How to know that I’m not wasting my life

One needs some kind of perspicuous conceptual distinction between the good life and sustaining life if one hopes to be able to make any sense of one’s doubt concerning whether or not one is wasting one’s life. (I take ‘wasting my life’ to be a philosophical question raised most clearly, most existentially only within the confines of the modern age.) Only if there is a distinction between higher forms of life (good life) and mere persistence in one’s existence (sustaining life) can one assuage oneself of such a doubt.

Now, when I wonder, ‘Am I wasting my life?,’ I am asking whether I have any reason for living apart from merely going on day after day. This question occurs to anyone who can meet his material needs (and possibly then some) but who would like to know why it is worth all the bother ‘in the end.’ ‘What is all the bother about?’–this is a (perhaps, thephilosophical question of the first order.

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