Monday 18 September 2023

Outdated expectations to ignore in modern life

Women alone in the road looking her future

Society often expects us to have accomplished certain things by specific ages - like graduating university, getting married, and owning a home by our late 20s or 30s. The "normal" path is seen as studying hard, going to university, getting a good job, and settling down young.

But everyone moves at their own pace. Some people don't discover their passion until later in life. Others prefer to focus on travel and adventures rather than career and family commitments. There's no set timeline we must adhere to. Listen to your own inner voice rather than society's expectations. 

1-Interests and Passions

We're told we should have clear interests and plans from a young age. But it's perfectly normal not to have it all figured out, even into adulthood. Interests can change over time. What you loved at 18 may not excite you anymore at 30. Stay open-minded and curious. The late teens and 20s are for exploring possibilities, not deciding your whole future 

2-Work and Careers

After graduation, there's pressure to get on a career path you'll follow forever. But very few people stay in one industry their entire lives nowadays. It's fine not to have a 5 or 10-year plan mapped out. Use the time after university to try different jobs and workplaces. Getting exposure to diverse roles will help you learn what suits you best. 

3-Relationships and Family

Singles are asked constantly when they'll "find someone". Married couples face questions about when they'll have children. But major life decisions like marriages and kids should happen organically, not because of outside pressure. Both require serious commitment on your own terms.

4- Education 

University is seen as the default option after secondary school. But higher education isn't the right path for everyone. Apprenticeships, vocational training, or jumping straight into work are alternatives. There are many roads to success besides a degree. Consider your own talents and interests, not just what family and friends expect. 


Huge salaries and owning expensive things are not true markers of success. Studies show beyond a moderate level, more money doesn't necessarily bring more happiness. Look beyond status symbols and focus on your personal goals. Define success based on your values, not just career achievement. 


We're bombarded with advertising telling us to buy more. The media promotes unrealistic ideals about needing the latest gadgets, trendiest clothes, or flashiest cars. But possessions alone won't lead to fulfilment. Avoid getting caught up in consumer culture. Spend time and money intentionally on what matters most. 

women on the train looking through the windown


Quality close friendships matter more than having a huge social circle. We need meaningful bonds with a few people, not superficial small talk with hundreds. Nurture your important relationships. Don't spread yourself too thin trying to please everyone. It's better to have a few trusted confidants. 

8-Work-Life Balance

Hustle culture promotes constant activity and busyness as admirable. But being perpetually busy comes at a cost. True productivity stems from proper rest and looking after our mental health. Make time for hobbies, leisure, and self-care. Don't burn out chasing unrealistic productivity standards. 

9-Positivity and Perfection

No one feels upbeat and cheerful 24/7, though social media often presents polished "highlight reels" showing perfect lives. Ups and downs are normal. Give yourself permission to have off days and feel emotions fully. You don't have to put up a facade. Chasing relentless positivity is unhealthy and unrealistic.

10-Saying No

Many of us want to please others and say yes to requests. But taking on too much leads to resentment and overwhelm. Know your limits and learn when to decline extra tasks and commitments. Don't worry about disappointing people. You can be polite yet firm in setting boundaries and protecting your time.


It's easy to conform to expectations from family, friends, or society. But blindly following others' plans won't lead to fulfilment. Live authentically instead. Reflect on your core values. Then make choices based on your own needs - not just what others want.

12-Rigid Gender Roles

Outdated expectations around "masculinity" and suppressing emotions are harmful. They trap men in narrow roles and stifle authentic expression. Let's reconsider inflexible gender stereotypes. People should feel free to be themselves, without harsh judgments. 

I hope this text helps. :)


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