What does it mean to live with purpose in a worn out body?

Existence has a price that none of us can escape: time. 

We all age and even the healthiest person’s body wears out and eventually dies with age. 

Yet physical limitations should never stop you from living a meaningful and deep life. 

Here’s how to live with purpose despite being exhausted and worn down physically. 

It means prioritizing

When your body is worn out, there are certain limits you will have to accept. 

One of them is that you simply can’t do what you may have been able to when you were younger, in better health, or full of more energy. 

This means you will have to prioritize. 

The best way I have found to prioritize is what I call the TOP system.

Use the TOP system

Take your limits seriously, Observe what makes you tick, and Pay attention to your own needs. 


Don’t overextend yourself or try to do everything at once.

You only have so much energy to give and use right now and your body is worn out.

You can’t start a new creative venture and take a master’s degree and go on a two-month trek of the Himalayas. You need to pick one (or maybe something else entirely).

Take your limits seriously! 

Next, be aware of what motivates, inspires, and energizes you.

Living with purpose when your body is worn down is about recognizing what still brings you joy and meaning in your life. Maybe it’s your job, maybe it’s a person or people in your life.

Find out, and focus on it.

Observe what makes you tick!

Lastly, pay attention to what you need in order to feel well and have time for your life.

This can include learning how to say no and not be a doormat for others. All too often, when you don’t live your dream you end up living somebody else’s! Pay attention to your own needs. 

It’s great to care about others and devote much of your time to that as well. But in order to even serve others well or effectively, you need to care for yourself and recognize your boundaries and time limits. 

Which brings me to the next point…

If you want to know what it means to live with purpose in a worn out body, you need to:

Find your purpose 

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If you’d asked me a year ago I would have said that finding one’s purpose was fully subjective and not even really possible. 

If you ask me now I’d have to say that I’ve completely changed my mind. 

The reason is that I found my purpose.

My breakthrough came from the teachings of the Brazilian shaman Rudá Iandé.

Rudá isn’t your typical guru and he doesn’t have any illusions of grandeur or being better or more “enlightened” than you or I. 

He’s a man who’s followed ancient spiritual paths and tribal remedies to reach a place of wisdom and truth, and he shares it with those who are ready to listen.

Rudá’s method for finding your purpose gets away from the feel-good spirituality that is so common all over the internet, and it’s something he shared with Ideapod founder Justin Brown.

This isn’t about “positive vibes” or forcing yourself to feel great even though your body is tired and in pain. 

This is an authentic path to finding your purpose that really works. 

As I said, it worked for me. 

When you’re feeling tired and worn out, you don’t need to run away from the pain or exhaustion, but you still want to know how to live a life of purpose and depth. 

This method is going to teach you about how to do that in a way that really succeeds. 

Click here to watch Justin Brown’s free video on how to find your purpose without using visualization or positive thinking. 

Follow your purpose 

Once you’ve found your purpose, you obviously have to actually follow it and do it

This is where it can be more of a challenge because when you’re feeling very worn out you may need more of a rest than you think is “normal”…

Or you may feel that your need to take things a bit slower is putting others out of sorts. 

You need to make sure to always stick to the TOP system and take your own needs into account. 

You matter, and you can’t follow your purpose if you’re too strained and tired to get out of bed in the morning. 

If you have found that your purpose is to teach, or to craft, or to lead meditation groups or build homes, make sure to respect your body in that equation. 

You need to give your body the rest, the healthy food and the mental tranquility that it needs to recuperate.

Following your purpose is much easier when you feel a spring in your step and have the energy to finish the day with still enough verve to cook dinner or socialize with friends. 

When your body is worn out, you may have to account for somewhat shorter work days, or follow your purpose in shorter segments. 

That’s just the reality of living your purpose when you’re also exhausted and your body’s not doing so well. 

It means staying in the present

There’s a downside of hope and living in the future. 

Indeed, as Justin talks about, living too much in our dreams and fantasies can actually block us from finding our real purpose in life. 

I call too much hope “hopium,” an addictive and wonderful drug that lets you down with a very hard crash. 

When you’re drawing on the pipe you’re feeling like pure gold, but once the next day arrives you realize that nothing was actually accomplished. 

You must do your best to stay off drugs like hopium. 

If your body is exhausted, it’s all too tempting to find your purpose and then kind of let it remain as a lofty goal. 

You get hopeful about it, feel inspired and maybe take a couple of small steps in that direction, but you end up mainly living in fantasy. 

Just say no to hopium. 

Instead, make your purpose something that you work at a little bit every day. 

If you’ve found your purpose is to express yourself through art, work in incremental steps to further that goal on a daily basis even if it’s only a small project or preparation. 

Instead of dreaming of your final masterwork and the hush of the crowd as the curtain is pulled back, take those daily steps to work on what you love

Don’t live in visualizations of the possible future or sadness or nostalgia of the past. 

Stay in the present as much as possible. Respect your limits. Follow your purpose when you’re able and take rests when you’re not. 

Nurture yourself and respect yourself above all. 

It means self-care

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When you’re trying to live with purpose in a worn out body, you need to care for your body as much as possible. 

One of the pitfalls of becoming highly spiritual or getting too caught up in your own mind is that you can lose sight of your own body. 

Our bodies matter. 

Our breath matters. 

Our connection to our living cells and arms and legs is incredibly powerful. 

Most cultures believe a divine Creator or group of creative spiritual forces made us. 

But even if you believe that’s bunk, the pure vitality and wonder of the human body even from a scientific perspective is mindblowing!

You need to care for it in order to live your purpose.

  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Eat well
  • Exercise
  • Stay hydrated
  • Breathe
  • Practice yoga, meditation, sports, and physical therapies as desired in order to boost your well-being and energy level
  • Care for your body and its ailments with natural and traditional medicine as you decide is best for you

Perhaps most of all, invest in a comfortable mattress, comforter, and pillow set. Don’t forget high quality, natural sheets as well. 

All too often we end up treating our bed as an afterthought or just a place where we “crash” after a long day. 

Don’t make that mistake:

Your bed is your temple!

It’s where you recharge and get ready for a new upcoming day. 

We need to Make Beds Great Again. 

And never forget: 

What does it mean to live with purpose in a worn out body?

It means patience, perseverance, and paying attention to your daily goals. 

Eventually, all of us end up with worn out bodies, but living with purpose is all about keeping that inner fire alive. 

When you find your purpose, it’s like fixing a broken compass. 

We all have that potential within us, no matter how tired and worn out our bodies are.  

You may not be able to do as much as you wish right now due to your physical limitations. 

But I assure you that your purpose still matters and that you still have the power to make it felt in your own life and the life of others. 

Picture of Paul Brian

Paul Brian

Paul R. Brian is a freelance journalist and writer who has reported from around the world, focusing on religion, culture and geopolitics. Follow him on www.twitter.com/paulrbrian and visit his website at www.paulrbrian.com

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