This is something I've been trying to figure out since high school, and I'm no further now than I was then, and that was nearly 15 years ago. Almost everyone I knew back then had a plan before we even graduated. Many followed through with those plans and now have good careers they seem to enjoy. The others seemed to just stumble upon careers that turned out to be great fits, or somewhere along the way figured out exactly what it was they wanted to do, and then did it. But I had no idea what I wanted to do back then. I went to college right out of high school, but never declared a major because nothing really seemed like a good fit for me. So after two years I dropped out and ever since then I've simply had to take crappy jobs to pay the bills, which I inevitably grow to hate after a couple of years. Now I'm approaching 33 years old and I'm in exactly the same boat I was at 18, whereas it seems like most people my age at the very least have jobs they don't mind so much, and many have careers they actually enjoy.
So how does a person decide what he or she wants to do for a living? I've considered returning to school, but for what? It would be no different than the first time when I couldn't decided on a major. And I have several hobbies, but they're all either things I wouldn't care to do every single day year after year, or they're things that are next to impossible to make money with unless you're REALLY good, whereas I'm only decent at best (despite years of practice). Currently I have a unique opportunity where I've saved enough money so that I'm able to do without a job for a time, but certainly not forever (maybe another year, year and half). This seems like an excellent time to try to figure this out, but I've been at it for over six months now and, as usual, have made exactly zero progress.
So how do you do it? Do you just take whatever job you can find and try to tolerate it for the rest of your life, hoping you'll figure out something better before you die? Keep in mind my last job was the best one I ever had. I stayed there for five years, and for the last four I was pretty miserable. Many days it was a challenge not to walk out, and this was the BEST job. I'm currently looking for a job I can tolerate in order to keep from spending all the money I saved, but I worry that once I get back into that cycle of waking up early every day, going to a job I hate, and then coming home so tired I can barely think enough to make dinner, whatever creativity I have will be sucked right out of me, which is what seems to happen when I work full time.