Are your twenties the foundation of your life? | The Defining Decade

Hello everyone!

Today I wanted to bring you somewhat of a comment on this book as I wouldn’t qualify it as a review per se.

The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter – And How to Make the Most of Them Now by Meg Jay

Our “thirty-is-the-new-twenty” culture tells us the twentysomething years don’t matter. Some say they are a second adolescence. Others call them an emerging adulthood. Dr. Meg Jay, a clinical psychologist, argues that twentysomethings have been caught in a swirl of hype and misinformation, much of which has trivialized what is actually the most defining decade of adulthood.

Drawing from a decade of work with hundreds of twentysomething clients and students, THE DEFINING DECADE weaves the latest science of the twentysomething years with behind-closed-doors stories from twentysomethings themselves. The result is a provocative read that provides the tools necessary to make the most of your twenties, and shows us how work, relationships, personality, social networks, identity, and even the brain can change more during this decade than at any other time in adulthood-if we use the time wisely.

THE DEFINING DECADE is a smart, compassionate and constructive book about the years we cannot afford to miss.

Goodreads link

I found out about this book through Intsagram and I decided to give it a go asap as I’m 21 and I wanted to know what this was about.

The book is structured in 3 big parts: work, love and the brain and the body. The author is a psychologist specialized in the twenties. Through empirical evidence and stories she she bases her thesis and affirmations.

I must say that I didn’t agree with her 100% but it definitely got me thinking a lot about how I view mu future years, what I want to do with them, and how do I prepare for my life, from daily basis to the long term.

All in all, I would say that is what I value the most about this book after reading it: it got me thinking, about my present, my future and how I want to live my life.

As I wasn’t planning on doing a full review, I wanted to share with you some quotes and comment some of them.


The young look older and the old look younger, collapsing the adult lifespan into one long twentysomething ride.

The twentysomething years are a whole new way of thinking about time. There’s this big chunk of time and a whole bunch of stuff that needs to happen somehow.

The twenties are not an irrelevant downtime but a developmental sweet spot that comes only once.

I actually really like this quote because, without realising it, I think that is the way I view my twenties. I feel like I have begun this journey of self-discovery and self-development, I feel conscious I’m building and working towards the person I want to be. And that feels amazing but there is also so much I want to do! Of course, there are more years to come after the twenties but I don’t think I will ever be in a similar position again, and I’m trying to make the most out of it.

The twenties are an inflection point -the great reorganization- a time when the experiences we have disproportionately influence the adult lives we will lead.

Identity capital is our collection of personal assets. It is the repertoire of individual resources that we assemble over time. These are the investments we make in ourselves.

Is how we build ourselves – bit by bit, over time.

Is what we bring to the adult marketplace.

When we make choices, we open ourselves up to hard work and failure and heartbreak, so sometimes it feels easier not to know, not to choose, and not to do. But it isn’t.

Other one that resonates with me, and also I feel like it’s a little nice reminder to step out of my comfort zone, which we know is not an easy thing to do.

For work success to lead to confidence, the job has to be challenging and it must require effort. It has to be done without too much help. And it cannot go well every single day.

A more resilient confidence comes from succeeding – and from surviving some failures.

Still trying to learn that last part but — it’s always a work in progress.

Knowing you want to do something isn’t the same as knowing how to do it, and even knowing how to do something isn’t the same as actually doing it well.

And it’s specially important to remind ourselves (or at least myself) that usually when we begin doing something new, chances are we won’t be that great at it. And that’s how it’s supposed to be. We will get better, even if we don’t see it.

(twentysomethings) need something to remind them that life is going to continue on past their twenties, and that it might even be great.

So! This little short post was aimed as an introduction to the book and that maybe if you are curious about it you might consider checking it out.

To sum up, I enjoyed this book as it got me into thinking about different aspects of my life. Even if I didn’t agree with it 100% in the disagreements it got me thinking about the way I viewed those things. The quotes were just some of the ones I highlighted, and I commented some that resonate with me.

I would love to chat with you! Does any of these quotes resonate with you?



4 respuestas a “Are your twenties the foundation of your life? | The Defining Decade

  1. Wonderful review Aldii! Since I’m 21 too, this got me thinking…
    I do agree with the quote that your twenty-somethings is an inflection point. I think it’s pretty important because you’re finally acting like an adult and transitioning into an autonomous being rather than having parental influences. And so much learning involved! Whether it’s finishing a secondary education, going to the military, or directly working, the early 20’s is the prime time to follow your passions and see what the world has to offer.
    I think, at least in US culture, there’s a lot of pressure to recognize what you want in life/who you want to be during this time but people don’t recognize that it’s fine to be questioning throughout their 20’s. And I think the whole part of exploration during this decade is figuring out those questions.

    Anyway, your post definitely got me thinking, hehe!

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment!!
      It definitely is a time of questioning, and it’s funny because, at least for me, it’s like the world has so many opportunities and possibilities. Yet, it’s not in the same way that I thought back when I was in high school. I feel like that process of growth and learning has given me a more realistic point of view without quitting that notion and idea you talk about: passion. It’s interesting to know that in different countries this time of life, although lived differently, also has shared aspects.
      Happy to read that you enjoyed it! 😊

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  2. I’m glad you liked it. It is a book to get you thinking, about the future and what you should be doing in your 20s to make things a bit easier later on. I read it shortly after college and found it very helpful too.

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