Perhaps the disappointment surrounding the loss of such an idealistic future led to work as a drudgery, a discouragement, a necessary evil, or at the least, a mind-numbing daily experience. That it's attached to a paycheck and the only means of survival seals the deal. Work is a four-letter word. Work sucks.
When idle hands are an idle mind didn't work, the next bit of wisdom opined that doing what you love isn't work. The motivational intent dwindles during a mind-numbing education and responsibility shrinks under repetitive, isolated tasks. People become as inanimate as mop handles and staplers. Potential is neutralized.
The simple act of identifying this sinkhole frees you from it. How's that? Creativity. Anything that you do can be done creatively. Even looking for the creativity in a mundane task is creative.
Meaning, satisfaction, potential, possibility, responsibility replace the mundane with life. Light the fire and be creative.