I am sitting here in the recording studio of my California home watching my childhood dreams unfold, as if those origami fortunetellers were all true.
Two and a half years after dropping out of college, moving to Los Angeles and working really f*cking hard, my music career is starting to take off.
I probably deserve a trophy for never giving up, but I cant take credit for much more; life has humbled me with so much serendipity.
Cared for by the most loving and passionate parents, I was free to explore life to discover the world and myself.
They enabled me to follow my heart.
After expressing my interest for piano at a very early age, they paid for lessons. When I wanted to play the drums, they bought me a drum set.
Once my dad saw how serious I was — or maybe it was because my band was so damn loud — he turned our unfinished basement into a soundproof studio, and filled it with recording gear and instruments.
He later paid for me to go to the Frost school of music at the University of Miami, and then allowed me to drop out and move to LA after one of my songs began generating some passive income.
Long story short: I chose to make the most out of countless opportunities that presented me, a choice a lot of people dont get to make.
Despite all of my good fortune, a feeling of discomfort overwhelms me.
In recognizing my luck, I have become deeply aware of others misfortune.
How can I enjoy my life when I know others cant?
This question crippled me for years, but today it is the fuel that drives me to be great.
I have an opportunity a responsibility to live a life bigger than myself, and to act on more than just my own well-being.
Almost half of the worlds population 3 billion people lives on less than $2.50 a day.
Step outside our comfortable homes and college educations, and youll find slums, ghettos and refugee camps crowded with disease and violence, and children without proper shelter, nutrition and education.
We are witnessing a mass genocide in the Middle East, the persecution of free speech in Saudi Arabia, a North-Korean government that tortures innocent civilians and countless mass shootings across the world.
Maybe your life hasnt been as fortunate as mine, but count your blessings and youll see that you are pretty damn lucky.
Realize that even our most mundane routines would be paradise for billions of people.
Yet, were still scared to live.
Were scared of failing because were scared of the shame and the loss of control, so we stop taking chances.
We chose safe lives over passionate ones; we chose the comfort of knowing exactly whats going to happen next over the thrill of following our hearts.
Id rather be a fervent vagabond than be led through a maze with some money in my pocket and the false promise of happiness at the end.
The only thing were promised in life is that it is temporary, so Im not going to waste this precious time and this wildly unique and fortunate circumstance hindering to fear.
I feel an obligation to help those whocant help themselves; I feel a responsibility to make the conditions of life a little bit better while Im here.
I certainly cant do it alone, but through my music Im building a platform that will hopefully inspire impassioned and intelligent individuals to put there efforts toward making the world a better place.
You should be grateful for all that you have, but that doesnt mean you should be complacent. You have been given an opportunity to make a difference, too.
Im not telling you to change the world, Im challenging you to take a chance on yourself and create a life worth living.
Give yourself the freedom to find what you love so you can spend your life following your heart.