Jordan Peterson – The Biggest Reason For Failure


Ask and it shall be given you. Seek, and ye shall find. Knock and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh, receiveth and he that seeketh, findeth And to him that knocketh, it shall be opened. That sounded pretty optimistic again But. But. Again, I think it’s a description of the structure of existential reality and, and, buh, by, by which I mean… When I’m in my clinical practice, and I observe and, this is also the case with my students, let’s say, people’s lives aren’t what they would like them to be. And so then you ask, “Why?” Well forget about tragedy and catastrophe, because that’s self-evident and we’re not going to discuss that. Although the degree to which you bring about your own tragedy is always indeterminate but I would never say that every terrible thing that is visited on a person is something they deserved. I think that that’s a very dangerous presupposition. Especially because everyone gets sick and everyone dies. But one of the main reasons that people don’t get what they want is because they don’t actually figure out what it is. And, the probability that you’re going to get what would be good for you, let’s say, which would even be better than what you want, right? Because you know you might be wrong about what you want, easily. But maybe you could get what would REALLY be good for you. Well, why don’t you? Well because you don’t try. You don’t think, “Okay, here’s what I would like if I could have it.” And, and I don’t mean I don’t mean in a way that you manipulate the world to force it to deliver you goods for status, or something like that. That isn’t what I mean, I mean something like… imagine that you were taking care of yourself like someone you actually cared for and then you thought, “Okay, I’m caring for this person, I would like things to go as well for them as possible. What would their life have to be like in order for that to be the case?” Well people don’t do that. They don’t sit down and think “All right, you know let’s let’s figure it out!”. You’ve got a life, It’s hard, obviously! It’s like three years from now you can have what you need. You’ve got to be careful about it, you can’t have everything. You can have what would be good for you, but you have to figure out what it is, and then you have to aim at it. Well my experience with people has been is, if they figure out what it is that would be good for them and then they aim at it, then they get it. And it’s strange because they don’t nece- it’s a strange thing, it’s not quite that simple. Because, you know, you may formulate an idea about what would be good for you, and then you take ten steps towards that and you find out that your formulation was a bit off. And so you have to reformulate your goal. You know, you’re- so you’re kind of going like this *demonstrates an S-shaped hand motion in the horizontal plane* as you move towards the goal. But a huge part of the reason that people FAIL is because they don’t ever set up the criteria for success! And so since success is a very narrow line and very unlikely. The probability that you’re going to stumble on it randomly is zero! And so there’s a proposition here, and the proposition is, “If you actually WANT something, you can have it!” Now the question, then would be, “What do you mean by actually want?” And the answer, is that you reorient your life, in every possible way, to make the probability that that will occur as certain as possible. And that’s a sacrificial idea, right? It’s like you don’t get everything. Obviously, you- Obviously, but maybe you can have what you need, and maybe all you have to do to get it, is ASK. But asking isn’t *demonstrates a fluttery hand motion upwards and to his right* a whim or today’s wish. It’s like you have to be deadly serious about it. You have to think, “Okay like I’m taking stock of myself, and if I was going to live properly in the world, and I was going to set myself up such that being would justify itself in my estimation, and, and I don’t mean as a harsh judge, exactly, what is it that I would aim at?” Well, one of the things I found is that… in test of this theory, let’s say you could try this. This is a form of prayer – knocking – sit on your bed one day and ask yourself, “Ah, What’s- what remarkably stupid things am I doing on a regular basis to absolutely screw up my life?” And, if you actually ask that question – but you have to want to know the answer, right? Because that’s actually what asking the question means. It doesn’t mean just mouthing the words, it means you have to decide that you want to know. You’ll figure that out so fast it’ll make your hair curl. You’ll – you, it’s as if… Jung thought about this, he thought you know, he thought that people had two poles of consciousness. And one was the individual consciousness that we each identify with. And the other was something he called the self, and the self is the you might think about it as the divine within.That’s close enough approximation It’s the universal part of your consciousness. It’s your conscience. That’s another way of thinking about it Whatever your conscience is. But it’s something that you can consult it’s like the Socratic Damon. Socrates said that the thing that made him different than everyone else in Greece was that he consulted his damon, his genius. He asked himself how it was that he should conduct himself in the world, and then he did that! Whatever it was! He didn’t try to force a solution, you know, he didn’t try to force a solution selfishly. He asked, “I’m going to manifest myself in the best possible manner in the world. I would like to do that, What would that be?” Well, you’re perfectly capable of thinking. God only knows how! You’re perfectly capable of, of, of immense feats of imagination and and dream and fantasies. God only knows how you do all of that. What would happen if you consulted yourself about the best possible outcome for you? You might get an answer! Well, that’s what this proposition is.

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