top of page

The Jordan B. Peterson [PBJ] Challenge

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

I'm challenging myself with PBJ.

Jordan Peterson seems frightening, right-wing, and extreme to many, myself included at times (which I wrote about here).

In our house, since I reference or quote him so often, he's become known for short as PBJ (not to confuse him with JP Sears). :D

I've realized I'm an intellectual at heart, and I relish in his lengthy tangents and random references that hold so much depth.

And much of what he teaches validates and strengthens what I teach and believe. He has come to similar conclusions through his clinical and academic practices as I've come to on my own after 20+ years of study, research, travel to 30+ countries, and experience in personal & family development (not to mention having, raising, and homeschooling 7 children).

For many years now I've had a secret dream of obtaining a degree from Harvard (since entrance to adults is made easier with the Harvard Extension School).

Recently I've been trying to decide if I should sign up for my first classes.

I'm hesitant because I'm homeschooling, building a 'school that's not', and building a business -- plus raising 7 kids and planning to travel extensively in 2021.

(And we recently thought that we're going to move out of our house within just 9 weeks -- more on that soon).

That's a lot on my plate. Not gonna lie.

So the idea of adding 'Harvard classes' to that is intimidating.

On a recent day trip with my hubby to Chattanooga, TN, we listened to another podcast by Jordan Peterson.

(Tangent: We went to pick up a rooftop tent from Cascadia Vehicle Tents. We used one of their tents about 9 years ago when we drove from Alaska to Panama with our five young children, the youngest 6 mos. and the oldest, 8 years.

Now we're planning to drive through Mexico (maybe Belize, if borders are open) and then Guatemala again in January 2021... with seven instead of five kids, and those 'little kids' now ranging from 10 to 18. The two new additions are 4 and 6.

We're going to 'recreate' some of our old photos. It's going to be so much fun!)

Back to Jordan Peterson... and Harvard.

While we were driving to pick up our rooftop tent, my husband asked why I felt such a draw to getting a degree.

I'm not exactly sure. But it's something to do with being challenged at a higher level.

And of proving -- to myself -- that I could handle the work.

And of learning how to think -- and communicate -- more competently.

And of really digging in deep to a subject I'm interested in (I'd probably get a Liberal Arts degree with an emphasis on Psychology or Philosophy...??)

And yes, there's a bit of prestige involved.

I'm passionate about education and reforming it... and an official degree would increase my level of influence.

IF I do choose to pursue a degree that I want to do it at Harvard. I might as well go for (one of) the best. Right? ;)

But while listening to part of Peterson's Biblical Series, and remembering his recommended reading list, my husband commented:

"If you listened to all of his podcasts and read all his recommended books, that would be pretty good start to a [more formal] education."

Yes, that's true.

Of course, I recognize that listening passively isn't the same as writing dissertations or taking lecture notes.

I also won't be covering subjects such as math or science (per se).

But to be honest, since I am intimidated by the idea of starting a Harvard class right now -- in the midst of homeschooling, business building, moving, and travel plans for next year...

I decided that I would do a 'Jordan B. Peterson' challenge first... which should take me about two years, give or take.

After that, I can decide if I still want to pursue a Harvard degree.

The JBP (or I should say, PBJ) Challenge is this:

  • Listen to every Jordan Peterson podcast episode (as of November 2020)

  • Read every book on his recommended reading list

I'm tracking my progress here:

What challenges are you currently undertaking? Leave a comment!

318 views2 comments


What an incredible challenge! I am blown away at how much you’ve read and listened to! I would love to hear an update on this, now that it’s coming up on 3 years since you started it. What have you learned, has it been as mind expanding and educational as you thought it would be? Are there any points you’ve disagreed with? Would you recommend this challenge for others?

Rachel Denning
Rachel Denning
Jul 17, 2023
Replying to

Thanks! I would definitely recommend it. I will have to write a full blog post to share some of what I've learned (which has been a lot). It has certainly been as mind expanding and educational as I thought it would be, even more than I thought.


Or Leave a Comment via Facebook

bottom of page