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Clean your room!
Echoing Confucian Wisdom
It’s hard to believe that something so simple and straightforward could serve as an important foundation for personal growth, and even a prerequisite for success in the world. Peterson’s advice echoes the wisdom of Confucius who once said: “To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order; we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.”
Organize Your Own Corner of the World, and Build-up from There
Peterson argues that you need to learn to be able to organize yourself, before you can hope to organize your wider life, including your affairs and working life. He believes that you need to be able to organize your own small corner of the world before you can organize the world to any extent.
He pointed out this fact on what has now become a famous and widely cited Joe Rogan podcast, where he commented on how there are many politically engaged young people that can’t even clean and organize their own room, yet are preoccupied with reorganizing society and the economic system.
Start Small to Change Your Life
In Peterson’s words “My sense is that if you want to change the world, you start from yourself and work outward because you build your competence that way.” Petersons “clean your room” went viral, and has clearly struck a chord with young people, many of which have reported on social media that following the advice helped to turn their lives around.
The overriding idea is if you want to achieve big things, it beings with starting small. And that if you want to improve yourself, it starts with taking individual responsibility for yourself and taking action.