NPR Tiny Desk 2017 Just Entered Image

Earlier in the week a friend sent me a link to NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest.

I decided to click around the site and check the prizes.

As soon as I saw The Grand Prize (getting to travel to Washington D.C. and various other places to play your music) I became filled with anxiety.

So I immediately decided to enter.

You can watch the video below. (here’s the link if you can’t see it.)

What To Do When You Don’t Feel Like Doing Something

Within reason (if it doesn’t put me or somebody else in danger), I am finding it very helpful to force myself to do the things that I’m afraid of doing.

It’s a way for me to reprogram and recondition my body and brain. It’s a way to tell both fear and feelings that they are not my master, I am theirs.

If you’ve let your feelings get out of control for awhile (meaning you’ve spent a long time making decisions based on how you feel), it can ‘feel’ hard to get back on top, because your feelings are going to fight to keep that position.

Like Eating Healthy

I didn’t grow up on fruit and vegetables, I grew up on pancakes and cereal. My body LOVES sugar because it has been conditioned to expect it.

That means that when I eat fruit and vegetables, even if the taste isn’t awful, my brain and my body resist it and look for reasons to reject it. My gag reflex starts acting up, my brain starts panicking, “Oh my God! The texture is terrible! Spit it out!”

From there I have 2 choices:

  1. Spit it out and decide that I’m never eating that stuff again.
  2. Force it down until my brain and body change what they like, because regardless of whether they like it or not, I know in my spirit it’s good for me.

This is what the Apostle Paul meant when he said, “I beat my body into submission and make it do what it should do.” (1 Cor. 9:27)

He didn’t mean that he physically flogs himself every morning. He was saying that he makes his body, brain and feelings submit to the will of his spirit, rather than submitting his spirit to the will of his body.

It’s the optimal hierarchy for living a happy and successful life:

  1. Spirit
  2. Mind (Thinking)
  3. Body
  4. Feelings

Many have become victims to themselves because their hierarchy is out of order. For example it might look something more like this:

  1. Mind
  2. Feelings
  3. Body
  4. Spirit

Their spirit constantly feels crushed because it’s at the bottom of the totem pole, carrying the weight of their thoughts, feelings and behavior.

Their spirit feels crushed because it is!

What’s The Solution?

There is only one way to fix it: make the decision to fix it. Put your spirit back in its rightful place as king.

“It is not mind over matter, it is spirit over mind and matter.” – John G. Lake

As with eating healthy, over time your body, brain and feelings will adjust and begin to enjoy what it once despised.

Where I now EXPECT sugar and reject healthy food, as I continue to force healthy food into my body, its desires will change. It will eventually get to a point where it expects and desires healthy food, and will reject all of those sugary things.

I have trained it, by making the decision to take control and say, “I don’t care what you want, I know what you need. And you can whine and cry about it, but you don’t have a say in the matter.”

Force-feeding yourself what you know is healthy, against the will of your feelings, thoughts and body, is a helpful way to put the hierarchy back in proper order.

This isn’t only referring to things consumed through the mouth, but through the eyes and ears as well. Feed yourself healthy and watch how quickly everything else (your thoughts, your feelings and your behavior) begins to fall in line naturally.

This is why as soon as I felt the fear of winning the NPR Tiny Desk Contest, and the anxiousness of touring with my music, I decided immediately that I was going to enter. Not to win, not to tour, but to make it clear to my feelings and fear that they do not get to dictate what I do or don’t do in this life.

Not anymore.

Talk to you soon,
Daniel