I'm generally not a fan of advertisements, but I love this one:
It reads: "College degree. Good job. Big house. We all make mistakes." How. So. Very. True.
American society has a prescription for what you are "supposed" to do in your life--what will make you "successful." You go to school, and you get a good degree. After school, you get a good paying job at a good company. And you buy a car--the fancier the better. Then you fall in love and get married. And you buy a house--a big house. With a white picket fence. And you fill up the house with stuff. And you have 2.3 kids. Yada yada.
There, of course, is nothing wrong with this prescription of American success. However, it's not for everyone. Way too much innate happiness is forgone because people are living a lifestyle that doesn't jive with their inner selves.
People get so caught up in this whirlwind of what society tells them to do. Rarely do people stop, turn the focus to their inner selves, and question what they want from their lives. Forget the "supposed to's" and the "should's." What do you really want from your life?
I've often thought about traveling around the states and talking to high school kids. Inspiring them to think for themselves. To be cognizant of what it means to follow the prescribed American definition of success. To make their life decisions consciously. To live their lives for themselves.