Get Your Free Audiobook

12 Rules for Life

An Antidote to Chaos
Narrated by: Jordan B. Peterson
Length: 15 hrs and 39 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (5,118 ratings)

Non-member price: $39.50

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of 12 Rules for Life, written and read by Jordan B. Peterson.

What are the most valuable things that everyone should know? Acclaimed clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson has influenced the modern understanding of personality, and now he has become one of the world's most popular public thinkers, with his lectures on topics from the Bible to romantic relationships to mythology drawing tens of millions of viewers.

In an era of unprecedented change and polarising politics, his frank and refreshing message about the value of individual responsibility and ancient wisdom has resonated around the world.

In this book, he provides 12 profound and practical principles for how to live a meaningful life, from setting your house in order before criticising others to comparing yourself to who you were yesterday, not someone else today. Happiness is a pointless goal, he shows us. Instead we must search for meaning, not for its own sake but as a defence against the suffering that is intrinsic to our existence.

Drawing on vivid examples from his clinical practice and personal life, cutting-edge psychology and philosophy, and lessons from humanity's oldest myths and stories, Peterson takes the listener on an intellectual journey like no other. Gripping, thought-provoking and deeply rewarding, 12 Rules for Life offers an antidote to the chaos in our lives: eternal truths applied to our modern problems.

©2018 Jordan B. Peterson (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,901
  • 4 Stars
    665
  • 3 Stars
    227
  • 2 Stars
    123
  • 1 Stars
    202

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,615
  • 4 Stars
    509
  • 3 Stars
    199
  • 2 Stars
    89
  • 1 Stars
    153

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,379
  • 4 Stars
    590
  • 3 Stars
    249
  • 2 Stars
    119
  • 1 Stars
    195

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating Read

Psychologist and controversial public figure, Jordan B. Peterson, undertakes his first serious attempt to distill his ideas about life into a book for a general audience. Although, perhaps not one for the typical audience of such books. Jordan's various essays are fascinating, lengthy--and at times wandering--discussions of what it means to be human and how to live in this world we inhabit. The explanations for his suggested 'rules' are not for your typical Oprah Book Club reader longing for simple answers, and dumbed-down explanations. There is no woo-woo or hoo-rah here. Instead, Peterson draws particularly on a unique combination of Jungian psychology and Darwinian evolution to explain how he believes the world works, and what that may mean for each of us as we move through life.
This is an unusual work, unlike other popular psychology books I've read, for it presents an engrossing and intellectually fascinating take on the modern human condition, rather than just offering a few anecdotal (or researched but overly-simplified) quick fix ideas. There is no concessions to pandering here, and the explanations he provides are at times uncomfortable for they strip away some of the masques we wear and facades we build around our humanity. What is beneath is not always pretty, but evidently is a side of our humanity Peterson believes we each ought to confront, for it is the healthy assimilation of these elements into the psyche that allows us to move courageously in the turbulent, chaotic world. We must each embrace the chaos within, should we wish to confront it in the world. This book is Peterson's attempt to show us how it's done.

110 of 130 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Great advice but a little long-winded at times.

I really appreciated a lot of the advice and I really respect Jordan Peterson. Most of the chapters start off strong with personal and clinical anecdotes, only to be followed by 30 minutes of biblical studies... As someone who isnt religious and grew up in a non-religous home, in a mostly non-religous country, it became a little much. I can appreciate some of these christian references and enjoy exploring their ideas. But it wasn't long before I'd find myself lost in thought rather than listening as the point had already been made prior to the bible being pulled out.

102 of 122 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Contains timeless answers to life’s timeless questions

I rank this amongst the top 10 most important books in my life. I wish it was written years ago, since its timeless wisdom is useful in every phase of life.

Peterson is the first author who offers credible answers to the nihilistic questions that tend to creep into every critical mind: why bother when life is unpredictable, unfair and short? Why get out of bed when all your work can be undone by one drunk driver? Why have children that are destined to suffer, sometimes immeasurably?

Please pick this one up. If it doesn’t bring you the value it did to millions already, at least you’ll know what the fuss is all about.

46 of 57 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great rules for life. Attention turns off towards the later chapters.

The first half of the book was really impactful and the rules were really practical. But the later chapters/rules I felt they weren’t really anything I could relate to and I was just listening to finish the book. Also, there are a lot of religious stories and comparisons which were awesome for the few chapters. I’m not someone who hates religion but.... a bit too much for me.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Couldn’t finish it

Some good tips but way too in depth and far too much talk about Christianity and bible stories.

23 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Does not live up to the hype . . . RETURNED IT.

I have heard Jordan on numerous podcasts, and in dynamic discussions he shines. But this book, the stories and performance are uninspiring and bitter.

This is a Sunday church sermon at its worst.

Beyond the extensive use of Biblical stories, Peterson’s support for his rules rely heavily on stories, overlooking extensive published research that would have offered greater credibility (Gladwell, Arieli, Taleb and Harris are all superb at this).

Clearly Peterson resonates with many listeners, maybe suitable for the first step into self reflection. But not likely to resonate with those who are already established on the journey of seeking to become a ‘better person’.

My first returned Audible purchase.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Is he a clinical psychologist, or a Priest?

I bought this book due to the increasing hype around Jordan. Disappointingly, It's just that; a hype.

I could relate to and confirm that the advice he gives, as a parent and psychologist, on chapters concerning children are very good as this is my professional field and I did refer some parents to the specific chapters.

I am, though, poorly disappointed at the amount of, rather lack of, evidence which comes in the form of Bible literature. He is a psychologist yet, this book seems to have been written by a priest.

3 of 12 chapters seemed well. Was told in a mostly entertaining & easy to absorb manner.

19 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Boring, religious content not openly disclosed.

Bought this given the high number of downloads and high ratings. I've listened to a couple hours and - honestly - have rarely been so bored reading/listening to a book. Plus, about an hour in Peterson mentions "Mathew 25.10" or such religious reference. That was interesting and relevant, but then he makes another reference to a religious text (bible or book of something or other), and I thought oh no, not another religious reference. Since then, the whole tone and text is a religious reference to Adam & Eve, the significance of the snake, and apple tree, god this and Jesus that. It turns out - as far as I can tell, suffering it - that it's a Sunday morning sermon, and equally as electrifying. I wasted my money on this turkey, and will request a swap. It should clearly be marked for its high religious content and references - not what I thought I was buying at all.

79 of 107 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Incredible

This book is masterful. Well thought out points, and deeply moving stories. A must-listen for anyone tired of feeling like a victim, and wanting more meaning in their life. JBP'S narration is wonderful. Truly a work of genius.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Ranting and Raving

This book wasn’t dreadful, but it felt like one long rant. I feel that it could have been more concise, considered and researched. For example, he speaks about claims about certain innate differences between men and women being proven, yet doesn’t provide evidence. I was disappointed as I have read some exceptional books recently: Sapiens, the Buddha Brain, the Mind that Changes Itself, and hoped that this would be as good.

11 of 15 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jarrod
  • Jarrod
  • 16-01-2018

Easily accessible wisdom

Jordan Peterson presents a refreshing voice of wisdom in a crowd of shrill hysteria and politically correct drivel. I was impressed with the combination of common sense advice and surprising insights. There is lots to learn here. If you’re looking for a blueprint for a life well lived, you’ve come to the right place.

33 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Martin
  • Martin
  • 20-02-2018

Life-changing in every sense of the word

This book has brought me joy, laughter and also tears, grief and profound sadness. Through the wisdom of ancient texts and personal anecdotes, doctor Peterson gave me courage to face my fear of responsibility, take my place in the world and improve the lives of those around me. The performance is deeply personal and precise as is the case with other Peterson's material. I hope I will return to this book for strength and inspiration whenever I need them most.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for M MENGEL
  • M MENGEL
  • 01-02-2018

Lit

A candle has been lit in the world to keep the dark at bay.

I’m in awe of Jordan’s capacity to ignore the nonsense hurled at him, and still speak with a white hot passion to help people. It humbles and makes you want to emulate.

Twelve simple rules that get into your subconscious so quickly it feels like they were always there.

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Oliver
  • Oliver
  • 18-01-2018

Deep and enjoyable experience

Peterson goes all in in his effort to lay out his philosophy in a form that resonates on many levels of analysis. The book is simultaneously a compelling map of reality, guide to a balanced and meaningful life, and a deep defence of Western culture, Christian values and healthy masculinity, which are all currently under attack. I think this book is not just an insightful thought provoker, but also a healthy vaccination against dangerous ideological viruses which are unleashed in the modern world.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 28-08-2018

This book has been rated five lobsters.

Amazing book, very deep and thoughtful. It teaches the individual responsibility over ones actions. To speak the truth and many other wonderfully useful things.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Hans
  • Hans
  • 28-03-2018

Pure Wisom

Any additional comments?

Jordan Peterson deliver advices, that are ready to implement into our daily life.
He turns his knowledge into wisdom by showing the principles, which we should use as a guide both in the professional and private life.

Idea of taking full responsibility for our choices makes perfect sense and give hope to all of the young people, who got deeply immersed into the nihilist world of mass consumption.

JBP narration makes the whole listening experience even better.

Lessons that you can takeaway from this book could be life-changing, especially if you want to give your life meaning and orient yourself in the world.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Francois
  • Francois
  • 29-03-2019

Pompous, tiring and ultimately hollow

Jordan Peterson is at his best when he talks psychology: his professional field of study. There is insight to be found in those passages.

This book, however, deviates quite far into second rate biblically-skewed philosophy and tedious self-evident self-help mantras, all delivered by Peterson’s choked up voice.

Peterson would have saved us a bunch of time if he applied to himself more of the humility and restraint that he so likes to preach.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anubhav Misra
  • Anubhav Misra
  • 12-02-2018

Spirituality for the reasonable

Would you consider the audio edition of 12 Rules for Life to be better than the print version?

I prefer the narrative power of the author speaking his own words. Hence, yes! I find it much better than the print.

What was one of the most memorable moments of 12 Rules for Life?

The coda(nice choice of words there). Like a sonata form recapitulation, it ties together the multi-themed spiritual sonata that was this book!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The story about the suffering of his daughter and the frailty of li'l children moved me particularly.

"We love not 'despite' the limitations, but 'because' of them. And of course, it more complicated than that"

Any additional comments?

This book is great, not because it's some groundbreakingly new content and idea that have not been expressed before. It is so as it brings back an important aspect in the spiritual quest that is absent from most new age spiritual teachers: FORM! Most spiritual thinkers have removed everything that even resembles any real manifestation so much so that it is almost impossible to have use of what they are saying.

Jordan Peterson brings back the fundamental(archetypal) stories of our experiences back to the social collective consciousness and for that we must thank him.

This book unlike most self-help books, this book doesn't try to explain the title in almost banal detail. It takes the idea and brings it alive through contrast, variation, and storytelling that drives home the title without having to repeat it once. Only thing I can think of that comes close is classical music.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Tim
  • Tim
  • 05-02-2018

Precise yet broad.

The book points to exact steps for improvement in your life and then goes into depths I haven't even thought about. Sometimes it was too much for me. But in the end it's a must read.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for hao
  • hao
  • 05-09-2019

Too much bible talk

Disappointed to see this book turned into a full-on bible study from chapter 6. Dr.Peterson introduced himself as a psychologist and a scientist, but I see little reasoning with genuine scientific knowledge instead this book is mostly about Dr.Peterson’s personal interpretation of the bible. He often ran off the topic and spend hours to praise and interpret Christianity, he also consistently to refer to the bible and not actual evidences to make his case, which significantly lowered his credibility.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Matthew
  • Matthew
  • 04-02-2018

The Hitchhikers Guide to Heaven

You know when you hear a new song and it stops you in your tracks? I’ve spent my last 15 hours in that state.
I can’t even begin to explain how much I now owe this man for all he has done. I laughed with weakened knees and wept in public places with this complete stranger. I love him.
My fear is that the people who need him most (youngish lefties like me, for instance) will pass him with prejudice and condescension and suffer on.
Buy this book, it will polish your lens.
I will be out there, paying attention to life.
Thanks Jordan. x

344 of 410 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Georgia Longford
  • Georgia Longford
  • 20-11-2018

How have I ever lived without this book?

I've been listening to Jordan a lot on you tube over the past few months. I have watched and learnt so much. Even a simple lesson of watching him pausing and calming himself in aggressive interviews before answering back has been priceless. But through his book, it's so nice to actually listen fully to his train of thoughts. Uninterrupted by idiological arguments from others and explained with references we've all grown up with but never had fully explained in such a way whilst growing up. I feel calmer and ready to face the world and can't wait to listen to again.

Not that it matters to this review.. but I am a woman.. And based on his book.. now proud to be one. Always thought it meant to be less than man. But my role as a human.. if that be it free to choose: mother, bread winner, wife, or friend.. is as equally important to any other role around me. so much more to say but I will leave it there.

Thank you

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Garym213
  • Garym213
  • 19-01-2018

Exceptional book... original and thought provoking

So many books of this type can be a bit light, they can be built around one or two ideas. This is not the case with this one. Peterson is on a different level, his authenticity, original insights and forthright manner elevate this book to the point of being exceptional. He is no prisoner to group think or moronic fads, his points are clear, he is very exact in the way he communicates. The aforementioned make this a book one of the best I have read in a long time and set it in a class of its own with this genre. Highly recommend, not for the closed minded.

209 of 262 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-09-2018

Loved it, changed my life immeasurably!

This book has genuinely changed my life, I stand up tall, I look people in the eye, I'm combative when need be. I would recommend this to anyone. My anxiety is gone. And the world is respecting me which has lead to a positive feedback loop of happiness.

30 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for James Cartwright
  • James Cartwright
  • 06-02-2018

Should come with warning - Contains Religion

I have nothing against religion and Christianity - I infrequently attend church.

However, I expect logical reasoning in books such as these to be predicated on science and rational argument.

In large parts of this book Peterson reads from long sections of the Bible and theologises for longer still.

It is in these sections that his delivery resembles a lay preacher not a professor of science.

A shame because the moral lessons do not require this religiosity- they are logical without faith.

394 of 515 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-06-2018

Terrible. Couldn't finish

Really thought I would enjoy this book especially after seeing so many good reviews but I only got 6 chapters in and couldn't bring myself to struggle through it anymore. The author just rambles on and I felt like I was just listening to stories about the Bible or parenting skills. Not for me.

91 of 121 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for iain sallis
  • iain sallis
  • 16-03-2018

It was great until...

I was really looking forward to a meaty ‘question yourself and your life’ type of book, the author started the first chapter with wonderful and insightful psychological arguments...then he mentioned Jesus?
I thought this strange, but carried on the the next chapter, again, with some fantastic insights into humanism ...then it happened again...the bible??
I started seeing a pattern, by chapter 7 it was a full on bible lesson...which is when I called it a day.
A real shame as I thought his initial rules and thoughts were great, it just turned into a sermon.

168 of 224 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lewis
  • Lewis
  • 25-01-2018

A fantastic book by a extremely insightful man.

I have recently been through the death of a parent, a divorce and loss of employment. Any one of these events will put your world into chaos. All 3 at once can bush you to your limits. This book puts it all into perspective. Chaos in life will come to us all. Maybe this book can make the journey back to order that little bit easier. Jordan Peterson I commend you for your insight into the complexity of being.

111 of 148 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Paul A Bradley
  • Paul A Bradley
  • 30-04-2019

Awful

One to avoid. Long rambling explanations of some not very earth shattering rules, mostly based on biblical references and an assumption that you’re a signed-up Christian.

I can understand why this has gone down a storm in the US where religious sentiment is openly (and I think often hypocritically) expressed. I can’t see UK and Australian listeners being quite so drawn to the overt religious message, but each to their own.

Also, for me, his voice is hard to listen to for long.

28 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Reader
  • Reader
  • 17-02-2018

Disappointing

I was disappointed in this book as I didn't get any sense of genuine insight. Some interesting things but a lot of truisms. Finishing it, I felt i had wasted my time, though i suspect that I did get something out of it. Overall, however, I couldn't recommend it. At nearly 16 hours way too long to communicate its various messages, with the result that I was left with the feeling that whatever was worthwhile in the book had become lost in the telling.

100 of 135 people found this review helpful