All too often we think about finding happiness, searching for love, or discovering our dreams, everything is about looking out into the world and hoping that if you look long enough you will find the answer to all the questions you have in life.

The last place we usually look is inside ourselves, to the things that truly make us happy. We work in jobs and act in ways that don’t satisfy us with the hope that in the long run it will all pay off.

We push down our passions, our hopes and our dreams for things we feel are more realistic. Writers become accountants, poets become engineers, artists become sales reps, they are all wearing masks. They are acting, they are putting on a show and smile for the world to see but deep down inside they are praying they can take those masks off. Then they grow old and look back on their life wondering what happened asking themselves where did it all go wrong.

My mom told me a story when I graduated university about a horse trainer she met. My mom always thought the trainer was a university student studying trying to make some money. One day my mom asked her how long she had been training horses, “20 years” the woman replied. My mom was shocked, the trainer barely looked 20. My mom then asked “How old are you?!”, “I’m 41” the trainer replied with a smile. My mom still pretty surprised then asked her how she looked so young, what was her secret?

The horse trainer’s answer was simple, “I always do what I love”. It was then my mother knew the power that doing work you love has on your health, your outlook on life and your ability to achieve happiness. It gives you the ability to always see the good in everything you are trying to do even if it’s hard or others don’t approve of it.

My mom’s story of the horse trainer has shaped the way I try to live my life, to strive to do the things I’m passionate about, to stop holding back my personality and what makes me happy just to impress others, and to live life to the fullest. It’s the only way to never really grow up, it’s the only way to keep regrets out of you life, it’s the only way to know that you lived a life worth living and that you were smiling every step of the way.