open. It means deciding to voluntarily transform the chaos of potential into the realities of habitable order. It means adopting the burden of self-conscious vulnerability, and accepting the end of the unconscious paradise of childhood, where finitude and mortality are only dimly comprehended. It means willingly undertaking the sacrifices necessary to generate a productive and meaningful reality.”

Jordan Peterson
12 Rules for Life

“To suffer terribly and to know yourself as the cause: that is Hell.”

Jordan Peterson

“Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping.”

Jordan Peterson

“Truth is the handmaiden of love.”

Jordan Peterson

“We are all human. That means there is something about our experience that is the same. Otherwise, we would not all be human.”

Jordan Peterson
Beyond Order

“We believe that in reducing the scope and importance of our errors, we are properly humble; in truth, we are merely unwilling to bear the weight of our true responsibility.”

Jordan Peterson
Maps of Meaning

“We don’t understand the world. I do think the world is more like a musical masterpiece than it is like anything else. And things are oddly connected.”

Jordan Peterson

“We have to rediscover the eternal values and then live them out.”

Jordan Peterson

“We must each adopt as much responsibility as possible for individual life, society and the world. We must each tell the truth and repair what is in disrepair and break down and recreate what is old and outdated.”

Jordan Peterson

“We require routine and tradition. That’s order. Order can become excessive, and that’s not good, but chaos can swamp us, so we drown— and that is also not good. We need to stay on the straight and narrow path.”

Jordan Peterson
12 Rules for Life

“What is your friend: the things you know, or the things you don't know. First of all, there's a lot more things you don't know. And second, the things you don't know is the birthplace of all your new knowledge! So if you make the things you don't know your friend, rather than the things you know, well then you're always on a quest in a sense. You're always looking for new information in the off chance that somebody who doesn't agree with you will tell you something you couldn't have figured out on your own! It's a completely different way of looking at the world. It's the antithesis of opinionated.”

Jordan Peterson

“What path are you on? Some of you is dark and some of you is light. Get rid of the darkness and then you’re on the path of light. What will happen to you when you’re on the path of light? The best that can happen to you. It might not not be easy. Easy and best aren’t the same thing.”

Jordan Peterson

“Without Christianity, and its emphasis on truth at all costs, science would never have come about.”

Jordan Peterson

“Women have every reason to be as picky as they possibly can be, because they bear the brunt of the catastrophe of childbearing.”

Jordan Peterson

“Women select men. That makes them nature, because nature is what selects. And you can say "Well it's only symbolic that women are nature", it's like no, it's not just symbolic. The woman is the gatekeeper to reproductive success. And you can't get more like nature than that, in fact it's the very definition of nature.”

Jordan Peterson

“Work as hard as you possibly can on at least one thing and see what happens.”

Jordan Peterson

“You can do an awful lot by writing down what happened to you and thinking it through.”

Jordan Peterson

“You can only find out what you actually believe (rather than what you think you believe) by watching how you act. You simply don’t know what you believe, before that. You are too complex to understand yourself.”

Jordan Peterson
12 Rules for Life

“You can't change other people, but you can change yourself.”

Jordan Peterson

“You cannot be protected from the things that frighten you and hurt you, but if you identify with the part of your being that is responsible for transformation, then you are always equal or more than the equal of the things that frighten you.”

Jordan Peterson

“You have to be a monster to stay alive.”

Jordan Peterson

“You have to treat yourself like you matter because if you don’t then you don’t take care of yourself and you become vengeful and cruel and you take it out on people around you and you are not a positive force. None of that is good. You suffer more and so does everyone else around you.”

Jordan Peterson

“You might be winning but you’re not growing, and growing might be the most important form of winning.”

Jordan Peterson

“You must determine where you are going in your life because you cannot get there unless you move in that direction. Random wandering will not move you forward. It will instead disappoint and frustrate you and make you anxious and unhappy and hard to get along with (and then resentful, and then vengeful, and then worse).”

Jordan Peterson
12 Rules for Life

“You should be better than you are, but it’s not because you’re worse than other people. It’s because you’re not everything you could be.”

Jordan Peterson

“You should take care of, help and be good to yourself the same way you would take care of, help, and be good to someone you loved and valued.”

Jordan Peterson

“You're going to pay a price for every bloody thing you do and everything you don't do. You don't get to choose to not pay a price. You get to choose which poison you're going to take. That's it.”

Jordan Peterson

“You’re not supposed to be fighting dragons that aren’t in your way.”

Jordan Peterson