We seem to live in a culture today where people are more concerned with appearing to be something important rather than actually being something important.
It appears if I died, no one in the neighborhood I grew up in would notice or care. Conversely, if my dog left the house wearing a new collar, the entire neighborhood would have a conniption.
You end up choosing a career that does not really suit you. Your desire and interest slowly wane and your work suffers for it. You come to see pleasure and fulfillment as something that comes from outside your work. Because you are increasingly less engaged in your career, you fail to pay attention to changes going on in the field–you fall behind the times and pay a price for this.
At some point, I learned something important: that being ill could dissolve the uncompromising infrastructure of your young life like so many bad dreams. Instantaneously, sympathy! Others to do for you what normally you were left alone to manage! And most importantly, liberty from obligation.