How does the desire for a life that is not wasted manifest itself? For some people, I think that the desire for status is a manifestation for a desire for a life that is not wasted: status is 3rd party evidence of achievement (achievement that is acknowledged by others). How could it be said that a person who attained high position, or achieved great things, wasted their life?
But perhaps the measurement of life should not be through the lens of others' perception. Perhaps we should measure against ourselves? Perhaps what is important is the pursuit of inner peace or enlightenment?