And whilst I have learned a lot from the man, the dominance hierarchy, what Intelligence actually is, what personality actually is, the shadow, where the hero story actually comes from and how to think about the current political climate, I don’t think I’ve actually taken time to APPLY any of this.
So finally, I decided to actually USE this guy as a resource, and went and bought his Future Authoring Program. On it’s website this is it’s description:
“Most people have never been asked to contemplate the question: “What do you hope to achieve in your life and what kind of person do you want to be?”
This realization was the genesis of the Future Authoring program. Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto, decided to ask his students to sit down and write about their ideal future. They were asked to specifically describe the type of person they wanted to be, the skills they wanted to attain, and the relationships they wanted to have, among other things.
Simply through this guided contemplation, Dr. Peterson’s students found themselves feeling like they had more direction in life. They were less anxious about the uncertainty of the future, and knew what they could do today to start down the path of becoming the person they wanted to be.
Since that first class, the Future Authoring program has been designed, refined, and deployed to thousands of people. It has been found to be profoundly effective at aligning goals with actions, and helping people define what they want their future to look like and achieve it.”
As I started going through it, in it’s own description it said the program could take up to five hours to go through. Hours. Five. Well, this program clearly isn’t messing around then. There are no “quick & easy” fixes here, this is the real deal.
The structure of the program is quite simple, it asks you questions and has you write in a text box answers to them. it said that writing down answers, as opposed to just thinking about them, is absolutely key, because writing is really a fantastic way to organise your thoughts and gain clarity. And organise my thoughts and gain clarity I did.
The first revelation the program hit me with was in the section about leisure time.
“It is not uncommon for a person to waste four hours a day on unsatisfying leisure activities.”
It said that because if someone doesn’t think and really plan out how they spent their free time each day, they would by default go to the easiest thing to do, like watching TV, playing video games, or in my case, watching youtube videos for hours and hours on end. After work. During lunch. On weekends. On Holiday. And sometimes even before work too.
Then the program broke down just what wasting four hours a day would look like:
So over the next 60 years, if failing to plan out what you want to spend your leisure time after work and on weekends doing, it would not be uncommon for a person to waste 10 years. Literally 10 years of 365 24-hours days.
I didn’t plan what I wanted to spend my leisure time on. I generally wasted most of my weekends and the second I came home from work and lay down in bed to watch “just one” youtube video, that was game over. I’d watch stupid videos for hours, not even enjoying it, just killing time.
The program then asked me to go through and write out what I did want my leisure time to look like and what I didn’t want my leisure time to look like and what would happen if I didn’t change my habits around this. This one finding, in itself, might make my life twice as enjoyable in the long term.
The program covers all the different areas of your life too, repeating the formula of having you describe, in detail, what the ideal would be, for your work, family, friends, health etc. and then describe, in detail, what the you would NOT want to have in terms of those things.
The idea is to define your version of “heaven” and your version of “hell”, so it gives you something to run towards as well as something to run away from. Your fear of achieving success becomes outweighed by your fear of not achieving success and instead sinking into the hell you described for yourself.
It’s like a thousand wakeup calls all at once, with then sections for each on how to implement these.
Most people don’t take the time to consider, in depth what they really want out of life and to consider, in depth, what they don’t want in life, and of course this is detrimental to the life you end up leading.
The last section of the program is reviewing the answers you wrote to the previous questions, then writing your most important goals, then ranking them, then defining those goals, in detail, then breaking down what you need to do to actually achieve them. It’s the most in-depth goal-setting I’ve ever even heard of, and I’ve done a lot of goal-setting.
The first thing I’m applying are the insights it’s given me about leisure time, after work I want to play ukulele, write blogs, exercise and socialise, not mess around on youtube. I want to convert my leisure time to productive activities, not idly consumption.
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably at least a little curious about what sort of difference this could make in your life, so I recommend you check out what the course says for itself, by clicking here: https://selfauthoring.com/future-authoring.html