I have a lot of thoughts on this. Self sufficiency is never wasted. Have I made mistakes.... yes. But ultimately its about self sufficiency not 'prepping' . So have I wasted my life prepping? No, I've done interesting projects, I didn't spend all my time and money drinking in a bar or doing cocktail hour. It gives my life focus. All of my financial decisions are focused on long term 'survival' not day to day decisions like 'what would be fun now'. Every life need a focus. The choices are about where you focus. Immediate gratification or long term. There isnt anything wrong with instant gratification and living in the moment, been there, done that. And at the end of the day I find thinking long term and running all my decisions thru a lense called 'prepping' to be more satisfying long term. I get a sense of satisfaction from growing plants and canning. From fiddling with my garden to make it more efficient with less work and grow more medicinal 'weeds' like plantain or purslane. 1) 'Prepping' is for me long term focus that gives my life more purpose than 'putting away for retirement' (we all know how that downturns easily in a down market and doesn't grow back very fast) 2) Its a lifestyle that, for me, is fun. Gives me pre-made goals. 72 hour, 30 day 90 day 1 year goals. with lots of choices for how I achieve those goals. (I can't say enough about goal setting so I will post more on that later) 3) The types of things you can 'prep' for are endless so you never actually finish this and therefore its a great hobby. (as opposed to finger painting or something with no practical end use) 4) At the end of the day you have something to show for a life well spent. (garden, storage, great people you meet) So if collapse never comes. I will be very, very happy. (quite frankly I love electricity and hot running water) and my life has been well spent no matter what happens.