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Dr. Jordan B. Peterson

Pain and Suffering

Truth is the antidote to suffering.

Have you ever asked yourself the question: why is there so much suffering in the world? 

It’s a tough question to understand because suffering doesn’t seem natural, but the good news is that we are designed to overcome it. We are stronger than we think. 

One of the hardest things to deal with in life is watching someone close to you suffer from an illness. It’s especially hard if you’re a parent. 

Although I’ve thankfully never had the experience of being a parent to a suffering child, I’ve had close loved ones go through that pain. It’s this time in life that either makes or breaks you. You have to be strong — not just for you, but also for them. 

That doesn’t mean you should discourage their vulnerability. You still need to embrace it, and there is a delicate balance in doing so. 

But it’s also important to be there to support your loved one and let them know they are not a victim. If they fall into that victim mentality, it’s game over. They begin to lose their character in their illness. 

Clinical psychologist Dr. Jordan Peterson dove into this topic with me in part two of our discussion and told me what it was like watching his child suffer from a debilitating illness. He talks about the lessons he learned as a professional as well as a father. We discuss how his entire family was affected and how he was able to teach his daughter to stay strong and vulnerable. 

Who Is Dr. Jordan Peterson? 

Dr. Jordan Peterson is a Canadian professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, a clinical psychologist, and the author of the million-plus-selling book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos which has been a number one bestseller across the world and is translated into 40 languages.

This year, Dr. Peterson published his third book, Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life. The lectures and debates he shares on YouTube have also become popular, garnering millions of views. His popularity began to really take off in the late 2010s for his view on cultural and political issues.

Loving In Spite of Fragility

One of the hardest catastrophes Dr. Peterson had to walk through in life was taking care of his daughter who was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of two. She had 40 affected joints, and the disease manifested when she was six years old. When she was 16, her hip disintegrated, so she had to have that replaced, and then her ankle disintegrated, and she had to have that replaced too. 

She endured two years of absolute excruciating pain, and Dr. Peterson and his wife were running around trying to find the answers to this problem. They had to find the source that was causing the disease to continue to affect more joints. 

Dr. Peterson explains that when something like that happens to your family, the time frame of your life plans need to shrink considerably. Instead of thinking about his five or ten-year plan, he was just thinking about how to get through the month, the week, or the day.

“By the time she got really ill, my relationship with my wife was pretty well put together, and my relationship with my son who’s younger than her was also well put together. So he was an absolute trooper because, for a lot of his teenage life, there was a huge amount of focus on the suffering of his sister.” — Dr. Jordan Peterson

This idea of being strong for the other person is one that Dr. Peterson really believes in. It’s a theme in his books, which is loving someone despite their fragility or vulnerability — and not just despite of, but because of their fragility, because that’s the price you pay to be in a relationship with them. 

“They wouldn’t be who they were if they weren’t fragile and limited in their particular way. You can’t have the people you love without them also being prone to pain, destruction, and vulnerability.” –Dr. Jordan Peterson

So what’s the antidote? Teach them — in this case, your children — to be strong. Don’t protect them from the world — expose them to the world at the appropriate times, and then maybe they can become strong enough to transcend the pain and suffering.

“I’ve learned being a clinical psychologist for a long time, that you have all of these problems to contend with, but at the end of the day, they’re not your problems and they are not going away right now.” – Dr. Jordan Peterson

Dr. Peterson explained that if he and his wife had deteriorated as a consequence of their daughter’s condition, that it would have been horrible for her because she would have had to bear the weight of watching her illness destroy her family. 

“That’s one of the terrible things about having a very bad illness—not only does it do you in, but you can see it taking its toll on the people around you. I think that might even be worse. You have a moral obligation not to let it tear you down because then it’s on them. And you think, well, how can you remain healthy and strong in the face of the terrible suffering of someone who’s close to you? It’s like, well, do you want to suffer? That’s it, the alternative is worse.” — Dr. Jordan Peterson

So Dr. Peterson and his family decided to be strong, confront the disease head on, and commit to taking care of one another. They refused to fall into the depths of a victim mentality. An important distinction to make here is that in doing so, they were not in denial of the issues at hand, they just didn’t let their circumstances overtake them. 

“We also told her many, many times — and we’re very careful about this — do not use your illness as an excuse. As soon as you do that, you can’t tell the difference between the illness and your character.” – Dr. Peterson

I like that Dr. Peterson and his wife made this distinction with their daughter. They took good care of her while also not enabling her to make her disease into a life-long crutch. She could still be empowered and independent in spite of her situation.

“When you love someone, you not only love them despite their fragility: but also because of it.”  

Caring For Yourself, Caring For Your Community

It took three years of taking things out of her diet to discover that his daughter’s rheumatoid arthritis was spurred on by an allergy to almost every type of food except for meat, salt, and water. Since she has been on that diet, her symptoms have gotten exponentially better. Dr. Peterson and his wife have also adopted this diet because they both also have autoimmune disorders. 

Now, as an adult, his daughter is healthy, has had a child, and is able to live her life with her symptoms under control. As a family, they made it through to the other side of the catastrophe. 

One big thing Dr. Peterson learned from that experience is that by taking care of yourself and your family, you are then able to take care of your community, your city, and greater populations. In fact, it’s our responsibility to do so. 

“You need to take care of your family. You need to take care of your community. And if you don’t do that, then there’ll be hell to pay. And it’s on you. It’s on each of us. It’s hard for people to grasp that because they don’t want to. First of all, maybe because they don’t want the responsibility, but then they don’t get any meaning. Then they suffer. Then they get bitter. That’s not good. So it’s like, which of these are you going to pick? But it’s also salutary to people because it’s useful for everyone to know that if you don’t live up to your potential, that you leave a hole in the fabric of being, and it’s filled by something approximating hell, and unless that’s what you want, then you shouldn’t be doing that.” – Dr. Jordan Peterson

Dr. Peterson explained to me that this sense of responsibility has been his North Star during all of the public attention that he has received in the last few years about his books, lectures, and interviews. His words have been taken out of context, and he was attacked for things he didn’t even say. He says that ties into his biggest fear, which is doing something careless that creates serious cascading consequences for the rest of his life. 

“That’s what happens. You throw yourself into the fray. People try to localize you. And they do that by saying, ‘Well maybe you’re this or maybe you’re that.’ Well yeah, but maybe I’m not, too. I already had 250 hours of lectures up on YouTube at the point, and people tried to find evidence of me saying the things they accused me of and found nothing.” – Dr. Jordan Peterson  

The helpful information Dr. Peterson shares with audiences — sometimes rooms of 3,000 people at a time — is how he is using his purpose to help impact the world. 

“There’s a great hunger for information that is practical and useful and that helps people find meaning in their lives and orient themselves. There’s a great hunger for that. Some of the information is experimental, some of it biological, some of it from the domains of neuroscience, and a lot of it from great clinicians.” – Dr. Jordan Peterson

He has done about 50 of these lectures in 45 cities and counting. He uses these lectures as an opportunity to have a detailed and engaged discussion with the audience about how we might proceed forward individually and collectively so that we can make things consciously better. 

“It’s a moral obligation to make things better in this world, and it’s attached to our individual meanings in life. As a sovereign citizen, you have the responsibility for the integrity of the state resting on your shoulders. It’s something that if you don’t take seriously, then the state shakes, and that’s not good. And so I’m trying to convey that to people.” – Dr. Jordan Peterson

This ties into the first part of our discussion on responsibility and meaning and how those two things are intricately entwined. There is so much wisdom there, so definitely check it out. 

I always ask my interviewees about the three truths they live by. Here are Dr. Peterson’s three:

  1. Don’t say things that make you weak.
  2. Lift your eyes on the horizon and aim on the highest star that you can contemplate.
  3. Put your family in order.

Why You Should Listen to This Dr. Jordan Peterson Podcast Episode Right Now…

If you found value in what Dr. Peterson and I talked about today, please tag Dr. Peterson and me, @lewishowes, on Instagram with your key takeaways. Please also go to Apple Podcasts, give it a five-star rating, and don’t forget to subscribe!

I always ask my guests about their definition of greatness at the end of each interview and Dr. Peterson gave a profound response. In the midst of all the suffering we experience while we are here on earth, there is an antidote — truth. 

“Well, greatness is what reveals itself. When you attempt to carefully articulate and live out what you believe to be true, it just happens because there isn’t anything more powerful than truth, right? That’s the antidote to suffering — truth.” – Dr. Jordan Peterson

Again, “Suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility, but through greatness of mind.” Those were famous words by Aristotle. 

What an incredible story of overcoming calamity and coming out stronger. This inspired me, and I hope you resonated with this message. 

If you’re ready to learn how to build more meaning into your life, make sure to listen to the full episode with Dr. Peterson on The School of Greatness!

 

To Greatness,

Lewis Howes - Signature

“If you don’t live up to your potential, you leave a hole in the fabric of being.”  

Some Questions I Ask:

  • What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome? (5:16)
  • How does mapping out your time play into the self authoring program? (9:09)
  • Did your daughter feel responsible for causing all of the pain? (13:18)
  • Is there anything that you wish you had done differently with your children? (21:22)
  • Did you ever doubt yourself, in terms of your ability? (26:56)
  • What’s your biggest fear now? (35:18)

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How to emotionally navigate seeing your child suffer (7:42)
  • How to focus on your career at the same time as dealing with a loved one’s illness (11:03)
  • What Jordan taught his daughter at an early age about her illness (16:06)
  • How Dr. Peterson feels about his daughter’s experience (23:48)
  • How his daughter’s health affected his career (30:27)
  • Dr. Peterson’s plan moving forward (40:22)
  • Plus much more…

Connect with
Dr. Jordan B. Peterson

Transcript of this Episode

Lewis Howes:                 This is episode number 665, with bestselling author, Dr Jordan Peterson.

Welcome to The School of Greatness. My name is Lewis Howes, former pro-athlete turned lifestyle entrepreneur and each week we bring you an inspiring person or message to help you discover how to unlock your inner greatness. Thanks for spending some time with me today. Now, let the class begin.

Aristotle said, “Suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility, but with greatness of mind.”

We are back with the second part of this two-part series with Dr Jordan Peterson. For those who don’t know who Dr Jordan Peterson is, he is a professor at the University of Toronto, a clinical psychologist and author of ‘Twelve Rules For Life: An Antidote To Chaos’, which has sold over a million and a half copies in the last six months.

And he has taken the world by storm! Make sure to check out Part One of this series, which is all about responsibility and meaning. We went deep in that episode, and this is picking up on the second part of that first one.

This is all about how to deal with something that is brutally painful. Dr Jordan Peterson dives into some of the most painful and emotional parts of his life and how he’s dealt personally with suffering, in his own life and in that lives of those closest to him.

Also, how to avoid a victim mentality, when illness strikes. We dive in deep on this topic, and how most people focus on this mentality, and they’re never going to live a great life, because of that. Also, why we should keep children vulnerable, and teach them to be strong. Some important topics on that about kids, and raising children as well, not matter how much challenge they may be facing.

I’m super excited about this one, make sure you guys check it out. Part One first, share this with your friends as well. This is lewishowes.com/665. Tag myself, @LewisHowes, and Dr Jordan Peterson over on Instagram and Twitter, to let us know that you’re listening and what you think about it, during this episode as well.

Before we dive in, a quick shout out to our sponsors, blinkist.com/greatness. Now, if you’re like me, you love to learn, and you want to continue to grow your mind and gain skills to help you improve your life, and that’s why blinkist.com/greatness is the only app that takes thousands of the best selling non-fiction books and distils them down to their most impactful elements, so you can read or listen to them in under fifteen minutes. All on your phone!

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Alright guys, I’m excited about this one! Dr Jordan Peterson, let’s dive in to Part Two of this powerful series.

Lewis Howes:                 What’s been the biggest challenge in your life that you’ve had to overcome, and the biggest suffering that took you the longest to get beyond to improve?

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Oh, I think that was probably, and I wrote about this in the last chapter of my book, which is called, ‘Pet A Cat When You Encounter One In The Street’, and it’s about dealing with, you know, what’s the worst thing that can happen to you?

Well, I think the worst thing is that you do something really horrible and you screw up your life and everyone’s life around you. That’s bad.

Lewis Howes:                 And you have to live with that.

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Yes, yes, and you have to live with knowing you did it. That’s rough, man! That’s sin, so to speak.

Lewis Howes:                 It’s worse than dying, because then you don’t know, or you don’t remember. The suffering’s over.

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Yeah, there are worse things than dying. Yeah, that’s a bad thing, but I think the hardest existential situation that I’ve been in is the situation with my daughter because she was very, very ill. She had rheumatoid arthritis. She had arthritis, it wasn’t the rheumatoid type, and she had forty affected joints that started to bother her when she was two.

But it really manifested itself fully when she was six. And some of the medical treatment helped, but when she was fifteen, fourteen through sixteen, first her hip disintegrated and so she had that replaced after walking around on it for a good year, and her ankle disintegrated on her other foot and she had to have it replaced.

And so there were two years of absolutely brutal pain for her, like, brutal, daily, excruciating pain. And we were really running around trying to figure out what to do about it, because the hip wasn’t too hard to replace, because surgeons are actually pretty good at hip replacements, but ankles are still touch and go.

Lewis Howes:                 Yeah, ankles, so many bones.

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Yeah, and so, just watching that, and watching what it was doing to her, because she was in enough pain, at one point it just about broke her. And, I mean, you’ve probably been in the situation where you were in pain for a night and couldn’t sleep. It’s like, “Yeah, fine,” so multiply that by five and extend it over two years.

She was on huge doses of opiates and so that was sedating her, and that made her look drunk in public and she could only stay awake for about six hours a day, and she had to take Ritalin to stay awake, because she was just sleeping all the time.

And it was a very bad auto-immune condition, so it wasn’t only manifesting in the joint deterioration and the pain, because arthritis is also very painful, and forty joints happens to be quite a lot.

Lewis Howes:                 Just one joint is bad!

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Yes! No, right! It was absolutely brutal beyond belief.

Lewis Howes:                 As a father, or a parent, how do you navigate that emotionally yourself?

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Yeah, well, that’s what that chapter’s about. What do you do when something’s too much? Well, one of the answers is, you narrow your time frame. Another answer is, you look for occasions of grace and beauty where you can get them.

And she had a dog that really helped, so that was something that was with her all the time, and we tried to put things in her life that she could care for. She had a whole raft of pets, although she was allergic to almost everything. So, most of them were lizards.

Like, we’d get her a Guinea pig and she’d be, “Oh, I love this Guinea pig, it’s such fun.” And then three hours later she’d have a big rash and we’d have to take the Guinea pig back to the pet store. So the dog, luckily, the dog she could tolerate, and so we had the dog for her.

But one of the things you do in a situation like that, that’s just a bloody, ongoing nightmare is that you shrink your time frame. It’s like, “Well, what are we going to do in a year?” It’s like, “Oh, gosh, we can’t even think about that.”

Lewis Howes:                 Think about tomorrow, or a week

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Six months, no! Yeah, a week, tomorrow, today, the next hour. Yeah, so that’s what you have to do. You shrink your time frame until you can tolerate it.

Lewis Howes:                 So you’re not planning out years, because then you’ll go crazy.

Dr Jordan Peterson:       You can’t, yeah. It’s too much uncertainty. You just think, “Okay, how can I make the next hour the least amount of awful possible?” That’s what you do at someone’s death bed. You shrink your time frame, and that’s what you have to do.

Lewis Howes:                 How does that play into the self-authoring program, if you have this vision for yourself and you’re mapping out your idea two, three, five years ahead? Do you have to re-navigate?

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Yeah, that’s right, you have to re-navigate.

Lewis Howes:                 And just fit it into that time slot.

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Yeah, because even the best laid plans of mice and men go astray, I mean, that’s part of being alive, and so, you have your map, but if you get a flat tyre along the way, you still have to stop and fix your car. Maybe the bloody thing bursts into flames and you have to get a new car.

So, I mean, your ascent towards your goals can be punctuated by unexpected catastrophe, and then, hopefully, you’ve made yourself into a resilient person, at that point, and the catastrophe is no worse than it has to be, and you’re not making it worse.

One of the things we were fortunate about is that, by the time she got really ill, my relationship with my wife was pretty well put together, and my relationship with my son, who is younger than her, was also well put together, and so he was an absolute trooper, man.

Because, for most of [his life], and a lot of his teenage life in particular, there was a huge amount of focus on the suffering of his sister, and we were right up to here with that. It was enough, and he conducted himself admirably.

If he caused trouble, we didn’t know about it. He kept it to himself. And I don’t mean he was hiding, I mean he dealt with it. And he spent a lot of time at home, and he didn’t do any unnecessary, stupid things, and he put up with his sister and his parents, who were on edge a lot, without adding additional catastrophe and misery and grief to it.

And when she was a little bit crazy, and was leaning on him too hard, or bothering him, he was there to support her, and it was massively helpful. And my wife and I weren’t any more crazy towards each other than we had to be, and so there wasn’t any additional stress during those periods of time, it would have sunk us.

Lewis Howes:                 Any extra would have been, like, “I’m dying!”

Dr Jordan Peterson:       That’s right! That’s right!

Lewis Howes:                 How were you able to compartmentalise or just focus on your career at that time? Lecturing or writing or whatever it may be at that time?

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Well, that’s also part of the vision of hell. It’s like, “Well, what’s the alternative? You let things go and you make them worse.”

Lewis Howes:                 Not showing up and all those things.

Dr Jordan Peterson:       No, no, there’s no excuse for that.

Lewis Howes:                 So, was there a compartmentalising of, “Okay, it’s eight o’clock or nine o’clock in the morning, I’m going to work.”?

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Yeah, well we made rules and we talked about some of them. Some of the rules were, we didn’t talk about my daughter’s illness after eight o’clock at night. That was the rule. It was, like, “No!”

Lewis Howes:                 For your sanity, yeah.

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Well, it’s a war. You wear yourself out in a week, you’re dead and everyone suffers a lot. So you’ve got to keep going through however long this is going to be, and so what do you have to do? Well, you have to sleep. You have to sleep, or things are going to go bad.

Lewis Howes:                 You have to stop talking and sleep.

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Yeah, that’s right, it’s time to stop talking and go to sleep.

Lewis Howes:                 So you had a time cut-off.

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Yeah, well, and I had learned some of that, because I’d been a clinical psychologist for a long time, and so I’d been dealing with people’s problems, and you learn how to… And you think, “Well, how can I go home when I have all those problems to contend with?”

It’s like, “Well, A, they’re not your problems.”

Lewis Howes:                 They’re not going away, right now.

Dr Jordan Peterson:       No, they’re not going away, and having them bring you down is not helping the person who has the problem. It’s the same with my daughter. It’s like, had my wife and I deteriorated as a consequence of her condition, A, that would have been horrible for her, because then she would have had to bear the weight of watching her illness destroy her family, right?

Lewis Howes:                 And have that guilt.

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Oh, yes! I mean, that’s one of the terrible things about having a very bad illness. Not only does it do you in, but you can see it taking its toll on the people around you. I think that might even be worse. I mean, this is gradations of hell.

So you also can’t allow that to happen. If you have a loved person around you and they’re ill, then you have a moral obligation not to let it tear you down, because then it’s on them. That’s no good. And you think, “Well, how can you remain healthy and strong in the face of the terrible suffering of someone who’s close to you?”

Lewis Howes:                 “What, do you want us both to suffer?”

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Well, that’s it! The alternative is worse.

Lewis Howes:                 “You want me to get sick and get overweight, and not be able to take care of you or me?”

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Right, and then we both drown faster. Not helpful.

Lewis Howes:                 Did she ever go through a place of – I guess some people do this – where kids who have some type of auto-immune or some type of disease or whatever it may be, they didn’t necessarily, you know, they were born with it, or it happened somehow, it’s not like they ate something themselves, they weren’t necessarily responsible for it – was she responsible for causing all the pain in her body, or was it just something that happens?

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Well, that’s what we told her. It was just, “Well, that’s life, kid. It’s not you.” We also told her, very, very many, many times, and we were very careful about this, “Do not use your illness as an excuse. As soon as you do that, you can’t tell the difference between the illness and your character. So don’t let it turn you into a victim.”

Even though, obviously, it’s a catastrophe, we were very clear about that, and it wasn’t her fault, but that she still had to bear up under it as well as possible and to do everything she could and not use it as an excuse. And we talked to her about that a lot, and were clear about it.

And I’ve seen this, this is one of things that I really dislike about what the universities are doing with disability. It’s like, “Everybody gets a disability.” It’s no wonder, because people have hard lives. It’s very rare to find someone who isn’t suffering under an undue load of some sort. There’s something wrong with them.

Lewis Howes:                 Yeah, frustration, anxiety, whatever.

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Or there’s something wrong in their family that’s serious. Or they have terrible economic pressure, there’s something wrong. It’s like, “Okay, we should make allowances for you.” It’s like, “Oh, yeah? What allowances? What exactly does that entitle me to?” Well, I tell you, man, that’s a murky place you do not want to go.

Because then you don’t know any more, it’s like, “Well then what’s my responsibility, I have this undue burden to bear. Well, how does that mitigate my responsibility?” The answer is, “As little as possible!” You don’t go there, because you get confused. And as soon as you get confused, well, then the illness has not only got you physiologically, it’s got you psychologically, and then you’re in deep trouble.

And to her great credit, as far as I can tell, I wouldn’t say she never used her illness as an excuse, because never is an extreme. But she certainly withstood the temptation to do it habitually, and to warp her character as a consequence. And she did figure out what was wrong with her and fixed it, and so now she doesn’t have any of these, she’s healthy now.

She still has some residual damage from everything that happened. I just found out yesterday, she went to Chicago to have her ankle checked out because it isn’t working every well, and they told her that she had to have the old replacement taken out and a new one put in. But in her realm of catastrophe, that actually constitutes news that’s not as bad as it could be, strangely enough. So, it’s not like she’s out of the woods, but…

Lewis Howes:                 So you taught her from an early age, then – sorry to cut you off – even though she had, let’s just say, for the sake of the conversation, a physical disability. She wasn’t as able-bodied, physically, as the majority of people, but you told her, “Never allow that to give you special privileges.”

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Well, no, it wasn’t that exactly, it was, “Never use that as an excuse to not do something you could do.” That’s the thing.

Lewis Howes:                 Even with the challenge, yeah.

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Yes, because there’s a deception element there. It’s like, “Well, I don’t want to do that, and I have this illness, and that gives me a convenient [excuse].”

Lewis Howes:                 “So, maybe I can get away with it.” Got it, got it.

Dr Jordan Peterson:       That’s right! Don’t use your illness as a means of getting away with something, because you’ll blur the line.

Lewis Howes:                 And then you’ll constantly use that for the rest of your life.

Dr Jordan Peterson:       That’s right! And if you do that a hundred times, you’ll be so confused about what’s illness and what’s not, that you won’t know. You won’t know any more, and maybe you won’t be able to figure it out again, and then you’ll be in a very bad place.

You know, there were some things that she had to have done that were allowances. Like, when she was doing exams, she had to type, because she couldn’t write, and she couldn’t sit on the floor cross legged, so she had to sit in a chair. Things that she actually couldn’t do, she couldn’t do them, but she did everything she could.

Lewis Howes:                 But she still did the work. She still did the work, and she [didn’t say], “Oh, I can’t take the test. I can’t do the exam at all.” But she was able to do it with different circumstances.

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Right, and the consequence of that was that once she figured out that most of what was causing, or what was bothering her, all of it, by the looks of it, was a consequence of an extreme sensitivity to almost every sort of food. So she hardly eats anything now. The only thing she eats is beef. That’s it. Beef, salt, water. That’s it. Nothing else.

Lewis Howes:                 That’s it?

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Yeah, that’s it, and she’s been eating that way for, well, mostly for about three years, but almost completely for about a year.

Lewis Howes:                 And she feels fine?

Dr Jordan Peterson:       She’s a 100%. She has no symptoms.

Lewis Howes:                 No vegetables, no supplements?

Dr Jordan Peterson:       No, that’s it. Beef, salt, I’m serious. And she never cheats. Never.

Lewis Howes:                 Because she doesn’t want to feel pain and suffering.

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Yeah, well, if she eats the wrong thing, she had a terrible, catastrophic, physical and emotional reaction for a month.

Lewis Howes:                 Wow! So did she essentially have to eliminate all food and try one thing at a time? And so, “Okay, that’s not going to work, let’s try this.”

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Yes. And it took about three year to figure it out.

Lewis Howes:                 Wow!

Dr Jordan Peterson:       So, yes, wow is right! I can’t, it’s absolutely beyond comprehension. It’s a diet that I follow almost entirely now, as well.

Lewis Howes:                 Just beef, salt and water?

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Yes. I’ve been eating that way for about three months, and I’ve been on an extremely low carb diet for about two, two and a half years, something like that. Both my wife and I have auto-immune symptoms, and she got all of them.

Lewis Howes:                 Your daughter, so it’s like the worst of both, magnified by a thousand?

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Yes, that’s right. But when she sorted out what was wrong, she convinced me to also try what she’s been doing, and it’s been extraordinarily helpful for me, too. Who would have guessed it?

So, anyway, so what you do when things are too much for you is, you narrow your time frame. I also, in Chapter Twelve, there’s a fair amount of discussion in there about fragility and vulnerability which is really what you confront when you have a sick kid. It’s like, “Oh, my gosh, how can the world be constituted so that a child can unfairly suffer in this manner?”

It’s like, okay, here’s a way of thinking about it: Take away everything from your child that makes them vulnerable.” Let’s say you have a three-year-old. Like, three-year-olds, they’re kind of cute, they run around, they’re little and they’re vulnerable, obviously, but that makes them cute and attractive and loveable. All of the vulnerability that’s built into that.

So, you think, “Remove that one by one. Now they’re eight foot tall, and they’re made out of steel and their parts are replaceable and they have artificially intelligent brain,” you replace them – obviously this is hypothetical – with a superhuman robot that doesn’t die. You find that, where’s the three-year-old?

So, one of the things I thought about when I was writing this was, when you love someone, especially when you love someone, you love them not only despite their fragility, but also because of it, and so then that’s the price you pay for it. It’s like, they wouldn’t be who they were if they weren’t fragile and limited in their particular way.

And the fact that you like to have them around, then, I mean, I guess you think that that fragility and vulnerability is justifiable. It’s like, well than you can’t allow it’s existence to make you bitter, because you can’t have it both ways. You can’t have them being vulnerable and cute and interesting and small and needing care, but striving to develop and grow, you can’t have that without them also being prone to pain and destruction and vulnerability.

And so, take your choice. And then, what do you do? You teach them to be strong. That’s what you do. You don’t get rid of the vulnerability, you teach them to be strong. And that’s also a theme that runs through the book in many, many ways, is that you don’t protect your children.

In fact, you do the opposite, you expose them to the world as much as you possibly can,and you make them strong. That’s the best antidote to their vulnerability. Not to protect them. There’s no protecting people. We already established that. Life’s a fatal game, there’s no protecting people, but you can definitely make them strong, and maybe you can make them strong enough to transcend that. That’s the goal, man!

Lewis Howes:                 Is there anything that you wish you would have done differently with your daughter, or your son, that you didn’t do?

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Not of any great significance. I mean, I have wishes, I suppose, from time to time, that things could have been different. I spent less time on the positive aspects of my son and my daughter, because we were contending with catastrophe so frequently. And so, both my kids have a variety of interesting talents and it would have been better, perhaps to have had the time to develop those more thoroughly.

But, you know, my son, I wouldn’t say he didn’t get as much attention as he needed. He didn’t get as much attention as I would have liked to have paid him. But, by the same token, it isn’t obvious that it’s been bad for him, because it required him, from a very early age, to grow the hell up. And we relied on him, right from the time he was a young kid, to make intelligent decisions.

We assumed he would make intelligent decisions. He was consulted with regards to decisions, and it also made him into someone who is very self-sufficient and capable of taking care of himself. So it might have been nicer for me, I suppose, to have spent more time with him. But, he lives down the street from me now, and I spend time with him, and we have a great relationship. And he has a very good relationship with his sister.

So it turned out as well as it could have, but that didn’t mean that those years in there… They were brutal. Those were some brutal times, man. One night in particular, she was in absolute agony, and I couldn’t get it under control. And I could see, because I am a clinician, I could see, I thought, “I’m going to end up taking her to Cam H,” that’s the psychiatric hospital, “because it looks ike it’s going to break her.”

And I couldn’t see a way to resolve it. It pushed her right to the brink, but not over. And there was another episode, after she had her hip replaced. She was put in a rehab hospital for a while, and she was the youngest person in it by like, sixty years.

And they treated her terribly. It was a terrible place. Mean, mean, blind nurses, and very, very badly run. And they traumatised her, that hospital was a worse experience than the damn surgery. And so that took her quite a while to recover from, but she did recover from it.

Lewis Howes:                 Do you ever think now, since you’re a clinical psychologist and you’ve done all this research and work and these studies, do you believe that your daughter was meant to experience this for you to test your ability to be with her and do you think she would have been able to grow in the way she has now with someone who didn’t have the practice that you had?

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Well, I think it was fortunate for all of us. Well, my wife, too, my wife had worked in palliative care as a volunteer and she was a massage therapist for a long time, and my wife is a really tough person. And if you don’t need help and you want it, she’ll cut you into ribbons. But if you need help, she will really help you.

So, she’s really good at differentiating between people who actually need help, in which case she is right there, and people who could stand up on their own, and if you could stand up on your own and you aren’t, you don’t want to be around her, because she will put you in your place.

And it was so funny, because our kids used to bring their friends over all the time when they were teenagers, which we actually quite liked, but we had a rule for the teenagers, which was, “We’re really happy you’re here, but if you do something stupid, and you never get to come back, that’s actually okay with us.”

So they knew that, and it was no joke, because we were happy they were there and they were welcome, but we were perfectly happy to dispense with them if they misbehaved. But what was really funny was that the kids would come over, the teenagers would come over, and they were pretty afraid of me, to begin with. But after being around for a couple of weeks, they were way more afraid of my wife!

So, that was very funny. Because, she’s quite a pleasant person, and she’s only five foot two. But she’s imposing enough, because she’s also in good physical shape. Because I’m actually kind of soft-hearted, and she’s not soft hearted, although she can really take care of people who need to be taken care of.

So, I think, Michaela had a fortunate circumstance in that sense, because both of us had a lot of experience dealing with catastrophe, and so, when it came along, we were overwhelmed by it, but it wasn’t because we didn’t know what we were doing.

We knew what we were doing, it was just, even though we did know what we were doing, as much as might be possible, that doesn’t mean that we could deal with it, because it took us, what, seven or eight months to arrange the ankle surgery and there was a waiting list in Canada at that point of, I think, three years.

Actually they wanted to fuse her foot, which is a really bad thing for someone young, and so we looked in India, we looked all over the world for ankle surgery, really, everywhere. And finally – the government in Canada was actually quite helpful – we found a private clinic in Vancouver that did the surgery, and the ministry of health in Ontario was quite helpful to us at that point, but we were scrambling.

“What should we do? Should we have her ankle replaced? What sort of replacement? Who do we talk to? What about this waiting list? Three years? No! She can’t live, man, she can’t live for three years like this!”

Lewis Howes:                 You’re thinking a week, your time frame is a week!

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Oh, yeah, three years! That’s just beyond…

Lewis Howes:                 Did you ever doubt yourself in terms of your ability and your research and your studies? Did you ever say to yourself, like, “Man, if I can’t figure this out, then all my work is for nothing.”?

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Well, no, I never thought it was for nothing, but I certainly doubted whether or not we were going to be able to figure this out.

Lewis Howes:                 And at that time you were extremely educated, researched, you’d seen a lot. Did that give you a fear of, “Well, if I can’t figure this out, then no-one can.”?

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Of course! Well, her prognosis was multiple early joint replacements, and that was the good news, because the bad news is, “Well how many? And how many can you stand? And when does that kill you?”

So, her real prognosis was plenty of pain, with an early death. Because, even now, the surgeon who talked to her yesterday said – because he talked to her about the risk of amputation in the future – it’s like, “Well, this is the second joint revision. This might last fifteen years, but we don’t know what’s going to happen then.”

So, our response to that is, “That’s fifteen years from now. Who knows?”

Lewis Howes:                 “Let’s deal with it then.”

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Well, things are better now, for how people understand how to replace and ankle than they were, I think it was ten years ago that she had this one replaced, and it helped. It wasn’t perfect. Her hip is perfect. The ankle has always been trouble, but way less trouble than it was, and so, you struggle forward the best you can.

And so, I suppose she could adapt to an amputation if that was necessary, but at the moment it isn’t necessary. But multiple amputations is not something to be looking forward to when you’re sixteen.

And they were going to put her on corticosteroids to control her inflammation, and that would have produced Cushing’s disease and that makes your face all puffy and it makes you gain weight and so it’s very physically disfiguring.

So we decided not to go down that route, but it’s worked out, thank God! It’s quite the miracle. And she had a baby a year ago, and we were never sure that was going to happen.

Lewis Howes:                 Wow! Congratulations!

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Thank you!

Lewis Howes:                 Congrats to you!

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Yes, that’s for sure! So now we have this respite, where she’s healthy, and the last time I saw her she was looking great! She’s just glowing, she’s so healthy! I can’t believe it, it’s just beyond belief.

Lewis Howes:                 Congrats on all the hard work you’ve done to make it a possibility.

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Well, we endured the worst excesses of hell during the catastrophe, so that’s something. And it gave her the space to figure it out, and my wife had always thought that diet had a relationship to it, and we investigated that.

There’s a good literature that shows if you have arthritic symptoms, and you stop eating, if you fast, they go away. So that’s interesting, food must be causing it. And it’s like, “Yeah, but once you start to eat again, it comes back.”

Lewis Howes:                 You have to survive!

Dr Jordan Peterson:       It turns out, no, not ‘no matter what’, almost no matter what, because she’s sensitive to virtually everything, but she isn’t sensitive to meat. And so it turns out that if you eat meat you can live. So, that’s a big difference between being sensitive to everything and not being sensitive to one thing.

And so, it’s a harsh diet. It’s made travelling difficult, although I can eat in restaurants, because most restaurants can cook a steak with nothing on it, and that’s made things much easier while I’m travelling. But, whatever, it’s working and so, thank God for that!

Lewis Howes:                 Wow. Amazing. Do you think, hypothetically, if your daughter was healthy and never had any of these complications, that you would be the man you are, impacting people, the success, the attention you’ve been getting, do you think you’d have as much impact?

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Well, I wouldn’t have written the twelfth chapter, that’s for sure.

Lewis Howes:                 Do you think, in general, you would still be able to have the ideals, the belief, the fortitude that you have to reach people and really impact people?

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Yeah, I think so, but I know what you’re saying. Your question is, to what degree is adversity character building? And the answer to that is: Plenty! But I was already, as I said, and it was the same with my wife, we weren’t naive people, because I had an extensive clinical practice, I was dealing with heavy level adversity, always, 25 hours a week.

Lewis Howes:                 So it wasn’t just your daughter, necessarily. There were other things.

Dr Jordan Peterson:       No, no, but there were other problems in my family, and so forth, that I dealt with as well. And so we were already, we had already garnered most of what we could from confronting adverse situations.

Now, did that add a different level to it? It probably fire-tested our relationships, it probably brought our family closer together, all things considered.

I saw the same thing happen when my wife’s mother died. She died of pre-frontal dementia, and she developed it quite young, it started to really manifest itself in her early fifties, and she died when she was seventy. She fell apart over eighteen years. And she was very physically healthy.

And her husband, who was quite the man about town, when he was a young guy – a real extrovert, he was a real character in our home town – he took care of her so well, it was absolutely jaw dropping. Every time she slipped, he’d step up to the plate and he took care of her until he couldn’t lift her out of her chair any more. And he was getting old, too.

And so, she wasn’t in an old age home for very long. And then we were around when she died, a couple of days before her death, and her family, her sister’s a palliative care nurse, her other sister’s a pharmacist, and Tammy’s had the experiences that I already described. And then, her father really stepped up to the plate, and so the whole family gathered around for that.

And they acted impeccably throughout, I would say. And they took care of their mother very carefully while she was dying, and they pulled together. And one of the consequences of that, which was so interesting, is that, although their mother died and that was a terrible loss, their bonds that connected them, all of them, strengthened, to the point where I would say that was almost compensation for the loss of their mother.

So, that was really interesting to see what happens, even in a dire circumstance, if people do what they can. Now, I’m not saying that’s going to work for every situation because I now people get cut off at the knees, and sometimes you hit a tragedy that, well, is fatal, that you cannot rectify. It’s a real catastrophe.

But it was very interesting watching that, because they were alert and awake around the deathbed, and they weren’t fighting with each other at all. There was no familial squabbling. Because you could imagine that that could happen, because everyone’s stressed, and then you can just imagine how terrible that would make something that’s already awful.

There was none of that. They focussed their attention on her, they gave her water when she needed it, and they watched her, and they made this terrible thing the least amount of awful it could be. And it definitely pulled them together, that whole family, including me, is closer, because of what they went through and, also, how they went through it.

And it’s probably the case, well, I would say, it definitely advanced the maturity of my son. I told him, “Look, kid, you can’t add anything to this. We’re up to here. You have to conduct yourself properly, because otherwise everything’s going to shake and fall. We can’t have more of this. You can’t bring anything unnecessary into this.”

Lewis Howes:                 The kid was an All-star! Champion!

Dr Jordan Peterson:       It was remarkable, man!  An he was only in grade ten when this happened. And your friends are pretty damn important when you’re in grade ten, and he stuck around a lot, to be helpful. So, yeah, good for him, man!

Lewis Howes:                 What a champion son! Amazing!

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Well, he, yeah, he’s a good character. He’s quite something, and he was very helpful, and he was very helpful to his sister. They had their fights, obviously, while she was often unreasonable, and no bloody wonder! When you’re strung out.

Lewis Howes:                 And you can’t feel anything but pain!

Dr Jordan Peterson:       She went through so much. Like, even watching her withdraw from the opiates, because she was on them for about a year and a half, she just quit, hey. It was like, as soon as she was done with surgery, it was like, “I’m not taking these any more!”

And she had formication, which is the sensation of ants crawling under your skin, she had that for, like, a month. Unbelievable!  She just sailed through it. It was, like, “I’m done with these!”

Lewis Howes:                 You guys have been through a lot!

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Yeah, it was a lot, man!

Lewis Howes:                 What’s your biggest fear now, moving forward in your own life?

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Oh! Making a mistake at the moment. Because I’ve been the subject of so much public attention in the last two years, and I’ve been in a situation where, well, even things I didn’t say, have almost been fatal, because people take them out of context. But my biggest fear has been that I do something careless, and that there are serious, cascading consequences to it.

Lewis Howes:                 Do you feel like you’ve done something careless?

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Well, everyone’s done something careless. But I’ve been pretty careful. I was fortunate, so when this political scandal blew up around me in Canada, when I opposed some legislation that I thought was reprehensibly constructed, the radicals on the left, in particular, came after me hard.

But I was fortunate, because they called me every name in the book, and went after my character, and I suppose there was some degree of, that was understandable to some degree, because if you stand up against the radical right, well, maybe you’re a communist. Probably not, because you don’t have to be a communist to not like the radical right.

But if you stand up against the left, maybe you’re a Nazi. Probably not, but you might be. And so it’s certainly in the interests of the people who are proponents of the philosophy of the radical left, to assume that you’re a Nazi, because then they don’t have to deal with you.

And so, that’s what happens. You throw yourself into the fray, people try to localise you and they do that by saying, “Well, maybe you’re this, maybe you’re this, maybe you’re this!” It’s like, “Well, yeah. Maybe not, too.”

But I already had 250 hours of lectures up on YouTube at that point, so people could actually go and see what I had said, because virtually every word I’d ever said to students in a professional capacity –  not every word, because I didn’t tape every lecture – but I taped multiple years of lectures.

And so, people went over those with a fine tooth comb, trying to find out if there’s anything I’d ever said that was, and they couldn’t find anything.  And that was because I’d been very careful with what I say, ever since I was about twenty-five, I started paying attention to what I was saying and trying very hard not to say things that something in me objected to.

Well, that provided me with a buffer. And so, people came to my website, because they were interested in, well, before the political stuff blew up, I had a million views on YouTube, which is nothing. A million of anything is a lot, but then when the political scandals started to break, then people came for them, but stayed for the content, and that’s been really useful.

Lewis Howes:                 They found love.

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Well, yeah, and it’s not that surprising. Well, you know, because of what you do. There’s a great hunger for information that is practical and useful and that helps people find meaning in their lives and orient themselves.

There’s a great hunger for that, and most of my lectures were derived from solid psychology. Some of it experimental, some of it biological, some of it from the domains of neural science. A lot of it from great clinicians. It’s not surprising that people find it helpful, because great clinicians were great because they were really helpful.

And so, to distil that and to offer it to people in a digestible form, to have that have a good effect on them, well that’s what you’d expect, that’s what the whole discipline is about. And so that’s been great, these public lectures that I’ve been doing.

I think I’ve done fifty of them, in about forty-five different cities, now, in about three months, and the average theatre size is between 2,500 and 3,000 people. And they’re unbelievably positive events, because people come there and we talk mostly about the political spectrum and why there’s room for voices on the left and why there’s room for voices on the right, and where the parameters of that should be.

Because both of those can both descend into extremism and that’s not good, and the role of individual responsibility and individual sovereignty, and the necessity for people to develop a vision. The sorts of things that we already talked about. And virtually everyone that’s coming there, they’re not coming for political reasons, even though that’s story you hear from the more ideologically possessed journalist types, because they see the world that way.

They couldn’t imagine anything else could possibly be happening. But the people who are coming to these lectures are coming because they are doing everything they possibly can to make their lives better. And so, and it’s lovely to talk to people like that. It’s great! It’s literally great!

Lewis Howes:                 Yeah, love it. School of Greatness, baby!

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Right, exactly, exactly!

Lewis Howes:                 I’ve got six minutes to be mindful of your time and your schedule, and I want to ask you three final questions, if that’s okay.

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Yeah! You bet.

Lewis Howes:                 As much as I would love for you to go on for another few hours on these answers, so I can get to the last question.

Dr Jordan Peterson:       I’ll do my best to be brief.

Lewis Howes:                 I wish I could go on far longer, so I’d love to have you come back the next time you’re in L.A. The first one is: What is you’re purpose now, moving forward, through everything you’ve had in your life, what’s your purpose moving forward?

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Well, I did a series of Biblical lectures last year, I did fifteen lectures on Genesis. I’m going to continue doing that, so in November I’m going to start with the Exodus stories and what I’d like to do over the next fifteen years is make my way through the whole corpus of Biblical writings. So that’s one major goal.

I want to write another book, I’ve written half of it already, which will be a follow up to Twelve Rules For Life, because I actually had laid out on a site called Quora, Forty Rules. So, I’ll do that. And write another couple of books, I suspect, over the next few years.

The touring I’m going to continue. I have ten cities coming up in Canada, and another twenty in the US, and twelve in Europe and I’m going to go to Australia in February, and back to Europe, I think in April. So there’s lots of touring on the horizon. It’s for the reasons I already described.

The lectures differ every night, although there are themes that constantly emerge, and I’m using those as an opportunity to have a detailed and engaged discussion with the audience about how we might proceed forward, individually and collectively so that we can make things consciously better,and why that’s associated with necessary meaning, and why that’s a moral obligation.

So it’s a dialogue about responsibilities and not rights. Rights are only important in so far as they set up the space for you to shoulder your proper responsibility. And, as a sovereign citizen, you have the responsibility for the integrity of the state resting on your shoulders. And it’s something that, if you don’t take seriously, then the state shakes, and that’s not good.

And so, I’m trying to convey that to people. There’s actually something that you need to do. You need to take care of yourself, you need to take care of your family, you need to take care of your community, and if you don’t do that, then there’ll be hell to pay. And it’s on you – each of us.

And it’s hard for people to grasp that, well they don’t want to, first of all, maybe, because they don’t want the responsibility, but then they don’t get any meaning then they suffer, then they get bitter, that’s not good. So, it’s like, “Which of these are you going to pick?”

But it’s also salutary to people, because it’s useful for everyone to know, that, if you don’t live up to your potential, you leave a hole in the fabric of being, and it’s filled by something approximating hell. And unless that’s what you want, then you shouldn’t be doing that.

And so, it’s perfectly possible to have a serious discussion with three thousand people about this, and they’re right on board with it, all the way. And so, that’s really something amazing to behold. And one of the things I’ve realised is, all these new technologies, the technologies you’re using, enable these long form discussions; turns out that people are smarter than we thought.

TV narrowed it, right? It’s like, “Thirty seconds! Say your complicated thing in thirty seconds!” It’s like, “I can’t.” And so we were viewing the population through this narrow window and everyone looked kind of stupid. It’s like now the window’s fully open, and it’s like, “Oh, look at that! You people like 40-hour Netflix specials that are incredibly complex! Right!”

And you like 3-hour Joe Rogan discussions that are complicated, you’ll follow the whole thing. It’s like, “Oh, good, we’re smarter than we thought. Thank God for that, because we better be!” So that’s where I’m aiming in the future.

Lewis Howes:                 That’s your purpose. Got it! Okay, question number two. You’ve got the Twelve Rules For Life, make sure you guys, again, go pick it up, go get it right now. What’s the link?

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Oh, selfauthoring.com, and I put up a code which is ‘greatness’, you get 20% off the full suite, two for one, so you can give the suite to your friends, too.

Lewis Howes:                 Selfauthoring.com? Not slash greatness? Just the code is ‘greatness’?

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Just the code is ‘greatness’, yeah. And I would say to everyone, if you’re going to try this exercise, which I would recommend, do it over a few days and don’t do it perfectly. Just do it, get it done. Do a bad first draft, which is an important principle in life. A bad first draft is a great thing to have.

Lewis Howes:                 That’s good! You’re also on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook?

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Yeah.

Lewis Howes:                 So I’ll link up all that stuff as well. And your website, what’s your main website?

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Jordanbpeterson.com

Lewis Howes:                 Perfect, okay! So make sure you guys get the book, subscribe everything, get the selfauthoring.

Dr Jordan Peterson:       The future authoring – for you university students out there – the future authoring program decreases your probability of drop-out, if you’re in a college program or a university program, by somewhere between 25% and 50%, especially if you’re kind of aimless. It works better.

If you’ve already got a plan and if you’re implementing it, and you’ve got a good direction, then it’s not as helpful, because you’re already halfway there, but if you’re kind of lost, and you do this, it’ll help you not only establish your goals, but stick to them.

It really helps. We’ve done three very detailed published, peer reviewed studies, showing that this really works. And it doesn’t hurt you either, that’s the other thing.

Lewis Howes:                 That’s great, that’s great! You’ve got the Twelve Rules For Life, I’ve got something called The Three Truths. It’s a question I ask everyone at the end. And so we’ll try to boil this down to three truths for you.

So, imagine this is your last day. You get to choose the day, for you, when you die. As many years away as you want it to be, and you’ve achieved your purpose. Everything you set out and you aimed for, you hit the target.

And then you pass away, it’s the last day, everyone’s there, it’s a celebration, but for whatever reason, there’s no more videos of you up online. There’s no more lectures, no more podcasts, no more books. For whatever reason, you have to take them with you.

So, no one has access to your information, but you get a piece of paper and you get to write down three things that you know to be true about your life that you would pass on. I like to call it The Three Truths.

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Don’t say things that make you weak.

Lewis Howes:                 Number one.

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Lift your eyes above the horizon and aim at the highest star that you can contemplate.

What’s the third one? Put your family in order. Yeah.

Lewis Howes:                 Powerful! Before I ask the final question, I want to acknowledge you for a moment, Jordan, for your incredible wisdom and vulnerability with me. We just met, but I feel very connected to you and your mission and your purpose, and I just appreciate everything you’ve been through as a father, as a husband, for your daughter, for your son, and for your wife, too.

You continue to move on in your own dreams in pursuit of bettering humanity, while going through all that you’ve gone through. So, I really acknowledge everything you’ve been doing and what you stand for and your ability to use your words carefully to make sure to try to make the best impact on people who are listening.

So, I want to acknowledge you for all that. I hope we get to have you come back, sometime when you’re in L.A., because I think we could go for another hour or two.

And the final question is: What’s your definition of greatness?

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Well, greatness is what reveals itself when you attempt to carefully articulate and live out what you believe to be true. It just happens. Because there isn’t anything more powerful than truth. That’s the antidote to suffering. Truth. That’s a strange thing, because you think, “Yeah, it produces a lot of suffering, too!” It’s like, “Yeah, in the short term.”

Lewis Howes:                 Awesome. Thank you, sir!

Dr Jordan Peterson:       You bet! Thanks for the invitation and the opportunity. Very nice to meet you.

Lewis Howes:                 Thank you!

Dr Jordan Peterson:       Alright.

Lewis Howes:                 There you have it, my friends! I hope you enjoyed this one, Jordan Peterson on pain and suffering.  Again, “Suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility, but through greatness of mind.” That was Aristotle, and I hope you enjoyed this one, and got profound wisdom and insights on how you can apply this to your life.

If you did, share it with your friend. Text a friend this link right now, lewishowes.com/665. Ask them to listen to this. Ask them to share with you what they learned, ask them to share it with a friend. You can put it on Twitter, on Instagram, on Facebook, e-mail your friends.

I’m telling you, this will be a powerful series for you to share with your friends or your audience. And, as always, tag me on Instagram, @LewisHowes and Dr Jordan Peterson, you can connect with him over at the show notes for this. You can watch the full video interview, get his book, the self-authoring program as well. All of it is incredible information, and make sure to share this with your friends.

If you enjoyed it, let me know. Leave us a review over on iTunes, on the podcast app on your phone, or you can go over to iTunes right now and leave us a review. We’ve got over 3,200 plus five star reviews.

Big thank you to everyone that’s left a review, and, again, we’d really love your thoughts on this specific series. Because, for me, I believe it’s going to be extremely helpful for many people. So, make sure to share it with your friends.

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I hope you guys enjoyed this two part series! Again, it means the world to me that you continue to elevate your mind, elevate your life, and you make a big impact on the people around you. That’s what we’re all here for, we’re all here to find meaning in our lives.

We’re here to learn how to overcome the pain and the suffering that is inevitable in our lives, and we’re here to make a greater impact on those around us. I hope this two part series with Jordan Peterson supported you in learning how to do this in a better way.

And, as always, you know what time it is: It’s time to go out there and do something great!

Music Credits:

Music Credit:

We Were Infinite by Inukshuk

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