Rule #7: Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient).

Rule #7: Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient).

Chapter 7 begins with these words…
“Life is suffering. That’s clear. There is no more basic, irrefutable
truth.” – Jordan Peterson

This is not a new point for Peterson (he reiterates it through the first six chapters). But in chapter 7, he does more to address the suffering of this world than he does in previous chapters.

In the face of suffering, we are often tempted to take the obvious, most
comfortable path to “pursue pleasure. Follow [our] impulses. Live for the moment. Do what’s expedient.”. But Peterson explains that these strategies are not fulfilling and will ultimately leave us feeling empty.

Peterson suggests that, instead of looking for the next rush of serotonin,
there is an alternative, more compelling way to approach life: (sacrifice.)

While sacrifice ultimately cuts against the grain of what we want to do
with our lives – and while it isn’t the culturally savvy answer to our
pain or disappointment – Peterson suggests sacrifice, alone, improves the future.

Expedient things are quick and easy. They can also be manipulative and
lazy. But true meaning is none of these things. And isn’t true meaning what we all ultimately want?

Jesus features prominently in this chapter as an example of someone who
made extreme sacrifices for the good of others. Peterson also quotes Nietzsche, shares examples
of Egyptian mythology
as well as references to scientists and to Socrates who rejected
expediency in “pursuit of the meaningful and true”.

Rule #7 Summary: Sacrifice is the key to improving the future.

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