Books Like 12 Rules for Life

Jordan Peterson is somewhat of a modern-day messiah to some, and a controversial figure to others.

But whatever your opinion of him, it’s hard to deny the impact of his book 12 Rules for Life, which has garnered a cult-like following.

The practical, almost tough-love approach to the lessons presented in the book have resonated with readers looking for direction and purpose in their lives.

If you enjoyed 12 Rules for Life and are looking for complementary books that offer a similar blend of psychology, personal growth, and spirituality, here are some suggestions.

Books Like 12 Rules for Life

1. The Undiscovered Self by Carl Jung

In his book The Undiscovered Self, Carl Jung offers a unique perspective on the individual’s relationship to society.

He argues that the ego, or individual self, is constantly at odds with the collective unconscious, which is the shared experience and knowledge of all humanity, passed down through the generations.

This conflict can lead to psychological problems, but it also has the potential to spur personal growth and creativity.

Jung believes that the ego must learn to accept and even embrace the collective unconscious in order to achieve balance and self-awareness.

He also emphasizes the importance of religion and mythology in providing a link between the ego and the collective unconscious.

This concept was particularly fascinating to me, as it helped to explain some of the things that I had always felt but could never quite understand.

For example, I have always been interested in mythology and folklore, even though I have no personal connection to them. I now realize that this is because these stories are a part of our collective unconscious – they speak to something deep within us that we may not even be aware of.

In addition, Jung’s discussion of the shadow self was also illuminating.

We all have aspects of ourselves that we try to hide away, but which still influence our actions and thoughts.

Recognizing and accepting these parts of ourselves can be difficult, but it is essential for living a full and authentic life.

In sum, reading The Undiscovered Self was a very enlightening experience, and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in exploring their own psyche.

2. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson is a book that challenges its readers to take a more honest and critical look at the things they care about in life.

On the one hand, this can be seen as a positive message, encouraging people to focus on what truly matters to them.

However, some might argue that the book takes things too far in its criticism of societal norms and expectations.

Regardless of where you stand on this issue, there is no denying that the book is a thought-provoking read that will leave you questioning your own values and beliefs.

For me, one of the most important takeaways from the material was the importance of learning to accept myself for who I am, rather than who I think I should be.

In a world that is constantly telling us to strive for perfection, Manson’s message is a refreshing reminder that it’s okay to be imperfect.

We all have our own individual quirks and weaknesses, and that’s what makes us unique little snowflakes.

Manson also makes a compelling case for the power of stoicism.

By showing us that we cannot control everything in our lives, Manson argues, we can learn to focus on the things that we can control and to embrace the things that we cannot.

This message resonated deeply with me, as I often find myself feeling overwhelmed by the chaos of the world.

In particular, I appreciate Manson’s frank discussion of death.

Too often, we go through life pretending that death is not a reality, but Manson forces us to confront our impermanence.

By accepting death, we can learn to appreciate life all the more.

Ultimately, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck helped me to see life in a new light and appreciate the beauty in this [imperfect] life.

3. The Righteous Mind by Jonathon Haidt

In his book The Righteous Mind, Jonathon Haidt explores the origins of morality and its impact on human behavior.

He begins by outlining the major schools of thought on morality, including Rationalism, which holds that reason is the primary source of moral judgments, and intuitionism, which emphasizes the role of gut feelings in moral decision-making.

Haidt then presents his own theory, which he calls the Social Intuitionist Model, which model posits that moral judgment is based on a combination of intuition and reason, with reason serving primarily to justify our preexisting beliefs.

Drawing on a wealth of psychological research, Haidt shows how this model can help to explain a wide range of phenomena, from why we are more likely to be judgmental when we are angry to why political conservatives and liberals tend to disagree so strongly on moral issues.

The idea of moral intuitivism and the assertion that our moral judgments are not always based on reason was a really interesting idea, making me think deeply about human nature and how we form our beliefs and values.

Overall, I found the book to be a fascinating and thought-provoking read and a valuable addition to my understanding of morality.

4. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Meditations is a book of philosophical reflections written by the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.

The work consists of twelve books, each of which is devoted to a different theme.

Aurelius reflects on the nature of the universe, the relationship between humanity and the divine, the importance of reason and virtue, and many other philosophical topics.

Throughout the work, Aurelius emphasizes the need to maintain a detachment from the material world and to focus on living in accordance with nature and reason.

It’s a book that had been sitting on my shelf for a long time.

As a Stoic, Marcus Aurelius is a philosophical juggernaut, and I’d recommend the book to anyone seeking wisdom and insight.

However, it is not without its flaws.

The book is disjointed and often repetitive, and it can be difficult to follow Aurelius’s train of thought.

Nevertheless, I found it to be a valuable work, full of Stoic philosophy and the human condition.

Perhaps the most important lesson I took from Meditations is the importance of living in the present moment.

Aurelius reminds us that the past is gone and the future is uncertain, so we must make the most of the present.

Meditations remains one of the most influential works of philosophy, and its insights continue to be relevant in the modern world.

5. Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink

Extreme Ownership is a book about leadership by Jocko Willink, a retired Navy SEAL.

The book argues that the best leaders are those who take complete responsibility for their own actions and the actions of their team.

This may seem like a simple concept, but Willink argues that it is often overlooked or ignored in the business world.

He provides examples from his own experience as a leader in the military to illustrate the importance of this principle.

In addition, he offers practical advice on how to put it into practice in any organization.

On the one hand, the book offers a fascinating insight into the mindset of a Navy SEAL, and it provides a valuable framework for thinking about leadership and life in general.

On the other hand, the book is very much geared towards a military audience, and I found some of the concepts to be overly simplistic.

The biggest strength of Extreme Ownership is its focus on mindset.

Willink makes it clear that success as a leader requires more than just technical skills; it also requires an understanding of human psychology.

In particular, I found Willink’s discussion of the “lone wolf” mindset to be particularly insightful, which entails complete confidence in one’s own abilities.

While this can be an asset in some situations, Willink argues that it can also lead to disastrous decision-making.

In his experience, the best leaders are those who are able to temper their lone-wolf tendencies with empathy and humility.

This was a powerful lesson for me, and it has already changed the way I think about leadership.

Overall, Extreme Ownership is an insightful and inspiring book that provides valuable lessons for anyone looking to live a more examined life.


At its essence, 12 Rules for Life is a book about how to enjoy a more meaningful existence.

Drawing on life lessons and anecdotes, as well as references to various psychological studies, author Jordan Peterson explores the idea that a person’s ability to confront their own suffering and embrace uncertainty is crucial for finding fulfillment.

The books above, like a fine wine, complement these teachings.

So go forth and get reading.