Why Your 20s Are a Neurological Power Spot and How This Applies to the Gritty, Beautiful, Ongoing Truths of Human Life

Think of a plane taking off from LAX. The smallest tweak in trajectory immediately after takeoff can mean the difference between landing in Florida or landing in Maine. Your 20s are like that, and that is why they are such an incredibly powerful time in life. Your 20s are also a neurological power spot because your brain goes through its final big growth spurt in your early 20s and then industriously goes to work pruning away any of those fresh neurons that are not being used. So we literally wire and shape our brains to become really good, for life, at whatever we spend a lot of time doing in our 20s. Sometimes in sessions I find myself explaining something like this to a client (why your 20s are such a powerful time in life, neurologically and in other ways, for example), and I realize that some of these bits of information I take for granted within my own brain are actually really useful and valuable information for others. I am influenced by a book called The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter —And How to Make the Most of Them Now by psychologist Meg Jay. If I had not read that book in my twenties, I honestly do not know where I would be today. By far the most useful idea within the book (as I remember it) was this idea that 99.9999% of us are not going to experience instant Taylor Swift success in our 20s, contrary to the glamorous way things might appear on social media. Most of us are going to spend our 20s at the bottom of some kind of unglamorous ladder. The thing is to choose your ladder, know roughly where you want it to take you by your 30s, and start climbing. If you love the idea of where the ladder is taking you, you can endure nearly anything. And this particular idea (of ladder-choosing) doesn’t only apply in your 20s. While social media may make it seem like you can have a successful business and exhilarating, healthy relationship in a snap, it’s been my experience (in my life and in the lives of my clients) that most worthwhile endeavors require for us to humble ourselves again and again, to get some dirt under our fingernails, and to have our hearts beat up pretty good along the way. But what a gorgeous vision of what it means to be human. We are all pulled forward, through all kinds of heartbreak, hardship and disappointment, by the exhilaration of desire and by the beauty of our most hopeful visions. Welcoming the broad range of what life brings with no illusions of entitlement to 100% ease seems to create a broader and more fertile garden where all the most important and worthwhile things can grow in their own time. Reach out here for more information on how I can support you if you are feeling less than 100% ease in the garden of your own life.