Doctor Jordan Peterson The NUMBER ONE Reason For Divorce! & The One Small Step You Have To Take To Turn Your Whole Life Around!

Summary Notes


In this profound conversation, Jordan Peterson delves into the complexities of identity, the pitfalls of radical subjectivity, and the necessity of embracing responsibility to combat the crisis of meaning faced by the 18-40 demographic. As an educator, Peterson is launching Peterson's Academy in early 2024 to revolutionize access to high-quality education. His platform aims to liberate top lecturers from the constraints of traditional academia, offering them appreciation, autonomy, and fair remuneration. Peterson, despite dealing with persistent pain, describes his life as an almost unbearable adventure filled with opportunities and intellectual stimulation. He credits his ceaseless curiosity and commitment to truth as the foundation of his extraordinary experiences, insisting that a life rich with purpose is within reach for anyone who chooses honesty over deceit.

Summary Notes

Communication and Connection in Relationships

  • Men and women often struggle to communicate and connect in relationships due to different priorities.
  • The struggle to communicate can extend to the broader context of life challenges.

"Sometimes it can feel like men and women in relationships want entirely different things, like they're struggling to communicate and connect on the same level, about the same set of priorities."

This quote highlights the common issue of misaligned priorities and communication challenges in relationships between men and women.

Impact of Jordan's Guidance

  • Jordan's advice is credited with helping individuals overcome personal struggles.
  • He provides step-by-step guidance to transform difficult situations into success stories.

"And what Jordan's particularly good at is telling anybody who's right now listening to this that is struggling in some way or finds themselves in a situation where they're struggling to get out and climb out of that situation step by step."

This quote emphasizes Jordan's ability to guide individuals through their struggles in a structured, step-by-step manner.

The Power of Small Steps

  • Starting with the simplest possible steps is crucial for progress when struggling.
  • Humility is defined as the willingness to progress from wherever one can start, regardless of how small the step may seem.

"And the effect that this individual is attributing to me is a consequence of that. Right? I've been successful because I've been a conduit of good ideas, and I have the ability to synthesize a lot of information and to communicate that to people in a way that's understandable."

Jordan explains that his success in helping others is due to his ability to distill and communicate complex ideas in an accessible way.

Overcoming Intimidation by Large Goals

  • Large goals can be intimidating for those feeling down and out.
  • Small, consistent commitments are undervalued but crucial in building confidence and progress.

"It's like putting them at the foot of Mount Everest. But the small commitments we keep to ourself are often really undervalued because they seem so trivial."

This quote suggests that for individuals feeling overwhelmed, the key to progress is to make and keep small commitments, despite them seeming trivial.

The Humiliation of Starting Small

  • When life has fallen apart, starting from a point that feels humiliating is a common barrier to progress.
  • The task must be broken down into manageable steps that the individual is willing to undertake.

"Well, one of the really difficult things to learn when you're down and out is how far you're down, because it's humiliating."

Jordan points out that acknowledging how low one has fallen can be a painful but necessary step in the recovery process.

The Significance of Cleaning Your Room

  • Cleaning one's room is a metaphor for starting with manageable tasks to regain control over one's life.
  • Resistance from family patterns can make even simple tasks like cleaning a room challenging.

"I've worked with people. One of the things I've become well known for is my advice to start by cleaning up your room."

Jordan uses the example of cleaning a room to illustrate the importance of starting with simple, achievable tasks.

The Exponential Growth of Progress

  • Small steps lead to exponential growth in progress.
  • The initial step, no matter how small, is crucial as it sets the stage for accelerating improvement.

"So what's cool is that it doesn't really matter how small that first step is because it'll start doubling, and anything that doubles grows unbelievably quickly."

Jordan explains that taking the first step, regardless of its size, is vital as progress tends to accelerate over time.

Building Evidence of Capabilities

  • Small but challenging tasks improve skills and build confidence in one's ability to change life's direction.
  • Exposure therapy for phobias is an example of how confronting small doses of fear can lead to overcoming larger fears.

"What seems to happen when you expose people to small but challenging tasks? It does two things."

Jordan discusses how small challenges can lead to skill development and increased self-efficacy.

Techniques of Listening and Helping

  • Listening without jumping to conclusions allows for a better understanding of the real problem.
  • Helping effectively involves understanding the issue at hand and collaborating on a solution.

"One of the most effective things you can do to help people is to listen."

Jordan emphasizes the importance of listening as a means to truly understand and assist others with their problems.

Importance of Listening

  • Listening is crucial in identifying and resolving issues.
  • It involves patience, understanding, and the ability to track conversations over time.
  • Clarifying inconsistencies in a conversation can help the speaker better articulate their thoughts.
  • Great podcasters, like Joe Rogan, demonstrate the value of asking simple questions and embracing ignorance to better understand and connect with their audience.
  • Listening and asking questions not only aids in comprehension but also helps the speaker in clarifying their own thoughts.

"The importance of listening can't possibly be overstated. Listen, ask questions until you understand. And by doing that, you also help the other person clarify the situation."

This quote emphasizes the fundamental role of listening in communication, where the listener aids in the clarification process for both parties involved.

Challenges of Listening

  • Listening effectively in relationships and work environments is difficult but crucial.
  • Asking probing questions can lead to the discovery of underlying issues that were not initially apparent.
  • A person may start with a surface-level understanding of their problem, but through questioning, they can uncover a deeper, more fundamental issue.

"It is so hard to do in relationships, in work. I've sat literally at this table with a colleague of mine about a year ago, and she was telling me she's unhappy in her role. And I remember sitting here, and she gave me a bunch of reasons why, and I kept asking and asking questions. And after just 30 minutes of asking the questions, she had decided that, in fact, everything she had just said was not the issue."

This quote illustrates the difficulty and the transformative power of active listening in uncovering the true root of a person's discontent.

Concept of Circumambulation

  • Carl Jung's concept of circumambulation describes the process of spiraling toward the core issue by exploring various 'maybes'.
  • The listener must navigate their own reactions, such as defensiveness or the desire to offer solutions, to truly hear and understand the speaker's problems.
  • The speaker may present superficial concerns before revealing their true vulnerabilities.

"Jung called that a circumambulation. Okay, so now imagine the threat system is going off, right? It's saying, something's wrong, something's wrong, but it's a primordial Predator detection instinct. That's what's being triggered."

This quote explains Jung's psychological concept of circumambulation, which involves spiraling inward to the true issue as one explores different possibilities.

Uncovering Real Issues

  • In a conversation, the speaker may test the listener's reactions and trustworthiness before revealing more sensitive information.
  • By calmly listening, the listener demonstrates that the problem is not too terrifying to be addressed, encouraging the speaker to be more open.

"They test you on the way to the truth to see how you'll respond."

This quote highlights the process where speakers gauge the listener's reactions to determine if they can safely reveal deeper issues.

Case Study: Employee Dissatisfaction

  • An employee's initial claim of dissatisfaction with their work was later revealed to be a deeper issue of lacking meaningful challenges and closeness to leadership.
  • Through careful questioning, it was discovered that the employee missed the sense of importance and challenge they felt when working closely with the speaker.

"The adjustment that had to be made was getting them back close to bigger challenges."

This quote reveals the true solution to the employee's dissatisfaction, which was not immediately apparent but uncovered through dialogue.

Freud's Technique of Free Association

  • Freud's technique of free association was designed to uncover linked thoughts and underlying issues without the patient being influenced by the therapist's reactions.
  • This technique can reveal connections to past traumas and unresolved problems, which manifest in current behaviors and relationships.

"Freud put people on the couch and sat behind them. See, if I'm face to face with you and I'm laying out the problem space, just what you're signaling to me by your face might stop me from fully revealing the truth."

The quote describes Freud's methodology to prevent the patient's self-censorship based on the therapist's non-verbal cues.

Trauma and Developmental Stages

  • Traumas are unresolved problems that can cause a person to revert to the developmental stage they were in when the trauma occurred.
  • Listening to someone discuss their issues can lead to revelations about past traumas and how they are affecting current situations.

"So a trauma is a problem you encounter in your life that's quite deep, so that it unsettles you, that you do not resolve."

This quote defines trauma as a deep, unresolved issue that can have long-lasting effects on a person's life and behavior.

Emotional Breakdowns and Learning

  • Crying can be a response to encountering an insurmountable problem, signaling the need for a conceptual restructuring and new learning.
  • Emotional breakdowns can be a necessary part of resolving deep-seated issues and moving forward with a new approach.

"The crying is an indication that the current conceptual structure is insufficient. It has to die. And then the tears come."

This quote connects emotional breakdowns to the process of conceptual and personal transformation.

Attachment Styles and Relationship Dynamics

  • Understanding one's attachment style and its impact on relationship dynamics is key to resolving conflicts.
  • Creating systems to communicate triggers and responses can help in managing reactions and improving the relationship.

"So we came up with a system where I said to her, when you feel triggered by me not giving you the attention you want and you end up spiraling, can you just try and tell me as soon as possible instead of, like, the seven hour silence?"

This quote exemplifies a practical approach to addressing attachment-related issues in a relationship through direct communication.

Conflict Resolution and Problem-Solving

  • Engaging in conflict is seen as a way to prevent future issues by addressing and solving problems promptly.
  • Rules and boundaries can help manage overwhelming problems without exacerbating them.

"I know that conflict delayed is conflict multiplied."

This quote underscores the notion that avoiding conflict only leads to greater problems down the line.

Listening to Partners in Marriage

  • Listening to a partner is essential in a marriage to prevent problems from escalating to a point where they become unmanageable.
  • Both partners must be committed to honesty and truth for the relationship to thrive.

"You are going to have to listen to your wife 90 minutes a week, okay? And you might as well just get that through your thick skull now."

This quote stresses the importance of dedicating time to listen to one's partner as a means of maintaining a healthy relationship.

Gender Stereotypes and Listening

  • Men may resist listening to their partners out of fear of being seen as insufficient or facing their own shortcomings.
  • Women, often being more threat-sensitive, may bring up problems prematurely, but this can also mean addressing issues before they escalate.

"Well, often because the insufficiencies are pointed at them."

This quote suggests that men's reluctance to listen may stem from a defense mechanism against perceived criticism.

The Nature of Commitment in Relationships

  • Commitment in relationships is compared to a vow, a promise not to run away even when confronted with the partner's darkest aspects.
  • People fear that if their true selves were known, their partners would leave, acknowledging that everyone has their own "snakes" or flaws.
  • The "bad bet" of commitment is made on the premise that faithfulness and truthfulness can resolve issues within the relationship.

"And so they need to know that you will not run away. And that's a vow."

This quote highlights the importance of steadfastness in a relationship, where a vow represents a promise to stay and confront issues together.

"Because what do you know? Look, the person's always going to be thinking, always, if you really knew who I was, you wouldn't love me."

The quote captures the common fear of being unlovable if one's true nature is fully revealed to their partner.

"And so then you might say, well, why not run? It's like, well, you want to run from everyone for the rest of your life."

This statement questions the alternative to commitment, suggesting that constantly running from relationships is not a desirable way to live.

"And you're full of snakes, too. So you're both making a bad bet."

The speaker uses the metaphor of "snakes" to describe personal flaws, highlighting that both partners in a relationship have their own issues to contend with.

"And so you make the bad bet based on the idea that if you are faithful and you are truthful, that you can resolve the issues."

The quote suggests that despite the risks, commitment is made with the belief that honesty and loyalty can overcome the problems in a relationship.

Childhood Trauma and Its Effects on Adult Relationships

  • Childhood trauma, such as being bullied, can have lasting effects, creating a stable trait of victimhood.
  • A partner with a history of being bullied may project past experiences onto current relationships, interpreting conflicts as bullying.
  • Resolving childhood trauma is crucial as it can manifest in adult relationships, affecting communication and problem-solving.

"Resolving issues. Much of what you've talked about stems back to childhood trauma and things that happen in our formative years."

This quote connects the discussion to childhood trauma and its long-term impact on one's ability to resolve issues in relationships.

"Bully victim is someone the bullies will check out."

The speaker explains how bullies identify potential victims, emphasizing the lasting impact of being targeted during childhood.

"And if all those snakes were revealed, perhaps the logical thing to do would run."

Referencing the earlier metaphor, this quote suggests that revealing one's traumatic past or "snakes" might logically lead a partner to leave.

"The bullies tend to become criminal and alienated... And the bully victims tend to become depressed, anxious and dependent."

Jordan outlines the negative developmental trajectories for both bullies and their victims, indicating the far-reaching consequences of these roles.

Strategies for Conflict Resolution in Relationships

  • Listening to a partner can help resolve accusations and misunderstandings.
  • Asking what the partner wants or how one could have responded differently fosters problem-solving and understanding.
  • Negotiating daily routines, like how to greet each other after work, can prevent conflicts and improve the quality of the relationship.

"But you can listen. If you listen, the person will dispense with some of their accusations by themselves."

Jordan emphasizes the power of listening as a tool for resolving conflicts and allowing the other person to self-reflect on their accusations.

"You'll racket yourself up the hierarchy... because you'll get a reputation as the person who can solve the problem."

Here, Jordan draws a parallel between solving problems in the workplace and in a marriage, suggesting that being a problem-solver is beneficial in both contexts.

"Don't talk to your partner about something complicated when they're hungry."

Jordan provides practical advice for timing difficult conversations, using hunger as an example of a physical state that can affect communication.

Understanding and Healing from Deep Trauma

  • Deep traumas, like childhood abuse, create a "bottomless abyss" that can be challenging to heal from.
  • Healing requires confronting the "heart of darkness," developing a philosophy of good and evil, and embodying positive values to combat the evil experienced.
  • Trauma can be addressed by retracing one's steps to the point of the wrong decision, understanding it, and choosing a new, better path forward.

"A bottomless abyss. Yeah, it's awful."

Jordan acknowledges the profound and often overwhelming nature of deep-seated trauma.

"You have to develop a philosophy of good and evil... You have to start to embody that."

This quote outlines the necessary steps for healing from trauma, which involve developing a moral framework and actively living by it.

"That's what you do when you negotiate a solution to a problem with your wife, too. Here's..."

The incomplete quote suggests that the process of healing from trauma is similar to resolving conflicts in a marriage, where negotiation and understanding are key.

The Importance of Truth and Honesty

  • Lying, even small lies, can pave the way to personal and societal hell.
  • Telling the truth means aligning one's words with truth at all levels and avoiding contradictions.
  • Honesty should be practiced upstream, preventing bad situations from arising where all options are compromised.

"Lies ruin your life."

Jordan asserts the destructive power of lies in one's life, emphasizing the need for honesty.

"If you're forced into a situation where you have to tell a white lie, there's snakes somewhere that you haven't dealt with."

This quote suggests that the need to tell even a small lie indicates unresolved issues or "snakes" that need to be addressed.

"You may have already compromised yourself to the point where in that situation, the best you can do is a lie."

Jordan points out that being in a situation where lying seems like the only option is a result of previous compromises that should have been avoided.

Understanding Personal Health and WHOOP

  • Speaker A discusses the importance of understanding one's health and how WHOOP, a sponsor of the podcast, helps in monitoring bodily functions.
  • WHOOP provides detailed data which can help in improving long-term health by revealing the impacts of lifestyle choices.
  • Speaker A mentions that some friends are hesitant to use WHOOP due to fear of what the data might reveal.
  • Knowledge about one's health is equated to power, as it can lead to positive changes.

"For me, that answer was simple. The answer was very little, until WHOOP came along." "And once I finally started to look at the data and understand how getting less sleep was affecting my body and how my old lifestyle was actually hurting my long term health, everything changed for the better."

  • The quotes illustrate the transformative effect that health monitoring technology can have on an individual's awareness and lifestyle choices.

Challenges of Young Adults in Modern Society

  • Speaker B identifies the transition into adulthood identity as a significant challenge for young adults today.
  • The unsophisticated and narrow concepts of identity prevalent in culture are critiqued, particularly whim-based identities like sexual identity.
  • Speaker B argues that identity should be multi-faceted, integrating various aspects of the self, and not just focused on immediate gratification.

"But my sense is now the biggest challenge to young people is negotiating the transition into adulthood identity."

  • This quote highlights the difficulty young people face in establishing a mature and cohesive personal identity.

The Process of Building Identity

  • Speaker B describes the process of building identity as integrating various internal drives and emotions into a unified self.
  • Emphasizes the importance of forming relationships and taking on responsibilities, such as marriage and family, to further develop one's identity.
  • Discusses the need for one's identity to serve a broader community and ultimately align with higher principles or a divine order.

"Every drive attempts to philosophize in its spirit." "That's maturity, okay? But that doesn't happen in isolation."

  • These quotes encapsulate the idea that personal growth and identity formation are not solitary endeavors but require engagement with others and the world at large.

The Role of Religion in Identity

  • The decline of religion is linked to the current identity crisis, as religion traditionally provided a framework for understanding one's place in the world.
  • Speaker B outlines a hierarchy of identity that includes personal, familial, communal, and divine elements.
  • God is defined as the ultimate good that should be served, and this concept is argued to underlie even secular notions of striving for good.

"America is one nation under God. That's the ultimate level of this hierarchy of identity." "God is that which should be served most fundamentally."

  • These quotes reflect the view that a well-structured identity is not only personal but also connected to larger societal and spiritual dimensions.

Mental Health Crisis Among Young Adults

  • Speaker A cites statistics from a men's health charity indicating a mental health crisis among the 19 to 35-year-old demographic.
  • Speaker B attributes this crisis to self-obsession and the misery it produces, criticizing the consumerist and individualistic tendencies of modern culture.

"19 to 35 year olds, which is that demographic that are listening to this predominantly, are twice as likely to report being in crisis than any other group."

  • The quote presents alarming statistics about the mental health of young adults, suggesting a need for societal change.

The Importance of Responsibility and Moral Worth

  • Speaker B discusses the classical Christian philosophy that moral worth cannot be inferred from accomplishment alone.
  • The conversation touches on historical beliefs about divine favor and how modern society's focus on individual success may be misguided.

"You cannot infer someone's moral worth by the level of accomplishment."

  • This quote challenges the notion that success is an indicator of a person's value, promoting a more nuanced understanding of worth.

Peterson's Academy: A New Educational Platform

  • Speaker B explains the motivation behind creating Peterson's Academy, an online learning platform.
  • The academy aims to provide access to high-quality education from top thinkers and educators, offering them freedom and financial independence.
  • The project is seen as a response to the limitations and challenges faced by professors within the traditional university system.

"I would love to be in a position where I could take like the best thousand lecturers in the world, bring them onto Peterson Academy, give them financial independence."

  • This quote demonstrates the ambitious vision behind Peterson's Academy, aiming to revolutionize the way education is delivered and valued.

Personal Struggles and the Pursuit of Truth

  • Speaker B shares his personal challenges with pain and illness but emphasizes the clarity and lack of anxiety he experiences.
  • He advocates for a life of truth and adventure, advising listeners to avoid lies and pursue what is right.
  • The conversation highlights the significance of living in alignment with reality and the opportunities it can bring.

"Just stop lying, period. Stop saying things you believe to be untrue. Stop doing things you know to be wrong."

  • The quote is a call to honesty and integrity as foundational principles for a fulfilling life.

Huel: A Nutritional Breakthrough

  • Speaker A introduces Huel, a sponsor of the podcast, and their new snack bar that is nutritionally complete and tastes good.
  • Emphasizes the effort and innovation that went into creating a healthy and enjoyable snack option.

"It is finally here three years of work from Huel to try and make a bar, a snack bar that is nutritionally complete."

  • The quote highlights the achievement of Huel in creating a product that meets nutritional needs while also being palatable.

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