Art of Manliness Podcast Episode #51: The Defining Decade With Dr. Meg Jay

by Brett on October 12, 2013 · 9 comments

in Podcast


In today’s episode I talk to Dr. Meg Jay, a clinical psychologist and author of the Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them Now. Dr. Jay’s book has inspired several posts on AoM in the past year, including: Want to Feel Like a Man? Then Act Like One, Good News! Your Life Isn’t Limitless, and our series on the twenty-something brain (Part 1 and Part 2).

I was really excited to have Dr. Jay on our podcast. Besides her book, her TED Talk on the importance of your twenties has made a big splash as well.

In today’s show, we discuss why your twenties are so important, the challenges that many twenty-somethings have today, and the things twenty-somethings can do now to ensure a rewarding career and fulfilling relationships during the rest of their adult life.

Show highlights:
  • Why thirty isn’t the new twenty
  • The consequences of not taking advantage of your twenties
  • The biggest problem she sees with twenty-something males
  • How the twenty-something brain is different from a thirty-something brain
  • The myth of the slacker twenty-something male
  • What “identity capital” is and why you need to develop it
  • And much more!

If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend picking up a copy of the Defining Decade. It’s a truly excellent and worthwhile read, especially for our twenty-something readers and listeners. 

Listen to the podcast!

Special thanks to Keelan O’Hara for editing the podcast!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ryan October 13, 2013 at 10:40 pm

I love all of Meg’s stuff. I wish I could meet her. Thanks for bringing her on the show.

2 Ash October 14, 2013 at 3:21 am

Guess the moderator hasn’t got here yet! Good interview. I find the best way to be confident is just to feel that way and hope for reality to catch up–it usually does.

3 Me October 14, 2013 at 5:37 am

Thanks for the interview with Meg and I really enjoyed her TED talk too, after it was recommended here.

I am reading the reviews on Amazon about the book and I noticed your last question to her “what about those guys who have just finished their twenties?”

It would be great if there could be some sort of follow up book, as a lot of the reviews are basically saying “Do not read this if you are past 29 as you will feel suicidal!!”

(I think someone genuinely wrote that, but after reading 15 pages of reviews, can’t find where – Hopefully that was written for some sort of dramatic license only).

But on a more serious note – it would be great if she would do some sort of follow up paper on people in their early 30s who didn’t get to hear this tough love back then?

Sometimes we may be doing well in some / most areas of our lives, but don’t know how to address those other areas and are wondering if it’s too late. Obviously it’s never too late for anything but would be nice to hear he professional views.

4 Elliott October 14, 2013 at 1:07 pm

I would love the rivet wallet!

5 Nathan October 14, 2013 at 6:19 pm

I am glad I listened to this. It cleared up for me questions I had regarding being in my 20′s I am 25 now and I was concerned that with what i thought She was saying I missed the boat on, but I did do a lot of things around 23 that is really cementing that wanna be a man than act like one line. But I do see a to things happening to others my age that I am just not there yet on. a handful of kids I knew got married and have jobs at 24 and Im finishing up school but I am finishing up school with 3 degrees in the bag, plus I am in a committed relationship. Not that I am trying to toot my own horn, but I just didn’t pick up on the things she said to make the most of your twenties that I already started or am doing.

6 Dano October 14, 2013 at 11:06 pm

This hold a lot of weight with me. My 20s were derailed by marriage military and procreation. It’s hard to plug the holes of underdevelopment

7 Francesco October 15, 2013 at 5:07 am

I’m 29. And a half.

Why nobody tell me that before!!! :D

8 Andrew October 15, 2013 at 9:13 pm

This was a great podcast! I feel like Brett and Dr. Jay were talking directly to me. I am a 24 year old man about to turn 25 at the end of the month, and I have had many of these same questions the last year or two. Most of my high school and undergraduate friends have moved on to jobs and marriages, but I am still reliant on my parents financial as I am in graduate school for physical therapy for another year and a half. I wish at this point I did not have to be reliant on my parents, but I really have no other option until I finish school. I realize though that I am probably better off than many other men my age with a hopefully promising career on the horizon. My bigger concern is my lack of success with relationships. I feel that I have done my best to try and date more, and by date, I mean “date” not just hang out with women as Brett has stated. In my opinion, I believe there are too many women out there today who do not know what they want either and are not really interesting in actually dating. Maybe it is just the women around me, but I feel that most of them would rather just go out and have a good time with friends that actually take the time to go out on a real date and get to know someone. Maybe I’m wrong, or just have not found the right person but that is my two cents. I really appreciate this post though. It has definitely made me realize that I am not alone.

9 Rick October 20, 2013 at 2:30 am

Gutsy post, Andrew. I am married and in my low 30s. I wonder what it is like for twenty-somethings now. There has been so much negative talk about the economy, including the slow acceptance of our massive and growning national debt and pyramid-style wealth distribution, that I wonder if male twenty-somethings often harbor great frustration. I also wonder if experiences with women often increase that frustration. Look at this phrase Andrew wrote: women “are not really interest[ed] in actually dating”. Whew…

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