Before 30. After 30. Part 7
People’s opinions don’t turn you into anything. It’s what you do that does it.

Before 30. After 30. Part 8

[ 2 min read ]

Am I saying 20s are unimportant? No. I’m saying that 20s are important, and that 30s are important, and 40s, and 50s, and 60s, and 70s, and 80s, and 90s.

I loathe any message to people which says that our 20s is the most important decade of our lives, that our 20s are the foundation of an adult life, that our 20s are the defining decade of our lives, that we’re deciding our lives in our 20s.

I loathe this message, because I don’t agree that it helps people in life.

And I don’t think the message is true. It’s only a belief. A conviction in people. A conviction which starts very early. A conviction which is commonplace and infectious (the most infectious ideas and beliefs are those which the greatest number of people hold on to — so many people can’t be wrong, can they?). A conviction which forms in people’s heads because of a certain dogma to which they subscribed.

Any conviction quickly turns into a thing we need to defend. Or it is that thing from the get-go. So what happens after it became your conviction? You will look for anything which confirms the validity of this conviction, and dismiss the rest. That’s why we often have such a hard time changing our beliefs or convictions. After we’d already bought into some kind of dogma we do our best to hold on to it. We don’t want to find out that it’s crap.

Our beliefs and convictions are the things from which our actions stem. We take certain actions only when we believe that they make sense. When we think that something doesn’t make sense we don’t do it. This mechanism is very simple.

So when I believe that my 20s is the most important decade of my life, that my 20s are the foundation of an adult life, that my 20s are the defining decade of my life, that I’m deciding my life in my 20s (or that I did it, say, 20 years ago), what are the chances that I will want to take any corrective measures? They’re nonexistent, practically speaking.

If I believe that I could have done certain things for my life (for a better life, for a life that I want) only in my 20s, ie. 20 years ago, what is my motivation to try to take the bull by the horns now? There is no motivation. The only thing I as a person who bought into this idea that we decide our lives in our 20s will have is the regret that I didn’t do something in my 20s. Which is a fucked-up approach to life, to say the least.