One of the most important observations that Peter Drucker established is that it takes more than a paycheck to satisfy a knowledge worker. We're nearing the end of an era where people work primarily to collect a paycheck, and have entered an era where people expect to find personal satisfaction from their work.
A bit of a tall order for a company to fulfill, don't you think? If you've built a company from the ground up, then your desire to see the company succeed will keep you going through a tough period. If you're directly responsible for saving people's lives, you might be motivated day in and day out for years, even in the absence of a paycheck (like my mother in law). But if your primary contribution is getting people to buy more from you than from your competitors, or finding the perfect shows to recommend to customers, or figuring out ways for Facebook or Apple or Amazon to make more money, you might enjoy your job. You might even enjoy working on complex problems with interesting people. But its difficult for me to believe that you or I could be very satisfied with our job for years and years and years.
Which is why I've come up with a unique solution to 21st career maladies that is not unique at all. Work really hard at your job, get your finances in order and quit. And while you don't have a job, try to create and add value to the world in ways that you couldn't when you had a full time job. And when your funds start to run low, start looking for a job again, where you can wholeheartedly direct your energy to solving problems for other people. Rinse and repeat.