The official Ordnance Survey map of Lough Corrib clearly shows three hundred and sixty five islands populating Irelands second largest lake.

Reillys uncle Stiofáin, who knew the Corrib infinitely better than any state cartographer, always insisted there were three hundred and sixty six.

As a young gasúr, Reilly had stewed black tea in a volcano kettle on almost everyone of them and knew their names off by heart. In fact, when the fishing’d be slack Stiofáin would play a game with him of rhyming off as many as possible in alphabetical order.

There was Inishanbo; Inishannagh; Inisbeagh; Inishboannagh; Iniscash; Inisconga; Inisdauwee; Inishmacatreer; Inishool.

And moreover, Reilly could translate pretty accurately the Gaelic derivation for each island. He could tell you that ‘Ardilaun’ meant ‘High Island,’ and ‘Camilaun,’ meant Twisted Island,’ and ‘Cleenilaun, (he once caught a twelve pound trout on a Sooty Olive fly three yards from the Cleenilaum shore) meant ‘Wooded Island.’

‘How could the map makers miss an island and what one did they miss?’ Reilly once asked Stiofáin during a lull in the fishing.

Reilly knew instinctively he’d touched a raw nerve.

‘The problem arose Reilly, that on the day the amadáns from the OSI undertook the survey, Inishláéigean was totally covered by a powerful mist. No map of the Corrib anywhere on the planet shows the existence of Inishláéigean. And that’s the way it should be left, bad ‘cess to it.’ 

Of all the islands on the Corrib, Inishláéigean was the only one Reilly hadn’t set foot on. Stiofain refused absolutely to tolerate any talk of it and would give it the widest of berths when trolling brickeens on brass mounts between Malachys Island and Carberry.

Its existence however, was irrefutable. Reilly could see it now as plain as the bow on the boat. Being always of a curious disposition he couldn’t resist scratching the itch.

‘Uncle Stiofáin, why do we keep avoiding Inishláéigean? Loads of my friends go there with their families.’

To Stiofáins credit, he recognised that a certain emotional Rubicon had been crossed, and it was now time to address a certain fact in a young mans life.

‘Reilly, the name Inishláéigean derives from the Gaelic words ‘inish’ meaning island, and ‘lá éagain,’ meaning ‘someday.’ Therefore in the English vernacular, Inishláéigean means ‘Someday Isle.’

‘You see Reilly, since humans first populated Inishláéigean they have spoken a language there beginning with the sentence ‘Someday I’ll.’

For example, if we were to venture in there now you’d hear people saying.

‘Someday I’ll lose weight and then I’ll attract the perfect partner.’

‘Someday I’ll go back to College and then I’ll get the perfect job.’

‘Someday I’ll start a business and make a real difference in the world.’

‘Someday I’ll learn to play the guitar and then I’ll be the life and soul of the party.’

‘Someday I’ll learn a new language and be able to travel the world.’

‘Someday I’ll be a kinder person and I’ll make others feel better.’

‘And what’s wrong with that Uncle Stiofáin? Surely all those things are worthy ideals.’ Reilly was impressed with his own sartorial eloquence.

‘You’re spot on Reilly. The only thing is they never, ever achieve anything they set out to achieve.’

‘Why not,? queried Reilly.

‘The island has been afflicted by a disease since the beginning of time. It’s called ‘galar na leithsceál,’ or in English, ‘Excusitis.’ And up to recently, there was no known cure or vaccine for it.

‘Excusitis is the most insidious disease known to mankind. It begins innocuously enough. We begin making small excuses here and there and before you know it ‘Excusitis becomes our native and dominant language. Once it becomes rooted it becomes almost impossible to achieve anything of significance or substance. 

‘And what’s worst of all Reilly is that it’s deeply contagious. One person with the excusitis virus can potentially destroy entire civilisations.

As if to validate Stiofáins assertions a shout went out from another young fellow on the shore of Inishláéigean.

‘Hey Reilly, come on in here and we can play.’

It was  Leithscéal Mulcahy who was in school with Reilly. Their teacher had nicknamed him ‘Leithscéal’ (the Irish word for ‘excuse’) because he always had an excuse for not doing something.

Reilly saw the Devil for what it was and asked Stiofáin.

‘You say there’s been a cure in recent times for Excusitis. What is it and where can you get it?

‘It’s called Smácht, Reilly. And it means discipline. Success in any endeavour is simply a few simple disciplines practiced daily. Without discipline, you’ll achieve nothing. With discipline you can achieve everything.

THE FIVE DISCIPLINES OF SUCCESS

‘The first discipline you need is to vote yourself off the island. As long as ‘Leithscéal Mulcahy’ continues to live on Someday Isle he’s doomed to failure. 

‘The second discipline is to commit to a non-negotiable policy of ‘No More Excuses.’ Always remember Reilly, losers make excuses; winners make progress.’

‘The third discipline is to focus on a bunch of big goals that stretch you to your limits but that will ultimately define your value to this planet. Write them out. 

‘The fourth discipline is to get off the pity-potty. Never, ever, divulge your sob stories to others in an attempt to get them to show up at your pity-parties and parades. That’s what they do all day long on Someday Isle.

‘And finally Reilly, get yourself a Smácht Cara (discipline friend) to keep your toes to the fire and keep you accountable to your goals. This, more than any other success technique, is the key to achieving all your goals.

QUOTE.

‘Self-discipline (Smácht) is the ability to do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.’
— Elbert Hubbard.

‘Ní bhíonn an rath mura mbíonn an smacht.’ ‘There’s no success without discipline.’
— Brendán O’Ruairc, Irelands leading teacher, tipster and thought-leader.

QUESTIONS.

  1. Are your excuses bigger than your dreams?
  2. What excuses do you need to weed out and when will you do it?
  3. Who is your Smácht Cara and what big goals are you crushing together?

POSTSCRIPT

If you are interested in getting off ‘Someday Isle’ and making a difference in the world you could do worse than get Reillys new book ‘SMACHT – The Discipline of Success’ which was launched at the BiG Leaders Summit in Galway on Tuesday last. It features 52 stories from Reilly on how you can apply SMACHT to your business and life to make a difference. It can be purchased in Charlie Byrnes and Kenny’s and O’Mahonys and online at www.successstore.com Its Dublin launch is in Chapters Bookshop in Parnell Street on May 30th at 12-30 and all readers of this blog are cordially invited where Reilly will tell SMACHT stories and sign books.

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