Important years
Important years

Generation of "tweaksters", old man Eric Erickson, correct chair and neural connections. How not to waste your life? The best investment is to work on your personality.

Are you under 30 and it seems that your whole life lies ahead? You are wrong. The most important decade of your life will fly by, or it may already be coming to an end. Psychologist Mag Jay will explain why these years are crucial for your life and how not to waste them.

Generation Twixters

The age from 20 to 30 is considered the most desirable stage in human life. Beauty, health, carelessness, casual connections. No commitment, just pleasure. In fact, everything is not at all so radiant. Psychotherapist Mag Jay knows firsthand about this. “Youth is, of course, fun,” she admits, “but in my office I hear completely different stories.”

Lost boys and girls come to Dr. Jay's office, complaining that for some reason nothing good happens to them, or rather, nothing at all. No career, no love, no personal achievement. The period between living in a parental home and living in your own apartment, bought on a mortgage, looks more like an unpleasantly quivering soap bubble than a blessed reprieve from adulthood.

Today's twenties are indeed far less fortunate than their predecessors. Despite the external well-being that advertisements and the media paint, the current generation will have to face the worst economic period in history since the Second World War. Total unemployment, part-time jobs instead of long-term employment, low wages, poor social benefits, lack of good prospects, student (or any other) loan payments - all this is rather badly combined with the image of carefree youth cultivated in society.

Action is the key to solving everything
Action is the key to solving everything

Dr. Jay calls twenty-year-olds "tweaksters", from the English betwixt - "somewhere in between", "neither one nor the other." In reality, all they want is certainties, even if they themselves are embarrassed to admit it to themselves.

In defense of old man Erickson

Literally speaking, ages 20 to 30 are "years of wandering," scientifically speaking, this is the time for an identity crisis. According to psychologist Erik Erikson, the development of this very identity reaches a critical point precisely in adolescence. A young man is faced with a society that requires him to fulfill certain guidelines.

This is where the crisis begins - the struggle with myself: should I immediately marry, have a child, buy a house or work my whole life in my specialty? Or can I try myself in something else, not obeying the will of society? In general, the further development of the personality depends on the answer to this question.

Mag Jay supplements her colleague's somewhat dampening theory with another, less romantic term - "identity capital." Yes, the world is cruel, in order to get out of the “identity crisis” with honor, we need to accumulate appropriate resources for this. It is this cumulative experience that will ultimately determine who you become - a successful businessman with gold cufflinks or an alcoholic who does not leave his trailer for months. Dr. Jay warns, "We believe that by avoiding making decisions in the present moment, we are leaving options open, but refusing to make a choice is also a choice." The choice is so-so, she hints transparently.

How to develop intuition? Exercises to develop latent abilities
How to develop intuition? Exercises to develop latent abilities

The most important thing is to take the right chair

One of Jay's patients comes up with a suitable metaphor for her personal life at 20 and 30: “At twenty-something, dating someone was like playing musical chairs for me. Everyone ran back and forth and had fun. But then I turned thirty, and I got the impression that the music ended and everyone rushed to take chairs. " Needless to say, a chair in such a situation may not be the most suitable.

Jay does not urge to take chairs in reserve, rather advises you to look out for the most successful ones in advance. And this is not so difficult if we proceed not from the concept of “fatal divine love”, but, for example, from the table of the “five-factor personality model”, thanks to which you can easily check your partner for compatibility. Opposites attract, but sorry, the more compatibility, the more comfortable the chair. For the narrow-minded, the doctor clarifies, just in case - we are not talking about a favorite color, a musical group or political views, we are talking about the most basic personal qualities like extraversion or neuroticism.

However, even if you find a solid quality chair with the appropriate level of benevolence, this still does not guarantee anything. Family happiness gets in the way of the “cohabitation effect”, “consumer lock-in” and many other troubles. So what to do? Of course Dr. Jay knows what.

Neural connections do not lie on the road

The laws of prosperity and well-being: 23 rules for success in all matters
The laws of prosperity and well-being: 23 rules for success in all matters

Work and family are not the only things to do while you are young and full of energy. First of all, it would be good to take care of yourself. At the age of 30, the formation of the frontal lobe of the brain ends, the last new neural connections are created, and the unused ones disintegrate. The time from 20 to 30 is the best time and the last opportunity to correct bad habits, learn something new or stupidly grow wiser. “Use it or lose it,” Jay instructs. Neural connections do not lie on the road.

It is incredible, but true, people in their 20s and 30s who have a job and family are happier than those who do not. Although the global market only does what convinces us of the opposite, that it is better to postpone work and family for later, and now - “don't slow down”, “just do it”, “take everything from life”. There is nothing wrong with commitments, the angelic Jay convinces, commitments are the best investment in your personality.

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