Margaret Feinberg wrote some wise words in a recent article called The Family Factor:
Every mother and father naturally dreams about what their children will grow up to be and accomplish. Often unknowingly, parents project unrealized dreams on their offspring. Whether you are aware of it or not, your family has a tremendous impact on how you answer the question, "What the heck am I going to do with my life?" Through their reactions and responses, both stated and unstated, your family provides a framework for approval and acceptance. They not only give you roots; they give context to your life.(HT: Casey Ross)
One of the reasons family is such a big factor in directing our lives is because parents play a pivotal role in introducing us to new ideas and concepts. They help us become familiar with particular professions or pastimes, and once we are comfortable in an area, we are sometimes less likely to venture off into new territory.
Of course, not all of the pressures that friends and family exert will be about your profession. You will find all kinds of influences. You may be told whether or not it is acceptable to be a stay-at-home mom, the proper age of marriage, and who you should or should avoid dating. Not all this advice is bad mind you, but it is important to realize that the people around you can play a tremendous role in determining what you do with your life. Some good. Some bad. The struggle is to resist the temptation to please others.