Rock star psychologist Jordan Peterson has been doing the rounds lately, communicating a disturbing message - "make your bed".
It's a nutshell thing about taking personal responsibility which runs through his blockbuster self-help manifesto, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.
His basic premise is that life is a struggle and we should get resilient, starting with making the bed. This is disturbing, obviously, because pretty soon slackers may feel compelled to pack up after themselves.
For those unfamiliar, Jordan Peterson is a Canadian clinical pyschologist turned YouTube sensation who's 12 Rules for Life has topped best seller lists globally and launched a sold-out world publicity tour. Some say he's "the one". Or say he's just another one, meaning pop psychologist.
There's a lot to like about appeals to common sense, although as they say in the classics, sense is never that common. His 12 rules run a bit like this.
- Stand up straight with your shoulders back: Something NRL players are good at it when they walk out of court.
- Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping: Should resonate with George Pell at the moment.
- Make friends with people who want the best for you: One for disgraced Labor MP Ian MacDonald who walked out of Long Bay Jail this week. Not sure about Eddie Obeid.
- Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today: Hello Bill Shorten, Scott Morrison and every ex-PM over the last decade.
- Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them: I'll plead the fifth on that just in case it sounds like I don't like my kids.
- Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world: Please explain, to One Nation.
- Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient): Or make one mean the other as quick as possible.
- Tell the truth – or, at least, don't lie: Would be nice around election time, but not particularly wise when you don't like your partner's new hair cut.
- Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don't: But not if they're from the NBN.
- Be precise in your speech: But try not to swear ALL the time.
- Do not bother children when they are skateboarding: Nor when they talk about getting a part-time job.
- Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street: But not if it is frothing.
His message is more digestable than other best-selling "gurus" .
Yuval Noah Harari's 21 Lessons for the 21st Century leaves you with the impression that Big Data is out to get us, the cycle of life is a myth, the rise of the machine is inevitable and we're all destined for the oblivion from whence we came.
Bit stark really, so maybe its understandable why you'd gravitate towards making your bed. Although ultimately, it's my bed and I'll have to lie in, whether I make it or not.