MJ：别让这些文化趋势把你的生活、工作和情感变得无聊琐碎。不和那些鼓吹“在新世纪30岁就等于从前的20岁”这类言论的人交朋友。当《决定性的十年》一书出版后，我收到过无数封来自30岁人的email，其中一封信中说道：“以前，我总是对那些努力完成计划的人翻白眼。他们有的在准备读研、有的准备结婚、有的想找自己感兴趣同时又体面的工作……最终都及时甚至是超前地完成了他们的目标。而如今的我又嫉妒又佩服他们，只能用两倍的努力，却只能换来他们已拥有东西的一半。” 千万别耸耸肩无所谓洒脱地说：“我才20出头，做什么都是徒劳。” 区分什么该做、什么不该做能对你的人生、甚至你后代的人生产生巨大的影响。你的人生，要由你自己决定。 (来源：英语麦当劳－英语快餐EnglishCN.com)
BT: As a clinical psychologist, what advice do you have for coping with emotions like anxiety which inevitably arise during times of economic uncertainty?
MJ: Given that life and the brain change so much across our 20s, this is the perfect time to learn new coping strategies. It's not okay to go to work with scars on your arms from cutting, it's not acceptable to scream at friends when things go wrong, and live-in girlfriends get tired of seeing us stoned every night. These are the years to learn to calm yourself down. Gain some control over your emotions. Sure, there's Xanax, which a recent conference presenter I heard only half-jokingly called "Jack Daniels in a Pill." But practice calming techniques that can work over the long run: exercise, therapy, mindfulness, yoga, cognitive meditation, deep breathing, healthy distraction, dialectical behavior therapy. Use your rational mind to counter the anxious and catastrophic thoughts you have: "I probably won't be fired because I dropped one phone call." Try to create your own certainty by making healthy choices and commitments that off-set the upheaval in the world around.
BT: We loved this quote: "Claiming a career and getting a good job isn't the end, it's the beginning." Can you explain this a bit?
MJ: Most 20somethings are terrified of being pinned down. They're afraid that if they choose a career or a job, they are closing off their other options and somehow their freedom will be gone and their lives will be over. In fact, getting a good job is the beginning. It's the beginning of not hating that question, "What do you do?" It's the beginning of having something on your resume that might help you get that next job you want even more. It's the beginning of not overdrawing your bank account because of a flat tire. It's the beginning of feeling like you could actually think about dating since your time isn't taken up working those three part-time jobs you have in order to avoid a "real job." Research shows that getting going in the work world is the beginning of feeling happier, more confident, competent, and emotionally stable in adulthood.
BT: Can you discuss some of the current neurobiological research, and how that impacted your writing?
MJ: By now probably everyone has heard that the teen brain is not fully developed and that the frontal lobe--the part of the brain where we plan for the future and tackle questions that don't have black-and-white answers--does not reach full "maturity" until sometime during our 20s.
Unfortunately, this fact about the late-maturing frontal lobe has been interpreted as a directive for 20somethings to wait around for their brains to grow up. The real take-home message about the still-developing 20something brain is that whatever it is you want to change about yourself, now is the easiest time to change it. Is your 20something job, or hobby, making you smarter? Are your 20something relationships improving your personality or are they reinforcing old patterns and teaching bad habits?