By Justin Gray (Songwriter/Producer/Founder www.mdiio.com)
We only ever have three options…
Option A… Do nothing, Be nothing.
Option B… Look at your situation and lean in.
Or option C…Pivot and explore new possibilities.
This week's blog is brought to you (and inspired) by a conversation I had with a dear old friend of mine who is quite literally one of the most talented music people I know.
He is at a crossroads. I described to him the concept of the three options.
If you pick option A… Please stop reading right now.
But if you’re choosing either option B or option C, we need to talk!
Change is never easy. Especially when you’re accustomed to doing things a certain way and relying on predictable outcomes. True growth comes from putting yourself in a position where the outcomes are unpredictable. This means you’re in new territory…on a higher plane...rarified air.
No risk = no reward.
In our chat, I referred to every song I wrote as seeds I have planted. Some grow, but most don’t. I admit it…there are a lot of dead plants in the garden! Successful songwriting is a numbers game. Successful songwriters play the odds.
If you’re expecting to have one seed bear one fruit, you are wildly unrealistic. Buy a lottery ticket. You’ll have better luck.
Let’s talk about option A.
There’s nothing wrong with option A. Be happy with where you’re at, make no changes, and just ride it out. Personally, that does not interest me at all. I am always of a growth mindset. But I’m not judging. Maybe just a little…
Option B is interesting. Let’s say you’re generally happy with where you’re at. Great for you! That in itself is quite an accomplishment. But what if you were to lean into this opportunity? Identify and understand the things that you are good at and do more of that! Also, identify the things you are less good at and do less of those things!
Finally, we have option C.
My personal favorite.
We all get to crossroads in our lives. Big moments where we question everything. Maybe you are at that point right now. What is your option C?
Making major sweeping changes can be terrifying, exciting, dangerous, stupid, and exhilarating all at the same time! Personally, I thrive in constantly choosing option C.
Here are five introspective perspectives to help identify your objectives!
Who am I? - Sorry to hit you guys with such a heavy question so early on. But this one is the most meaningful, and will dictate the answers to the following four questions. It is so important for your own growth to understand who exactly it is that you are. What makes you, you? It’s not your clothes, it's not your job and it’s not your appearance. What is the fundamental makeup of your personality DNA? Knowing this will guide you in every decision you’re going to make. You’ve heard the term “go with your gut”…? This is your gut… What is it telling you?
Who do I want to be? - I think it is safe to say that who we are, and who we aspire to be are often different people. It is really easy to slough off the hard work you know it’s going to take to become the best songwriter/music-maker version of yourself. A defeatist attitude will absolutely 100% guarantee that you will never become who you want to be. Close your eyes and literally envision the you YOU see. Daydream…but daydream with purpose and intention.
Where am I from? - How we became who we’ve become is key in also understanding how to lean into the decisions that you are making. Do you take on risks and graciously accept the outcomes of those decisions that you are making on your own behalf? Every decision that you make is ostensibly a contract that you write with yourself. The good and the bad are the fine print of that contract. Where you are from WILL determine where you are going. As they say “history is the best indicator of the future.“ But will your history determine your future?
Where am I at? - Self-awareness can be a bitch. It can be a remarkably un-fun and sobering glimpse into truth. I would bet that most of us look in the mirror, through cringeworthy eyes. We all know our weaknesses. But in our own ability to identify those weaknesses, we also should realize our strengths. Where are you today? By self-auditing, we are able to ultimately identify the changes required and determine where it is that we want to go. Don’t be afraid of yourself. It’s cathartic and it is the genesis of how we become bigger and better and more accomplished.
Where do I want to go? - What is your ultimate goal? Do you visualize your best self? If you can visualize your best self, you could begin to develop the roadmap to getting there. Accomplishing that goal is actually much easier than you can imagine. It’s really all about the discipline to follow the steps to get there. We all know how easy it is to lose our way and get sidetracked by unimportant tasks. A little trip down the TikTok rabbit hole to keep us away from what we really need to be doing. There are distractions everywhere designed to take us away from our focus. Knowing where you want to go answers all of the who, what, when, where, why, and how questions!
The coda: Real friends will tell you the truth without fear of retribution, or jeopardizing the friendship. So consider me your true friend. I’ve always respected those people that were not afraid to be honest with me, despite how much I may not want to hear it at the time. So here we are… at a pivotal point in our careers. Option A, option number B, or option number C… The choice is yours. Choose wisely!
See you next week, and keep writing them hits!