How Research Makes Me Laugh Fills Me With Pride and Joy and Makes Me Cry

How I Discover Nuggets of Wisdom to Include Funny Joyous Sad and Proud Stories 

Poet, Seamus Heaney Image from The Guardian
Poet, Seamus Heaney Image from The Guardian

Sometimes my research makes me laugh. Sometimes it fills me with joy. Sometimes it makes me cry. Sometimes it fills me with pride.

I love the reading and researching part of my work when creating learning resources and writing stories.

It takes me along a path of learning, on which I make many interesting discoveries – nuggets of wisdom to include funny, joyous, sad and proud stories.

Yesterday I was researching Spy Lines – the ones people say when sitting on a park bench.

 I came across “The birds will be flying high tomorrow.”

My discovery came with a joke:

An undercover agent was sent to an Irish village and told to make contact with their local man called O’ Reilly, who knew the code phrase “The birds will be flying high tomorrow.”

He asked someone in the street where he could find Mr O’ Reilly and got the answer, “Well, there’s O’ Reilly the butcher, O’ Reilly, the postman, and sure my own name is O’ Reilly.”

The agent decided to take a risk and said: “The birds will be flying high tomorrow.”

“Oh! It’s O’ Reilly, the spy you’re wanting! He’ll be down in the pub.”

 (Source Quora)

Today, I was researching the work of Seamus Heaney.

It filled my heart with joy to be reminded that he received the Nobel Prize in Literature and that he is still recognised as one of the principal contributors to poetry in Ireland during his lifetime.

It filled my heart with sadness to learn his final words, “Noli timere” (Latin: “Be not afraid”), which he texted to his wife, Marie, minutes before he died.

His death came quite suddenly and with little warning.

The all-Ireland Football Semi-Final 2013 took place shortly after his death.

The crowd took a minute of silence to remember a man that was deeply loved and respected by a nation of people. Following the silence, 80,000 people clapped for about a minute and a half. Marie said, “I can think of no other country where a football crowd will have a minute and a half of silence and cheer for a poet.”

Hearing this story and these last words filled my heart with immense pride.

In my work, I strive to tell stories of full human experiences, happy and sad moments, because that’s how real life is. All these moments and the emotions that go with them co-exist, and I like to experience that full spectrum of life and humanity.

Those lines are from my book WorkLife Book Club. It seemed appropriate to share in telling this short story.

Do you have experiences in your WorkLife that sometimes make you laugh, sometimes fill you with joy, sometimes make you cry, or sometimes fill you with pride?


School of WorkLife helps you self-direct your WorkLife learning through resources that have been created to help you to take ownership of your learning in your own space and in your own time. 

What is Self Directed Learning? 

Self-Directed Learning is when an individual is motivated to take the initiative and responsibility on decisions related to their own learning. It is a series of independent actions and judgements free from external control and constraint. 

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You may find the books below from The School of WorkLife Book Series helpful in meeting your learning needs as a self directed learner. Tap the book title to see a preview of what’s inside each book.

How To Pursue The Superpower of Happiness

How To Embrace The Superpower of Self-Awareness

How To Fine-Tune The Superpower of Observation

Tap The School of WorkLife Book Series to view the complete collection of books. From here, you can tap on each individual title to see a preview of what’s inside each book.

Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning
Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning

Founder of School of WorkLife, Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning.  These include a Collection of Books which originated from her first book, Your WorkLife Your Way and a  Learn Through Reading Series of Case Studies.  which originated from her latest book WorkLife Book Club. 

That’s the power of writing (and reading, which is an integral part of the craft for writers). It helps you find, develop and tell the right story at the right time in all WorkLife situations – in day-to-day communication: WorkLife and feedback conversations, presentations, talks, and negotiations, at interviews, and when socialising and networking in building and maintaining good relationships. The practice of writing helps you to tell the stories that express who you are in an interesting and engaging way.

Published by Carmel O' Reilly

I'm Carmel O’ Reilly. I'm a writer and learning practitioner. My books and learning resources are designed to help you self-direct your WorkLife learning. As founder of School of WorkLife, my guiding statement is to help people pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, passion, purpose and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes that are accessible to everyone.