Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Defining Decade - Meg Jay

As Flying Houses continues to grow in popularity, I continue to chat about it when the people I meet appear bored.  Perhaps this talk bores them more, but some people recognize the importance of this project--which is to educate, entertain, and "endorse."  It is to write about books like Ada, or The Oath, or Red Son and to recommend them though we know of no one else who has read them yet.

With all of this in mind, I am pleased to present a new review from a new writer.  As only 18 days remain until my 30th birthday, I feel it is quite timely.  

The Defining Decade – A Review

By: J. Alexander Gibson

Like many twentysomethings, I’ve been trying to figure out how to live my life “best,” often wondering to myself, “amidoingitrite???” Do I have the right job? Why isn’t my love life more successful? Is all of this drinking, caffeine and not sleeping much going to destroy my body? So as a person with a strong proclivity for self-growth and discovery, I came across a book, which seeks to help people in my situation figure all of that out – The Defining Decade by Meg Jay.

The Defining Decade is a book that seeks to inform its readers of the importance of their twenties and how important it is to get your life on a good trajectory during that decade. Whereas current popular opinion seems to be learning towards “extended adolescence,” often claiming that it’s ok to bullshit your twenties because everything is starting later anyways (marriage, career, etc.), Meg Jay’s thesis directly contrasts that notion.  Jay boldly claims that, “With about 80 percent of life’s most significant events taking place by age thirty-five, as thirtysomethings and beyond we largely either continue with, or correct for, the moves we made during out twentysomething years.” (xii)

So pretty much, get your shit together in your twenties or else you may regret it when you’re not living a life you want to. Ms. Jay, PhD, a successful clinical psychologist who specializes in adult development (twentysomethings in particular) recounts her experiences with various patients and utilizes scientific research to back her points. She divides the books into three major sections: Work, Love, and The Brain and Body, covering the essence of the problems from which many twentysomethings suffer. 

I consider this book required reading for people in or about to be in their twenties. However, don’t expect it to immediately lead to the perfect job, significant other and/or body, but do expect that it will start getting you to reflect on your life and start thinking about what you want to do, who you want to be and how to get there. View this book as a guide to self-discovery. It’s not going to do anything directly for you—you’ll have to take it upon yourself to make positive changes in your life—but this will certainly be a first step. Also, while I certainly agree with the overall thesis of the book, please don’t let this book discourage you one bit if your twenties are coming to a close or you’re already past them. Kurt Warner (two-time Superbowl MVP) entered the NFL at the age of 28, Harland (Colonel) Sanders who has exactly zero military experience, founded KFC at 65, and a struggling carpenter named Harrison Ford got his big break at the age of 35 when he acted in the legendary movie series and mega-franchise Star Wars.   

No comments: