Self Authoring Your Life Based On Personality Testing With Dr. Jordan Peterson

Self Authoring Your Life Based On Personality Testing With Dr. Jordan Peterson

Jason Hartman starts the show by discussing his ideas on consumer advocacy. He updates us on the upcoming Meet the Masters of Income Property event and then discusses decentralizing the global legal system. In the interview segment of the show, Jason hosts Dr. Jordan Peterson. Dr. Peterson discusses his Understand Myself Assessment and his Self-Authoring Program, which are combined to help people identify their personalities and their goals for the future.

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Welcome to the creating wealth show with Jason Hartman. You’re about to learn a new slant on investing some exciting techniques and fresh new approaches to the world’s most historically proven asset class that will enable you to create more wealth and freedom than you ever thought possible. Jason is a genuine self made multi millionaire who’s actually been there and done it. He’s a successful investor, lender, developer and entrepreneur who’s owned properties in 11 states had hundreds of tenants and been involved in thousands of real estate transactions. This program will help you follow in Jason’s footsteps on the road to your financial independence day. You really can do it on now. here’s your host, Jason Hartman with the company leet solution for real estate investors.

Jason Hartman 1:04
Welcome to the creating wealth Show Episode Number 900. Yes, 900. Thank you so much for joining me today. This is your host Jason Hartman. And this is a 10th episode show 900. So every show that ends with a zero we discuss something of general interest. And today, we are going to talk to Jordan Peterson, a professor from Toronto University. We are going to talk about self authoring and personality assessment. I don’t know if that’s even the proper word for that. But self authoring is going to talk about two of his great programs. And I know that some of our listeners including Michelle is a fan of his work. So we are going to play that episode today as we talk about general life success. But you know, I want to start with a little quote today from none other than the book Brilliant, Albert Einstein. And the quote is, great spirits have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously. And honestly. And, you know, I would like to aspire to that, that quote, I think it’s a very aspirational quote. And in so doing, I will continue to be a consumer advocate for people who are investors for people who are consumers of any sort. And recently, I have been doing that in a couple of ways. Of course, you know, the shows that I’ve talked about that have been somewhat controversial and famous, although all of them are controversial, and hopefully some are famous. Of course, Episode 417. I was sued over that episode by Platinum investment properties or P IP. They operate under the names p IP West p IP east. And of course, the principal of that company is Charles sells. And he started trolling me a couple of days ago online in a forum. And, you know, these people have they they do everything they can to divert attention from the real issue at hand. They throw personal insults, they marginalize the other party. They do this they do that the other thing they go they talk about every topic except the actual topic, and that is that he took advantage of me. According to other people, he took advantage of them too. I’ve done shows on that. I did one on my AIP is show with me Gary, another client who was taken advantage of, there was a third person who came forward and recorded an episode with me. They were also taken advantage of, I can’t remember his name offhand, there was Florence hammer on episode 417. taken advantage of. And, again, you don’t have to take my word for it. You can hear it from these people directly. And we will continue to put forth stories like this to protect consumers. Of course, this is the tax lien investment company, I think has done some very bad things. In fact, one of their former employees who they also sued, sent me an email saying that they were running a multi million dollar Ponzi scheme. It is not just Yours truly, who believes this, we will keep finding out more and more and other people have come forward and told me things about them and so forth. And you know, this is just one of those things. The other one is that company in Kansas City, Missouri results property management, the principal’s Quintin Kearney and Ken Logan, more bad apples. I believe they took advantage of me. And I interviewed three other people that also said they were taking advantage of them that’s on my AI P is show AIP is podcasts more geared toward the industry although that show has broadened over the years as well. So, yeah, it is truly amazing. What how these these people are it is. They make the issue about everything but the actual issue, smokescreens, diversions, unbelievable truly, truly unbelievable. But we will keep the faith and I just want to tell you also, that if you have problems with a property manager, a local market specialist, or anyone in the real estate business, reach out to us, we can help you we can provide recently sources where you can hopefully get some justice. Some of these resources are free, they’re there, they cost nothing, except maybe 10 minutes to do a complaint. So again, not that hard, not that complicated. We pay taxes to have these systems, this enforcement, we might as well use it and put our tax dollars to work in doing the right thing. And remember, when you stand up to someone or some company that has taken advantage of you or wronged you, you are basically a proxy for the next person. Because that next person before they do the same thing again, they may think, wow, I better think twice about that. Because word will get out and they will have to really fight and make a lot of effort to take advantage of you. And that’s what we want. We want It can be difficult for these bad people and bad companies to take advantage of people. So remember, you’re not just doing it to defend your own rights, you are a proxy for others. And I don’t know about you, but one of the things I hope I can do in the world, one of the legacies I hope I can leave is being a proxy for other people who may not have the resources to to fight that battle. And hopefully, I can help them do that, by If nothing else, at least being a proxy, so that when it comes time, that they can take advantage of someone else in the future, they may think twice about it. So as the band triumph would say, the Canadian band, who I think is from the same city, that our guest is from today actually would say, fight the good fight, fight the good fight every moment, every minute every day. Fight the good fight. It’s the only way I may have misquoted those lyrics slightly from that wonderful song fight the good fight. That’s that, hey, we’ve got a fantastic meet the masters of income property event coming up. So be sure to check that out at Jason in the events section, we’ve got the great speakers that I mentioned before, and this is going to be the biggest and best one ever. So be sure you get your tickets for that and tickets are still selling very, very well for that event. And you don’t want to miss out on the early bird pricing that has already notched up I believe three times. The earlier you purchase your tickets, the better off you will be and by the way, if you have registered for meet the Masters in La Jolla, California in January, be sure to reserve your room with the hotel as soon as possible. Upon registration. You were emailed hotel information with our room block link. We’ve got fantastic discounted prices on rooms. They are filling up quickly. Remember, the room block is a separate issue. The good deal on the hotel rooms is a separate issue from your registration with us. So that is a limited supply of hotel rooms. So don’t miss out on the good prices. You don’t want to have to pay 50 $70 per night $100 per night more because you missed out on the room block so reserve your rooms as soon as possible. Also, we’re going to have the venture Alliance event in December in midnight in the garden of good and evil. Yes, Savannah, Georgia. So check that out venture Alliance mastermind calm or Jason Hartman calm in the events section as well. And we have so many great shows coming up for you so much to talk about. We are going to be releasing extra episodes on Tuesdays and Thursdays so keep your eyes peeled for those I guess I should really say keep your ears peeled and listen to them. So we’ve just got too much content too many guests that we’ve recorded interviews with that you need to hear that we need to push out quickly about investing and other various topics of interest. And those will be there. So look for extra episodes on, in addition to the normal Monday, Wednesday and Friday episodes as well. Also, I want to make a comment. I had lunch last Friday here. I’m actually in Los Angeles right now. I’ve been in Los Angeles for the last three days. And I had lunch Friday with Oh, boy, some people are gonna hate me for this one. Some people are going to think, Jason, you’ve gone to the dark side. No, I haven’t. You know, I just talked about being an advocate being a proxy for other people. And you know, even if I disagree with people who was And what was the quote it was, I can’t remember who said it, but it was something to the effect of, I may disagree with what you say. But I will fight to the death to defend your right to say it. And so this may be one of those examples, because I certainly have my share of disagreements with this person that I had lunch with on Friday. But I love the fact that she is a crusader and a crusader for many times, the real underdog. And you know, I spent most of my life Well, I guess, now, I’m old enough that I can’t say most of it anymore. But I’ve spent a lot of my life 40% of my life as what I felt to be the underdog. And that’s why I have such a passion for consumer advocacy and fighting for the underdog. And so the lunch I had Friday, did you guess who I’m going to say? Who it was with it was with our Arguably the world’s most famous attorney. Yes. That was Gloria all read. It was an intriguing lunch I had with her on Friday here in Los Angeles. And, you know, Gloria all read to me at least and probably to you when you see her on television and so forth. Of course, she’s representing the Harvey Weinstein victims of sexual harassment. And that’s just totally just pummeled liberal Hollywood, right? It’s pretty interesting to see that. That is the famous case that she is very, very busy with. Now, when I met her for lunch on Friday, she had just come from a huge press conference. There were TV vans, you know, with their satellite dishes up and so forth out in front of her office, which is across the street from where we had lunch, but she’s a crusader and I like that about her. And the funny thing is, I would have always thought glory all red was like a real, you know, just a tough, tough cookie right? But she is surprisingly warm and charming in person that’s not her public persona, by any means at least not my perception of her public persona. So that was enjoyable. I talked about my passion project free, you can check out free And that is my idea that I’ve had for several years about an online court system for consumer advocacy and for the underdog. So people can gain access to an alternative legal system and alternative court for free. This is far from developed. But if any of you listening have resources to offer or you’re interested in this project, it’s just something I want to do. It’s part of the legacy I want to leave I want to you know, it could change the world literally, it could decentralize the global legal system. How For a big, hairy, audacious goal as Vern harnish, the business guru would say, Be hag big, hairy, audacious goal. decentralize the global legal system free court calm. That’s the attempt. I’ll talk more about that in the future. But I talked to glory. All right about it on Friday when we had lunch. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to meet with her and liked the idea quite well, I think. So, more to come. We’ll see if we go anywhere with that. But without further ado, let’s talk about self authoring. I find this program that our guest is going to talk about today to be very intriguing, a very useful tool, and really, really interesting. And, you know, that’s what we all want. We all want to be that captain of our own ship, the author of our own life. That’s what we’ll talk about today as we get to our guest. So without further ado, here we go. Let’s talk about self authoring. It’s my pleasure to welcome Dr. Jordan Peterson to the show. He is a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. He’s creator of the self authoring program, and also understand myself. Jordan, welcome. How are you? I’m good.

Jordan Peterson 15:20
Thanks for the invitation.

Jason Hartman 15:21
Yeah, it’s good to have you on the show. You know, I really like what you’re doing. It seems very interesting. I have not done it myself. So I want to just, you know, in the interest of full disclosure, mentioned that, but fascinating, the self authoring, especially one of my friends told me about that program. Before we dive into self authoring, let’s talk about understand myself first, which is a type of personality assessment, right?

Jordan Peterson 15:47
Yes, it’s a it’s a big five trait assessment, but it breaks each of the Big Five personality traits down into two aspects. So it’s a high resolution personality scale. That’s one way of thinking about it.

Jason Hartman 16:00
Okay, great, good, good. So what are what are the five types?

Jordan Peterson 16:03
Well, the first trait is extraversion and extraversion is a trait that measures positive emotion. And extroverts are enthusiastic and assertive. They also tend to like to be with other people in groups. introverts, their opposites tend to be worn out by people I would say they don’t it takes them a lot more energy to communicate with large groups of people so they tend to be quieter and more and more

Jordan Peterson 16:33
solitary. And can I

Jason Hartman 16:35
ask you can I ask you something about that? Sure. I’d like you if you could to analyze me everybody’s humble talk show host so most people I’m sure Jordan would consider me a total massive extrovert right? I did. I like public speaking. I get a charge out of it. I love like talking on the podcast and and you know, I’m most people would think of me as outgoing, but I don’t know that I think of myself. That way. I get kind of worn out dealing with people all the time. And at the end of the day, all I want to do is just sit in the chair and snuggle my dog and maybe watch, you know, watch some streaming television. I just, you know, so And for example, last night I was at a volunteer event and you know, it was kind of a social event too. And you know, after a while, I just like all I want to do is go home. Am I an introvert or an extrovert? I don’t know what I am. It’s

Jordan Peterson 17:30
a good question. I mean, I could say you could try the test data at undersell understand myself that might shed some light on it. Because while extraversion breaks down into the two aspects, I mentioned enthusiasm and assertiveness, and it’s possible, for example, that you’re relatively high in assertiveness and relatively lower and enthusiasm. I mean, I can’t say for sure, because I don’t know you well enough, but that’s one possibility. Another possibility is that you might be higher in the second dimension, which is technically known as trade neuroticism and it’s a combination of withdrawal, which is a tendency to avoid avoid complex and uncertain situations because of fear and volatility, which has a tendency to react fairly strongly with negative emotion to upsetting events or, or anxiety provoking events. And if you’re relatively high in neuroticism, so say anxiety and emotional pain, then it might also be that you get stressed out by by large group gatherings or be put on the spot or that sort of thing. So

Jason Hartman 18:34
very interesting. See, I don’t have any problem getting up and giving a speech and talking in front of the group. But I don’t know a lot of these like social conversations seem like I have like small talk bores me and you know, I don’t know I just get really bored you know, honestly, by you know, getting sucked into small talk type conversation. I like to talk about big issues, you know, and things that kind of matter. I’m not very good at small talk, I probably need to improve on that. But But you know, for example, The Myers Briggs, I’m an EMT, J right. So so you know, I don’t mean to psychoanalyze, have you psychoanalyze myself, I want to talk about everybody listening, of course. But you know, it’s just interesting like I’ve been struggling with that can’t figure it out. Now, you know?

Jordan Peterson 19:14
Well, I would say, if there’s another trait which I could talk about one of the five, it’s known as openness to experience, and it breaks down into intellect, which is basically interest in ideas, and openness proper, which is creativity as aesthetic sensibility. And it’s highly probable given what you said that you’re high in openness to experience. So you would rather discuss ideas and big picture concepts, then the minutia that often makes up small talk. And so that could easily be the case. And so people who are high in openness to experience tend to Well, one of the questions although not on our test, one of the questions is like to bring the conversation to a higher level. And so you know, if you’re high in openness, which strikes me as high Probably given what you do then it might be that you find just general straightforward, typical conversation not very engaging, very interesting. Okay, well before you analyze me and call me a narcissist, because I just want to talk about myself, let’s talk about everybody else,

Jason Hartman 20:18
what they can learn from this. So so in understanding, you know, yourself, what, what’s the next trait.

Jordan Peterson 20:27
Another trait is agreeableness. And agreeable people are compassionate and polite. And so compassionate people are empathetic and sympathetic. And polite people tend to abide by social norms. And so they don’t like to disrupt social rules, essentially, social norms. And so agreeable, this sounds like a very fine trait in many ways because our society values empathy, or at least claims to value empathy very highly, but the problem with being too agreeable is that it might be very difficult for you to stand up for yourself. You’re often, you know, self sacrificing and willing to do things for others, perhaps to the detriment of yourself, you can think about it in part as a maternal dimension. And women are, in fact, higher in agreeableness than men. And that looks like it’s mostly biological. You know? Yeah. Well, they, you know,

Jason Hartman 21:18
that’s an interesting point that you make, is personality, something that is intrinsic within us? Or do you know, there’s the old saying, people don’t change? Or I don’t know, maybe they do. You know, do people change? Are we always kind of our core self? You know, a lot of psychologists would probably say that by the time you’re seven years old, your personality is cast in stone. I don’t know, is this true or not? I have no idea. But

Jordan Peterson 21:42
well, people tend to become more conscientious, which is another one of the traits more agreeable and less neurotic as they get older. So that changes and that those make up a personality, super dimension known as stability, so people get more stable as they get older. So as That’s quite pronounced and then traumatic events can change you. So if you’re if you’ve been hurt very badly or shaken up or then that can increase your trait neuroticism, and that sort of increase can be relatively permanent. But, but overall personality is quite stable from time one to time to even across years apart from those general trends that I just described. But that’s it’s a, that’s a bit complicated because even though the personality average is stable, there’s a lot of variability in individual behavior. So for example, if you’re a really extroverted you might be like the noisiest person at a dinner party. And you also might be the noisiest party in a church service noisiest person in a church service or a funeral but you’re going to be way more quiet at the church service or at the funeral than you wouldn’t be at the party. So your rank order with other people will stay the same but You can still vary a lot from situation to situation.

Jason Hartman 23:02
Yeah, really interesting. Okay. All right. Tell it tell us more. What’s next. Right?

Jordan Peterson 23:06
Okay. Well, we talked about conscientiousness and it’s made up of orderliness and industriousness. And if you’re orderly and low in openness, you tend to be politically conservative. If you low in orderliness and high in openness, you tend to be politically liberal. So political belief is quite strongly influenced by temperament and personality. I

Jason Hartman 23:25
always I always kind of say politics are hereditary, you know, because it does seem like at least to me, anecdotally, that, you know, we kind of even if we’re older, and we’re adults, you know, we’re still kind of believe a lot of times what our parents believed, not always, of course, but it seems to be rather common. Is there truth to that?

Jordan Peterson 23:44
Yeah, well, there’s this there’s a fairly strong familial component in addition to the personality component. Yeah. So you do see that happening. industriousness is a really good long term predictor of life success in in, especially in in academic life. academic pursuits. So school performance and manager on administrative performance, whereas openness to experience is a good predictor of artistic and creative and entrepreneurial success. Okay. So conscientious people tend to they are less likely to get divorced, they have higher standards of hygiene, interestingly enough, they’re there, they’re more reliable and they’re healthier, generally speaking. So, conscientiousness is a pretty positive trait, at least with regards to long term life outcomes. So that’s the five and and as I said, they they’re each broken down further into two and the cast at understand myself gives you a report on all five plus the 10 aspects I’m conducting that’s

Jason Hartman 24:45
understand myself calm, so people can check that out. That’s a great a great overview, before we move on to self authoring is what I’m really excited about because, you know, who doesn’t want to be the author of their own life right. I hope everyone But he listening does want to be. And I think that’s a great concept. What makes understand myself different from all the plethora of other personality assessments out there? One as I was mentioning earlier, that seems to be really uncannily accurate is that Myers Briggs? You know, and I’m an N TJ and Gosh, I think that description is pretty close. You know, I it’s not 100% but I’d, I’d give it 80%. You know, what, what, what, how do we evaluate these different kinds of assessments out there?

Jordan Peterson 25:34
Well, there’s been a lot of advancements in personality theory since the Myers brigg was developed, it was developed back in the 1930s and statistical tool, and the statistical processes that are necessary to derive dimensions of personality weren’t very well developed back then. We didn’t have computers for example, and you need computers to deal with a complex statistics that enable you to determine how questions clump together in the different domain. So, the five factor model is much more accurate and precise than the Myers Briggs model. And it’s differentiation into 10 aspects is something relatively new that was done in my lab, under the direct auspices of Dr. Colin Dion, who’s now a professor at the University of Minnesota. And it was the first empirical differentiation of the Big Five into higher resolution categories. So and understand myself is a serious website, as opposed to many of the toy websites that that offer personality assessments and we believe that the detail of the reports and and the quality of the comparison sample because you get your scores in percentiles your compared to other people, is is unmatched, essentially. So fascinating.

Jason Hartman 26:51
Yeah, Good stuff, good stuff. So our you know why I mean, the unexamined life is not worth living as the saying goes, What What do we do with this personality knowledge? I mean, will it help us? get ahead in life? Will it help us change ourselves and modify? I mean, should we even change ourselves and modify our behavior? Or our personality? Or, you know, just help us get along with others by understanding ourselves or what do we do with it?

Jordan Peterson 27:17
Well, I think I think it Well, I think it can help you get along with others by understanding yourself better but also determined, perhaps what needs to be worked on but also what your strengths are. So you know, if you’re an extrovert, for example, that suits you for sales. If you’re an introvert, then you’re more suited for isolated and solitary activities, perhaps like computer programming. If you’re high in neuroticism, then you want to avoid extremely stressful occupations and situations because you produce more you produce a higher level of stress response to an equivalent load, then someone who’s lower in neuroticism and so if your job is extremely stressful, it’s going to wear To a frazzle, and that’s not a good thing. If you’re an agreeable person, then then you’re suited to jobs that involve caring for people. And if you’re disagreeable, then you’re more suited to working with things. So and so and if you’re, if you’re open, then you’re entrepreneurial and creative and you’re going to need a creative outlet or you won’t be satisfied with your life. And so if you’re conscientious and you need due to a heavy load, and and you need a duty, and so and well, the other advantage too is that it can help you understand why you would agree and disagree with other people about certain foundational principles. So, for example, and that can be very important. For example, if you’re trying to establish a relationship, you know, if you’re, if you’re a very agreeable person and you’re married to a very disagreeable person, it’s going to be very difficult for you to get Your way because you’re going to avoid conflict and and, and generally allow the other person to get first choice. And you know, that can be a bad thing across time, because that relationship should be reciprocal. And if you’re an extrovert, it’s going to be hard for you to be involved in an intimate way with someone who’s really introverted, because the introvert is going to want to be alone at home. And working in an isolated way, a lot more than you, you’re going to be one wanting to go out there and socialize and so forth. And that and those are really basic differences, you know, they’re wired in. So you want to find somebody in your life whose temperament or whose personality matches yours pretty closely on on most of the dimensions with with the possible exception of neuroticism because two highly two people who are anxious and and characterized by a proclivity to emotional pain are gonna upset each other a lot. So, but other than that, you want some similarity? fast, fascinating, fascinating

Jason Hartman 29:58
stuff. So two points. questions before we move on to self authoring, which is part and parcel of the same, you know that this all applies to that. But I have two questions for you. Number one, you’ve used the word neuroticism a lot and most people would think that’s like a, I think, would view that as sort of like a sickness like that’s a, you know, what can you define neuroticism? What

Jordan Peterson 30:20
does that actually mean? It’s the tendency to experience anxiety and emotional pain. Okay. And so so you know, your body produces a stress response when you’re upset when when things are uncertain or when something that frightens you or, or or punishes you happens. Your body produces a stress response. And if you’re higher in trait neuroticism, then the stress response that you produce is, is heightened and exaggerated. Increased now, you know that that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing. It’s hard on you, but it also makes you more alert to threats and women are higher in trait neuroticism than men. And I think the reason for that is that While it’s possible first, that life is more dangerous for women, because they’re more sexually vulnerable, for example, and they’re physically smaller, but they also have to care for infants and and if you’re high and in sensitivity to negative emotion, then if you’re dealing with someone who’s distressed, you’re going to pay very careful attention to that. So it might be costly for you, but it’s advantageous for those for whom you were to whom you’re attending carefully. So if you’re

Jason Hartman 31:27
more neurotic, does that mean you’re more empathetic?

Jordan Peterson 31:31
No, that’s agreeableness. Oh, it just means that that the distress of someone else is going to upset you more. Okay. Now, the neuroticism label. It’s a rough one, you know, because there are historical reasons for that is that originally that and this would be back in the time of Freud, that the proclivity towards high levels of negative emotion was often referred to as neuroticism and that word made it into the lexicon for for personality researchers and you could call the Dimensions stress tolerance if you reversed it, right, so the opposite of neuroticism might be stress tolerance or emotional stability. And sometimes the dimension is being called negative emotionality as well. But it’s hard to nail these dimensions with a single word. And neuroticism, for better or worse is the one that stuck in the scientific literature. Hmm.

Jason Hartman 32:22
Very interesting. And then the other question is this age old question that frustrates couples all the time or maybe makes the relationships great. Do opposites attract? I think you’re gonna say no matter what, but I don’t know.

Jordan Peterson 32:39
It’s a tough question. I would say Generally, the answer to that is no, according to the relevant literature. Let’s say that one of you is higher in openness to experience. And so you’re, you’re interested in ideas and you’re interested in poetry in the arts and literature, that sort of thing. And the other one is very low in openness so a more conservative person. It’s going Gonna be difficult for you to organize your life together because your interests are going to differ very, very widely. Now the person higher in openness to experience is going to want to go to cultural events to movies and to read fiction and to attend concerts and that sort of thing. And, and it’s going to be sensitive to the beauty of the environment, the person low in openness is going to be blind to a lot of that, and much more conservative in their, in their aesthetic orientation. And that sort of thing is very difficult to negotiate across time because it’s, it’s a real, it’s a fundamentally different orientation to the world, not merely a matter of opinion.

Jason Hartman 33:39
So I would say you’re better off generally speaking with someone who’s broadly similar to you very interesting. Well, I tell you, I’m single on my next date. I’m bringing my personality test for her. So

Jordan Peterson 33:52
my daughter, I tell you, My daughter has used early versions of this personality test on everyone she’s ever dated, right. So I know she’s the only person I know who’s done that. But it’s actually worked really well for her. So it’s not as it’s not as wild and concept as you think. Yeah, yeah,

Jason Hartman 34:08
absolutely. Very good. Okay, let’s talk about self authoring. And I believe in the self authoring program, you have three parts, you know, like Past, Present future. And I just think this is a phenomenal concept. I remember one book many years ago that had a big influence on me was Mark Victor Hansen’s book, future diary, where you kind of like, you know, look to your forward life and what it looks like in all these dimensions. And I think this stuff is incredibly powerful. Tell us about that.

Jordan Peterson 34:40
Well, I’ll start with the future authoring program, because that’s the one that you that you mentioned, well, we’ve so the future authoring program asks you first to put yourself in a state of mind where you’re treating yourself like someone you care for, and like someone whose future you’re responsible for. So and that’s hard for To do because they’re often very hard on themselves, you know, they’re easier on other people than they would be on themselves. And then it asks you to think three to five years down the road, and to imagine what your life would be like if it could be what would be good for you, along about six different dimensions. And so those dimensions include friendship. What would you like from your friends? What sort of quality of friendship relationships would you like, intimate relationship, family relationships, career choices, or jobs, job placement, educational opportunities, and use of time outside of work and care for your mental care for your mental and physical health and also the use of drugs and alcohol. So that’s about eight actually eight different dimensions that that that you can think of make up about 90% of life All things considered. So it asks you just to think about, if you could have what would be good for you, what would that look like? Then you’re asked to write for 15 minutes without too much care for grammar or spelling about what your life could look like in three to five years if you had what you needed. And then you’re asked to reverse that and to think okay, well think about the, your bad habits and your characterological weaknesses, say and imagine that those got the upper hand and sort of argue down over the next three to five years. So what would your life look like if things got out of control? And so then you could imagine that gives you a little bit of heaven to work towards a little bit of hell to avoid, and that that’s sort of maximally motivating because then you have something to direct your efforts towards that’s valuable that you recognize it’s valuable, and something to be cautious of and avoid which helps get your anxiety behind you instead of ahead of you. And then you’re asked to turn that positive vision into a detailed plan to break it down into things that you can do daily, weekly and monthly and to determine how you would keep track of your progress and how you keep yourself on track and how the positive changes would affect you, but also your family in the broader community, and so on. So you can, you can write quite extensively about that sometimes people write up to 15 or 20,000 words, which is really quite remarkable.

Jason Hartman 37:26
Yeah, yeah, they really get into it. And there’s folks, listeners, there’s a little side benefit about this program. You can actually write your autobiography at the same time.

Jordan Peterson 37:36
Yes, well, that’s that’s the past authoring program. And it’s been, there’s a lot of work done a lot of it by a guy named James Pennebaker, at the University of Texas at Austin. And he showed that if you write about broadly speaking about uncertainty, but you could say more past events that have been traumatic or anxiety provoking are uncertain if you write about them, then your general level of stress and anxiety decreases. And the reason for that seems to be that you’re the purpose of memory isn’t to remember things, it’s to help you avoid bad things that you encountered in the past again in the future, or to encounter good things that you that you encountered in the past again in the future. And so, if you go over your past experience, and you write about the negative and the positive things that have happened to you, then you can come to understand why the negative things happened and avoid them in the future. And because your your, your body sort of puts you want to alert in a general sense in proportion to how rough your past has been. And your past is rough to some degree in proportion to your lack of understanding of your past. Anyways, if you write about your past in detail, then that tends to make you both physically and mentally healthier.

Jason Hartman 38:56
She just said something really quite interesting. Your past tends to put your body and I guess your mind on alert would elaborate on that. That’s well, interesting.

Jordan Peterson 39:08
Okay, so imagine, imagine this, imagine that your environment, broadly speaking is made up of two components. It’s made up of explored territory and unexplored territory. And that can be conceptual territory just as much as geographical territory, you know. So if you go to a party where you don’t know anyone that’s unexplored territory, it’s social territory. You’re familiar, perhaps with the room or with rooms, but you’re not familiar with the people. So that puts you on alert. And your body produces stress hormones to raise your heart rate and prepare you for rapid action and for rapid thought, and that’s fine, except that it’s very stressful. Now, one of the things your mind and body is trying to do all the time is to figure out approximately how much you should be on alert all the time. So it If you’re higher in trait neuroticism, for example, you tend to be more on alert all the time. But if you’ve had a very rough past and many things that happened to you weren’t good. So you could say you were exposed to unexplored territory a lot, then you’re going to be habitually more on alert than you might otherwise be. And that’s very physiologically costly, right, because you, you, you burn up valuable resources, both energy and, and while in material resources as well, when you’re when you have the gas pushed down to the mat and the brake on at the same time. And so, the more your past is uncertain and anxiety ridden, the more your mind and body assumes that the territory that you inhabit is unexplored and dangerous and the more it puts you on alert, so it’s helpful to go through your past with a relatively fine tooth comb and examine, especially those memories that get you have memories that are older than us. About 18 months old. And when you think of them, or when they spontaneously come to mind, they still produce a negative emotional reaction, then that means that those memories are still stressful, and you’re still carrying that with you and that there’s more that you need to learn about what happened. If you learned it completely, you wouldn’t be stressed by it anymore.

Jason Hartman 41:22
Oh, yeah. Very, very interesting. Okay. All right. So tell us more. Let’s talk about the program in general, but you know, just some of the other elements of it.

Jordan Peterson 41:31
Yeah, well, there’s this. The other part is the present authoring program. And what it does is help you analyze your personality, strengths and weaknesses. We call them faults and virtues. And it presents you with a list of adjectives that describe personality in general, it’s based on the Big Five model like understand myself, but it helps you assess where you’re strong and where you might need work and, and helps you remember for example, when Your personality weaknesses might have posed an impediment to your progress in the past and what you might have done differently, and how your personality strengths might have helped you in the past and how you could capitalize on that more moving ahead into the future. So and this is all very heavily writing based. And the reason for that is that when you write, especially when you write original material, so when you’re using your own words, you actually transform yourself to a great degree, you transform your representation of yourself, and also the way that you look at the world. Because when you produce new words, you’re rewiring yourself neurologically at the highest level of abstraction. And that can produce very consequential long term positive change. It’s the same sorts of things that you see in psychotherapy, although I think the writing process is probably more efficient, which is partly why we designed the program. It’s like low cost widely accessible cycles. therapy for everyone very Yeah. psychotherapy is very expensive

Jason Hartman 43:03
and not possible. And a lot of times just a big waste of time, do I? I think it depends on therapist, I guess. So he is it the same if you do this in an audio format, you know, you talked about those some of the elements of writing and self authoring, I mean, look at the title, right. But could you do this by just talking? Or?

Jordan Peterson 43:25
Well, I think that there are some advantages to writing. I think you could do it by talking about the advantage to writing is that it’s a more thoughtful process. And you can add it. And you remember what you’re doing when you’re writing about yourself is editing yourself in many ways. And so we know too, that with the future authoring program, for example, the more words people write, the better it works. So there’s some linear relationship between the amount of time and effort that people put into this and the benefit that they receive. And so I would say there’s actually something special about writing. Not the Not that speaking can’t help because it can. But with writing you, you write down what you think. And then you have a chance to look at it and think about it like, because you’ve written it down, you can free up those mental resources that would otherwise be used to remember it. And you can use them to analyze what you’ve written. And you can, especially with computers, because computers make editing so easily easy. And then you can get exactly the right words. And that’s important. Now, I should say also, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do a bad first draft of these programs. You should, but but having done your bad first draft, because you don’t want to get perfectionistic about it, then you can go and make sure that you’ve got the words right. And that’s important. It’s important to get your words right. It helps define your character and move you forward properly into the future.

Jason Hartman 44:53
antastic Okay, we don’t have much time left. But what happened we covered what else do the listeners need to know about self authoring and just you know, any tips even if they don’t use the program on achieving greater success and happiness and fulfillment in their lives?

Jordan Peterson 45:09
Well, well, I would say that there’s real utility in envisioning yourself across time and articulating that. And I would also say that our society and our education system actually does a very bad job of facilitating that. It’s partly because the education system, especially before University, was set up to train factory workers back in the late 1800s, and really hasn’t changed much since then. It’s

Jason Hartman 45:35
scary that it hasn’t changed. But

Jordan Peterson 45:39
the thing is, in the modern world, people’s identities have to be self generated to a much greater degree than was true in the past, especially because of the rate of technological change. And so I would say that it’s increasingly necessary for people to have a personal vision of their character development, and to work towards that and there’s one other thing to think about. To which is that? You know, you could imagine that all of us are involved in a great drama, which is of course why we like drama and fiction because it represents the world very accurately

Jason Hartman 46:10
and and then you say you say drama like such a Canadian do. Yeah, for all the non Canadians listening, it’s drama,

Jordan Peterson 46:20
but Guilty as charged. Yes. I love that sort of nasal spray happening. My kids laughed, because I also said Obama, which

Jordan Peterson 46:29
really, instead of Obama Yeah, exactly. They weren’t very happy about that at all.

Jordan Peterson 46:34
The problem with not defining your own identity and and spending time thinking about it and and writing about it is that then you allow other people to define your identity for you. And the probability that you’re going to get a good role, when other people define your identity is very, very low. And so this is a relatively straightforward way of ensuring that you have the you have some probability of getting the kind of life That you need so that you don’t become bitter and, and hurt by the inevitable tragedies of life, or at least no more hurt than necessary. Because you need, you need a high goal and you need to be working towards it in order to have any positive emotion at all. And you need to find goals and a defined way of being to stop yourself from being anxious and unhappy. So this really isn’t optional. In some sense. You can either do it badly, or you can do it well. And if you do it, well, then there’s many benefits that accrue as a consequence.

Jason Hartman 47:31
Yeah, very interesting. Very interesting, good stuff. So tell people where they can find out more. And let’s just close it out with any final words that you have.

Jordan Peterson 47:39
Sure, well, you can find the personality test the Big Five aspect scale that understand myself calm. And you can find the self authoring suite at self and I could say about the future authoring program is that we’ve used it on thousands of university students so it’s a good gift for a university student. By the way. increases the probability that they’ll stay in university by about 25% and has about the same effect on their grades. So they’re walloping effects as a consequence of laying out a plan. And then that’s especially true for people who aren’t doing that. Well, it seems to have a bigger effect on the lower end of the academic distribution, because maybe that people who are doing well already have a decent plan, you know, so it’s a non trivial way of improving your life.

Jason Hartman 48:27
Fantastic. Jordan, I do have one final question for you actually, give our listeners some kind of framework. I mean, the cost of your programs is very low. But how much time I mean, I know it can take as much time as you want it to take because people write a lot sometimes. But you know, for the self authoring program, for example, what’s the sort of minimum time that you need to do it and are you always going back and modifying it like you know what’s kind of a time commitment?

Jordan Peterson 48:58
Well for understand that Myself, it’s about 25 minutes to do the test. So it’s pretty trivial for the future authoring program that we know that it has an effect with time spans as little as 90 minutes. And that can be done over repeated days, which, you know, so you can hack away at it over repeated days. And that actually works better than doing it all at once. Because sleeping in between writing about seems to be helpful. So I would say minimum of say, an hour to 90 minutes to get through it. And a maximum Well, that would depend on how much detail you want to go into. It can be quite extensive for people, but it’s a lot more efficient than psychotherapy say and takes a lot less time. But But the other thing too, is, you know, it’s your whole life that you’re trying to set. Right, right. I know. Yeah, it’s worth it. It’s worth some investment of time. I would say it is and it’s

Jason Hartman 49:49
sad the way we are as humans, you know, we’ll spend more time planning a vacation than we were planning our lives and that’s a sad state of affairs.

Jordan Peterson 50:00
Yeah, it is it is.

Jordan Peterson 50:03
People often don’t plan the day to day things in their lives, you know, and those are really what make up your life across days is the things you do all the time. So it’s important to get them right.

Jason Hartman 50:12
Yeah, good stuff. Jordan Peterson, thank you so much for joining us today. And you’ve given out the websites. We appreciate the insights into ourselves. And I think this is a very important areas as we discussed. So thanks again for joining us.

Jordan Peterson 50:26
Well, thanks very much for the invitation. It was a pleasure.

Jason Hartman 50:30
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