In today's high pressure world it's really very easy to lose yourself. To just stop looking at the big picture and lose yourself in the crowd. Quite often this leads to one being stuck in an unwanted and unintended situation with no exit option. Sticking to your guns is no walk in the park. You will have your bosses doing their level best to mould you into what they want, paranoid colleagues doing their level best to convince you that your company is cheating you and peers in other departments tell you that you don't have a chance unless you do xyz or become ruthless, because that's how the rest of the team is. I'm so tired of hearing "There's no 'I' in TEAM." Well that does not mean you make a team with a bunch of clones. Diversity and Variety is a good thing. Encourage it, develop it.
You may start out with your ideals and your plans intact, your aim may be rather different from everyone else, your requirements may be totally different. But somehow, somewhere, that gets lost in the clutter and you find yourself doing and becoming what you were determined you would never be. Think about it. How many of us planned to become ruthless, money grabbing, paranoid dimwits when we first started out. Very, very few. We start out thinking "OK. I can deal with this, I will not make the same mistakes everyone else is, I will not let this job get to me. I am strong, I can take the stress, I will rise up the ranks on merit. I love this company, I don't plan on shifting. I will work my way up.. etc etc." Yeah right. Two years on and you've shifted your job, your unhappy about your salary (which by the way is substantially higher than it was when you joined), you suck up to your boss with the rest of the rats, you put in overtime for no real reason and you take out all of your work frustration on the people in your immediate vicinity. You no longer laugh at Dilbert and his pointy headed boss, you empathise with him. God help you if your boss takes notes from him. You cease all contact with friends outside your job becasue you don't have the time. Your life is divided between the commute and your deadlines. You were late for your wedding but you wouldn't dream of being late for work.
Step back and take stock of your priorities. You can sacrifice your present for a potentially great future, but what if some dimwit in a vehicle mows you over before you enjoy that future? Seriously what's the point of this work ethic. Give up your life, your every waking hour to a job who's ultimate aim is to help you earn a salary to pay your bills. Seriously, when did our jobs become our lives. It's utterly stupid, and the bosses that perpetrate this ought to be shoved of the nearest cliff. Life is so much more than the next paycheck. Start living it. To hell with the commute and the idiot that's giving you a hard time right now. Nothing lasts forever. Including you.