Your Turn Book Summary - Your Turn Book explained in key points
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Your Turn summary

Julie Lythcott-Haims

How to Be an Adult

4.6 (261 ratings)
31 mins

Brief summary

Your Turn by Julie Lythcott-Haims is a self-help book for people in their midlife. It provides honest advice and encouragement to help readers live authentically, find joy and fulfillment, and make the most of the time they have left.

Table of Contents

    Your Turn
    Summary of 8 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 8

    Fending for yourself means playing the game of life instead of watching from the bleachers.

    The first time the author truly realized she was an adult was when all her belongings went up in flames.

    At the time, she and her husband were in their 20s, and they’d decided to move to California. So they packed all their belongings into a moving truck and went to stay with the author’s parents while the truck made its way across the country. One night, at dinner, the author got a call: the truck had caught on fire. All their belongings – furniture, keepsakes, romantic letters – had burnt to a crisp.

    She hadn’t felt like an adult at her wedding a few years earlier; that was just a big party involving a big dress. Adulting hadn’t happened at her bar exam; that was just another test. But in this moment, she knew she couldn’t rely on anyone else to take care of the situation – and she didn’t want them to. She somehow knew she could handle it. She was fending for herself. And that felt good.

    The key message here is: Fending for yourself means playing the game of life instead of watching from the bleachers.

    If you haven’t already had your fending-for-yourself moment, don’t worry – it’s coming. It’ll feel scary. You might look around for an adult. And then, suddenly, you’ll realize that adult is you!

    Stepping up to face life’s challenges is both terrifying and empowering. And every time you do it, you’ll feel more capable of facing the next obstacle. You’ll see that life is like a game you’re playing. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But at least you’re not watching from the sidelines.

    There are a few basics of fending: learning how to cook, practicing good hygiene, scheduling doctor and dental visits. Fending also means finding work to pay your bills, making your own decisions, and replying and showing up.

    It can seem hard to take care of these orders of business if someone else has always done the tasks for you – that’s what psychologists call learned helplessness. But you need to take charge; it’s your life, not anyone else’s!

    In any given situation, fending means putting together some kind of solution based on your options, capabilities, and resources. It means creating a path forward. It doesn’t mean being perfect – which we’ll explore in the next blink.

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    What is Your Turn about?

    Your Turn (2021) is a twenty-first-century guide to adulting – and self-discovery. Stories and insights covering everything from relationships to mental health to money paint a picture of what it means to be a grown-up. Rather than outlining a rigid definition or goal, it offers tools to help you feel empowered and excited about navigating the landscape of adulthood and living a rich, meaningful life.

    Your Turn Review

    Your Turn (2021) is a thought-provoking exploration of the challenges young adults face when transitioning to independence and how to navigate them. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It offers an honest and practical perspective on overcoming the obstacles that arise during the process of finding oneself and pursuing personal goals.
    • By drawing on compelling personal stories and research, it provides meaningful insights and actionable advice, making it relevant and impactful.
    • The insightful analysis of societal expectations and cultural influences ensures a comprehensive understanding of the issues at hand, preventing it from being anything but boring.

    Who should read Your Turn?

    • Twenty- and thirty-somethings wondering what it really means to “grow up”
    • Millennials who feel overwhelmed by the demands of adulthood
    • Anyone looking to better connect with the young adults in their lives

    About the Author

    Julie Lythcott-Haims holds a BA in American Studies from Stanford, a JD from Harvard Law School, and an MFA in writing from California College of the Arts. Her other books include the New York Times best seller How to Raise an Adult and Real American.

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    Your Turn FAQs 

    What is the main message of Your Turn?

    The main message of Your Turn is to embrace imperfections and take ownership of our own lives.

    How long does it take to read Your Turn?

    The reading time for Your Turn varies, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Your Turn a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Your Turn is worth reading as it provides valuable insights on personal growth and empowerment.

    Who is the author of Your Turn?

    Julie Lythcott-Haims is the author of Your Turn.

    What to read after Your Turn?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Your Turn, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
    • Atlas of the Heart by Brené Brown
    • The Mountain Is You by Brianna Wiest
    • The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem by Nathaniel Branden