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Rules for 2023…Forgive, Forget and Move On

Updated: Jan 11

By Justin Gray (Songwriter/Producer/Founder www.mdiio.com)

For this year’s blogs, I’ve decided to change up the format.


They’ve always been “five things to…”

Honestly, I’ve run out of things :-)

Sometimes they’ve been inspirational, sometimes they’ve been technical, and sometimes they’ve been about things that have seemingly no connection to music or what we do.

This year I decided to expose the layers of MY journey.

Peel the onion so to speak.


I hope that you will find some merit in my experiences, my mistakes, my failures, my successes, and everything in between.


I think what I’m going to do is actually start at the beginning. But we will save that for next week.


But before I do… I just wanted to give you this one nugget.

I hope that your resolution to yourself this year is to forget the “bad decisions” and forgive yourself for the mistakes that you think you may have made.


OK… So you messed up.


Maybe you made some poor choices. Maybe you didn’t take an opportunity that presented itself, which you later discovered was a life changer for someone else.


What if this succeeds after I let it go?


What if this is the thing that changes my life?


What if, what if, what if?


The truth of the matter is that if it wasn’t happening with you, then it wasn’t meant to be.


Rewriting history, as if you can change it or restructure how things went down is impossible. All you will do is torment yourself.


Success is a result of years and years of commitment. In my case 25 and counting. If future Justin had come to me in 1996 and said…


“Just wait until 2016. That’s what it all clicks!”


I would have been depressed and likely would have quit. But truthfully…the journey really has been incredible. The highs the lows…the really Really REALLY lows.

Here’s a story about my Los Angeles journey early on.



After living in Los Angeles for less than one year, I was put together with a writer who was super buzzing. We both were at the time. People were talking about me. It was palpable. I could feel it. I was the new kid in town. I was fresh blood.


We worked together once, and it wasn’t particularly great.


The second time we set out to work together, they showed up three hours late, and by that time I was in a completely foul mood. I was totally pissed off. I vowed that I would never work with this person again.


Cut to 18 months later, and they started having massive smash hits. For the next five or six years they were constantly at the top of the charts. I mean hit after hit. Evergreens. Each bigger than the one before.


I thought to myself… “I really fucked this relationship up.”


Maybe had I been more understanding, I would’ve been invited into those rooms where that string of massive hit songs had been written.


For years I relived that dynamic. Honestly, torturing myself thinking that I had failed to recognize the opportunity in front of me. I allowed my ego to dictate my decisions.


Lesson learned.


“Pride goes before a fall.”


More than 10 years later, we were reunited in a writing session.


I had replayed my fuck up for the last 10 years. Over and over. I truly saw it as THE missed opportunity of my life.


Truth is… They hadn’t thought about it a second time. They didn’t even realize the baggage I was carrying.


Turns out the world DID NOT revolve around me.


I was completely stressed out about working with this person again despite all the passing time. But we did… And honestly?


It was amazing!

We wrote something that actually was incredible, and since then, we have probably written 40 songs together.


The truth is… When we first met, it wasn’t our time. Our time wouldn’t come for another 10 years.


And now you know what?… We’re great. They are one of my most consistent collaborators.


And, despite the fact that I wasn’t a part of their success journey, I’m happy that I can now call them a friend.


So…as I’ve asked you, I will ask of myself.


Forgive, forget and move on.

See you next week…and until then, stay in the creative light

Let’s go!!! 2023


Justin@mdiio.com

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