Updated: Oct 14, 2020
I just organized my room for the first time in years. I did this because I realize my environment is an extension of my being and either aides or impedes the achievement of my goals.
I’ve been listening to only Jordan Peterson, a University of Toronto Psychology Professor, for the past few months. In a piece for millennials who want to change the world, he recommends that they simply clean their room.
Understanding Our Relationship To Experience
We see the world through the lens of chaos and order, the unknown and the known. We operate within a value hierarchy in which we are striving toward an ideal. That ideal creates the conceptual framework with which we interpret experience, placing everything in our lives in one of three categories:
Tools- that which aids our movement toward our ideal. Obstacles- that which impedes our movement toward that ideal. Irrelevants- everything else in the background.
With this as the lens through which we interpret experience, we would greatly benefit from molding our immediate environment in accordance with our goals. There is no better place to start than our room.
There is an old Zen story of a monk who said:
When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation. When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn’t change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family. Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world.
Your room is an extension of yourself. It is the most immediate arena in which we play the game of life. To the degree that we optimize ourselves in here, we will manifest our will out there.
We must learn to excel in an environment over which we have complete control. If the world were a video game, this would be Level 1.
If you can’t beat Level 1, you don’t get to move on to Level 2. Because you haven’t developed the necessary skills that the first level teaches in preparation for the dragons in the second.
Life is tiered no differently than a video game. If you can’t beat the first level, then your not really playing the game. If we can’t clean our room, we have no shot at cleaning up our world.
As Peterson said in his closing of his Maps of Meaning (2017) course:
“The answer to the problem of humanity is the integrity of the individual.”
Chaos seems to be gathering momentum in the world. We all have a responsibility to act on behalf of the good, and to do so as effectively as we are capable.
Clean Your Room
If you encounter obstacles before you leave your bedroom each morning, you are already starting the day from behind. When we clean our room, we most properly align our environment to propel us forward in the direction of our goals.
My parents were right. I should have cleaned my room. And if I had known this, I would have.
How Jiu Jitsu Will Help
We will use Jiu Jitsu to help our students cultivate the life skills necessary to achieve their highest selves. This is achieved when we apply the lessons we learn on the mats into the rest of our lives.
If we are to glimpse our potential as individuals, and therefore as a group, we must live as sincerely as we study self-defense. Matakas Jiu Jitsu will encourage our young students to clean their rooms. And if we can give them the proper conceptual framework, they will clean their rooms without their parents even asking.
After that? Who knows. They might just end up cleaning up the world.
If you want to read Chris’s latest book on personal development, check it out here.
If you would like to be coached by Chris personally, click here.