The Defining Decade
Play • 31 min

With Adam Jones turning 30 this week, we figured this was his last chance to work out what he’d done wrong (or right) during his 20s. The key message of this book is that your twenties MATTER.

A lot of young people like to say that your twenties don’t matter, that you can put off life’s big decisions until later, that the 20s are the time for fun and enjoying life and not to be taken too seriously… But the research shows otherwise:

  • Two thirds of your lifetime wage growth happens in the first 10 years of your career
  • More than half of people are married or at least dating/living with their future life partner by age 30, 75% by age 35
  • Personality changes more in 20s then in any time period before or after
  • The brain caps off it’s final stages of growth in the 20s
  • Fertility reaches its peak in late 20s
  • Our social networks – and the opportunities they may bring – are the widest and most diverse in the 20s, then get narrower as we age beyond

80% of life’s defining moments will have taken place by our mid-30s. Life is not over when you hit age 40, you can always claim your life back at any point. But it’s better to start sooner rather than later. William James said: “intention is the result of attention and choice”. It’s never too late, or too early, to start paying attention.

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