Reilly was cranky.

It had been back-to-back sessions all week and he was knackered.

And to compound things he was now doing MC at an Enterprise Ireland event. On a Friday night. Normally he resents working Friday nights and avoids them if at all possible. But EI are a sterling client and were super excited about their guest speaker and the full house of industry royalty he had attracted.

Reilly arrived early to get his act together. He didn’t know anything about Faisal Sharif other than that he had twenty letters after his name; was Professor of Cardiovascular Research and Innovation at the University of Galway; and was Non-Executive Director of BioInnovate Ireland.

He bumped into a gang of Medtronic lads at the bar and asked them if they knew anything about Faisal Sharif. It was tantamount to asking a bunch of soccer supporters if they knew anything about Messi.

‘Faisal Sharif! He’s the God Almighty of the medical devices industry in the country. His fingerprints are all over the most successful medical devices businesses and products that have been conceived, productised and in many cases, sold for hundreds of millions. His vision and ability to execute on bringing viable products to the market place are second to none.’

Reilly listened to story after story about Faisals business acumen.

On his return to the function room he ran into his old buddy Marco.

‘Marco, what in the name of God are you doing at a medical devices event,’ says Reilly teasingly.

‘I’m actually here to listen to God,’ replies Marco seriously.

‘What are you nattering about,’ says Reilly.

‘I’m here to listen to Dr. Faisal Sharif because without him I wouldn’t be here.’

‘What do you mean,’ asks Reilly, seriously.

‘Christmas Eve two years ago I was outside Moons after buying the wife’s Christmas present. I hadn’t been feeling well all that day but suddenly I got a ferocious pain in my arm.’

‘I don’t recall another thing Reilly but the lights went out – d’ya know what I mean?

‘Maybe Marco,’ says Reilly tactfully.

‘The lines went straight and the blue lights arrived. And we’d have been singing ‘Good Night Irene’ but for those mighty paramedics in the ambulance who  succeeded somehow in resuscitating me temporarily.

‘I learned later, that against all the odds, one man continued to work on me for hours until my condition finally stabilised.’

‘As I regained consciousness, I will never forget looking into the kind eyes of that man who proceeded to say.

‘I’m Faisal Sharif, your cardiologist, and you’re going to be fine.’

‘And d’ya know what I said back to him Reilly!’

‘What, Marco?

‘I says in my best Galway accent – ‘Dr Sharif, I was always dying to meet you,’ and we both had a right good laugh.

‘But I’ll tell you one thing Reilly the man is a genius and a Saint.’

At the meal that preceded the speeches Reilly got to sit beside Faisal and learned something about a day in his life.

He’d been called to an emergency in theatre at 2am that morning where he finished just in time to begin his pre-planned list at 9am. He worked through the day until 6pm when he’d chaired a board meeting of one the country’s leading medical devices companies. And now at 9pm he seemed almost oblivious to the fact that he was about to deliver a keynote address to industry’s finest.

‘Why do you do it Faisal? 

‘Reilly, many years ago I discovered the secret to happiness, and ever since, it’s the first lesson I share with all my students. I explain to them that:-

If you want to be happy for an hour, eat a steak.

If you want to be happy for a week, go on a holiday.

If you want to be happy for a month, get a new car.

If you want to be happy for a year, live in a new house.

But if you want to be happy for life, serve humanity.’

Reilly nipped for home shortly after the applause and acclaim for Faisals speech had subsided. He was surprised to be joined by Faisal who also appeared to be going home.

‘Are you off for a well deserved kip,’ says Reilly jovially.

‘Yes Reilly. After I first go to the hospital to check in on my patients.’

As they exited the front door they met Marco outside sucking on the butt of a Major cigarette. 

‘Will ye come in for a ‘deoch an doras’ lads? I owe you one Faisal.’

On his way home DOC was playing ‘The Gambler’ on Galway Bay FM.

‘And somewhere in the darkness

The gambler he broke even

But in his final words

I found an ace that I could keep.’

Reilly couldn’t help but feel he’d also found an ace.


  • Although exceptionally busy, people like Faisal Sharif do not have a job. They have, and are driven by, a purpose for living.
  • If you’re struggling to unearth your purpose, as many do, borrow Faisals until you do. Serve humanity.


‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.’

—Mathatma Gandhi.


1. What is your purpose?


In last weeks post – ‘ONE LIFE. SIX WORDS. WHAT’S YOURS?’ – Reilly encouraged you to create a six-word credo for your life and your business. Many of you said that you were too busy to. You told him that it was a good idea in theory but you just didn’t have the time this week. That’s tantamount to being too busy driving to stop the car to get petrol. 

Here are three six-worders to stimulate your thinking.

Beverly Blair has written a cracking book on four keys to unlocking your business potential. Count the words.


Joe Coyle is one of the finest financial and performance coaches in Ireland. Here’s his:-


And Dr Faisal Sharifs is 


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