Defining Decade Meg Jay' Book Review

I was recommended this gem of a book by a friend named Rick.

Me and Chris were catching up and sharing recent books we had read and Rick said I HAD to read this book. Rick is 26 and stressed how he wished he read it when he was 20, six years ago.

I trusted his word so I ordered it and I must say, I am so glad I came across this at the start of my 'defining decade'.

There is one chapter I want to dive into specifically then also give my overall take on the book as a whole.

The specific chapter I want to tackle, and I alluded to this in my end of term presentation is: The Strength of Weak Ties.

This chapter had me in shock at the piercing truth it provided and also how it applied to my own life. Meg Jay describes the unique value of having people in your network that you do not know well.

They could be people you met briefly at a networking event, co-workers or neighbours you merely say hello to when you walk past each other.

They can also be former employees or professors who simply have not been promoted to 'close friends'. In one's close knit friendship circle, all the closest friends are close usually due to their similarity.

Therefore in order to grow and become a more improved version of yourself, you need to have people who are different to you that will facilitate growth.

Close friends will agree with you if for example, you hate your job or you are happy remaining where you are because they know if you grow and get better, they run the risk of losing you.

That is why the saying of "you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with". And Meg stresses the importance of having weak ties as "new things always happen outside of your comfort zone".

Why I wanted to hone in on this chapter specifically, was at the time of reading this book, I was almost at a cross roads where I had networked and made new friends from online classes who were taking massive action and working hard to fulfil their goals and I also had my close friends who were not moving at the same pace I was in terms of working and fulfilling one's dreams.

So this book almost made it abundantly clear to me that it is not an issue if I am moving so fast and working so hard.

Just keep going as the more people I network with and meet along my journey, the more growth I will see for myself. An example I shared in my presentation that I want to reference here was:

"In University, my group won a trip to visit interns at Google. I networked with these interns and we connected on LinkedIn.

I utilized LinkedIn’s search engine and looked up a data scientist to see if I had anyone come up that I had a mutual connection with to reach out to in order to get some pointers for an app I was developing.

I came across a data science graduate and the mutual connection was Simon, an intern I met at Google!

Fortunately, I nurtured the relationship with Simon through catching up, sharing books recommendations, that sort of thing.

So, I reached out to Simon to ask if he would introduce me to his friend Bex (the intern).

He kindly put in a nice word and Bex helped me a lot.

She also agreed to have a phone call with me where we spoke for over an hour, I was just drilling questions all related to data science, programming development, advice on outsourcing.

This would not have been possible if I didn’t nurture the relationship with Simon.

This is just a perfect illustration of the strength of weak ties. I will keep working and keep growing and building my network and the right people will stay in my life and the wrong ones will leave.

So moving onto the book as a whole, I liked it. I focussed on the strength of weak ties chapter as that was what really resonated with me. But the overall take from the book was: get moving.

So many people don't work hard in their twenties and pay for it in their thirties.

Start planting seeds during your twenties with friends, relationships and business. If you find 'the one' during your twenties, don't wait and throw it away because conventionally people tend to get married in their thirties.

I think it highlights important factors that I have implemented into my own life which is first and foremast: having urgency. We all know from the pandemic how fast time goes.

So instead of wasting day by day with no purpose, I am grateful that I found my purpose during lockdown and am now able to work on it day by day, helping people make better decisions through diet and overall health/well-being.

For me personally, when I hear people my age wanting to apply for all these different graduate jobs, I immediately question if they actually want to do it for themselves or if they think they have to do it for job safety. The truth is, you can fail in your twenties.

You have parents to fall back on and little responsibilities (no children etc). So that is why I feel it is so important to work hard on your passions now so you can make a living from it and continue to pursue it for the rest of your life.

Thank you Meg Jay for this book.


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