I think the biggest decision we all have to make in life, or end up making whether we realize it or not, is whether to become part of the machine or to become an individual. To become part of the machine means to allow the world to shape you to what it wants you to be, to be whatever cog it needs. In return, of course, the machine will take care of you because you are useful to it, and if you manage to become one of the bigger cogs in the machine, it will give you preferential treatment. But ultimately, even the biggest of cogs are using their energies not for their own purpose but for the purpose of the machine. The only reward is to the ego and a false sense of safety and belonging.