Jordan B. Peterson: How to increase your suffering

How we create our own hell on earth is a topic often treated in philosophy. In this article, however, we will approach this topic with the help of three quotes from psychoanalyst Jordan B. Peterson.

"When you deceive yourself, when you say untrue things, when you act out a lie, you weaken your character."

Jordan B. Peterson

According to the definition, your character is your individual imprint, which is expressed by inherited or acquired characteristics in your will and actions. We have hardly any influence on the inherited characteristics. Of course, these can be helpful or disturbing, but since we cannot change anything about them, it does not help much to waste too many thoughts on them. What we do have influence on, however, are the acquired characteristics. The more often we lie to ourselves, however, the more we consolidate character traits that are generally considered less desirable.

As I already mentioned in the article "Honesty: a virtue" it is incredibly important to be honest with yourself. Because you won't spend as much time with anyone in your life as you will with yourself. It takes a certain amount of rigor to be honest with yourself. After all, everyone knows it when you say to yourself, "I might as well exercise tomorrow, I already walked to the grocery store and back today." These little excuses we tell ourselves are ultimately nothing more than lies.

So when you set a goal or make a commitment for the day, stick to it. Because every time you make a goal or act out a lie, you weaken your character.

"You will have to pay a price for everything you do and for everything you don't do."

Jordan B. Peterson

Every action we take inevitably brings consequences. Whether we say we will eat healthy from now on, exercise regularly or simply want to read more. Whatever we set ourselves as a goal and regardless of whether we actually do it, we will pay a price for it.

Let's take the example of healthy eating:

Here, the price we pay would be that we can't constantly shove snack after snack into our mouths. We would have to inform ourselves what a healthy diet is in the first place. We would have to spend more time in the kitchen, because healthy fresh food takes more time than a frozen pizza. So we would have to invest some energy and time into healthy eating, this would be the price in this case.

However, if we want to continue to eat unhealthier, we wouldn't have to cut back on snacks. Nor would we have to learn about healthy eating or spend more time in the kitchen. So we could save a lot of energy and time if we continued to eat the way we have been doing. So, at first glance, the price to pay would be significantly lower. However, in this example, the price is paid later. We realize what our actions have cost us when we get physical or health complaints because of our diet.

This is only a single example. But a price can be put on each of our actions, and on each action we did not take. Each of our decisions brings its own consequences. Each of our decisions has a price, sometimes we see it sooner sometimes later, but there are always a price.

"To suffer terribly and know oneself to be the cause - that is hell."

Jordan B. Peterson

Each of us knows it: a friend or even someone from the family a glass flies on the floor and breaks. Depending on whether it was a normal or a special glass, this situation is already annoying. However, it is even more annoying when the glass itself falls down.

It is painful to lose a partner because he or she wants to take a different path in life. But it is even more painful to lose a partner because we have caused it through our own actions. Because we have put too little work into the relationship. When we know we could have done better, but just didn't, that's hell.

Dr. Peterson has summed it up well in this quote. That suffering is a terrible thing, but to know oneself as the cause, that is hell.

"When you deceive yourself, when you say untrue things, when you act out a lie, you weaken your character." Because of this weakening of your character, you are more prone to repeat mistakes. You will be aware that they are mistakes and yet you will not change them. The more often you make these mistakes, the harder it will be to do the right thing. These mistakes are like a vicious circle or an addictive spiral that won't let you go once it has you under its spell. The price you pay for these mistakes may not be apparent at first, but "You will have to pay a price for everything you do and for everything you don't do." Each of us has to pay that price. That's why it's so important to be honest with ourselves so as not to weaken our character. Because if at some point we have to pay too great a price for all our actions and the consequences of our actions, then we will create our own hell. because. "To suffer terribly and know oneself to be the cause - that is hell."

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