How Jordan Peterson Taught Me The Beauty In Pain and Suffering
We all want to better. Don’t we?
So, I’ve been watching Jordan Peterson a lot since a friend of mine mentioned his name a few months into 2020. I checked his name out on the internet, went to Youtube, and clicked the first video that grabbed my attention.
10 minutes later, I was amazed and something great dawn on me.
Jordan Peterson doesn’t only teach about how to be better in life, he shows you how life actually looks like and what are ways you should handle it.
The reality is harsh, cold, and boring and it’s not because you’re having a bad day, but it’s just because you’ve been accustomed to how good days look like.
If there’s one thing I picked up from Jordan Peterson’s lectures and podcasts, it’s that we need to train ourselves to expect more bad days than good days.
Thus, we need to learn how to react to it when it comes.
The reality isn’t what you see in the movies or fairy tales, even those don’t always end with a happy ending. What you have to know is that life by default is worse than you could imagine.
And this is exactly what makes life very interesting.
2020 is an accurate example. This year has been challenging for me and for all of us. People are dying from the virus, but also from mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and stress.
This is mostly caused by the changes in lifestyle COVID-19 has created.
I have to admit, this year has been nothing but full of suffering to all of us. But then I thought, suffering is always going to be there no matter what happens. Whether Coronavirus is here or not.
Then comes Jordan Peterson. He has been the best choice of my year because he taught me and other thousands of people how to face the reality. That instead of complaining and pushing it away, we should learn how to handle it ourselves, realizing that,
No one but ourselves is coming to save us.
Here’s for example how Jordan Peterson made my 2020 better:
1. I started normalizing suffering
Let’s start with the question, is suffering a good thing in life?
It is, but also it’s not.
You cannot have one without the other.
Just like two sides of everything.
Suffering might drive you insane at first, but it will actually do good to you in the long-term. Suffering, for example, makes you value even small things and small achievements.
Jordan Peterson once said that,
“Pick up your damn suffering, and bear it, and try to be a good person so you don’t make it worse.”
Understand that you are the byproduct of your circumstances and sometimes these obstacles and challenges really teach you a good lesson and make you realize the true meaning of life.
Peterson taught me that instead of escaping my own suffering, I need to embrace it with my head up high.
Suffering is unavoidable in life, so you have to learn how to deal with it. No one manages to stay blissed out of it constantly in life.
How my 2020 became better due to his advice on suffering:
- I accepted my responsibilities with my eyes open
- I use suffering as a way to build a stronger mental attitude and character
- I view suffering as an opportunity to learn new knowledge and opportunities
So, the question isn’t whether it’s a good thing or not, it’s:
What will you make out of it when it comes?
In Peterson’s career as a clinical psychologist, he noticed that the reason why his patients come to him because they always are looking for a way out of suffering.
He always does his best by making his patients understand that life isn’t mostly about rainbows and watermelons, in fact, it’s less about that.
Life is mostly thunderstorms and lonely days.
And you need to learn how dance along with it.
So, you have to learn how to deal with these circumstances, so when you face the thunderstorms and lonely days, you will rise above them. You won’t feel bad about yourself, you won’t doubt yourself, and most importantly,
You will not be discouraged to continue living.
You have to see suffering as a pleasure. You have to be glad you are suffering because you are becoming stronger every second.
2020 made me stronger and smarter because I started converting my suffering into pleasures. This is what shapes your character and attitude built to handle even the worst events in the future.
Remember, the greatest warriors are not measured by how many wars they won,
but by how many days they have spent learning how to win the war.
So, fall in love with suffering and befriend it.
2. I focused on becoming more grateful.
Our society has become a world of endless desires that drive people to always be wanting and needing new things in life.
Do they need it? Unsure.
Do they want it? Sure.
This also caused people to be less grateful in their lives as they think they don’t have ‘enough’. As they focus more on what they don’t have than what they have.
Jordan Peterson mentioned in one of his interviews that,
“There are many things for which I’m grateful.
We live during a time noteworthy for its peace and plenty, both of which are remarkable compared to any other period in human history.
I’m grateful for the good health I enjoy today and the relative lack of suffering I’ve had to endure in more than four decades on this earth.”
Gratefulness is one hell of a drug and it’s amazing how just by simply being grateful the moment you wake up in the morning, it can already make your day and week a lot better.
I keep asking myself,
Why wouldn’t people become more grateful for what they have in life?
This year, I have observed people from around the world on social media become toxic and hating because they don’t have this thing or that thing in their lives and that billionaires should give this to them because they have a lot of money.
It’s easy to judge when you’re sitting in the sidelines.
I have learned to be more grateful than ever in my life all thanks to Peterson’s presence in my digital atmosphere.
He made me realized that our ancestors worked so hard to bring us all here and that you need to be happy because you reached this point of life where you’re not fighting in the war or playing with rocks.
That hit me.
If people all around the world started becoming more grateful for their lives, the world would certainly be less chaotic and sinister. People are driven by the madness of their desires that they forget all the good things they have in their lives.
All you have to do is to be thankful for what you have, who you are, what you have achieved, and where have you been and think that other people are dying to have what you want.
Peterson also made me realize that I have to be more grateful for:
- Having both of my parents still alive
- Having a roof above my head with clean water
- Having nice-looking clothes and a comfortable bedroom
- Having to drink coffee the moment I wake up in the morning
Once you think of these alone, it will be a life-changer.
Be grateful for what you have, always.