30 is not the new 20

80% of your life-changing decisions happen in your 20s. This crucial decade is when you start your career path. It’s when you pinpoint the qualities you want in a life partner. It’s when you start to get out of debt, or, unfortunately, start accruing debt. It’s when your collection of friends start dwindling down and you’re left with a core group of people who share the same priorities as you.

I watched the video below because the title contradicted an expression I’ve been hearing non-stop for the last few years: “30 is the new 20.” Meg Jay, a clinical psychologist, explains why that is not the case. We can’t waste our 20s procrastinating and not taking our decisions seriously. Everything we do now will determine who we become. It’s ok to explore and try new things, but do it with purpose. Don’t think that anything will change, if you do not make the decision to change. If you date a loser now, you will probably end up marrying a loser later.

This is why I’m so glad I took The Living Course when I was 24. It helped me to determine exactly who I wanted to be, and who I wanted to bring into my life. I met my husband immediately after the course. I moved out of my parents house, got a steady job, and started taking my writing seriously. I can’t even imagine the sort of limbo I would have struggled through if I had not taken the course when I did. How many years would I have wasted living at 50%? (I’m not saying that my life is perfect, and I figured everything out in one weekend, but I do feel like I am on the right path, and that I have the tools to become who I want to be.)

Watch this video, and then sign up for this course. Don’t disregard this if you are not in your 20s. This message is not necessarily about age, as it is about not wasting your time at any stage in life.

In case you don’t have time to watch the whole video, here’s my favorite part:

 So what do you think happens when you pat a twentysomething on the head and you say, “You have 10 extra years to start your life”? Nothing happens. You have robbed that person of his urgency and ambition, and absolutely nothing happens.

And then every day, smart, interesting twentysomethings like you or like your sons and daughters come into my office and say things like this: “I know my boyfriend’s no good for me, but this relationship doesn’t count. I’m just killing time.” Or they say, “Everybody says as long as I get started on a career by the time I’m 30, I’ll be fine.”

But then it starts to sound like this: “My 20s are almost over, and I have nothing to show for myself. I had a better résumé the day after I graduated from college.”

And then it starts to sound like this: “Dating in my 20s was like musical chairs. Everybody was running around and having fun, but then sometime around 30 it was like the music turned off and everybody started sitting down. I didn’t want to be the only one left standing up, so sometimes I think I married my husband because he was the closest chair to me at 30.”

9 comments

  1. I never thought of it that way, but I can see the dangers of being laid back, letting life pass you by. I tell my kids, who are teens now, when you date a person, it is an interview process. If the person you are dating meet the criteria, then proceed with the “interview” and continue to date. If, on the first date, something doesn’t seem right, don’t continue dating, break it off. You will never marry them, so don’t waste their time and yours. This post affirms my inclinations. Thank you!

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  2. Wow. If the video is as good as the small transcript you posted then I’ll enjoy watching it. Don’t have time today, but I’m going to watch it later. I have a few kids that might benefit from this 🙂

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