I recently picked up Meg Jay’s The Defining Decade, and it has been a life-changer for me in how I should spend my time as I approach my mid-twenties. There are many golden bits of knowledge in this book, and below I share my biggest takeaways. I highly recommend it as a starting point for all twenty-somethings to build a solid foundation for the rest of your life. The time is now.

01. Commit to something.

I personally felt this sort of anxiety during my college days. I was completely lost in the career I wanted to pursue because I didn’t know what I enjoyed and know who I was. I found myself thinking that life was full of possibilities and while that may be true, by choosing one path I’d be giving up all the others. I often dabbled in different majors but realized I was wasting more time not committing to options I would be happy with. The core of my anxiety wasn’t that I couldn’t decide, but ultimately because I didn’t know how to get what I wanted: a career in UI/UX design. By being more concrete with my decision, I became less distracted with things that could suit me and spent more time meeting other designers and learning more about the industry. I became more intentional with my time.

02. Be intentional about your work.

Jay shares many accounts of patients she worked with, and how once they face their thirties they often feel rushed to find the right partner, especially those who want to build a family. But because they do not date intentionally, they often make poor decisions that lead them to date down, be confused about what they want and who they look for, and place their own difficulties into their relationship which leads to divorce. Design work is no different - be intentional about the problems you are trying to solve and what you try to visually communicate that. Without an end, there is no beginning. If you are directionless, it's time to get a compass.

3. Stop worrying. You will reach your potential.

The book shares that twenty-something brains react more strongly to negative information than they do when compared to brains of older adults. But research shows that people who have some control of their emotions report greater life satisfaction, optimism, purpose, and better relationships with people. Take a moment to enjoy the moment and appreciate the things in your life. Dedicate yourself towards the craft and your potential will shine.