Category Archives: GS

The Creativity Paradox – 6 Ways To Profit From It

Have you ever heard of the Creativity Paradox?  Many have not and, as a result, they continue to believe that getting organized and having some sort of activity management system ultimately stifles creativity.

The simple truth is this: The paradox of creativity is that structure creates freedom. You must focus if you wish to flourish.

Managing The Creativity Paradox

As a personal and business coach, I have worked with a number of people who are either very creative, or who suffer from some form of ADD.  For the most part, these individuals live in a disorganized world and, while they are not happy with their degree of disorganization, they somehow believe that getting organized will kill their creativity – and they also see the “getting organized process” as an overwhelming and daunting task.  Neither of these things is true.

In a coaching session with a highly creative man a few weeks ago, I asked him, “How would you feel if I could magically attach a spout to your brain and drain all of the “stuff” residing in there into a system that would capture and organize it in a way that it would pop up only when and where you needed it to?”  His eyes turned to saucers and that look gave me the answer I was hoping for – he’d be delighted!

Taking Advantage Of The Creativity Paradox

You see, when you empty your mind and, at the same time, have a system to capture, process, and organize that output, it becomes a major source of mental freedom.  No longer is your mind trying to remember stuff – tasks to be completed, phone calls to be made, meetings to attend, agendas to be written or reviewed.  As a result, there is a lot more processing power available to supercharge your creative genius, thus tackling the Creativity Paradox.

So how to we go about taking advantage of the Creativity Paradox?

  1. Learn to embrace the concept of organization.  The problem is not getting organized, it’s in having a system that works for you.
  2. Develop the right system.  This is where a personal coach with experience in organization and productivity can help.  He can work with you to create a system that fits your needs, your personality, and the way you think.
  3. Take the time to learn.  Become a student of yourself.  It is important to know not only what you do, but why you do it.  Understanding your base motivations, drivers, and stressors is major to getting and staying organized.
  4. Focus.  Simply stated, you must focus if you wish to flourish.  Learn to break goals and large tasks and projects into their component parts – like getting to the smallest denominator in a math problem.  Then focus on a single, small task – and then another – and another.  Taking small actions not only moves you in the right direction – it begins to establish a habit – and eventually an ongoing way of how you live your new, productive life.
  5. Give it time.  You didn’t get disorganized overnight, and you won’t get completely organized overnight either.  It’s not how fast you get organized – it’s that you get organized!  Depending on who you are and where you are in life, it may take a few weeks or a few months, but taking persistent, consistent action will yield positive results.
  6. Celebrate.  Take time to celebrate small victories.  It could be something as simple as taking yourself out for an ice cream cone.  It doesn’t need to be huge and expensive, but celebrating does need to happen.  It encourages your heart and compels you to keep going.

©2014 by Gary L. Smith and Optimum Performance Technologies, LLC (optechs.com).  All rights reserved.

6 Steps For More Productive Living

In 1944, Japanese Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda was assigned to the tiny Philippine island of Lubang to conduct guerilla warfare against the Americans during World War II.  Unfortunately, when the war ended in 1945, Lieutenant Onoda never got the word.  For 27 more years he continued his mission, living off the jungle, evading search parties who he thought were the enemy – until he finally was found on March 19, 1972.  Lieutenant Onoda lived ready to fight a war that didn’t exist.

How many of us, because of our fears, are just like Lieutenant Onoda?  In our minds, we are living and preparing for wars that don’t, and in most cases, never will exist.  Yet we allow our fears to consume enormous amounts of mental and emotional energy, and to keep us from being all that we can be.

More Productive Living Is Possible

Here are a few suggestions on how to get past your fears.  As a personal coach, they have worked well for many of my clients.

  • 1. Remember these key statistics.  Of all the things we fear or worry about: 80% are things that are pointless and meaningless – and they are nothing to be concerned about.
  • 12%, while legitimate concerns, are things about which we can do nothing.  If we can’t do anything about them, then we must realize that they are what they are, move on, and stop being concerned about them.
  • Only 8% of our worries and fears are things we can do something about.  This is where we need to focus – so dump the other 92%!
  • 2. Drain the emotion from your fears and worries.  When we look at things emotionally, our judgment can often become clouded.  Take the time to clear your head and then start looking at the problem from a more calm and logical perspective.  Take the following steps: Define the problem clearly and write that definition down.
  • Think about whom this problem impacts and who needs to be involved to successfully resolve it.
  • Brainstorm potential pathways to a solution.
  • 3. Take the output from #2 and create a written plan.  It doesn’t need to be a dissertation, but at least take the time to make a short list of the action steps required to resolve the problem.  Then, put your action steps in sequential order of how they should be done.
  • 4. Take Action.  Nothing happens until you act.  Face your fear, face the situation, move forward, and ACT!
  • 5. Reflect.  Once the problem has been resolved, take a few moments to reflect.  What did you learn?  How have you become stronger?  Have you become more confident from the action you’ve taken?  Do you feel more energized to take more action?
  • 6. Celebrate.  Congratulate yourself on your accomplishment.  Take yourself out for a coffee or ice cream.  Revel in the success – and then get back to work!

©2014 by Gary L. Smith and Optimum Performance Technologies, LLC (optechs.com).  All rights reserved.

Blessed To Be A Blessing

A grieving Canadian widower was dining alone in a restaurant for the first time since burying his wife of 43 years.  Seated nearby was a young couple who reminded him of the love he and his wife were blessed to share.  He quietly gave the restaurant money to cover the couple’s meal and wrote them a note on a napkin.  He thanked them for the memories they evoked, related a bit of his own situation, and wished them well in their lives.

A Blessed Gesture

He could have enjoyed the memories alone.  He could have stopped by their table and greeted them, but he went a step further – he took money from his pocket to bless a couple of strangers with a meal and encourage them in their lives. Opportunities to be a blessing to others are fleeting and should be grasped.  Wishing someone well is one thing, but taking steps to ensure they are blessed is another – especially when they have a need that we can meet.  We have been blessed to be a blessing to others.

How can you be a blessing to others?

Consider the following simple ideas:

  • When you’re driving your car on a toll road, pay a toll for the car behind you
  • Be pleasant to the cashier at the grocery store and offer to bag for him or her
  • When at the grocery store and the person in line behind you has a lot less groceries than you do in your cart, let them go ahead of you.
  • Try walking down the street while smiling and saying hello to everyone
  • Stop and help a stranded motorist
  • Befriend a struggling co-worker and help him succeed.

Commit yourself now to be a blessing to others today.  When that fleeting opportunity appears, you will be ready to spring into action and allow someone else to be blessed.

©2014 by Gary L. Smith and Optimum Performance Technologies, LLC (optechs.com).  All rights reserved.

Smith Featured In Local News Article

Only a week remains before the Connecticut Business Expo on June 5 where Gary Smith, Owner of Optimum Performance Technologies (Optechs) in Southington, Conn. will be signing copies of his two published books. A local Patch News Website in Southington featured Smith in a local news article in early May discussing his plans for the book signing and his plans to share testimonials about his journey to find Christ.

Below is an excerpt of the local news article written by Drew Crandall:

The Fellowship of Companies for Christ International (FCCI) Northeast Region Office reports that Gary Smith, Owner of Optimum Performance Technologies in Southington, is leading the FCCI “West of the River” business leader group and signing books at the upcoming Connecticut Business Expo on June 5.

The FCCI West of the River group meets on alternating Thursday mornings at the Carousel Coffee Shop, 192 Main Street in Southington. The group is open to business owners, entrepreneurs, CEOs, Presidents and Partners who have top-level responsibility for their businesses.

Smith recently published two books, and will be signing books at the Connecticut Business Expo at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford on Thursday, June 5 from 9 to 4 pm at booth 414. For details, please call Smith at 860-593-4886 or visit www.Optechs.com.

Reaching Your Highest Potential

One of my jobs as a business and personal coach is to equip people with the skills to reach their potential and set them firmly on the road to making their dreams come true.  As part of that journey, all of my coaching clients learn one very positive message and that is:

Reaching your highest potential is tied to you helping others reach their highest potential.

One lesson that every truly successful person I know has learned is the need, the desire, to pay it forward in service to others.  This not only helps other people succeed as they reach for and achieve their dreams – it sets the stage for passing the baton of success to many others.  As a successful person, if you take the time and invest yourself in passing the baton to 10 others – and those 10 each pass the baton to 10 others – and so on – you, as one individual, have the ability to influence literally thousands of lives for good!

So how can you positively impact lives and help others reach for their dreams?  Here are some suggestions:

  • Look for opportunities.  Opportunities to serve others are all around us, but we have to take the time and open our eyes to see them.  That means that we have to engage those around us and find out what dreams they are reaching for and what challenges they are facing.
  • Make time to invest in others.  We all live crazy lives that are full of demands and tons of activities.  Having said that, we can never be too busy to help others in need.  Sometimes, the very act of reaching out is enough to ignite the spark that will drive someone forward – that will help them get victory over their circumstances.
  • Share your knowledge and experience freely.  Don’t hold back.  Once you’ve engaged with someone who wants to learn – who is serious about achieving his dream – give him what he needs.  Become teacher and mentor, openly sharing your experience from the heart.
  • Be grateful and have an attitude of service.  Be deeply appreciative of what you know, and more importantly, for those who have taught and mentored you in your journey.  Use your gratitude to cultivate a deep desire to humbly serve others and help them get to where you are.

Look – invest – share – serve…four key words to guide you toward reaching your highest potential.

©2014 by Gary L. Smith and Optimum Performance Technologies, LLC (optechs.com).  All rights reserved.