Leave school, go to college/university, find job in that chosen field, totter up that career ladder, receive pension, retire playing golf, making soup and joining a bridge club. This is what schools drill into us since our first times tables test, and when you don't take this path, you feel like you're on the whacky races with no guidance pit stops and a worrying lack of financial fuel.
A few years ago, writing for a living gave way to opening a writers' retreat. An occupation that is not remotely proper, or even job-like. Irregular hours, packed with fun and interest and stuffed with nice food and wine.
"Too much research, not enough action". Yet another trend is isolation and turning your career change into a never-ending project as opposed to a reality. However, opportunities (especially those related to career change and entrepreneurship) most often come attached to people.
Set yourself some guidelines - Setting yourself some realistic guidelines allows you to firmly establish yourself some boundaries. For me, it was as simple as making sure I was home at least two weeknights a week. This will help with the next point.
Creating the ideal work-life balance is usually discussed in terms of juggling time. But slicing and dicing our hours between work and motherhood is only half the challenge. Equally important is how we juggle our headspace and how skillful we are at separating the two worlds.
I just love entrepreneurs, I'm in awe of their vision, willingness to try something completely new and their stubborn determination. But sometimes, their stubbornness prevents them from seeing necessary truths - truths that could save them from bankruptcy, truths that could make them a mountain of money.
We often don't even realise that we're digitally distracted, or notice how much our behaviour has changed. But by being aware of this, and making simple changes, we can make a huge difference to our productivity, health, and relationships.
For the past few months I have opened myself up to the world of the office environment, having never experienced this sort of bubble before (usually succumbing myself to either working with children or making coffee) I was apprehensive and intrigued about what I would learn from these new and unfamiliar surroundings.
Steam, as a natural element, provides a daily supplementation and mood boosters in a natural and fun way. In an age where "healthy is king", the value chain of this company has the potential to ice-break the market and add a new significant element, to the wellbeing/well-living industry, which counts for billions, just in the US.
We live in a much more complex, global world than our parents (and their parents) did - in this day and age, our careers are ours to construct. We can't just escape from the challenges of this construction. Effective long-term solutions involve reorienting ourselves by re-educating ourselves.
I don't presume my beliefs about happiness are universal truths applicable to everyone -- I think we each need to find our own way. But perhaps others can relate to these three lessons and perhaps they are helpful to those of us looking to be happier.
There is no doubt we still have a long way to go for gender equality in the workplace, but I do believe that International Women's Day is a day for celebrating our successes and the progress we continue to make.
Danny Baker shares with us 25 things that are key to living a happy life. As a man who triumphed over depression, drug abuse and alcoholism, he knows what's key to transforming our mindsets in order to lead a more successful and happy life.
Gorging on information streams, hungry for just one more click, our mental and physical systems are becoming overwhelmed, overworked, and overloaded. Yet many of us don't realise this until we either take a step back, or until it is too late and we burn out.
Are you happy with yourself? I hope, even if it takes you some time, or even just an early morning commute in which you end up discussing the finer side of fundamental philosophy at 08.33 on an otherwise dreary and gloomy commute from Southampton to Bristol, that your reply is an earth-shattering yes.
I've been saying for a while now that I believe there has never been a better time to start up in business, so it's great to see that others agree. And not just anyone, but one of the world's greatest entrepreneurs, head of Virgin Richard Branson.