The Defining Decade: Book Review

This book was recommended to me during an interview of another artist whose teachings have helped me navigate these tumultuous waters of being twenty-something at a time like this. Written by Dr. Meg Jay, this book is an accessible guide to avoiding some common missteps that can accidentally take your twenties off track for longer than intended. Dr. Meg Jay is a clinical psychologist who regularly meets with young adults who come from a wide variety of unique experiences. Despite the distinctions in specifics, the themes and setbacks explored in this book feel shockingly relatable; audiences across all age groups responding that they wish they had this book when they were in these twenties. This speaks to the universality and generational persistence of the lessons demonstrated in the book.

Meg Jay adeptly identifies and articulates a wide range of road blocks, ranging from career choices, paralyzing indecision, and partner selection. These issues are often brought forth by Dr. Meg’s clients and the specific recantations of these anecdotes helps illustrate these complex impasses within the context of an average twenty year olds life.

This guide seamlessly ties biological knowledge of the the changing brain with lived experiences of entering adulthood. The science is all grounded in truthful, tangible moments– creating modern allegories to demonstrate lessons to readers. One concept that is explored is that of a fixed mindset versus a growth mindset. This critical difference in perception is one that is crucial to gaining confidence and motivation and yet, it is rarely discussed by the most frequent narratives of inherited advice. Dr Meg Jay examines the qualities of characteristics of the opposing mindsets, illuminating the crucial ways it shapes one’s interpretation of failure. This difference may hold the key to understanding why some succeed, and others don’t.

I genuinely recommend this book to any twenty-something or anyone looking for a little more guidance in their day to day navigations of building a life. How to live is the one thing we were never taught in school but Dr Meg Jay is working to change that by creating a wealth laden resource of shared experiences– allowing us to learn from the failures (and successes) of her clients as they traversed their individual landscapes under her observant eye. The truths and lessons in this book are timeless paragons that are sure to help anyone, and everyone, live a little bit more thoughtfully.

Image sourced from: Artist: Katerina Popova

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