The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter And How to Make the Most of Them Now — Mentor Monkey


About the author

Giving some major life lessons, Dr. Meg Jay, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Human Development at the University of Virginia. She specializes in adult development. Meg Jay earned her doctorate in clinical psychology and gender studies from the University of California, Berkeley. 

Meg Jay author of The Defining Decade

The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter And How to Make the Most of Them Now was her first book published in 2012. Apart from this, she is the author of Supernormal: The Untold Story of Adversity and Resilience

The Defining Decade Review

In your 20s? Then this book is for you. People around you might underestimate you being in the 20s and don’t count these years of significant importance in shaping the future and personality. Still, Meg Jay has argued the opposite, telling twenties are the most defining decade of adulthood.

The twenties are those years of your life when you’re fearless, bold, energetic, and excited about so many things. You might get a couple of new jobs which might open your eyes to the real world, you midnight get your first or second heartbreak, maybe from your friend or the person you assume to be the love of your life.


Perhaps you begin to drift, lose your way, and give up on timelines; you might change as a person, and you realize the importance of your family and your parents growing old. It’s indeed a transient decade of your life, and this book helps you re-focus and prioritize things. This book revolves around 3 topics that the author focuses on – Work, Love, Body.

Meg Jay author of The Defining Decade

You’ll realize how much you didn’t want to be a thirty-something and forty-something playing catch up from my twenties. She offers solid concrete wisdom on dating, marriage, finding a job, health, hobbies, and so much more. I found Meg Jay’s approach motivating and not off-putting. The Defining Decade gives us insight into how work, relationships, personality, social networks, identity, and even the brain can work efficiently and change more during this decade (the 20s) than at any other time in adulthood.

Notable Reviews From Other Authors

I strongly recommend The Defining Decade for anyone in their 20s trying to figure out the direction of their life. You'll learn how to search productively, how to avoid being indulgent, and how to turn good opportunities into great ones. - Po Bronson, author of What Should I Do With My Life?
The Defining Decade book
The Defining Decade is eye-opening, important, and a pleasure to read. I highly recommend it. - Wendy Mogel, author of The Blessing of a Skinned Knee and The Blessing of a B Minus

Major Take Away From The Book

  1. The major takeaway from the book is that it helps us to realize that we have the power to make choices now that will set us up for success in the long run. 
  2. The author stressed that 85% of life’s most defining moments happen by our twenties, especially those of pivotal change.
  3. She even discusses relations such as a friend of a family member, or an acquaintance, or even a professor can be the ones that, because their circle of connections is different from our own, can provide access to an opportunity or someone new. Networking is the key; it’s your way through many life’s problems. 
  4. In the 20s, we have so much going on and need so many things sorted. When we don’t know where to start or what to do, it can seem logical to do nothing until something inspirational comes our way. In reality, inspiration comes from action. Elaborating this is how this book inspires us.
  5. If you’re trying to decide between possible employment opportunities or grad school opportunities, always choose the chance that you’ll be able to mention during a future interview for your dream job. And this is the kind of advice we expect to hear at our most difficult times.

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