How to be a Hero Professor Peterson worked on this book while he and those dearest to him were suffering potentially terminal illnesses. Having meaningful work to do helped him to overcome the stresses of his situation. The book looks at many areas of life where we can work to make things better for ourselves and those around us. He bases his advice on his experiences as a psychologist, educator and parent. Our personalities develop through our interaction with others and living in community shapes our sense of right and wrong. We learn that playing fairly is more important than mere victory, he says. The art and literature created over the millennia tell us how those before us dealt with life’s hardships but also wake us to what life can offer to offset those hardships.