I've read this book, like, six or seven times. Throughout different seasons of my life, it has provided me with much-needed directions and sage advice. The author, Meg Jay, first rose to prominence because of a TED Talk about how "30 is not the new 20." If you don't have time to read the book, you should definitely watch the video.
When I was in my early twenties, the book helped me understand the importance of something called identity capital. As Dr. Jay put it,
"Identity capital is our collection of personal assets. It is the repertoire of individual resources that we assemble over time.
Identity capital is how we build ourselves - bit by bit, over time. Most importantly, identity capital is what we bring to the adult marketplace. It is the currency we use to metaphorically purchase jobs and relationships and other things that we want."
In my mid-twenties, she helped me understand the importance of widening my community and connecting with so-called "weak ties" - people outside of my tribe, who have knowledge and opportunities that my tribe wouldn't necessarily possesses. Weak ties, in Dr. Jay's opinion are like "bridges you cannot see all the way across, so there is no telling where they might lead."
And as I inch closer to the big 3-0, her book is guiding me once again. In my twenties, I'm able to choose my family, not just my friends. I'm learning about the power of self-confidence, which is simply knowing that I'm able to accomplish something new and challenging because I've accomplished similar things before.
The Defining Decade has changed my life and I've given away numerous copies because I believe it's so relevant to anyone in the midst of their defining decade. Without this book, I wouldn't be where I am today. It has helped me understand which paths I should take and helped me look for important guideposts along the way.
In honor of its impact on my life, I'm giving away one copy for free. Just comment below with a lesson you've learned this past year, and I'll choose a winner this weekend. Good luck, twentysomething!