Expected does not always equate success or happiness. The more I dive into this concept, the happier I become; it's a long time coming.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that many people have felt the same societal pressures that I have on what is expected of you. Just to list some things that are expected of us from most of society: a degree, a successful career, a relationship that leads to marriage, a marriage that leads to children, so on and so forth. There's nothing wrong with these things by no means. They're triumphant and should be celebrated. However, none of us are the same, and there is no one size fits all in the path to a happy life. Furthermore, there is no way possible that every single person, with all of our uniqueness, can fit into the exact same time frame expected from society to achieve these prospected goals, even if we wish to. Therefore, living up to a general set of expectations is very unhealthy.
Life is really meant to be lived in the unexpected. That job that is different from anything that you've ever done but you love, the friendship you never imagined would spark up, you get the point. When I think about my life so far, I realize that the things that have brought me the most happiness are those that I didn't plan.
It's still important to work for what you want in life, and to make plans to accomplish your dreams. We all have to do less than ideal things in life to reach our goals. However, I'm a firm believer that the struggle helps us appreciate all we have, material and relationship wise.
So how do we plan to reach our goals while living for the unexpected? My current answer is: stay focused, but always remember to include adventure. When we embrace new things in life, we find the unexpected.