If you are looking for ways to improve your life, these Jordan Peterson quotes will help motivate you to prioritize yourself and your success.
Jordan Peterson is a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto.
In his tenure, his focus of study has been personality and performance psychology.
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Peterson is one of the most cited researchers in his field, and the following quotes come from his many published works on personality psychology.
His book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, is a self-help book that provides 12 tips for living one’s best life.
Use these Jordan Peterson quotes to help you examine your habits so that you can live your most fulfilled life.
Don’t forget to also read these psychology quotes that will teach something about yourself.
Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration.
Check out our entire collection of motivational quotes here.
Jordan Peterson quotes about success
1. “If you’re going to be successful you need to be smart, conscientious, and tough.” – Jordan Peterson
Everyday Application: Increase your education and knowledge, both regarding skills and yourself. Be clear about what you want and why. Get ready to stay the course despite rough water, and be prepared for the amount of work required. Success is not easy, and there are a lot of things that you need, but these three are a great starting point!
2. “The successful among us delay gratification and bargain with the future.” – Jordan Peterson
Everyday Application: Learn more about what delayed gratification is in this article. It is one of the most important things you can learn. What you are willing to sacrifice today, for the betterment of your future will determine what that future looks like.
3. “You must determine where you are going in your life, because you cannot get there unless you move in that direction. Random wandering will not move you forward. It will instead disappoint and frustrate you and make you anxious and unhappy and hard to get along with, and then resentful, and then vengeful, and then worse.” – Jordan Peterson
Everyday Application: Sure, you will learn important things along the journey. But that journey should have a destination in mind. That way the things you learn along the way will be helpful and relevant. Make a goal. If you decide that goal is not really what you want, then pick a new destination. But don’t wander around goalless!
4. “It’s better to do something badly than to not do it at all.” – Jordan Peterson
Everyday Application: Do something! Even if you aren’t doing it well at this moment, you will learn to be better. You are already ahead of so many people who do nothing. The skills you learn, the people you meet, and the opportunities you find on your way to doing it better are necessary to the process if you want to be successful.
5. “Face the demands of life voluntarily. Respond to a challenge, instead of bracing for catastrophe.” – Jordan Peterson
Everyday Application: Catastrophizing a problem will always make it worse! It can paralyze you with fear and anxiety of the “what if.” Respond to challenges by learning, listening, developing a plan, and working through it.
6. “Notice that opportunity lurks where responsibility has been abdicated.” – Jordan Peterson
Everyday Application: Just like “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” another person’s decision to quit or give up can be the opportunity you were waiting for. Any opportunity is going to come with some kind of responsibility. Are you ready for the next step?
7. “You cannot be protected from the things that frighten you and hurt you, but if you identify with the part of your being that is responsible for transformation, then you are always the equal, or more than the equal of the things that frighten you.” – Jordan Peterson
Everyday Application: We grow from the things that frighten us or even hurt us. Pain is teacher of many life lessons. However, if you can face your fears, name your feelings, and be as prepared as possible, then you will come out on top. Keep in mind growth doesn’t happen over night, but you will get there.
8. “Don’t be a slave to stupid rules.” – Jordan Peterson
Everyday Application: Maybe rules aren’t meant to be broken, but stupid ones certainly should be! The first thing to do is figure out where the stupid rules came from. Are they self-imposed? A workplace requirement? Or an actual law? Check out this article for tips on how to change the rules.
9. “If you fulfill your obligations every day you don’t need to worry about the future.” – Jordan Peterson
Everyday Application: Live in the moment and pay attention to the things that matter right now. Planning for the future is one thing (and it is a good idea). However, worrying about a future that you do not control and can’t predict is not the best use of your time.
10. “People create their worlds with the tools they have directly at hand.” – Jordan Peterson
Everyday Application: This is true, however, there are two types of people out there. Type 1 is the person who will tackle any task in front of them (even without the proper tools). They just make the best out of what they have and go for it. Type 2 will not take action because they do not have the exact tool they think they need. Which type do you want to be? Keep in mind you are creating your world everyday!
Jordan Peterson quotes about achieving happiness
11. “The creative person, by contrast, is always open to new possibilities.” – Jordan Peterson
Everyday Application: Being open to new possibilities is a great way to live life. There are several benefits to being open to new possibilities including increased creativity and confidence. Experiencing new things also helps you feel like you are less stuck and can inspire you to reach your goals. Not to mention it will keep you in a more positive frame of mind. Check out this article for more about being open to trying new things.
12. “You’re not everything you could be, and you know it.” – Jordan Peterson
Everyday Application: You know what your real goals and dreams are, deep down inside. Are you trying your best to reach your full potential? Or, are you letting fear or other things hold you back? A surefire way to increase your happiness is to live life in a way that enables you to be who you are. This article will help you recognize who you want to be and how you want to live and then go after it!
13. “If someone is making everyone around them miserable and you’d like to know why, their motive may simply be to make everyone around them miserable including themselves.” – Jordan Peterson
Everyday Application: People will actually choose to stay miserable rather than change the things they are unhappy about. Change can be scary and it is easier to just keep doing what you know, rather than attempt to change how you do things. You can not make other people change the way they think, behave, and act. That is something they have to do on their own. However, if their negativity and misery is bringing you down, you do not have to spend time with them.
14. “Perhaps you are overvaluing what you don’t have and undervaluing what you do.” – Jordan Peterson
Everyday Application: Being grateful for the things you have in life will make you a happier and more positive person. It is ok to want to move forward and work towards your goals, but don’t lose sight of everything that you already have. You are living someone else’s dream life right now.
15. “Love is the desire to see unnecessary suffering ameliorated.” – Jordan Peterson
16. “The poor and stressed always die first, and in greater numbers. They are also much more susceptible to non-infectious diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. When the aristocracy catches a cold, as it is said, the working class dies of pneumonia.” – Jordan Peterson
17. “Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient).” – Jordan Peterson
Everyday Application: The most meaningful pursuits of your life will likely not be convenient or easy. That dream you want to happen is going to require sacrifice and a lot of work. However, when something matters to you all your hard work will pay off in the end.
18. “To suffer terribly and to know yourself as the cause: that is Hell.” – Jordan Peterson
19. “If you have a comprehensive explanation for everything then it decreases uncertainty and anxiety and reduces your cognitive load. And if you can use that simplifying algorithm to put yourself on the side of moral virtue then you’re constantly a good person with a minimum of effort.” – Jordan Peterson
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Jordan Peterson quotes about finding purpose in life
20. “The purpose of life is finding the largest burden that you can bear and bearing it.” – Jordan Peterson
Everyday Application: This might sound a little terrible, but think about it for a minute. Your purpose on this earth should have meaning. We find meaning in doing good and helping people. When you persevere through your struggles you inspire someone else. This kind of good is what gives life meaning.
21. “He whose life has a why can bear almost any how.” – Jordan Peterson
22. “If you don’t say what you think then you kill your unborn self. When you have something to say, silence is a lie.” – Jordan Peterson
23. “The secret to your existence is right in front of you, and it manifests itself as all those things you know you should do but you’re avoiding.” – Jordan Peterson
24. “You must determine where you are going in your life, because you cannot get there unless you move in that direction. Random wandering will not move you forward. It will instead disappoint and frustrate you and make you anxious and unhappy and hard to get along with (and then resentful, and then vengeful, and then worse).” – Jordan Peterson
Everyday Application: This is why it is important to have a vision for your life. It is like a roadmap that helps ensure you are going the right way towards your destination. Having a clear vision also helps you decide which opportunities and risks to take and which ones to say no to. If something does not align with the vision you have for your life than don’t waste your energies going down that path.
Jordan Peterson quotes about self-improvement
25. “Can you imagine yourself in 10 years if, instead of avoiding the things you know you should do, you actually did them every single day? That’s powerful.” – Jordan Peterson
26. “Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world.” – Jordan Peterson
27. “The way that you make people resilient is by voluntarily exposing them to things that they are afraid of and that make them uncomfortable.” – Jordan Peterson
28. “Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today.” – Jordan Peterson
29. “Work as hard as you possibly can on at least one thing and see what happens.” – Jordan Peterson
30. “Humility is recognition of personal insufficiency and the willingness to learn.” – Jordan Peterson
31. “You might be winning but you’re not growing and growing might be the most important form of winning.” – Jordan Peterson
32. “You have to treat yourself like you matter because if you don’t then you don’t take care of yourself and you become vengeful and cruel and you take it out on people around you and you are not a positive force. None of that is good…you suffer more and so does everyone else around you.” – Jordan Peterson
33. “So, attend carefully to your posture. Quit drooping and hunching around. Speak your mind. Put your desires forward, as if you had a right to them – at least the same right as others. Walk tall and gaze forthrightly ahead. Dare to be dangerous. Encourage the serotonin to flow plentifully through the neural pathways desperate for its calming influence.” – Jordan Peterson
34. “Make friends with people who want the best for you.” – Jordan Peterson
35. “You’re going to pay a price for every bloody thing you do and everything you don’t do. You don’t get to choose to not pay a price. You get to choose which poison you’re going to take.” – Jordan Peterson
36. “Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping.” – Jordan Peterson
37. “You can do an awful lot by writing down what happened to you and thinking it through.” – Jordan Peterson
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Inspirational Jordan Peterson quotes
38. “You can only find out what you actually believe (rather than what you think you believe) by watching how you act. You simply don’t know what you believe, before that. You are too complex to understand yourself.” – Jordan Peterson
39. “If you’re going to insist on bending the world to your way, you better have your reasons.” – Jordan Peterson
40. “Intolerance of others’ views (no matter how ignorant or incoherent they may be) is not simply wrong; in a world where there is no right or wrong, it is worse: it is a sign you are embarrassingly unsophisticated or, possibly, dangerous.” – Jordan Peterson
41. “Dialogue is the pathway to truth.” – Jordan Peterson
42. “Ideologies are substitutes for true knowledge, and ideologues are always dangerous when they come to power, because a simple-minded I-know-it-all approach is no match for the complexity of existence.” – Jordan Peterson
43. “Truth is the handmaiden of love.” – Jordan Peterson
44. “The way that you make people resilient is by voluntarily exposing them to things that they are afraid of and that makes them uncomfortable.” – Jordan Peterson
45. “Be grateful in spite of your suffering.” – Jordan Peterson
Everyday Application: There is always something to be grateful for. The people that are truly happy in this life recognize that and are able to find gratitude in the small things. Try keeping a gratitude journal! Check out this article for tips on improving your level of gratitude.
46. “What is your friend: the things you know, or the things you don’t know. First of all, there’s a lot more things you don’t know. And second, the things you don’t know is the birthplace of all your new knowledge! So, if you make the things you don’t know your friend, rather than the things you know, well then you’re always on a quest in a sense. You’re always looking for new information in the off chance that somebody who doesn’t agree with you will tell you something you couldn’t have figured out on your own! It’s a completely different way of looking at the world. It’s the antithesis of opinionated.” – Jordan Peterson
47. “Power is competence.” – Jordan Peterson
48. “And if you think tough men are dangerous, wait until you see what weak men are capable of.” – Jordan Peterson
49. “I don’t think that you have any insight whatsoever into your capacity for good until you have some well-developed insight into your capacity for evil.” – Jordan Peterson
50. “It took untold generations to get you where you are. A little gratitude might be in order.” – Jordan Peterson
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More Jordan Peterson quotes
51. “Whether the gods are inside or outside makes very little difference to whether there are gods.” – Jordan Peterson
52. “In order to be able to think, you have to risk being offensive.” – Jordan B. Peterson
53. “Always place your becoming above your current being.” – Jordan B. Peterson
Everyday Application: Nothing is permanent in life. So, your current state of being can be different tomorrow. Each moment is an opportunity to change your circumstances. The way to do that is to put who you are becoming above the current struggles you have. Keep improving your skills, improve your emotional intelligence and mental health, and focus your efforts on the things that will get you closer to your goal.
54. “There are some games you don’t get to play unless you are all in.” – Jordan B. Peterson
55. “Stop saying those things that make you weak and ashamed. Say only those things that make you strong. Do only those things that you could speak of with honour.” – Jordan B. Peterson
56. “The things that pose the greatest threats to your survival are the most real things.” – Jordan B. Peterson
57. “If you cannot understand why someone did something, look at the consequences and infer the motivation.” – Jordan B. Peterson
58. “Worthlessness is the default condition.” – Jordan B. Peterson
59. “If you betray yourself, if you say untrue things, if you act out a lie, you weaken your character.” – Jordan B. Peterson
60. “It’s appropriate and praiseworthy to associate with people whose lives would be improved if they saw your life improve.” – Jordan B. Peterson
Everyday Application: Everyone needs that friend who is crushing their goals and improving their lives. It motivates them and shows them that real people can start from the bottom and change their lives. You can be an inspiration and help others which will also give your own life more meaning.
What did you learn from these Jordan Peterson quotes?
These Jordan Peterson quotes discuss success, discipline, responsibility, how to achieve happiness, and how to find your life’s purpose.
Since the early nineties, Peterson has spent his career studying personality and behavioral psychology.
He has applied his learnings to his many published works and his books have become best sellers.
These quotes display the wisdom that Peterson has gained from his observance in the world.
If you are looking to improve your life, take Peterson’s words to heart and practice the advice he gives.
Use these quotes to motivate you to achieve your dreams.
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