Being a huge fan of Ted Talks, I try (emphasis on the word try) to watch one or two a week. I often come across fantastic talks, with inspiring messages that stay with me for days after. I thought it would be a good idea to document them somewhere, even if it’s just for my own archiving, but also because I think these ideas really are worth sharing.
I’ve just watched an incredible speech given by a psychotherapist called Megan Jay. Her talk is all about the way that many young women believe that they nowadays have much more time on their hands to make the critical decisions in life that result heavily on our futures – career choices, whether or not to get married, have children, live somewhere new… but that’s not true. Our twenties aren’t just a decade made for figuring things out, they’re a decade for making the big choices, and the time is now.
Take a listen to the video below…
Your 20’s are, as Jay puts it, ‘a developmental sweetspot’ – a time to move to a new city, try new things, start a business and to begin treating your body with respect – after all, on average, 8 out of 10 major life decisions that one makes are made in their twenties. “Claiming your 20s is one of the simplest, yet most transformative, things you can do for work, for love, for your happiness, maybe even for the world.”
What if, instead of thinking, “hey, I have 10 years to sort my life out.” you thought, “Hey! I have 10 years to take chances, devour knowledge, do what I love and try to make a career out of it, work hard, meet new people, not waste time on relationships that are below me and work on being a better version of myself.”? Seems simple enough to me.
Here’s a list of 3 things that Jay suggests you can do to get your life into swing, whether you’re 20 or 29.
1. Get some identity capital
Do something that adds value to who you are. Do something that’s an investment in who you might want to be next. Don’t waste time on fickle things that aren’t going to help you become the kind of person you envisage being. Now is the time for that cross-country job, that internship, that startup you want to try.
2. Use your weak ties
Friends are fantastic, and some of the most important people in your life (if you choose them wisely) but continuously spending time with like-minded peers limits who you know, what you know, how you think, how you speak, and where you work. New things come from what are called our weak ties… half new jobs are never posted – they come from people like your neighbour’s aunt, who could give you the opportunity of a lifetime.
3. Pick your family
I hear the “our grandmothers marched so that we didn’t need to be housewives” arguments, but standing your ground and deciding that you want a marriage of integrity (where he does just as much washing up, if not more than you do) is a decision that you need to start processing now. The best time to work on your marriage is before you have one, and that means being as intentional with love as you are with work. Picking your family is about consciously choosing who and what you want rather than just making it work or killing time with whoever happens to be choosing you.
May’s closing words really rung true to me: