Ever since I was a child, I would daydream about having my music connect with people all around the world. I had an intuitive sense of how people make sense of the world around them through music, and the role that music plays in inspiration.
Having grown up all around the world as the son of a UN diplomat, I experienced firsthand a lot of cultural differences that led to unnecessary conflicts -- and similarly the way that music can bring us all together. I believe that when Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamt that "one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls," he was truly testifying to the ability of young children to see past these differences, and live from a place of unfettered dreaming.
Every important idea begins with a dream. It's no wonder we lock these ideas away when most people are so quick to shut our unconventional ideas down. It's also amusing how we pick on "unrealistic" dreamers, when there is also such emphasis on "achieving your dreams."
The answer seems obvious to me. Find your music, find your voice. Believe it or not, the world is actually waiting for you to achieve your dreams, so you can give your unique gifts away.
My most recent album, "Daytime Dreamer" is a tribute to those who are bold enough to turn their dreams into reality, and honoring those of us who remember the important and youthful practice of daydreaming.
I remember being stuck in traffic one day and I began to observe the people around me, completely absorbed in music. I saw that they were daydreaming. They were still obviously in their cars, but the music somehow transported them somewhere else.
Great leaders are like great musicians. They transport us to a world of new possibilities, and unite us through ideas and feelings.
The late Nelson Mandela dreamt of a more peaceful South Africa with two controversial solutions, "If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness."
Now at the end of his life, we can see clearly how important it was that he and others believed in this dream.
As we return to our families this holiday season, many of whom come from multicultural backgrounds, I encourage you to recognize that the freedom you have to live the life of your choosing came from many bold dreamers before you.
Daydreaming in your car in traffic could be the beginning of a great adventure that changes the world, if you want it to be.
"The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams." -- Oprah Winfrey