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Why You MUST Get Your Life Together

Dr. Jordan Peterson | 11:57


I'll tell you what it is that you need to do to be successful. Some of these things aren't so malleable, but others are things that you can work on. Well, IQ. That's a rough one because there's no evidence, as far as I can tell, that you can do a damn thing about your IQ. I've reviewed that literature like six times in the last 15 years because I keep hoping that someone will crack the problem. But so it's the same answer. You do brain training games to get better at the game, a lot better at that game, you get slightly better at similar games, but distal games that are still heavily cognitively loaded don't affect your performance at all. Zero, none.

So the issue of how to raise IQ, man, that's a killer. No one knows how to do it. I can tell you how to stop your IQ from decreasing as you get older. That's not so bad because it does that—fluid IQ decreases from the time you're 20 and pretty rapidly. Physical health is the best preventative, so exercise, physical exercise, weirdly enough, don't you think? But why? While your brain uses oxygen like mad, right, and it needs to be kept clean and well oxygenated, physical exercise, both like weightlifting (anaerobic) and aerobic exercise, seem to be very, very effective at staving off cognitive declines across the lifespan. So that's a really useful thing to know because that's the only thing we know that does that.

Then, the next best predictor of lifetime success is conscientiousness, and of the two aspects of conscientiousness, say, orderliness and industriousness, the better predictor is industriousness. So the question is, well, what can you do about your industriousness? The answer to that is kind of rough too, because there's a strong genetic component. But you can work on micro habits with regards to your conscientiousness. The best thing you can do with regards to your conscientiousness is to set up some aims for yourself—goals that you actually value.

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