“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”
And this is true for all of us. No matter how aware we are, how on top of things in our lives, we make mistakes and there are points when we need a "kick" to fix the things we have damaged. Some things may be beyond fixing, but for careers and a life's purpose, it is never too late.
And it's like that with everything. The people who still don't understand the good that comes from the sickness, death, slavery, and the horrible personal struggles in the world haven't had this kick, this realization of how struggle can strengthen. However, in terms of people's lives, struggle can also weaken us, if we let it. There is always a point when somebody makes that choice between letting a struggle defeat them or letting it strengthen them.
I may have chosen the unpredictable path of a classic academic by not only not pursuing, but dropping out of a PhD program, the highest academic degree one could get in psychology, but I am still me. Don't allow the labels and the actions associated with those labels to overpower you. People now, as they always did, look at me, a passionate student, and say "you're going to have five PhDs and you still won't be done" and I say "no, I will not," and I know this. Because that is not my path, there are many paths for each passion. Mine is no longer making the long and arduous climb up without a top in sight, but strolling along and grasping at everything I see along the way.