I spent a lot of time trying to "validate" my choices via other means (logic, reason, social opinion, family pressures, religion, etc.)... and none of it was satisfying, and I was miserable enough to be dead in spirit even if not dead physically.
Saw my old therapist yesterday. I asked her what she thought about how things have gone for me, and the direction, and she said there was no question about it... I was death warmed over for so long, but the last year I am a totally different person. Happy and well-adjusted. She's blown away by the consistent change.
Because I'm going by what is making me "content" rather than artificially imposed standards. And when I say content, it's not "happiness" per se because a lot of my life still has problems to work out and I wish things were different in some ways.
But, overall, I am content with what my life is right now, and where I am at. I'm where i want to be.
I don't think that can be undervalued in people. We can fight to conform to some particular standard, but at core level we are what we are and if we're being compressed too much, it'll never work.