Tuesday 18 December 2018

'With every pain and suffering you have, it makes you stronger'- Philly McMahon addresses Zeminar conference

2 September 2018; Philly McMahon of Dublin during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Tyrone at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
2 September 2018; Philly McMahon of Dublin during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Tyrone at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Allison Bray

Allison Bray

All-Ireland football champion Philly McMahon is urging young people to learn from the school of hard knocks.

The 31-year-old Dublin footballer from Ballymun has won six All Ireland medals. He also runs several gyms, owns a health food company and published his autobiography 'The Choice' last year.

But he has also suffered major losses along the way, including the loss of his brother John to a fatal heroin addiction in 2012.

He also lost his father Philip Sr., to cancer last summer.

Yet despite the losses, Philly said the key to his success is using adversity to his advantage.

"With every pain and suffering you have, it makes you stronger," he told students attending the Zeminar youth summit at the RDS today.

"For me to stand in front of you today, that's an opportunity I've taken from a negative event," he said of discussing his personal losses.

Speaking to Independent.ie following his address, he said his message to use pain and suffering "as an opportunity" may seem like an alien concept to the so-called "snowflake generation".

"I think the biggest thing for snowflakes is I think they've been dealt a bad hand ," he said.

"Parents, teachers don't know what to do. But by giving them more support instead of these people having self-nourishment and trying to develop themselves through pain and suffering, it's kind of this thing where everybody gets a medal," he said.

"But not everybody should get a medal. You should suffer and you should fail because it makes you learn in life," he said.

"The facts are that we are all average. Some people are good at some things, some people are bad at other things. It comes down to the consumer culture that we're always told to be great," he said.

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