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(来源:英语论坛 http://bbs.englishcn.com)

The best and worst part about being a twenty-something is that every decision you make can change the rest of your life. Once you're in your 30's or 40's, it gets harder and harder to reinvent yourself. In this Q&A with Dr. Meg Jay, the clinical psychologist explains why the twenties matter, and how to make the most of them.

二十几岁最大的优点(同时也是缺点)之处在于:任何一个决定都会改变你的一生。当你步入30、40岁,改造自己将变得越来越困难。在视频分享网站《大思想)这篇和Meg Jay博士的访谈中,这位临床心理学家将向我们解释为什么20岁是人生的关键,以及,我们将应该怎样充分利用这段岁月。

Big Think: Why are the 20s so important?

Big Think(以下简称BT):为什么说20多岁是人生的关键?

Dr. Meg Jay: Our 20s are the defining decade of adulthood. 80% of life's most defining moments take place by about age 35. 2/3 of lifetime wage growth happens during the first ten years of a career. More than half of Americans are married or are dating or living with their future partner by age 30. Personality can change more during our 20s than at any other decade in life. Female fertility peaks at 28. The brain caps off its last major growth spurt. When it comes to adult development, 30 is not the new 20. Even if you do nothing, not making choices is a choice all the same. Don't be defined by what you didn't know or didn't do.

Meg Jay医生(以下简称MJ):20多岁是决定成人轨迹的时刻。80%人生中最有决定性的时刻都会在35岁前出现。三分之二的加薪出现在职业生涯的头十年。到了30岁,大于一半的美国人都已结婚、或约会、或正在和未来的婚姻对象同居。你的性格在20多岁时会比人生中任意十年中都要改变得更多。女性的生殖力在28岁达到巅峰。大脑功能会在此时达到最后的冲刺。至于成年的发展,30岁远远比不上20出头的毛头小子。即使你呆着什么也不做,“不做任何选择”其实也是种选择。别因为年轻时你的无知和懒惰而葬送一生。

BT: You write about several cases of recent grads who feel they're drowning or floundering around in the world waiting for something to happen. Has it always been this hard to thrive in early adulthood?


MJ: No. There are 50 million 20somethings in the United States most of whom are living with a staggering, unprecedented amount of uncertainty. Many no idea what they will be doing, where they will be living, or who they will be with in 2 or 10 years. They don't know when they'll be happy or when they will be able to pay their bills. They wonder if they should be photographers or lawyers or event planners. They don't know whether they are a few dates or many years from a meaningful relationship. They worry about whether they will have families or whether their marriages will last. Most simply, they don't know whether their lives will work out and they don't know what to do. Uncertainty makes people anxious and distraction is the 21st-Century opiate of the masses. So too many 20somethings are tempted, and even encouraged, to just turn away and hope for the best. That's not the way to go.


BT: One of the main themes in the book is the line between thinking and doing. You argue that it's more important to just do something than to waste years dreaming up the perfect path. How can 20-somethings to put this idea into action?


MJ: One of my favorite quotes is by American Psychologist Sheldon Kopp: "The unlived life isn't worth examining." Too many 20somethings have been led to believe that their 20s are for thinking about what they want to do and their 30s are for getting going on real life. But there is a big difference between having a life in your 30s and starting a life in your 30s. If you want to be more intentional at work and in love, try working in a field you're curious about. Try dating someone who is different from that last person who turned out to be a disaster, and try conducting yourself a bit differently while you're at it. Sure the 20s are for experimenting, but not just with philosophies and vacations and substances. The 20s are your best chance to experiment with jobs and relationships. Then each move can be more intentional and more informed than the last.

MJ:我很喜欢美国心理学家Sheldon Kopp的一句话:“平淡的人生不值得审视”。有太多年轻人被误导着去相信:“20岁是用来思考自己想干嘛的,而30岁才是真正步入生活的时候”。如果你想更积极地去工作,去爱,选择一个你感兴趣的领域,然后开始工作吧。试着和上一个给你带来惨痛回忆截然不同的对象约会,并时刻提醒自己要开始转变。诚然,20多岁正是体验的时候,但光凭哲思般的空想、度假和物质满足可不行。20多岁是体验不同工作和感情生活的最好时机。你所做的每一步,都应该比上一次更具目的性、更富远见。

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