As millennials, we are told our 20’s are the best years of your life. It is your time to explore and experiment 'Live Fast, Die Young' is what our culture encourages. Yet what they don’t say is, the 20’s are your years of planning unless you are Meg Jay Ph.D. As a Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Jay took the time to research the “twenty-something years”.
In her book The Defining Decade Why your twenties matter and how to make the most of them now. Dr. Jay dives right into the many trials that twenty-something face by providing relatable stories from her clients and gives insightful solutions to solve the woes of being twenty-something years old.
The Defining Decade captured my attention within the first couple of pages, where she indulges in the difference between having an identity crisis and identity capital. I want to focus on identity capital.
“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, the things we do well enough, or long enough, that they become a part of who we are. Some identity capital goes on a resume, such as degrees, jobs, test scores, and clubs. Other identity capital is more personal, such as how we speak, where we are from, how we solve problems, how we look. Identity capital is how we build ourselves – bit by bit, over time. Most important, identity capital is what we bring to the adult marketplace. It is the currency we use to metaphorically purchase jobs and relationships and other things we want.”
Learning what your identity capital consist of will assist in building a foundation for success and obtaining the lifestyle you desire. Yet, beware once you figure out your identity capital the real work has just begun. Opening up to opportunities, not being afraid of your potential to succeed, building your confidence from the outside- in, and ending toxic relationships all play a role.
Dr. Jay does not only encourage twenty-somethings to begin planning for their future professionally. She also talks about planning for your relationships, consequences of cohabiting. Astonishing infertility statistics for both women and men who choose to delay starting a family.
Dr. Jay touches so many points, and she nails them all. Your twenties are the best time of your life, it is a time of self-discovery, exploring, and experimenting. Yet, if you do not use this time to plan for your thirties and forties you will live to regret it, and starting over is something that should and could have been completed at your prime.