How to Stop Looking at Porn the Simple Way (Jordan Peterson)

Jordan Peterson talking about pornography.
Canadian psychologist and professor, Jordan Peterson.

Porn is addictive because it supplies instant gratification. And feeling good isn’t easy to come by. The problem is there are 24 hours in a day. While porn makes people feel good for a few minutes a day, it makes them less happy during the remainder. And the toxic effect of routine porn use can infect every area of life. I don’t know anyone who is genuinely proud of watching porn, but I do know a lot of people whose lives have been damaged by it.

Jordan Peterson has invested a lot of time in helping people turn their life around. I’ve transcribed a short YouTube clip in which an emailer asked him advice for quitting porn. Peterson talks about the importance of having a vision for one’s life. A vision that takes into account both good and bad possibilities inspires people to make wise choices in the present.

Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.

Proverbs 29:18

Transcript:

“What advice would you give to someone looking to quit porn?”

Well, I gave some advice a little earlier to someone about quitting alcohol. I would say it isn’t that you’re trying to quit porn–that’s not the right way to think about it. The right way to think about it is you’re trying to figure out how to have a better life. And so you have to figure [it] out–I would say do the future authoring program [program created by Jordan Peterson], and keep your porn addiction in mind.

In the first part of the future authoring program, it asks you a bunch of questions about what your life could be like in 3-5 years if you took care of yourself like you were someone that you cared for. And then it asks you questions about your friends and your family and your career and your time outside of work and your health–you know, the important dimensions of life.

And it asks you to spend 20 minutes writing about how good your life could be in 3-5 years if you got your act together and did what was good for you. Then it asks you to write about the hell you could be in if you didn’t. And I would say you really need to do that. Porn isn’t the issue–the issue is that you’re not living your life the way you want to that’s more compelling than the porn. And you need a counter-vision, too, that frightens you.

Porn is obviously extraordinarily gratifying short-term, but you seem to be suffering from the medium-to-long-term consequences of its use. And so you need a story that you can tell yourself that’s really deeply thought through about why this is not appropriate for you. How it’s hurting you. And how it’s minimizing you, and perhaps making you embarrassed and ashamed and more socially isolated, and all of that. So I would say think about it as cleaning up your psyche and your behavior rather than merely porn.

You also might want to write down–and you can do this in the negative vision part of the future authoring program. You’ve got to write down everything bad that you think porn is doing to you because obviously you have some suspicions that this is not good for you–that it’s actually harming you in some important way. And so you need to be fully cognizant of what those ways are, and then take them seriously and decide if that’s the pathway through life on which you wish to travel.

Then I would also say good luck to you. It’s a very good idea to identify one of your weaknesses and work on it. You can strengthen yourself substantially by doing that.

Author: DL Admin

A Christian millennial passionate about seeing people live free from the harmful psychological and relational effects of lust.

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