80% of life’s most defining decisions are made by age 35

ted meg jay

How does it feel that by the time you’re 35 most of the decisions that will define your life has been made? I don’t’ know about you but this fact scares the hell out of me!

So, if you could give your twenty-year-old self one piece of advice…what would it be?

The above is the topic of a great TED-talk by Meg Jay titled “Why 30 is not the new 20”. I recommend watching the 15 minute talk.

Meg argues that 80% of life’s most defining decisions are made by age 35. For this reason, she believes it’s important for “20 year-old-somethings” to reflect on what they value and then to make value-based choices in life.

I think Meg makes a great point. Understanding what your values & dreams are is one of the four most important things in life. The sooner we start reflecting on what we truly value, the better we will feel both now and in the future.

I’ll be writing about how to identify your values & dreams in the not too distant future. Keep yourself posted by “liking” my new Facebook page in the right top corner of this page.

By the way, do wish every Norwegian you meet today “Happy 17th of May” as today is the Norwegian Constitution Day; a very special day for us :-)


5 thoughts on “80% of life’s most defining decisions are made by age 35

  1. Överlevnadsguiden

    I would have to semi-protest to this statement. Yes, I agree with the fact that what you do with your life up until mid-30’s will definately have a great impact on your the rest of your 40’s and 50’s, but life doesn’t end there. Chanses are that a lot of us will live to se both our 80’s and 90’s in pretty good health, so the race is no way over by 35. I believe that the key to a good, prosperous and exciting life is to continue to grow and with that thinking life after 35 is just as defining as the first decades. Besides, it’s extremely uninspiring to think that life would be all done by 35, and I just won’t have it. ;-)

    1. Bjarte Bakke

      Thanks for your comment. You’re making a good point. I guess what Meg’s trying to say is that it’s likely that by 35 most of us have taken our degree, somewhat decided what our job will be, chosen our partner, had children, bought the house etc. Her focus is on helping people in their 20s make better decisions which I think is sensible. Especially when it comes to choosing the right partner!

      I believe the 20s are important. But, I also believe that through deep reflection on what’s really important to you, you can at any point in life make changes that will have a significant positive impact.


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