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課程來源:TED
     

 

Meg Jay 談為何三十世代並非新二十世代

Meg Jay: Why 30 is not the new 20

 

Photo of three lions hunting on the Serengeti.

講者:Meg Jay

2013年2月演講,2013年5月在TED 2013上線

 

翻譯:洪曉慧

編輯:朱學恆

簡繁轉換:洪曉慧

後製:洪曉慧

字幕影片後制:謝旻均

 

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MAC及手持裝置版本請按此下載

閱讀中文字幕純文字版本

 

關於這場演講

臨床心理學家Meg Jay提供二十世代一則大膽的訊息:不同於一般觀點,你的二十世代並非無足輕重的十年。Jay在這場引人入勝的演講中說,儘管婚姻、工作及孩子是之後的事,不代表你不能現在就開始規劃。她提出三項建議,說明二十世代該如何掌握人生中決定性的十年。

 

關於Meg Jay

Meg Jay在她的著作《20世代,你的人生是不是卡住了(The Defining Decade)》(繁體譯本)中闡述,許多二十世代輕忽了成年階段最具可塑性-及決定性-的時光。

 

為什麼要聽她演講

近期觀點認為,25歲似乎太過年輕,無法做重大決定。臨床心理學家Meg Jay藉由心理學實務和著作《20世代,你的人生是不是卡住了》闡述,許多二十世代深陷《時代》雜誌所謂「我我我世代」的迷思和誤導中。她認為「三十世代是新二十世代」的說法使人們輕忽成年階段最具可塑性的時光。

 

擷取十餘年來與數百名二十世代個案及學生諮商的經驗,Jay將科學融入一段段引人入勝、不為人知的故事中。精彩、生動的故事發展,顯示為何二十世代並非發展停滯期,而是僅此一次的發展高峰。二十世代是個關鍵期,我們所做之事-及未做之事-對未來人生、甚至後代都將產生巨大影響。

 

Jay是臨床心理學家,專門研究成人發展,尤其是二十世代。她於維吉尼亞大學擔任臨床助理教授,並於維吉尼亞州Charlottesville經營私人診所。她本身於二十世代早期從事拓展訓練師工作。

 

「給美國五千萬名二十世代的四項警訊。」

-《柯克斯書評》

 

Meg Jay的英語網上資料

Home: drmegjay.com

Twitter: @drmegjay

 

[TED科技‧娛樂‧設計]

已有中譯字幕的TED影片目錄(繁體)(簡體)。請注意繁簡目錄是不一樣的。

 

Meg Jay 談為何三十世代並非新二十世代

 

我20多歲時,遇見我第一位心理治療病患。我當時是柏克萊大學臨床心理學博士生,她是名叫Alex的26歲女子。第一次會談時,Alex穿著牛仔褲和寬大上衣,一屁股坐在我辦公室的沙發上,踢掉她的平底鞋,告訴我她是來談男性問題的。聽見這句話時,我鬆了一口氣;我同學的第一位病人是縱火犯(笑聲),我的則是一位想談男性的二十多歲女子。我以為我能搞定這件事。

 

事實卻不然。聽著Alex在會談中所說的有趣故事,只需點頭、對真正問題避而不談,對我來說十分輕鬆。「三十世代是新二十世代,」Alex說。據我所知,她說的沒錯。工作、結婚都是之後的事,孩子是之後的事,甚至死亡也是之後的事,像Alex和我這樣的二十世代有的是時間。

 

但不久後,指導教授催促我,督促Alex積極面對愛情生活,我不以為然。

 

我說,「沒錯,她有固定約會對象,她和一個蠢蛋上床,但不代表她會和那個傢伙結婚。」

 

於是指導教授說,「目前是如此,但或許她會和下一個對象結婚。此外,讓Alex經營婚姻的最佳時機,就是在她結婚前。」

 

這就是心理學家所謂的「啊哈!」時刻。那一刻,我領悟到三十世代並非新二十世代。沒錯,人們比以往更晚成家立業,但不代表二十世代是Alex的發展停滯期,而是Alex的最佳發展時機,我們卻坐視這段時光白白流逝。此時我才明白,所謂善意的忽視確實是個問題,將造成嚴重後果。不僅對Alex和她的愛情生活來說如此,對所有二十世代的事業、家庭和未來亦然。

 

目前美國有五千萬名二十世代人口,大約佔總人口的15%,或者說100%,如果考慮到任何邁入成年期的人都經歷過二十世代。

 

現場的二十世代請舉手,我非常希望在現場見到二十世代聽眾。太好了!你們都棒極了。如果你和二十世代共事、如果你的戀人是二十世代、如果你關心二十世代,我想看到-好,棒極了!二十世代十分重要。

 

因此我專門研究二十世代,因為我認為這五千萬名二十世代中的每一位,都該知道心理學家、社會學家、神經學家及生育專家都知道的事:二十世代是最單純、但最具可塑性的階段,對工作、愛情和幸福來說,也許甚至對全世界來說。

 

這並非我個人的觀點,而是事實。我們知道,人生中80% 最具決定性的時刻發生於35歲前,這意味著定義你人生的決定、經歷和「啊哈!」時刻,10個中有8個發生於30歲中旬前。超過40歲的人別慌,我想在座聽眾應該沒問題。我們知道,一份職業的最初十年對你未來的收入影響甚鉅;我們知道半數以上的美國人,30歲前即和終生伴侶結婚、同居或約會;我們知道大腦於二十世代歷經第二次及最後一次成長高峰,以轉型為成人期。這意味著無論你打算如何改變自己,此刻正是最佳時機。我們知道性格於二十世代的變化勝於人生其他階段;我們知道女性生育高峰期是28歲,35歲之後則每況愈下,因此二十世代正是瞭解自我身體狀況及選擇的最佳時機。

 

因此,當我們談到兒童發展,我們都知道,最初五年是大腦發展語言和情感依附的關鍵期,是日常生活對未來發展影響甚鉅的階段,但我們較少聽說的是所謂的成人發展。二十世代正是成人發展關鍵期。

 

但二十世代不曾聽過這一點,報紙談論的總是成人階段的改變。研究人員稱二十世代為青春期的延續,新聞記者賦予二十世代一些愚蠢的稱號,例如「啃老族」和「大孩子」,確實如此。文化使然,我們輕忽了成人階段的決定性十年。

 

倫納德‧伯恩斯坦(著名指揮家)說,欲達成偉大成就,需要一個計畫和不甚充裕的時間。確實如此嗎?因此,當你拍著一位二十世代的頭說:「你的人生還有十年才開始。」你認為會發生什麼事?什麼也不會發生。你剝奪了那個人的迫切感和雄心,不會發生任何結果。

 

日復一日地,聰明、有趣的二十世代,如同你們或你們的子女,前來我辦公室說類似以下的話:「我知道我男友不適合我,但這段感情不能當真,只是打發時間罷了。」或是,「每個人都說,我只要在30歲前展開事業就沒問題。」

 

但之後他們開始這麼說:「我的二十世代即將結束,卻一事無成,我最好從大學畢業那天就開始投履歷表。」

 

然後他們開始這麼說:「二十世代的約會就像玩大風吹,大家四處遊蕩、樂在其中,但30歲左右音樂逐漸停止,大家開始就座。我不想成為唯一站著的人,因此有時我覺得和丈夫結婚,只因為他是30歲時離我最近的椅子。」

 

在座的二十世代?千萬別這麼做。

 

好,聽起來像是說笑,但別誤會,其中的風險極大。當許多事延宕到三十世代,將造成三十世代極大的壓力。展開事業、選擇居住地、尋找伴侶、在極短時間內生兩三個孩子,這些事大多無法同時兼顧。如近期研究結果顯示,在三十世代同時完成這些事,難度和壓力都將變得更大。

 

千禧年後的中年危機不在於是否買輛紅色跑車,而在於意識到無法擁有現在渴望的事業,意識到無法生出現在想要的孩子,或無法替孩子生出兄弟姊妹。太多三十世代及四十世代看看自己,然後望著坐在房間另一頭的我,開始談論他們的二十世代:「我當時在做什麼?在想什麼?」

 

我希望改變二十世代的做法和想法。

 

以下是關於如何著手的故事。這是關於一位名叫Emma的女子的故事。25歲時,Emma來到我辦公室,因為她-根據她的說法-正經歷身份危機。她說,她認為自己或許想從事藝術或娛樂工作,但尚未下定決心,因此過去幾年她暫時擔任餐飲服務生。為了省錢,她和脾氣的展現更勝於抱負的男友同居。儘管她的二十世代充滿艱辛,她之前的生活更是困難重重。她經常於會談時哭泣,但恢復平靜後,她說,「你無法選擇家庭,但可以選擇朋友。」

 

某天,Emma走進辦公室,把頭倚在膝蓋上哭了將近一個小時。她剛買了一本新通訊錄,花了整個上午填寫連絡人資料,但接著,她茫然地盯著以下文字後的空白:「發生緊急情況時,請撥打…」她幾乎是歇斯底里地看著我說,「如果出車禍,誰會陪在我身邊?如果得癌症,誰會照顧我?」

 

當時,我費盡心力才忍住說「我會」的衝動。但Emma需要的並非一位對她關懷備至的治療師,Emma需要更好的生活,我知道這是她的機會。自從治療Alex後,我學到很多,我不會坐視Emma的決定性十年白白流逝。

 

因此,接下來幾週、幾個月中,我告訴Emma三件每位二十世代-無論男女-都該聆聽的忠告。

 

首先,我要Emma忘了她的身份危機,累積一些身份資本。至於累積身份資本,我指的是進行某些增加自我價值的事,進行某些有助於達成理想中的自己的投資。我不知道Emma的工作前景,沒人知道任何工作的前景,但我確實知道這一點:身份資本將衍生身份資本。因此,此時正是接受那份跨國工作、實習職位和你想嘗試的創業的時機。我並非反對二十世代進行探索,但我不贊同無意義的探索。順帶一提,那並非探索,而是浪費時間。我要Emma進行有意義的工作探索。

 

其次,我告訴Emma,人們高估了城市部落(Urban Tribes)。好友是載你去機場的絕佳人選,但二十世代群聚的對象在於志同道合的同齡族群,侷限於相識者、彼此知道的事、相似的思考模式、相仿的說話方式和相近的工作地點。新資本、新約會對象幾乎總是來自圈外,新事物來自我們所謂的弱連結,例如朋友的朋友的朋友。因此-沒錯,半數二十世代並未就業或擁有全職工作,但其中一半並非如此,弱連結正是使你加入那個族群的方式。半數新職位不曾公佈,因此,接觸鄰居的老闆正是得到那份未公佈工作的方法。這並非投機,而是資訊傳播原理。

 

最後,同樣重要的是,Emma認為你無法選擇家庭,但可以選擇朋友。以她的成長經歷來說確實如此,但身為二十世代,Emma很快就得選擇自己的家庭,當她和某人結為連理、建立屬於自己的家庭時。我告訴Emma,此時正是她選擇家庭的時機。你或許認為,相較於20歲、甚至25歲,30歲是較適當的成家時機,我同意這一點。但是當所有Facebook上的朋友開始步入禮堂時,套牢某個和你同居或上床的人,這並非完成某項進展。經營婚姻的最佳時機正是結婚前,這是指如同看待工作般用心看待愛情。家庭的選擇是有意識的選擇;選擇你想要的人和生活,而非僅是達成目標或打發時間-與恰巧選擇你的人。

 

Emma的後續情況如何?好,我們翻閱那本通訊錄,她發現一位前室友的親戚任職於他州的藝術博物館,那個弱連結協助她在當地找到一份工作,那份工作給了她離開同居男友的理由。5年後的今天,她成了博物館特殊活動規劃者,她和一位用心選擇的人結婚。她愛她的新職業,她愛她的新家庭。她寄給我一張卡片,上面寫著:「現在緊急連絡人一欄似乎不夠大了。」

 

Emma的故事使這件事聽來輕而易舉,但這就是我喜愛與二十世代共事的原因-幫助他們十分容易。二十世代就像剛離開洛杉磯國際機場的飛機,準備前往西岸某處,起飛後,航線稍微偏移,即降落阿拉斯加或斐濟的差別。同樣地,在21或25歲,甚至29歲,一場有益的談話、一次充分的休息、一場卓越的TED演講,對未來幾年、甚至幾代都有極大影響。

 

因此,這是一個值得分享給每一位你認識的二十世代的想法。這就像我於Alex的會談中所領悟到的道理一樣容易,這就是我現在有幸能時時給予像Emma一樣的二十世代的忠告:三十世代並非新二十世代,因此,掌握你的成年時期、累積一些身份資本、利用你的弱連結、選擇你的家庭。別受限於你不知道或不曾做過的事,此刻你正在決定你的人生,謝謝。(掌聲)

 

以下為系統擷取之英文原文

About the Talk

Clinical psychologist Meg Jay has a bold message for twentysomethings: Contrary to popular belief, your 20s are not a throwaway decade. In this provocative talk, Jay says that just because marriage, work and kids are happening later in life, doesn’t mean you can’t start planning now. She gives 3 pieces of advice for how twentysomethings can re-claim adulthood in the defining decade of their lives.
 
About the Speaker
In her book "The Defining Decade," Meg Jay suggests that many twentysomethings feel trivialized during what is actually the most transformative — and defining — period of our adult lives.
 
About the Transcript
When I was in my 20s, I saw my very first psychotherapy client. I was a Ph.D. student in clinical psychology at Berkeley. She was a 26-year-old woman named Alex. Now Alex walked into her first session wearing jeans and a big slouchy top, and she dropped onto the couch in my office and kicked off her flats and told me she was there to talk about guy problems. Now when I heard this, I was so relieved. My classmate got an arsonist for her first client. (Laughter) And I got a twentysomething who wanted to talk about boys. This I thought I could handle.
 
But I didn't handle it. With the funny stories that Alex would bring to session, it was easy for me just to nod my head while we kicked the can down the road. "Thirty's the new 20," Alex would say, and as far as I could tell, she was right. Work happened later, marriage happened later, kids happened later, even death happened later. Twentysomethings like Alex and I had nothing but time.
 
But before long, my supervisor pushed me to push Alex about her love life. I pushed back.
 
I said, "Sure, she's dating down, she's sleeping with a knucklehead, but it's not like she's going to marry the guy."
 
And then my supervisor said, "Not yet, but she might marry the next one. Besides, the best time to work on Alex's marriage is before she has one."
 
That's what psychologists call an "Aha!" moment. That was the moment I realized, 30 is not the new 20. Yes, people settle down later than they used to, but that didn't make Alex's 20s a developmental downtime. That made Alex's 20s a developmental sweet spot, and we were sitting there blowing it. That was when I realized that this sort of benign neglect was a real problem, and it had real consequences, not just for Alex and her love life but for the careers and the families and the futures of twentysomethings everywhere.
 
There are 50 million twentysomethings in the United States right now. We're talking about 15 percent of the population, or 100 percent if you consider that no one's getting through adulthood without going through their 20s first.
 
Raise your hand if you're in your 20s. I really want to see some twentysomethings here. Oh, yay! Y'all's awesome. If you work with twentysomethings, you love a twentysomething, you're losing sleep over twentysomethings, I want to see — Okay. Awesome, twentysomethings really matter.
 
So I specialize in twentysomethings because I believe that every single one of those 50 million twentysomethings deserves to know what psychologists, sociologists, neurologists and fertility specialists already know: that claiming your 20s is one of the simplest, yet most transformative, things you can do for work, for love, for your happiness, maybe even for the world.
 
This is not my opinion. These are the facts. We know that 80 percent of life's most defining moments take place by age 35. That means that eight out of 10 of the decisions and experiences and "Aha!" moments that make your life what it is will have happened by your mid-30s. People who are over 40, don't panic. This crowd is going to be fine, I think. We know that the first 10 years of a career has an exponential impact on how much money you're going to earn. We know that more than half of Americans are married or are living with or dating their future partner by 30. We know that the brain caps off its second and last growth spurt in your 20s as it rewires itself for adulthood, which means that whatever it is you want to change about yourself, now is the time to change it. We know that personality changes more during your 20s than at any other time in life, and we know that female fertility peaks at age 28, and things get tricky after age 35. So your 20s are the time to educate yourself about your body and your options.
 
So when we think about child development, we all know that the first five years are a critical period for language and attachment in the brain. It's a time when your ordinary, day-to-day life has an inordinate impact on who you will become. But what we hear less about is that there's such a thing as adult development, and our 20s are that critical period of adult development.
 
But this isn't what twentysomethings are hearing. Newspapers talk about the changing timetable of adulthood. Researchers call the 20s an extended adolescence. Journalists coin silly nicknames for twentysomethings like "twixters" and "kidults." It's true. As a culture, we have trivialized what is actually the defining decade of adulthood.
 
Leonard Bernstein said that to achieve great things, you need a plan and not quite enough time. Isn't that true? So what do you think happens when you pat a twentysomething on the head and you say, "You have 10 extra years to start your life"? Nothing happens. You have robbed that person of his urgency and ambition, and absolutely nothing happens.
 
And then every day, smart, interesting twentysomethings like you or like your sons and daughters come into my office and say things like this: "I know my boyfriend's no good for me, but this relationship doesn't count. I'm just killing time." Or they say, "Everybody says as long as I get started on a career by the time I'm 30, I'll be fine."
 
But then it starts to sound like this: "My 20s are almost over, and I have nothing to show for myself. I had a better résumé the day after I graduated from college."
 
And then it starts to sound like this: "Dating in my 20s was like musical chairs. Everybody was running around and having fun, but then sometime around 30 it was like the music turned off and everybody started sitting down. I didn't want to be the only one left standing up, so sometimes I think I married my husband because he was the closest chair to me at 30."
 
Where are the twentysomethings here? Do not do that.
 
Okay, now that sounds a little flip, but make no mistake, the stakes are very high. When a lot has been pushed to your 30s, there is enormous thirtysomething pressure to jump-start a career, pick a city, partner up, and have two or three kids in a much shorter period of time. Many of these things are incompatible, and as research is just starting to show, simply harder and more stressful to do all at once in our 30s.
 
The post-millennial midlife crisis isn't buying a red sports car. It's realizing you can't have that career you now want. It's realizing you can't have that child you now want, or you can't give your child a sibling. Too many thirtysomethings and fortysomethings look at themselves, and at me, sitting across the room, and say about their 20s, "What was I doing? What was I thinking?"
 
I want to change what twentysomethings are doing and thinking.
 
Here's a story about how that can go. It's a story about a woman named Emma. At 25, Emma came to my office because she was, in her words, having an identity crisis. She said she thought she might like to work in art or entertainment, but she hadn't decided yet, so she'd spent the last few years waiting tables instead. Because it was cheaper, she lived with a boyfriend who displayed his temper more than his ambition. And as hard as her 20s were, her early life had been even harder. She often cried in our sessions, but then would collect herself by saying, "You can't pick your family, but you can pick your friends."
 
Well one day, Emma comes in and she hangs her head in her lap, and she sobbed for most of the hour. She'd just bought a new address book, and she'd spent the morning filling in her many contacts, but then she'd been left staring at that empty blank that comes after the words "In case of emergency, please call ... ." She was nearly hysterical when she looked at me and said, "Who's going to be there for me if I get in a car wreck? Who's going to take care of me if I have cancer?"
 
Now in that moment, it took everything I had not to say, "I will." But what Emma needed wasn't some therapist who really, really cared. Emma needed a better life, and I knew this was her chance. I had learned too much since I first worked with Alex to just sit there while Emma's defining decade went parading by.
 
So over the next weeks and months, I told Emma three things that every twentysomething, male or female, deserves to hear.
 
First, I told Emma to forget about having an identity crisis and get some identity capital. By get identity capital, I mean do something that adds value to who you are. Do something that's an investment in who you might want to be next. I didn't know the future of Emma's career, and no one knows the future of work, but I do know this: Identity capital begets identity capital. So now is the time for that cross-country job, that internship, that startup you want to try. I'm not discounting twentysomething exploration here, but I am discounting exploration that's not supposed to count, which, by the way, is not exploration. That's procrastination. I told Emma to explore work and make it count.
 
Second, I told Emma that the urban tribe is overrated. Best friends are great for giving rides to the airport, but twentysomethings who huddle together with like-minded peers limit who they know, what they know, how they think, how they speak, and where they work. That new piece of capital, that new person to date almost always comes from outside the inner circle. New things come from what are called our weak ties, our friends of friends of friends. So yes, half of twentysomethings are un- or under-employed. But half aren't, and weak ties are how you get yourself into that group. Half of new jobs are never posted, so reaching out to your neighbor's boss is how you get that un-posted job. It's not cheating. It's the science of how information spreads.
 
Last but not least, Emma believed that you can't pick your family, but you can pick your friends. Now this was true for her growing up, but as a twentysomething, soon Emma would pick her family when she partnered with someone and created a family of her own. I told Emma the time to start picking your family is now. Now you may be thinking that 30 is actually a better time to settle down than 20, or even 25, and I agree with you. But grabbing whoever you're living with or sleeping with when everyone on Facebook starts walking down the aisle is not progress. The best time to work on your marriage is before you have one, and that means being as intentional with love as you are with work. Picking your family is about consciously choosing who and what you want rather than just making it work or killing time with whoever happens to be choosing you.
 
So what happened to Emma? Well, we went through that address book, and she found an old roommate's cousin who worked at an art museum in another state. That weak tie helped her get a job there. That job offer gave her the reason to leave that live-in boyfriend. Now, five years later, she's a special events planner for museums. She's married to a man she mindfully chose. She loves her new career, she loves her new family, and she sent me a card that said, "Now the emergency contact blanks don't seem big enough."
 
Now Emma's story made that sound easy, but that's what I love about working with twentysomethings. They are so easy to help. Twentysomethings are like airplanes just leaving LAX, bound for somewhere west. Right after takeoff, a slight change in course is the difference between landing in Alaska or Fiji. Likewise, at 21 or 25 or even 29, one good conversation, one good break, one good TED Talk, can have an enormous effect across years and even generations to come.
 
So here's an idea worth spreading to every twentysomething you know. It's as simple as what I learned to say to Alex. It's what I now have the privilege of saying to twentysomethings like Emma every single day: Thirty is not the new 20, so claim your adulthood, get some identity capital, use your weak ties, pick your family. Don't be defined by what you didn't know or didn't do. You're deciding your life right now. Thank you. (Applause)

 


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Anonymous, 2014-01-28 14:55:53

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