As someone in my twenties, i’ve felt lost, alone, and frankly, out of place in this world. We are constantly learning and failing, often times without feeling like we’ve won anything, How do I have this many bills? WTF do I want to do with my career?
In the first 5 years of my twenties i’ve fallen in and out of love, lost friends, grew up, dealt with issues i’ve harbored for a long time, and learned what it means to truly love myself (not all in that order). Don’t get me wrong, i’m not the picture of perfection, but these 5 books have helped me grow in my personal and professional life. Without further ado, here are the 5 books to read in your twenties:
1. The Defining Decade by Meg Jay
An eyeopener is all I have to say about this book! Meg Jay is a bestselling psychologist who wrote The Defining Decade based on her experiences with twenty-somethings in therapy with her. Jay opposes that society tells us that the twenties don’t matter and “twenty is the new thirty”, stating that is actually matters more than we could’ve thought. She proposes that the decisions we make in our twenties about money, our career, love, families, etc. dictates the course of our life. This book was very impactful on the way I viewed what I want in my thirties, that the issues I have (and have had) will not come to a resolution themselves- I have to work for what I want my life to look like, not let life pass me by.
2. Atomic Habits by James Clear
OMG, this book. If you want to truly believe that all you want in life is accomplishable, read this. James Clear is world-renowned for his habit-formation framework and shows the building blocks to forming these habits which ultimately make you successful. This book is great to read if you’re looking for productivity inspo.
3. #Maxout Your Life by Ed Mylett
Okay this is an example of don’t judge a book by its cover (nothing bad, just aggressively masculine). This flows from the previous recommendation, Atomic Habits, in the genre of inspiring productivity, but this book digs in a bit differently. Ed Mylett goes through everything that makes him successful and those he coaches (famous and wealthy businessmen, athletes, etc.) successful through the way he lives his lifestyle. Mylett discusses his morning routine, night routine, and mindset, and how those all work to creating a more productive present for himself.
4. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson
While I am a firm believer in positive, optimistic thinking, I can appreciate that Manson’s mindset that “f*ck positivity” and not sugarcoating the negatives of life. It’s a sobering/slap in the face take that we must know our strengths and every bit of our limitations and work with them, which instigates a very deep introspective look at what you offer the world. If you’re ready for some (needed) no-nonsense advice, jump in with two feet first!
5. Outliers by Malcom Gladwell
I’m always looking for what makes successful people different- is it innate or is it grind or is it both?! The main point of this book is that it does not matter what successful people are like, but where they are from. Gladwell explains that culture and environment are what are most likely to make us successful, not innate ability. It is an entertaining read that explains his point in everyday examples. For example, that asians are better at math due to the cognitively demanding nature of rice farming.
These 5 books have each taught me different things about myself, my work ethic, and those around me. Check them out and let me know what you think!