Beyond Order by Jordan Peterson

Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life” by Jordan B. Peterson; Portfolio (432 pages, $29).

Beyond Order by Jordan Peterson

Published in 2021, Beyond Order is an engaging self-help book by the bestselling author and YouTube sensation Jordan B. Peterson, a renowned Canadian Clinical Psychologist and Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto. Beyond Order is a follow up to his prior book, 12 Rules for Life, and is meant to be read as a sequel, but it remains perfectly capable of being an insightful read all by itself. After all, you should not be afraid to go beyond the order of things. Ba dum tss.

With decades of scientific expertise and professional experience under his belt, Dr. Peterson set out to give psychological advice in written form that would help his readers understand the hardships of being human, and how we may better confront them. While 12 Rules for Life focused on 12 guiding rules meant to help its readers identify and recover their sense of self-determination from the chaos that may manifest in our lives, Beyond Order instead focuses on how its readers can learn to let their guard down in order to face their fears, and go fourth to engage in life’s many disorderly challenges despite the risks involved.

While no book can truly prepare its readers for the various catastrophes life has in store for us, Peterson has done an excellent job in offering direction and guidance to those who need it, as well as providing deep, meaningful psychological insights on the emotional secrets of the human mind. You’ll feel one step closer to being a psychologist yourself by the time you finish this book, likely to walk away with a better understanding of how we humans emotionally operate.

Ultimately, the goal of Peterson’s writings is not mere psychological analysis, but to give his readers the tools to better understand and prioritize their own desires in order to pursue them in a healthy, meaningful way. Peterson explains that no matter how we choose to spend our life, we will find it laced with burdens of one variety or another. With that being the case, he suggests our best bet for obtaining personal happiness is to head-on tackle the largest burden we can carry and to drag it with us with all the ferocity of a parent lifting an overturned car to save their child.

While we certainly can’t solve all of our own problems, Peterson recommends his readers tackle as many of their own problems as they can manage, especially before trying to tackle grand problems of the world beyond their own life. He suggests the process of organizing our own life in a way that orients us towards our desires can begin with something as simple as cleaning our own bedroom. He insists that we must be our own best caretaker whenever possible, to care for ourselves with as much enthusiasm and elbow grease as we would provide for a sickly loved one, which entails cleaning up our own messes.

Peterson always dots his life lessons with meaningful anecdotes and real-life examples of the various topics his book explores. These can originate from himself, his friends, his family, or one of the many unnamed clients from his decades of clinical psychology. Animal psychology, cultural stories, sociology, and neuroscience make guest appearances too. We’ve more in common with our pets than you may think!

I’d definitely recommend Beyond Order to just about anyone. Even if you would self-identify as the happiest person on earth, Dr. Peterson’s psychological insights are just too nifty and useful to pass up.

Jordan Peterson remains a Canadian clinical psychologist, cultural critic, and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. His main areas of study are the psychology of religious and ideological belief, and the assessment and improvement of personality and performance. His YouTube videos and podcasts have gathered an audience of hundreds of millions worldwide, and his global book tour reached more than a quarter million people in major cities across the globe. Alongside his students and colleagues, he has published over one hundred scientific papers, and his 1999 book Maps of Meaning revolutionized the psychology of religion. He currently lives in Toronto, Ontario with his family.

Donavon Anderson is a reference library assistant at May Memorial Library. He can be reached at