The Defining Decade: Why your twenties matter and how to make the most of them now

February 20, 2017


Did you know that 80% of the events that affect you and the people that influence you occur during your twenties? This is one of the statistics that Meg Jay presents in this book. Our culture declares that “thirties are the new twenties”, which tells us that twenty-something years don’t matter, thus this book helps to battle against this belief. Jay argues that twenty-something’s have been caught in a swirl of hype and misinformation. This book asserts that twenty-something years are the “defining years of adulthood,” a critical period where choices, or the lack of thereof, can dramatically influence ones adult life.
Dr Jay draws on research and case studies from her clinical psychology practice, whereby she shows how the decisions we make in our twenties radically affect the rest of our lives. Most of the clients in this book lack focus and resist making decisions about love, work family and the future.
The book is divided into three major sections, namely: “Work”, “Love” and “The Brain and the Body”. Through each chapter Jay exposes the lies of society and presents factual truth about the lifestyles and yearnings of young adults.
Overall, I deeply enjoyed the book. I recommend this book as a method of self-examination.


“Adults don’t emerge. They’re made.”
“The search of youth is not for all-permissibility, but rather for new ways of directly facing up to what truly counts.”
“A person’s identity is not to be found in behavior…but in the capacity to keep a particular narrative going.”
“[Society] is structured to distract people from the decisions that have a huge impact on happiness in order to focus attention on the decisions that have a marginal impact on happiness. The most important decision any of us make is who we marry. Yet there are no courses on how to choose a spouse.”
“Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forward.”

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One response to “The Defining Decade: Why your twenties matter and how to make the most of them now”

  1. […] The defining decade: Why your twenties matter and how to make the most of them by Meg Jay […]

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