A Twentysomething Wake Up Call

Photo c/o chapters.ca
Photo c/o chapters.ca

This Week’s Book: The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter – And How to Make the Most of Them Now (M. Jay)

Another book – I’m on a roll!  This book got shoved into my hands recently by a co-worker who demanded that I tell her if it was for real.  Ok, I’m making that sound much more dramatic than it really was, but she did want me to read it so that we could talk about it.  She definitely piqued my curiosity about this book, as she made it seem like it was simultaneously demoralizing and transformative for each person who read it.  I can’t say that I’ve read many books that illicit such opposing responses, so I figured that I’d better give it a go.

The Defining Decade looks at the identity crises that we often have in our twenties and challenges the more recent claim that “thirty is the new twenty.”  By focusing on the decade that is our twenties, Jay shines some much needed light on how important that time period is for our development and life paths.  The book is split into three sections: Work, Love, and The Brain and The Body.  In the Work and Love sections, Jay identifies the thought processes that many people in their twenties have about these topics, how those thought processes are misinformed, and how the twenties can be used to our best advantage.  In The Brain and The Body section, Jay describes how the brain is in its final stages of development during our twenties and how our bodies start to decline after our twenties.  Neuroplasticity (the ability of our brain to change) and fertility are discussed at length.

What a great book!  Jay does a wonderful job of interweaving well-known research studies and theories with stories from her clients.  I don’t know about you, but I love a good interweaving of facts and reality.  It makes so much more sense when you read stories that are relatable to the (sometimes heavy) theories and research.   Ok, so I’m going to be really honest right now – that whole transformative vs. demoralizing vibe that I was picking up on…that was pretty justified.  I’m not in my twenties anymore, so I pretty much just got the demoralizing side of it (I’m looking at you, fertility section…yikes), but I can definitely see how this book would be inspiring and motivational for people still in their twenties.  For all those people who treat their twenties like a freebie decade (intentionally or unintentionally), this book will likely give them a swift kick in the ass and subtly shame them into making good use of those years.   So, to answer my co-worker’s question: Yup, this book is pretty legit.  I’d take it seriously if I were still in my twenties…

Interested in this book?  Click here!

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