How to turn failure into success

That is one of the tricks of opportunity. It has a sly habit of slipping in by the back door, and often it comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat. Perhaps this is why so many fail to recognize opportunity. – Napoleon Hill, “Think and grow rich” 

When I was about to go to a university, I thought it was my destiny to be a vet. Unlike many of my colleagues, I did not just go onto any sort of studies since my result did not meet the expectations of the university. Instead, I’ve imposed strong discipline and been working hard for a year so as to improve my result and achieve the desired goal. It wasn’t easy, but it was successful – my effort made me admitted to veterinary medicine, and it was not in the last position as well. I was bursting with pride and happiness. I felt that I would finally fulfil my dream of working with animals.

Previously, I had been working for a year as a volunteer in a veterinary clinic and although the job was very exhausting, I felt that this kind of fatigue was pleasant. My work mainly consisted of nursing and caring for the animals before and after the surgery. The clinic is sometimes a soulless place – I tried to bring some heart into it. After all, I felt that I really helped the animals in need.

The academic year began with a very hard work. Again, I was surprised how many people came to these studies by chance, or just because they did not get somewhere else. “What are you doing here?!” – my thoughts were screaming. Then I advised them to improve their results and try again, instead of wasting time on studies they didn’t want (my advice had little effect, whatsoever). The idea that somebody came by chance to my beloved studies I put so much time and effort into was outrageous.

Instead of going to parties, I learned for many hours every day. I tried to push knowledge into my head with great effort, yet it seemed to be escaping me. The results of the first tests were tragic – I barely managed to pass them, and even if I did, it was at the cut-off date. I didn’t understand the reason for this. I knew how much time others spent studying, and I concluded from the conversations that I was not more stupid than the colleagues in my group. Nevertheless, I was not discouraged. I often didn’t sleep, drinking one energy drink after another, just to learn for one hour more. Sometimes I didn’t even have time to eat or to take a longer shower. The studying filled my whole life. However, the effect of such work was meagre. I still barely managed to pass the tests, and my body was begging more and more for mercy. Knowing that this was the nature of medical studies, I went further towards my goal.

At some point, I got into a situation where I knew that I would not take this any longer. I had a deep inner feeling that If I was to still exhaust myself like that, I would get to the hospital. As it turned out later, I was not much mistaken, since the health problems resulting from my studies lasted for at least half a year afterwards. My body was a mess.

When I learned that I was being expelled from the university, I felt as if someone was robbing me of my dreams. All the time I spent getting this chance and the effort I put into managing to stay at the university was in vain. I felt that I had failed myself and my family. Of course, everyone was happy with my choice of studies. They felt it was a solid profession, something that would provide me a good status and financial stability. Nevertheless, I still did not give up and took the examination session, passing almost all the exams. But this did not change the decision of the university either. In my mind, I was expendable.


For me, the period of intensive learning was intertwined with intensive psychological work. I asked for the support of an international coach and day by day I felt how many spheres of my life were beginning to change in a positive way. Working with him absorbed me completely. I felt deeply motivated to pass the knowledge I had gained to those in need in Poland. When he learned about the problems with my studies, we started working together on my career plan. At one point he told me: “I see a huge potential in you. Perhaps these studies were not right for you. I would like you to start working with people in Poland”. “How is it?!” – my mind was screaming. Should I leave something I have fought for over the past two years in favour of something I did not even plan to do? However, I have always been very passionate about self-development. For the last few years I have devoured books dedicated only to this subject. I was not interested in veterinary issues. But I did not notice it back then. I had only one thought in my mind: “I have to finish these studies”.

Sometimes our beliefs regarding what life should look like makes us blind to the opportunities it offers.

I took my chance and saw my failure as an opportunity. My family tried to discourage me from changing my decision in various ways. Yet, I decided I would pursue the different direction. I started working with people from Poland as well as from all over the world, helping them to change their lives. My cooperation with the former mentor has been developing very dynamically and recently I have become a member of his team at Feed the right wolf website. I have never imagined that things would go on so quickly – without great effort and sacrifice.

“Riches begin with a state of mind, with definiteness of purpose, with little or no hard work.” Napoleon Hill, “Think and grow rich”

The studies I have started now give me a lot of satisfaction and I don’t feel tired even after a whole day of lectures. I look forward to what the future holds for me. I did not abandon my dream of working with animals, after all. Yet, I understood that I could pursue that dream in many ways. My previous goal wasn’t really mine – I wanted to fulfil my family’s ambitions, I wanted to be appreciated. I understood that I hadn’t really dreamt of wearing a doctor’s gown – it were pictures like this that made my heart beat faster and filled my eyes with tears:

I have turned my failure into success and I feel that new opportunities are constantly flowing into my life.

I have opened myself up to the opportunities that life brings.

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