Not many people know this but Reillys great grandfather worked with the inventor,Thomas Edison, in his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey.

The two men shared a common love of fishing and it was well known that Edison used to spend at least an hour a day out fishing on the local lake. 

The thing was though, the worlds greatest inventor – the man who invented the phonograph, the motion picture camera and the electric light bulb – was a notoriously poor fisherman. 

One day Reillys great grandfather broached the subject with the great man.

‘Tom, pardon me for saying this, but in all the years I’ve watched you fishing I’ve never yet seen you hook a fish. For such a brilliant inventor, how come your such a pathetic fisherman?

‘You’re right Reilly,’ says Edison.

‘I rarely ever catch a fish and the simple reason is that I never use a bait.’

Reillys great grandfather thought this was incredulous. 

‘Why in the name of God would anyone go fishing without a bait?

‘Because when you fish without a bait, people don’t bother you, and neither do the fish. It affords me the space to be still and to think and to be.’

Old man Reilly remained nonplussed.

‘Is this fishing and thinking and being not just a waste of time when you could be working hard inside in the laboratory?

‘Reilly, my brightest scientists struggled unsuccessfully for months to design a filament that would light a bulb. After almost 1000 failed experiments they told me it was impossible. And last Monday, whilst out fishing without a bait, I discovered the solution myself. It was there all the time, sitting in my hands.

‘What are you taking about Tom?

‘Bamboo Reilly. As I sat there fishing with my bamboo rod, without a bait, it occurred to me to try bamboo as the filament.’

And the rest, as they say, is history.


  • Take regular periods in your life to go fishing without a bait. 
  • To be still; and to think; and to be.
  • And let the omnipotent universal intelligence work it’s magic within you.


  1. How much time will you allocate to being still and thinking and being this week?
  2. Will you time activate it in your diary now for it’s as important as any other appointment you have this week!


Another key success factor behind Edisons productivity and innovation was his lifelong participation in a mastermind group called the Vagabonds. Four times a year, he would meet up with other peers like Henry Ford and Andrew Carnegie and they would access the power of the ‘master mind.’ 

Reilly is currently inviting requests from extraordinary people who are planning on achieving some extraordinary goals to participate in a new Smacht mastermind group. Like the Vagabonds, it will meet four times a year to focus on and support elite players to achieve big goals. It will also include tailored and personal coaching to help you realise your worthy ideals.

The group is capped at 10 people and there are already 6 signed up. Please email Pádraic onp@omaille.iefor more details.

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