The Most Eye Opening 10 Minutes Of Your Life | Jordan Peterson

The Most Eye Opening 10 Minutes Of Your Life | Jordan Peterson

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00:03
the first thing i would say is that if you're dealing with someone who's depressed and they're really depressed you should try giving them antidepressants because if they die you can't help them okay so if you're suffering you are obligated in a sense to hold on to whatever rope someone throws you and one of the things i do with my clients all the time especially if they're really in trouble is to tell them look i don't know exactly what's going to hap help you but don't arbitrarily throw out any possibilities because you might not have that luxury antidepressants help a lot of people and
00:34
there are technical reasons why that's the case so that's a simple answer it's not relevant to what i already described except that if you're offered a gift by your society and it works try it i don't care what your presuppositions are apart from that lots of the lots of time lots of the time you see people who are suffering with depression for example there's a multitude of reasons but i'll take one common reason um you can think about it as associated with the story of peter pan a peter pan is someone who won't grow up
01:08
right now the problem with peter pan is he gets to be king but it's king of neverland neverland doesn't exist so being king of nothing isn't that helpful well one of the things that you often see with people who suffer from depression and i'm not making a blanket statement about the cause of depression because there's lots of them is that people who don't have enough order in their life tend to get overwhelmed so for example if someone comes in to me and sees to see me and they say they're depressed i always ask them a very standard set of questions
01:38
do you have a job if you don't have a job you're really in trouble in our society first of all you your biological rhythms tend to go off the rails right away because there's no reason to go to bed at any particular time and there's no reason to get up and for many people if they don't get up at the same time they follow up the functioning of their circadian rhythms and that's enough to make them depressed right off the bat especially if they start napping during the afternoon they don't also don't have a purpose people aren't good without a purpose and and this isn't this isn't hypothesizing we absolutely understand the circuitry that underlies positive
02:10
emotion we know how it works almost all the positive emotion that any of you are likely to experience in your life will not be a consequence of attaining things it will be a consequence of seeing that things are working as you proceed towards a goal you value that's completely different and you need to know this because people are often stunned for example they finish their phd thesis and their presupposition is that they're going to be elated for a month and often instead they're actually depressed and they think what the hell i've been working on this for seven years and i handed it in and what do i do now and that's what
02:42
depresses them right it's the what do i do now well they're fine if they enjoyed it pursuing the thing as long as it was working out they get a lot of enthusiasm and excitement out of that because that's how our nervous systems work most of your positive emotion is goal pursuit emotion if you take drugs like cocaine or amphetamine the reason they're enjoyable is because they turn on the systems that help you pursue goals that's why people like them so if you don't have a job you got no structure that's not good plus you tend not to have a point so you're overwhelmed by chaotic lack of structure and you don't have any
03:13
positive emotion well do you have any friends so sometimes you see people who are depressed they have no job they have no friends they have no intimate relationship they have an additional health problem and they have a drug and alcohol problem my experience has been if you have three of those problems it's almost impossible to help you you're so deeply mired in chaos that you can't get out because you make progress on one front and one of your other problems pulls you down so one of the things i tell people who are depressed is like don't sacrifice your stability
03:44
get a job even if it's not the job you exactly want get a damn job you need a job find some friends get out in the dating circuit see if you can establish an intimate relationship put together some of the foundational items that that are like pillars that your life rests on well that's the practical thing to do so that's one example with regards to depression well the thing is you don't just launch it on them you know you got to negotiate with the person and you also got to teach them to negotiate with themselves and this is something that's very useful
04:19
to know you know you can tyrannize yourself into doing things but i wouldn't recommend it what i would recommend instead is that you ask yourself what you're willing to do it's a really effective technique it's like a meditative technique so for example you can get up in the morning and you can think well you know i'd like to have a good day today so i'd like to go to bed tonight without feeling guilty because i you know didn't do some things i said i was going to do and i you know i'd like to have kind of an interesting day so you got to fulfill my responsibilities and i want to you know enjoy the day then you can ask yourself well okay what would i have to do in order for
04:50
that to happen that i would do and the probability if you practice this for three or four days is your brain will just tell you'll say well you know there's that piece of homework that you haven't done for like three weeks you should knock that sucker off because it would only take you 10 minutes and you've been avoiding it and torturing yourself to death for you know like like 72 hours straight and if you do that here's a little interesting thing you can do and you know maybe this is little obligations you should clean up and so what what you do in a situation like that is you teach the person to negotiate with themselves say well let's figure out what your aims are you got to have some aims
05:21
whatever they are and they might say well i'm so depressed i don't have any aims and then i say well pick the least objectionable of the aims and act it out for a while and see what happens because sometimes your emotions your emotional systems are so followed up that you have to pretend you have to act the thing out before you can start to believe it i mean people always assume they have to believe and then act but but that's sometimes that's true and lots of times it isn't so the trick if you're doing therapeutic work with someone and you're helping them establish a structure is to find out what they'll do now if they want to get better which is
05:52
not a given because there are often payoffs for not getting better that's basically the payoffs of being a martyr or maybe the payoffs of doing what your entirely pathological family members want you to do because they actually want you to fail assuming you want to get better there's usually something you can figure out that would constitute a step towards some sort of concrete goal and my presumption it's a behavioral presumption fundamentally is that small accruing gains that repeat unbelievably powerful so you know in
06:24
this is another thing to know about in your own life it's something i learned in part from reading the writings of alexander solzhenitsyn who's a great russian philosopher and novelist you know he said you can look at your life and you can see what isn't right about it i mean all you have to do is look and then you can start to fix that and the way you fix it is by noticing what you could in fact fix you know people are often trying to fix things they can't fix which i would not recommend because if you try to fix something you can't fix you'll just ruin it like you can find all sorts of undergraduates who are perfectly willing
06:55
to restructure the uh you know the international economic system who cannot keep their room clean and there's actually a gap there you know which and it's surprising that people don't actually notice so i would say if you pay attention you can see things that you could fix they yell at you they really do we even know how that happens let me let me give you an example because rooms are full of stories and the stories have have effects on you so here's a classic experiment so you take two groups undergraduates you bring them into your lab and you
07:26
give one group on a multiple choice test that has a bunch of words in it that are associated with being old and you give the other group the same multiple choice test except the words are associated with being young this is independent of the content of the test it's just descriptions and then you time the undergraduates as they walk back to the elevators the ones who read the ones who completed the multiple choice tests that had more words associated with aging walk slower back to the elevators and they don't know that and they don't know they're doing it and that that study has been replicated in various forms many many
07:57
times you're unbelievably sensitive to the story that your environment's telling you because your environment is not made out of objects that's just wrong your environment is basically made out of something like tools and obstacles you're a tool-using creature you're a tool perceiving creature the things you like if i take you out of this room and i say well what was in the room you're not going to say uh you know random patterns in the carpet because they're they're real just as good an object as anything else you're going to say chairs because you can sit on them and you're going to say hand rails because you can hold them you can say stairs because you can walk down
08:27
them that's what you see and that's what you interact with and if you pay attention to your environment which is you by the way extend it all of your experience is you it will tell you all the time what you should do all you have to do is do it but then you have to decide if you want to do it one of the things i've noticed about people because i've wondered once i started studying these mythological stories and i got this idea about the the fact that life can be meaningful enough to justify its suffering i thought god that's such a good idea because it's not optimistic exactly you know some people tell you
08:58
well you can be happy it's like those people are idiots i'm telling you they're idiots there's going to be things that come along that flatten you so hard you won't believe it and you're not happy then and so if life is to be happy well in those situations what are you doing why even live but that isn't life isn't to be happy if you're happy you're bloody fortunate and you should enjoy it you should because it's the grace of god so to speak with regards to to meaning i thought well people know when they're doing something meaningful they can tell so why the hell don't they do meaningful things all the
09:29
time it seems obvious you could do it i mean it's hard you know because other people want you to do other things and it's a struggle but everything's a struggle and then i thought well oh i get it i see why it took me about ten years to figure this out people have a choice choice number one nothing you do means anything well that's kind of a drag right meaninglessness of life and all that existential angst you know that's kind of a pain but the upside of nothing that you do be mean is meaningful is you don't have to do anything you've got no responsibility
10:00
now you have to suffer because things are meaningless but that's a small price to pay for being able to be completely useless the alternative the alternative is everything you do matters really if you make a mistake it's a real mistake if you betray someone you tilt the world a little more sharply towards evil rather than good it matters what you do well if you buy that then you can have a meaningful life but there's no mucking around it means responsibility it means that the decisions you make are important it
10:31
means that when you do something wrong it's wrong well do you want that [Music] you

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