We wear the right brands, say the right things, participate in the right activities, get into the right schools, and follow the right career path.
Right for who?
Right for you? Maybe.
Who suffers the consequences if following the normal route ends in bitterness, depression, and wasted time?
Who reaps the rewards if following a possibly unconventional route leads to satisfaction, success, and a full life?
No one can make choices for you, but they will try to influence you to fit their mold.
How they view the world, what makes them happy, what satisfies their reason to go on living -- it's going to be different from yours. You have to find the right path for you.
I would argue that most people aren't truly happy anyway. They work a job they hate. They have debts. They buy things only to impress. They have little adventure. They don't try in their marriage. They ignore their hobbies and interests. They stopped dreaming a long time ago.
And yet they try to tell you how to achieve success and happiness.
Here's the deal. Only you suffer the consequences or reap the rewards for your decisions. These advice givers, these "normal" people, lose nothing based on your choices.
Don't let others dictate your path. Take solid advice from trusted allies to heart, but own your decisions. If you manage to do this, you will own your life.