“Oh, take the time to waste a moment.
Oh, face it where the lines are broken.
Oh, name a price to all that’s living.
Oh, never ask to be forgiven.”

Modern society, coupled with increasing advances in modern technology, rewards the go-getter personality. You’ve likely seen more than a few motivational posts or memes that glorify the “hustle” mindset. What are you doing right now to make your life better? What are you doing today to wake up as a better, more successful person tomorrow? With all this rushing around trying to improve your life, the irony is that you might miss out on life’s most precious moments.

Do you remember the Seinfeld episode where Jerry says, “Men don’t care what’s on TV. They only care what else is on TV”? This was before the instant gratification of YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr and Reddit become a thing and, even then, we were already looking past the horizon. There has to be something better than what we have right now, right? What steps are you taking to move toward that better thing?

But is that really how you want to live your life? Don’t get me wrong. Ambition can be a very good thing and it’s how many great people have achieved many great things. At the same time, it can feel like we are wasting this precious gift of life if we are living it for the future. We keep thinking about what else we could be doing (or should be doing) instead of living in the moment.

Put another way, life is what happens while we’re too busy making other plans. We feel this overwhelming obligation that everything we do has to be for a purpose. That everything we do must serve a higher objective, inching us that much closer to our goals. But why? Why can’t we just waste a moment and enjoy life?

I was listening to the radio the other day when “Waste a Moment” by Kings of Leon came on. While the song’s lyrics are neither especially long or particularly poignant, they do illustrate a very simple life lesson. Why don’t we take the time to waste a moment? As we frantically rush around trying to advance our careers, improve our financial standings, and create a better situation for tomorrow, why don’t we take a moment to enjoy ourselves right now?

In some ways, you could say that sitting in front of your stereo with your eyes closed, allowing yourself to be fully engulfed in music, is a “waste of time.” But is it? Is it really? In some ways, you could say that mindlessly roughhousing with your toddler is a “waste of time,” because you should be playing an educational game or reading a book instead. But is it really a waste?

Cut yourself some slack. Give yourself a break. Take the time to waste a moment. The cost is small and the reward is immeasurable.

Image credit: Julio Enriquez (CC BY 2.0)