Advice for Young Men:  Jordan Peterson

By | April 19, 2024

[April 19, 2024]  Dr. Jordan Peterson was recently asked by his daughter Mikhaila what advice he would give to young men.  Those familiar with Dr. Peterson know that he is a man who can cut to the heart of a problem quickly, and he does so with his answers to this question.  My initial thought was, what would be his first piece of advice?

His daughter Mikhaila asked explicitly, “What advice would you give a young man in his twenties?”  True to himself, Dr. Peterson answered with, “Make a plan.”  From this, he talks about asking yourself what you are interested in, getting disciplined about something (i.e., being willing to make sacrifices), and allowing for the possibility that you have something important to contribute to the world.

“Don’t be afraid of taking on responsibility.  It’s where you find what sustains you in your life.” – Dr. Jordan Peterson

We all know a person can take on too much responsibility, but that is not as big of a problem.  The best thing is to be cautious about that.  Not taking on enough responsibility is a far greater problem for young men.  To explain, Dr. Peterson says:

“Often, young people are afraid of commitment, for example, in the context of a relationship because they feel that that’s going to interfere with their pursuit of something more valuable, but that’s just not the case.  You’re not going to find something more valuable in your life than a committed relationship with someone that you love that sustains itself across time.”  

All the better if this relationship produces children.  Dr. Peterson acknowledges that on rare occasions, some do better without this relationship and children.  However, in a vast number of cases, a committed relationship with another person and children is the most meaningful.  Even if you are afraid of commitment, don’t let that stop you from pursuing it.

For young men, he gives some explicit advice that helps justify our lives:

  1. Get a job or a career.
  2. Get educated (even educate yourself).
  3. Get in good physical condition. Cardiovascular and weightlifting exercises help stave off future mental and physical decline.
  4. Learn to regulate temptations.  These temptations are, for example, drug and alcohol use and sexual temptation.  Stop abusing substances.
  5. Pursue something resembling civic responsibility, attend church, join a political party, and be productive wherever you are.
  6. Practice productive generosity. Productivity requires aim, orientation, responsibility, discipline, and the willingness to work and make the right sacrifices, which is the hallmark of maturity in serving a higher goal.
  7. Be responsible to yourself and your future self.
  8. Be responsible for and productive for as many people as you can manage. First is your intimate partner, your parents and siblings, your children, your local community, and the wider community.  Foster those relationships.
  9. Establish and maintain a wide social network. Networks get more valuable as you get older.  This is one advantage that older people have over younger people.  This is unbelievably valuable.
  10. Arm yourself with words, be precise in your language, say what you mean and think, tell the truth (brutally truthful), read great works, and make yourself literate. Get rid of things you say that are designed to impress people.  Be able to ask stupid questions.

Aim for something and orient yourself to that aim.  Have a willingness to work and make sacrifices.  And that is the hallmark of maturity in serving a higher goal.


Please read my books:

  1. “55 Rules for a Good Life,” on Amazon (link here).
  2. “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

16 thoughts on “Advice for Young Men:  Jordan Peterson

  1. Under the Bridge

    Wow, very good summary of Dr. Jordan Peterson’s advice. But I will add that he has a much more detailed and sophisticated look at how to become a better person, so with that I recommend listening to his lectures and interviews.

  2. Pen Q

    7. Be responsible to yourself and your future self.
    This is probably the best one of all.
    Being responsible is where we get our meaning in life.

  3. Maximilian Krämer

    The advantage of being a regular on this website is that Gen. Satterfield uses both his personal experience and training the the army (where he was very successful) as well as those who are experts in their areas (and not wokies) to form a combined effort to layout the best advice for young men. Now, that said, note that Gen. S. has already laid the foundation for this series in his latest book from 2022 “55 Rules for a Good Life.” That book is wonderful. If you dont’ have a copy, then get your copy now. It’s inexpensive and well worth the price. Plus it’s an easy read too. Those who fail to get what Gen. Satterfield is getting at will fail at much of life unless they accidently do well. Better to make your life purposeful.

      1. Laughing Monkey

        Hi Lou, I’ve not seen you on this leadership forum in a long time now. I hope you’re well and continue to read this blog from Gen. S. There has been some changes to the website, one being his latest series on “Advice for Young Men.” But my favorite piece of posts is his series on “Letters to My Granddaughter.” If you get a chance, let us know what you think about them too.

  4. Billy Kenningston

    I hope sir that you continue this series on advice to young men. From the fourth wave of feminism that is destroying the West, to the pull of neo-Marxism that they embrace, we have a tragedy developing that emasculates men. Let’s reverse that trend and put people in their place when they try to destroy men. Good thing that Gen. Doug Satterfield is now moving in that direction by showing us some advice for young men that others, well known others, have given to help. I for one will be darn happy if Gen. Satterfield eventually follows up with a book on the topic.

  5. Army Vet

    ⚾ Whack! Gen. Satterfield hits another one out of the park with his new series on “Advice for young men.” That’s cergtainly one of the main reasons I come here to read his articles, and then i get to think about how to make myself better and to help others do the same. Well done, sir. Keep theses coming our way.

    1. Nick Lighthouse

      Be prepared, be ready to sacrifice, be alert, be a good person, help others, and never ever bend a knee to a tyrannical government like so many do today.

  6. Silly Man

    Nice, helpful series going on here. Well done, Gen. Satterfield.

      1. Linux Man

        Exactly, so let’s give Gen. Satterfield his rightful place in our lives by allowing him to provide worthwhile advice, then it is up to us to take the advice or ignore it. If we ignore the advice, then it’s on us when we fail to do as well as we should, then we have no one to blame but ourselves.
        Get your copy of Gen. Satterfield’s book “55 Rules for a Good Life” to help yourself too.


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