Work is a necessary part of the human society, where the basic idea is that a person does something to reach a goal. The activity can either be digging for treasure (with the obvious goal of finding treasure), or toiling away at the rice paddy fields to get crop, which part of it can be traded with another person who works on making clothes or growing fruit.
Society has developed as such where rather than having to look for someone to trade our day's work, we just work for money that can be traded for anything we want, provided we have enough money. The cycle has developed as such so that some people work to create demand out of one product so that their money can become the others', and thus consumerism was created. Even discussions on consumerism are sold; now anything is sold as long as there is a market for it.
We create sciences, studies and research to improve ourselves, to try to raise the quality of life; and once we succeed at attaining some certain goal -- somebody, somewhere will definitely sell it. We are all stuck in the global cycle of capitalism and consumerism.
I'm not saying that it's either a bad thing or a good thing, it's just that we're stuck. It doesn't even mean that our culture, now virtually global, is in stasis; a lot of great innovations (and a bigger multitude of unnecessary junk or services) was created this way. It's just that... we're all almost obligated to participate in the cycle to perpetuate our lives.
So here I am, stuck at my desk, working at something that I actually like doing, but still working, to make sure I have enough money to take back home and pay for the various bills and leisure items (anything other than food, clothing and housing is leisure, because a lot of people don't have all three). Thus my time is dedicated mainly to work, and time from personal endeavors afforded by the money I earned from work, is stolen.
So why start at all?
Human history is full of futile endeavors and lost causes, and claims that 'the journey was more important than the destination'.... and I stand here as a solid supporter of that. Simply put, we do our best in our lives to doing what we think is right, and leave the rest up to the Big Guy above.