Apparently many deathbed regrets are around things left undone, risks not taken (or why we need to be a tad braver) This week’s “Coffee with Colm”

I read something during the week and it got me thinking.

Apparently, when an oyster can’t eject a piece of sand, to stop the irritation, it begins a process of wrapping the foreign body in a substance called nacre, the mineral substance that forms it’s shell. It continues the process, layering nacre upon layer of nacre and in so doing takes care of the irritation and in the process a thing of beauty, a pearl, is formed.

How cool is that?

Got me thinking, what if we were to take all those things that get under our skin and rub us up the wrong way, life’s little irritations, and turn them into ‘pearls’, into things of beauty?


To find out how, watch the four-minute video, listen to the 4-minute podcast or read on below…

If something does rub you up the wrong way – you are human after all – you need to ask what you can do about it?

Ask, what can you learn from it?

Ask, what lesson can you take from it?

Consider what thought process can you wrap around it to make it less irritating and at the same time turn it into a thing of beauty, not irritation.

Interesting concept methinks. (not easy by the way!) If a little oyster at the bottom of the ocean can take a grain of sand and turn it into something beautiful, what can you do with the stuff that irritates you?

This led me to consider that all inventions probably come as a result of this thought process. The wheel was invented I’m sure (can’t prove it, nor can you prove me wrong) because someone finally got the hump lugging stuff from A to B and thought ‘there must be a better way’ – turns out they were right.

Urban legend tells that a father invented Whatsapp to stay in touch with his kids. Closer to the truth is this little story behind the invention of Whatsapp. Facebook was famous at that time and people could easily send messages on it but everyone wasn’t on Facebook and people were also concerned about there privacy so a bright spark thought of an alternative that might help people in sending messages easily without any privacy breach.

Ta da!

Anything of note has been created because someone saw something that bothered them and thought they could do something about the problem, reduce or remove the irritation and they did.

So, what’s going on in your life at the moment that’s causing you some pain? It might be in politics. Or business. Or your job. Or your personal life, I have no idea, but you have.

What’s irritating you but you know you could do something about it if only you were a tad braver?

The photo I chose to head up this piece I thought was a perfect example of bravery. It came to me via a friend, Jack Durkan, alongside a note  suggesting the title of this week’s “Coffee with Colm”, apparently many deathbed regrets are around things left undone, risks not taken and I knew I had to pen this piece for me, for you perhaps, for anyone out there who is not yet living up to their potential as a fully-orbed human because of fear.

Many people by all accounts regret the stuff they didn’t do, not the stuff they did.

Don’t be one of them.

Please don’t be someone who was irritated by something, did nothing about it, put up with it for years, made do. That’s no way to live is it? Not good enough.

You’re not a cat, you have only one life, one shot at this earth thing, so go out there in the coming week and take whatever grain of sand is upsetting you, wrap it in a thing of beauty and show it to the world.


Thanks for thinking with me.

Yours truly.


Watch | Listen | Read | Think.

Did you enjoy that? Fancy a sip of some of my recent “Coffee with Colm” Blog posts:

  • I’m never down. I’m either up or I’m getting up. (or why it’s ok to not be ok at times) – click here.
  • Why Professionals Never Lose and why “They is You” – click here.
  • What Breaking the Sound Barrier (and Yours Truly jumping out of a plane) can Teach Leaders – click here.

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LINKEDIN. Perhaps the thing to do right now is simply to hook up professionally on LinkedIn – if that’s of interest, click here.

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