That was a question on Quora to which I saw an amazing answer worth reading by Keinosuke Johan Miyanaga.
This is one of the best things I've read in a long time, hope you find it equally thoughtful.
Live life to the fullest, and if it entails working or doing something you'd rather not be doing, then so be it. But sacrifices should be minimal, we should strive to find happiness in the present, and life should be the pursuit of what you love. Love can be many things. It can be your passion, your family, your community, your religion, your studies... Love is personal, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Never let anyone take it away from you, because they can't. It is also the most valuable thing you will ever have.
Most successful people do not consider their jobs work. Jobs are overrated, and most of us already know that. In fact, they don't even consider their job a job. It's an investment of time and focus for a greater cause. For this greater cause to be work related would be marginalizing yourself. A promotion isn't much of a greater cause. Helping people. Building the future. Winning championships. Traveling around the world. These are greater causes. Work may be required here and there. These pursuits may grant you a job title or two along the way. But the job part is what they can quit at anytime.
If you'd rather quit but can't, you're a slave being paid for your time. I have the greatest respect for those in these types of jobs, but I am just saying what they already know. I respect them all for their sacrifices, not for their success.
Jobs devalue people. This is a fact. When money changes hands, it defines how much something is worth. If I buy an apple for 1 dollar, that apple is now 1 dollar. 2 people agree, and the paper trail proves it. Say I buy 1 hour from you for 10 dollars. Now your time is 10 dollars. But how much is your time really worth?
Prostitution is illegal because it devalues sex and people. Serving the army can't be rewarded financially because it would devalue service and lives. That is why military contractors are expensive. They cannot be compensated with honor. Slavery was abolished because no one is worth less than anyone else. Except, now we could compare our incomes if we wanted to. But we don't. We'd rather not talk about money because it devalues us. We understand there is no shame or pride in what we make. Talking about income would put one of us over the other, so instead we choose to keep it private to remain equal.
When something is priceless, pricing it devalues it. No matter what the price, it is still less than it's true value. Your time is one such priceless asset.
The solution is simple. You just need to get more out of work than money to make up for the difference. This difference must be priceless, and at this point there are not many options. In fact, there are only two: 1) Do what you love. Whatever you make doing it, you will be happy with it -- happy not because you appreciate the money (you're okay to do that also), but for how it allows you to spend your time. And, 2) do it for what you love. This entails sacrifice. It's a negative for a positive. These things happen especially as we gain responsibilities, but your goal should always be to get back to #1. Never give up. Never be in denial. Seek those who share your cause.
Either way, love is the answer, which is so often the case.
In most first world countries we talk about how much we enjoy our jobs or why we are stuck in them. We hardly talk about how much we make. I say we are moving in the right direction.
Now get back to work!
Hope you like it.