David Feherty Quote

EP 4: David Feherty Quote “It’s how you deal with failure that determines how you achieve success”

In this episode of the Merkol Podcast, we analyzed the famous David Feherty Quote, which goes:

“It’s how you deal with failure that determines how you achieve success”

David Feherty
David Feherty Quote
David Feherty Quote “It’s how you deal with failure that determines how you achieve success”

Who is David Feherty?

David Feherty is an ex-professional golf player. He was born in Ireland and started playing professional golf in 1976, around the age of 18. He spent his initial years playing in different European gold tournaments and he has won the European tour 5 times.

Feherty represented Ireland in an international competition and captained the victorious 1990 Alfred Dunhill Cup team. He also played for Europe on the 1991 Ryder Cup team.

David Feherty addressed his issues with alcohol and depression and was soon diagnosed with bipolar disorder as well. He overcame all these and was awarded the third-highest honor within the Department of the Army Civilian Awards, the Outstanding Civilian Service Award, for substantial contributions to the U.S. Army community through his work with the Troops First Foundation.

Even with so many setbacks and failures, he has managed to push through to live a meaningful life for himself and managed to add meaning to so many others’ lives as well. So he is more than qualified to talk about failure and overcoming it.

Let’s take a deep dive into one of his quotes which, as you may have guessed, talks about failure.

What does David Feherty’s quote mean?

Life is filled with ups and downs, everyone has their own set of problems that they need to overcome on a regular basis. While dealing with these problems there will be times when you might not just make it and sometimes you would fail at whatever you are trying to achieve.

Remember this, failure is not a signal for you to stop pursuing what you want, it is just a block in a path for which you have to take a look and decide what course of action to take. What you decide at this time would probably determine whether you would be successful or not.

At times like this, you start to wonder if you really want this. The brain is programmed to reduce as much pain as possible for you. If the brain feels that staying on this path will lead to more difficulty then it will start prompting you to give up so that you won’t have to go through those hardships.

But at those times, it is your responsibility to train your mind to look at the reason why you started doing this in the first place. If in your mind and deep down in your heart, you still feel the same meaning behind why you started doing something, then you should never give up at any cost.

At times of failure, train your mind to think about the initial reason, the meaning behind all your work. Then the brain will naturally learn to leave out failure as an option and will then start to look at different ways and means by which you can overcome that failure.

It’s always the mindset

Whenever you fail, your mind is programmed to calculate your losses and it starts prompting you to cut your losses and abandon whatever it is that made you fail.

Failures can come in any size and in any form. For example, let’s take the smallest one of all, staying fit. Once you decide to start working out regularly, your brain will start prompting you not to go to the gym from the second day. The brain tells you every struggle you need to undergo, you need to run, lift weights, you would be really tired.

Then the brain offers an amazing idea, why not sit at home and watch your favorite show and eat chips, then you would be happy and you need not undergo any pain.

Any person who was never really into going to the gym regularly or never had a real purpose for the time he spends at the gym will give up that second and turn on the TV.

Look at the bright side

This also goes along with something I truly believe in,

In adverse situations, life will teach you what you have lost but only you can teach yourself what you have gained

Merkol Podcast

The above quote will make more sense with the help of an example.

Consider you are running a marketing firm and you have just lost the bid for a big client for which you have been working day and night for nearly three months. You start to question whether your company will ever be good enough for the big clients. This is a defeatist attitude.

But when you take failure out of the option your mind starts to look at other options. Now it is time to see what you have gained. Like, your entire team was working on a proposal for this big client and in the meantime, all your smaller clients were not given as much attention as they would need. Your team has extra time on their hands.

So it’s time to look at your other clients and reinforce your relationship with them. By doing so, you would have regained the trust of your other clients.

Then once you re-establish that trust you might start to think of different ways to leverage this relationship to offset the loss that not getting the big client will incur. And then you keep moving forward.

In the above example, you could have sulked in your failure and lost all of your smaller clients as well or you could execute one of the many ideas I have provided. How you dealt with the failure in the above example, would make or break your company.

This is what the David Feherty quote also tries to convey.


Failure is not the position/situation you are in, it is just a state of mind. Train your mind to not see failure as an option and you will become unstoppable.

Hope you enjoyed this article. If you did not agree with what I have mentioned or if you have anything extra to add to this article then please do share it in the comments section of this article. Let’s learn together.

You can follow the Merkol Podcast on Twitter as well.


I have recorded a podcast on the same quote. But it is in Tamil. If you know the language then please do listen to this. Do let me know if you like it. Here is the link:

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