I don't see anything wrong with using education as a means to an end, as when I suffer through a dreary course on car mechanics so that I can learn how to fix my own engine. Having said this, I don't think education is always merely a means to an end: not only can it be fulfilling to learn certain things even if this knowledge is put to no practical use, but the very process of educating oneself can be fulfilling independently of any value practical or otherwise in the things learned.
Remain fascinated to the point of distraction by the questions, problems,solutions, arguments of philosophy. I don't know how much this is inone's control: you can avoid bad teachers and seek out inspiring ones;you can select to focus on areas that grip you; you can learn to put aproject away for a while if it's causing you grief; etc. But there'sonly so far one can force a fascination. Sadly, there are no guaranteesof the kind you seek. Or rather, not so sadly.