Recently I had a friend share with me that she’s been feeling unsure about what’s next for her life. She asked me for advice and if I had any good book recommendations that may help her. When she asked me, the first resource that came to mind was Mavenly + Co., and then I started thinking about what books I wanted to share with her. I have a pretty long list of books that I’ve heard about lately and want to read, but I knew the book I wanted to tell her about first was "The Defining Decade" by Meg Jay.
I first read "The Defining Decade" about a year ago, but I decided to revisit the book again after attending Maven Masterclass. (If you’ve been to Maven Masterclass, you are familiar with “Identity Capital”, which is a term Meg Jay discusses in the book.) Dr. Jay is a clinical psychologist who has worked with “twentysomethings” for more than 10 years. Dr. Jay decided to write a book that would speak to young adults about why their twenties matter and how they can make the most of them.
After that day, I started thinking about how I found a lot of books on my list through the Mavenly podcast, or through recommendations made during the Maven Masterclass. Then I thought about how great it would be if there was a place where young women, like my friend and I, could gather and discuss books like "The Defining Decade" and share other resources that have been helpful to us. And, what better place to have those discussions than right here in the Mavenly + Co. community?
A tweet and a conversation with Mavenly’s co-founders Kate and Tallia resulted in something I’m SO excited to be a part of.
The Mavenly + Co. Book Club is launching this month, and I can’t wait to get started reading and discussing this month’s book (you guessed it), "The Defining Decade," with you, the Mavenly + Co. community.
First, I want to share that "The Defining Decade" can sound a little intimidating when you start reading it.
One major message of this book is that how we spend our twenties is crucial to how the rest of our lives unfold (no pressure, right?). But oftentimes we can tell ourselves, “I’m only 21/22/23 etc., I have so much time. I don’t have to figure things out yet.”
It’s not that we aren’t young or that we don’t have time, we just need to be purposeful (now) with deciding what we want our lives to look like in the next five, 10, or 15 years. Now, I don't say this to scare you, but let me say it can be a true wake-up call.
So I will leave you with this quote:
“Eighty percent of life’s most defining moments take place by about age thirty-five. Two-thirds of lifetime wage growth happens in the first 10 years of a career. More than half of us are married, or dating, or are living with our future partner, by age thirty. Personality changes more during our twenties than at any time before or after. Female fertility peaks at 28. The brain caps off its last growth spurt in the twenties… When it comes to adult development, thirty is not the new twenty. Even if you do nothing, not making choices is a choice all the same. Don’t be defined by what you didn’t know or didn’t do.” -Meg Jay
"The Defining Decade" is a guide for thinking about how we approach our next steps and how we make decisions for the future. The book is divided into three sections (Work, Love, The Brain and The Body). Dr. Jay calls these sections “four separate-- but interwoven--critical periods that unfold across the twentysomething years.” I think this book speaks to the Mavenly + Co. community so well because we all know that our lives aren’t just about our careers—we all have goals for our personal lives and care about our emotional and physical health as well.
My hope for the Mavenly Book Club is that it will be a place where women can continue to engage and have open conversations about the topics these books shed some light on. I’m someone that has always turned to books when I want to learn more about something, so I hope you will find reassurance and insight in this journey.
And hey, maybe you just want to read more, so this is the perfect excuse to keep yourself a bit more accountable. Books and resources are one way to feel engaged, and as Ashley Stahl said in an episode of Mavenly’s Women, Work, and Worth podcast, “Clarity comes from engagement, not thought.” And I know I can attest to how easy it is to get caught up in overthinking things, when all we need is a little clarity or a new perspective.
I hope you will join us in this conversation! There are a few ways to join in:
1) Join us on Facebook Live Wednesday, September 28 at 8pm EST on our Mavenly + Co. Facebook page.
2) We want to hear your thoughts on the book as you read with us! Join in the conversation on social media and use the hashtags #MavenlyBookClub #TheDefiningDecade
Happy reading, and can’t wait to dig in together!