Failing is human. Everyone at some point in life fails. Our superiors, parents and teachers (those are the only ones I have in my life right now), often make us (students) feel bad, because of this. Honestly, that has been happening a lot in my life. Unintentionally, they make me feel like this and I usually want to ignore them and do whatever I want to do. But recently, I learned we should see the critics and other “attacks” as positive tools for the future. This makes me believe that discipline is something you learn through failing.

In Portugal (my home), I used to be really lazy, have bad grades and just do whatever I wanted. My family used to give me a really hard time, always making me feel bad because I was lazy (although I was). This made me have bad relationships with my family and friends;  everything was going downhill. I decided I needed to make a change. I wanted to find some discipline.

Two years ago when I came to México on summer vacation to visit my dad, I decided to make the hardest decision of my life. I decided to move to México; a decision that most of the people I knew in Portugal would never make. I knew there were a lot of things that would change including school, the language, my friends and even my family, but I was determined to do it. I felt so much pressure. My mom did not want me to do it. She was scared (and I mean scared) that something might happen. The phrase I heard most when we talked on Skype was “You do not have the maturity to make a decision like this”. I knew I was mature and I knew I had to make a change.

So the change began. It started with a new school, new friends, another language, new teachers, and lots of homework. My dad was pressuring me to get good grades, while my mom was on the other side of the world trying to reach me. My sister was supporting me, however, my brother was against me. It was hard to control my emotions during this period of time, but I had one objective, and I was not going to fail.

My dad helped me a lot, until he had to take a business trip for a month and a half. He left me with one of his friends that I knew very well, but he worked all day so I did not have any help with my studies. Along with all of this, I also lived an hour and half distance from my school. I had to wake up everyday at 5 a.m. to be at school at 8 a.m. I had six hours of classes and then I would go back home where I would do my homework. When semestral exams came, I was also riding horses three hours every day, including Saturdays (I was training for competition level, in order to get a university scholarship). It came to a point of extreme exhaustion and, unfortunately, I got very ill. But even when I was sick, I never skipped a day of class. Why didn’t I quit? Because every time I thought about failing, I thought about how I wasn’t going to turn back into who I was before. My failures drove my  success.

After all of these struggles, I realized that discipline is something that you learn through failing. Why? Because I had failed all my life in Portugal and I have failed a lot of times in México as well. The difference is that in México I used the act of failing as motivation to keep going and to get better. I also believe that everybody has the power to achieve this goal, but it takes a strong mindset and a lot of hard work. If you are wondering what I did on Sundays, I used to surf.