We preach the greatness of startups because we've put a lot of things on the line. The opportunity cost of doing a startup is great; the major aspect of this opportunity cost is time. With this time, we could do some consulting, or learn a new language, or go on dates. Instead, we're fixated on the idea of creating amazing products that change the landscape. We're attached to the concept of being the ones that enable the software your dad uses to trade mutual funds. We're enamored with the ideology of being an active contributor rather than a passive consumer of the world we call ours today.
I've questioned the strangeness of this enchantment of startups being the road to various levels of success in the past as well. Losing weight and all that stuff is all about discipline, and is an element of really any profession you can think of. At the bottom of it is just who we are and what we want to do: entrepreneurs and to create meaning, respectively.