Remember how I mentioned in the beginning of March that I had bought Jordan Peterson's Self Authoring Suite?
Alright. I have now finished the entire exercise program. I did all the parts - the past authoring, the present authoring, and the future authoring - and these three words perfectly encapsulate what the complete thing was like:
First of all - the time they say it takes to complete each part is so off. Where they say two hours is more likely ten hours. Where they say two days is more likely two weeks.
Second of all - you'll be drilling into your mind so deep and poking around painful memories so much that you'll want to take breaks. A lot. Sleep a lot. Let it mull over.
Third of all - sit in a good position. You'll be writing thousands and thousands of words. You don't want to get a back ache.
I started with Present Authoring - Faults. In this part, you'll pick from a list of faults the ones you think that apply to you, and then describe a memory where this fault caused a negative impact on your life. Then you'll analyze how you could improve. (I wrote about 7000 words.)
I continued with Future Authoring. Here you'll imagine how you could improve as a person, list your biggest goals in life in the next five years, and figure out your motives and strategies and potential obstacles related to the goals. (I wrote about 11000 words.)
I then did the Present Authoring - Virtues. You'll get to pick from a list of virtues the ones that apply to you, describe a positive experience related to each, and figure out how you could capitalize these virtues. (I wrote about 4000 words.)
I finished with Past Authoring. Here you'll divide your life so far into seven epochs and list six major experiences within each. You'll get to describe the memories and analyze how they affected the person you've become. (I wrote almost 16000 words.)
Here are my recommendations:
- In the Past Authoring part, choose memories you actually have a lot to say about. Prefer those that you still remember because they have played a role in you becoming you, or those that still cause you to feel negative emotions.
- Take time to sleep and do other things within exercises. You might remember things you didn't think of before.
- In the Future Authoring part, pick grand goals, ones that you can make happen. Don't choose goals that are up to chance.
- In the Present Authoring part, if the lists of faults or virtues don't include ones you think apply strongly to you, click on a similar fault or virtue and then just write the related exercises as if it was the attribute you were thinking about.
- Send yourself a copy of all your completed essays (there's a button for it), because you'll most likely want to do the whole thing again in the future, in which case you'll need to clear all the answers you gave the first time.
- The exercises are very structured and repetitive. You'll answer the same questions for every memory/fault/virtue/goal you've listed.
- Going back and changing your answers on the previous pages is okay and often needed.
- Don't force it. You have all the time in the world to do this, so don't try when you're feeling exhausted or having a bad day.
- You can't write down your own virtues and faults, probably because the algorithm can't organize them into the big five personality trait system. It's a shame since the lists the system offers are far from exhaustive.
- It was hard work. It took me 33 days and 38000 words to complete the entire suite.
Is the suite worth the money?
Yes. The cost of 29,90 is incredibly cheap compared to the insight you gain into your own mind.
Do I recommend you buy and do the suite?
I don't know. If you want to analyze your past, fix your present self, or plan a strategy to attain a certain future, then why not. But don't expect to get any dramatic life-changing epiphanies if your life is already amazing.
The most interesting observation about the experience?
I realized quite early on that I'll probably want to do the whole thing again in the future. Once you learn what the exercises are like, you kind of want to do them again "properly".
I feel like I deserve a little holiday to relax my back and my fingers and let the benefits of the suite really sink in.
You can find the Self Authoring Suite here: https://www.selfauthoring.com/