The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter – And How To Make The Most Of Them Now

My twenties (thus far), have been filled with so much confusion… But also, with so much hope and new beginnings. I have had to learn and unlearn so many things, and well… Let’s just say, learning never stops.

At one point in my twenties, I wanted to study Psychology because I thought, well the money is good, I love helping people and it seemed like a good way to transition to self-employment. Well, my reasons may have been valid, but the truth is, I was a little confused at the time.

I saw this book and decided to see what it was all about. Immediately I started reading it, I could relate with so much. It was like reading some aspects of my life! The book in itself is a guide to not feeling lost in your 30s and 40s. Meg Jay, the author, has seen people in their 30s and 40s who are stuck by what she describes as having a lack of vision in their 20s. If you are in your 20s, this will provide you with some direction around creating a vision that will set you up better for your 30s and beyond.

The book is divided into three parts: Work, Love & Brain and Body.

These are just some of the areas that stood out for me.

Identity Capital

How do you build up on your skills, relationships, and professional resources right from your 20s when ‘good’ jobs are hard to come by? Many people have ended up being depressed because they never build up this capital and never get good jobs.

Her advice: Take the job with the most career capital. Where you’ll build the most relationships, learn the most, grow the most. NOT necessarily make the most money.

Weak Ties

When I was looking for a place to intern after my degree course, I thought it was the close ties that I had that would help me get a foot in the door. I eventually realized it is the weak ones that do. They make the best sources of employment and provide the broadest reach and greatest perspective as opposed to the close ties.

Her advice: Build up your network of weak ties, instead of only spending time with your close friends. It’s the people you rarely talk to who might lead to fortuitousrelationships down the road, and that is the kind of exposure we all want…yes?

My Life Should Look Better On Facebook Social Media

This is the power comparison has over us, making us many times feel like failures because we don’t look someone else on social media.

Her advice: Stop focusing on glory or impressing other people, focus on what you want to do with your life. If that means moving to a different city and settling down, do it! You don’t have to become a rocket surgeon.

The Customized Life

There is so much I have done beyond my work – some, I have stuck with, others I have miserably failed to stick with. In a world where there are numerous options in front of us, choosing one over the other may seem limiting. Because we don’t want to limit ourselves, many times we do it all.

Her advice: You want your professional life to have a story, not just be a list. Picking your interests and talents and what you want to apply them to can create a story and a narrative that you bring to interviews. You need to decide what you want to focus on.

An Upmarket Conversation

Many times, I have had a conversation with my friends involving how by the time our parents were our age, they were already married. In the book, Jay talks about how much we have pushed the age of marriage, and how we continue to hang on to the hookup culture, late into our 20s.

Her advice: Don’t be afraid to get into a serious relationship early.

The Cohabitation effect

According to the author, couples who live together before marriage tend to be less satisfied with the marriage, and more likely to divorce. Living together can also lead to ‘lock-in’ where it is hard to break up, despite a bad relationship, and so one decides to stay in it.

Her advice: Before moving in together, get clear on your commitment levels, and stress test the relationship in other ways (such as travel) to make sure it’s what you want.

Calm Yourself

In the brain and body section, Jay talks about what many of us go through – anxiety. With each and every one of us facing this global pandemic, and being forced to stay at home, and cancel many of our plans, many have developed anxiety and even depression.

Her advice: Learn to calm yourself down, to realize that these little setbacks are not huge issues. That life goes on. Stop relying on other people to cheer you up.

Getting Along & Getting Ahead

This is all in the importance of setting goals. When I started goal setting, I realized I developed a positive outlook to so many aspects of life, and even became more confident.

Her advice: Set some goals that matter to you and work towards them. Whether they are professional, personal, or social.

The future isn’t written in the stars. There are no guarantees. S claim your adulthood. Be intentional. Get to work. Pick your family. Do the math. Make your own certainty. Don’t be defined by what you didn’t know or didn’t do. You are deciding your life right now.”

See you next week!

Let's be friends. Let's hang out every week, catch up, and just have a good time. PS: Tell a friend to tell a friend where we meet 🙂

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