I finished this book by Meg Jay in April 2020, almost within 2 days. This book was recommended by an influencer that I follow, Ashley of bestdressed, and I find her to be an inspirational figure for adulting so gave this book a shot. Some of the ideas presented in the book I had intuitively knew but didn't quite have the vocabulary to explain it such as the concept of "identity capital". Overall a great book that succinctly presented a few areas of life that would be ideal to prioritise in your twenties.
More often, identities and careers are made not out of college majors and GPAs but out of a couple of door-opening pieces of identify capital. Identity Capital is our collection of personal assets. It is the repertoire of individual resources that we assemble over time. These are the investments we make in ourselves, the things we do well enough, or long enough, that they become part of who we are. Some identity capital goes on a resume, such as degrees, jobs, test scores, and clubs. Other identity capital is more personal, such as how we speak, where we are from, how we solve problems, how we look. Identity capital is how we build ourselves--bit by bit, over time. Most important, 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 we want.
While your closest friends help us survive, it does not help us thrive. However, weak ties promote, and sometimes even force, thoughtful growth and change. As we look for jobs or relationships or opportunities of any kind, it is the people we know the least well who will be the most transformative.
When we make choices, we open ourselves up to hard work and failure and heartbreak, so sometimes it feels easier not to know, not to choose, and not to do. Not making choices isn't safe. The consequences are just further away in time, like in your thirties or forties. If you don't say yes to something, your life will become unremarkable and limited. You can't pull some great career out of a hat in your thirties. You've got to start in your twenties.
Neuroticism, or the tendency to be anxious, stressed, critical, and moody, is far more predictive of relationship unhappiness and dissolution than is personality dissimilarity. While personality similarity can help the years run smoothly, any two people will be different in some way or another. How a person responds to these differences can be more important than the differences themselves. To a person who runs high in Neuroticism, differences are seen in a negative light. Anxiety and judgments about these differences then lead to criticism and contempt, two leading relationship killers.
We may not have control over every situation but we could control how we interpret them and how we react to them. Jobs and relationships usually aren't that fragile. For those with a growth mindset, failures may sting but they are also viewed as opportunities for improvement and change. Real confidence comes from mastery experiences, which are actual, lived moments of success, especially when things seem difficult. Feeling better doesn't come from avoiding adulthood, it comes from investing in adulthood.
"Yes is how you get your first job, and your next job, and your spouse, and even your kids. Even if it's a bit edgy, a bit out of your comfort zone, saying yes means you will do something new, meet someone new, and make a difference."