Category Archives: Personal Coach

3 Keys for Responding to the Grit in Life

speed bump

I recently put the following post on a LinkedIn group:

Unless you encounter some grit in life, you will never become a pearl. Grit irritates and aggravates. It pokes sharply at our souls until we coat it and surround it with caring — expressed in service to others. What are you willing to do to change your irritating grit into a beautiful pearl?

In my line of work, I encounter many people who try to avoid the “grit” in life. They will do almost anything to avoid difficult circumstances. It’s almost like they feel that, after years of paying the price for success, life owes them a break.

When we feel this way – and we all do at times if we’re really honest with ourselves and others – we are missing a very key point:

We don’t pay the price for success. We enjoy the benefits of success. We ultimately only pay the price for failure.

Becoming successful is an investment – one that pays amazing rewards if we learn to successfully and cheerfully embrace and deal with the “grit” that life gives us.

Here are three keys to effectively responding to the “grit” in your life:

  1. Maintain Your Focus. Stay focused on your mission and your goals. Realize that the challenges we face, in life and in business, are just speed bumps we need to get over on the pathway to achieving our dreams. Keep moving forward and doing what you know is right.
  2. Don’t Make Mountains Out of Mole Hills. The little speed bumps we encounter can often feel like mountains, especially when they hit us late in the day when we are weary and are already drained from the day’s activities. When this happens, take time to refresh yourself. If the problem will wait, attack it the next morning when you are fresh, full of energy, and can deal with it in the right context. If it won’t wait, at least take a break, reframe your thoughts, and remind yourself that it’s not as big a deal as it first seemed.
  3. When you drive through a parking lot, you can see the speed bumps ahead. Life often affords us the same opportunities if we will keep an eye on the road ahead. Learn to ask yourself quality questions regarding your personal and business situations.   Anticipating often affords us the opportunity to avoid some of the grit in life – or at least it gives us time to prepare to deal with it.

Don’t shun the grit that enters your life. Use it as a powerful tool to change and become better at your craft. You’ll be glad you did.

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

3 Keys for Effectively Pursuing Your Goals

Let’s face it – if we are all completely honest with ourselves, 95% of us would have to admit that, as business owners, we spend far more time in reaction mode and than we do proactively going for things.

Strategies For Achieving Your Goals

Years ago, I created a system that allows me to make steady progress toward the achievement of my goals. My secret? Planning my week in advance.  Every Sunday, I spend at least 1-2 hours looking at the week ahead and developing a plan for what I am going to do and where I am going to invest my time.

I highly recommend the following 3-step process for making the most effective and efficient use of your work time.

  1. Get clear on your top goals and priorities for the week.  Remember, successful people know what they want from life and they laser focus on their top goals.
  2. Address each goal as a project.  Plan the project details and timeline (what are the next steps, when do they need to be completed, how long will they take, and how much time are you allocating to them this week).
  3. Block time in your calendar to work on your goals and top priorities.  The time you put into your calendar is a non-negotiable appointment with yourself.  You need to spend time each week focusing on your highest priorities.

Importance Of Doing The Simple Things

Many people claim that they don’t have the time to do these simple things – and that’s why they will never see their dreams come true.  Listen to me when I tell you that: Success involves doing the simple things consistently and extraordinarily well!

You must know what you want, you must have a detailed plan for achieving it, and you must faithfully work your plan. That is the only way to achieve your goals.

Give us a call at 203.599.1467 or email us at info@optechs.com.  We can help you make your dreams a reality!

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

5 Practical Steps For Drowning Your Problems

There’s an old saying that contains a great deal of wisdom:

When problem solving, don’t just put out the fire – find the guy with the match!

Another saying admonishes us to make sure that we solve problems completely. It simply says:

Hold every problem under water until it drowns!

Learning Effective Problem Solving

Both of these statements are aimed at communicating one thing to those of us who are in the problem solving business – and that is that far too often, problems are never solved because people are addressing the symptoms instead of identifying and killing the real root cause.

My forty plus years of experience as both a technical and business problem solver have taught me some powerful lessons. Here are a few of the things I’ve learned when it comes to effective problem solving.

  1. Most of the time, the root of the problem is deeper than you think. Just like a pesky dandelion in your yard, the flower (symptom) waves in the wind, but the root of the plant (the real cause) is hiding deep in the ground. You can chop the top off all you want, but until you extract or kill the root, the plant (problem) is going to keep coming back.
  2. Be patient. Taking the time to think things through, and being careful not to overreact, is important in the problem solving process. Cool, logical, analytical heads always prevail.
  3. Listen to the process. Every business process has a story to tell if you listen closely. Observations, data collection and analysis, and a healthy dose of common sense can be integrated to create a picture of what is going on. Just as a doctor uses the skill of observation, combined with information in the form of test results, to diagnose what is wrong with a patient, so must you combine all of the information you can gather to understand the problem with which you are dealing.
  4. Test your theories. The ultimate test in solving a problem is not “did it go away.” Where the rubber meets the road is in answering the question, “Can you turn it on and off?” Being able to turn a problem on and off means that you have identified the causative factors that, under the right conditions, allow the problem to manifest itself.
  5. Verify effectiveness of your solutions. When you finally put corrective actions in place, always monitor the process for a period if time to make sure that the problem never rears its ugly head again.

Need help with problem solving? Give us a call at 203.599.1467, or email us at info@optechs.com. We’re here to help!

 

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

5 Ways to Stop Hurrying & Start Living

The country music band Alabama has a song about the pace of life that says: “I’m in a hurry to get things done.  Oh, I rush and I rush until life’s no fun.  All I really gotta do is live and die.  But I’m in a hurry and I don’t know why.”

Finding Time To Start Living

Are there times when life feels like a blur as it races by?  As productivity expert David Allen asks, “Are there days when you feel like you’re half a beat behind?”  Are you constantly trying to “keep up with the Jones’” as you run to win the race of life?

Why?  Why are we always running a thousand miles an hour with our hair on fire?  Why can’t we ever seem to catch up?  Why does life seem so complicated and difficult?

A Few Steps To Start Living Differently

Have you tried, somewhat unsuccessfully to answer these questions?  If so, then here are 5 ways to stop hurrying and start living.

  1. Discover your focus.  Have you ever noticed how relaxed and happy really successful people are?  Ever wondered why?  The answer is simple: they are focused on their highest priorities and they’ve used this focus to filter out and discard the unimportant and irrelevant things in life.
  2. Balance your life.  Truly successful people have an amazing sense of balance in their lives.  They allocate time among all of their priorities – work, marriage, family, church, community – and that balance gives them a great sense of inner peace.
  3. Get organized.  How much time do you waste every day due to lack of organization?  You need to make a phone call but can’t find the number.  You can’t remember where you left the file you need for a meeting that starts in fifteen minutes.  Having a dynamic system that captures, processes, and puts everything in your life at your finger tips just when you need it is a crucial part of achieving unusual success.
  4. Set priorities.  Prioritize your activities for each day.  Doing so keeps you focused on your highest priorities and gives you a roadmap for the day.
  5. Relax.  Take time to relax and reflect every day.  Spending time in daily reflection helps you learn about yourself and your world.  It gives you the opportunity to make appropriate changes in response (not reaction) to what’s going on in your life.  Reflecting on today and planning tomorrow before you go to bed at night also clears your mind and gives you better rest.

If you are hurrying and not living, give us a call at 203.599.1467, or email us at info@optechs.comWe have some great programs to help you get you life on track so that you can start living again!

 

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

Al Kim Hosts Gary Smith For Rise And Shine Radio Show

Gary Smith was recently a guest of the Rise and Shine Radio Show hosted by Al Kim. WSDK 1550 AM radio station allowed the two radio show hosts to join forces for an on-air segment, and each broadcaster brought their best material to the table.

Al Kim Talks About Achieving Unusual Greatness

Gary discussed his most recent book, “Achieving Unusual Greatness,” and how it was constructed from several blog posts created in the past few years. Gary crafted the book to be read a little at a time or all at once, giving daily lessons that are the “essence” of achieving success.

Gary told Al Kim that he hoped people would use the book almost as a daily inspiration that could be quickly read for motivation. He said it was one of the more powerful projects he had worked on because of the amount of years it spanned.

Macro View Of The Business World

Gary said his background as an engineer in the manufacturing business led him to seek further education to gain a macro view of the business world. He said moving away from providing a small part of a big business has been a great career choice because he understands where those smaller, integral parts fit into the large model.

Looking For A Change Or Improvement

Al Kim commented that the economy in Connecticut was not in its tip-top form, and he asked Gary what he would say to someone who was looking to make a change or improvement. Gary said it’s important to look at your passions in life and what you’re good at before pursuing a job.

He said many people give up looking for work because they cannot find a position in their field, but a simple inventory of what they enjoy doing most in their life can lead to civic activities, leadership roles and much more.

Trusting God To Spur Change

One of the hardest things to do in life is to accept and embrace change. Gary talked to Al Kim about the common nature to resist change and how it can hold people back from their full potential. However, by trusting God and asking him to guide you, you can make major life changes that lead to amazing opportunities.

He said the most important thing to dealing with change is having a positive attitude and trusting God’s hand to guide you to where you belong. Fear is something that will have to be faced in these situations, and Gary said fear can be your best friend or your worst enemy.

Learn From Gary Smith

Whether you’re looking for business success or personal coaching, Gary has helped countless people through the toughest times of their lives. You can contact Gary through his business, Optimum Performance Technologies, to find out how he can help you get through major changes, understand your business specifics better and much more.

Be sure to tune into The Gary Smith Show on WSDK 1550 where he gets his messages out to everyone. He is always looking for new guests to showcase who have different backgrounds and skills than him, giving the audience a good sense of what can be achieved in life if you put your mind to it.