When the times were difficult, I carried you.

A man who had finished his life went before God. And God reviewed his life and showed him the many lessons he had learned. When He had finished, God said, “My child, is there anything you wish to ask?” And the man said, “While You were showing me my life, I noticed that when the times were pleasant there were two sets of footprints, and I knew You walked beside me. But when times were difficult there was only one set of footprints. Why, Father, did you desert me during the difficult times?” And God said, “You misinterpret, my son. It is true that when the times were pleasant I walked beside you and pointed out the way. But when the times were difficult, I carried you.”

I read the above story from the book “Love is Letting Go of Fear” by Gerald G. Jampolsky. The lessons is very simple: We are never alone through the good times, and we are always carried through the bad times by His Majesty. May it be an inspiration for the believers in God who read it.

When you last came across a similar story worth sharing, what was the lesson you took away?

Are you victim of stress? Causes and simple remedies.

Stress is an emotional state which is derived in most cases from anxiety and restlessness. A National Health Interview Survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services revealed that 75% of the general population experiences at least “some stress” every two weeks. Stress-Test-Failed In general, stress can be caused by a wide range of factors, but the three most frequent causes of stress are:

  • Job dissatisfaction or unemployment
  • Deteriorating or bad health
  • Unhealthy relationships

I have personally experienced stress based on the three factors above, and I bet you have too. I could go on and give specific examples of how this applied to me, but I will jump straight up to the solutions. How do we overcome stress, regardless of the causes? Simple:

  • Go jogging. Or engage in any other physical activity that will make you sweat and increase the flow of oxygen to your brain. Jumping around or in place counts. That’s one of the activities I engage in when I experience stress.
  • Have a good laugh. I know laughing when things are not going your way is counterintuitive, but it does wonders. When you feel stressed up and become unproductive, take a break and head on to YouTube.com to watch funny videos.
  • Write up 10 things you are grateful for.  Two opposite feelings like sadness and happiness cannot be expressed at the same time. Happiness is a by product of gratitude. When I feel stressed for any reason, I bring out my notepad and list 10 things or people or situations I am grateful for. It always creates an immediate positive shift in mindset.

The truth is, if you do not deal directly with the cause of your stress, the remedies I suggested above will only help you as long as you keep your focus off the stressful situation. In your case, zero in on what causes you to experience stress. Once identified, work on removing the cause from your life and then use the remedies I listed (possibly daily) to keep stress away from your being.

Have you experienced any stressful situation or had any stressful experience lately? How did you deal with it?

Job Search in The Social Media Age

As of August 2013, the unemployment rate was 8.9% according to the Employment Development Department of the State of California. It is fact that the job search process, just like almost every other human endeavor or activity, has been dramatically impacted by new technologies and social media throughout the last decade. Those who want to get jobs have to not only be among the best in their fields, but they have to learn how to leverage social media to establish credibility and provide evidence of their ability and skills.social media and job search

After publishing Traditional résumés are now irrelevant. Here are 3 alternatives, I organized and hosted the Job Search in The Social Media Age seminar. I took participants to the seminar through a series of steps they can take to develop a strong online presence in alignment with their job search strategy.

For your benefits, I hosted the slides deck I used for that seminar on SlideShare. It is embedded below for your convenience.

Based on feedback received before and after the seminar, I am in the process of developing a 21 days program on how to use social media (in alignment with your job search strategy) to land the job of your dreams. This program will be privately released to a group of pre-release testers before it is deployed for the mainstream. If you are currently looking for a job, or simply want to develop a stronger, more professional online presence, send me an email at Lionnel@Yamentou.com and I will add you to the list of pre-release testers.

Do you have any question about “Job Search in The Social Media Age” you would like to see answered in the 21 days program? If you don’t have a question, what is your best advice to job seekers based on your personal experience?

How to increase your influence on people around you

how to have greater influenceThere are probably a few people in your life who have a great influence on you, just like there are in mine. Those people could be in your family, at your workplace, in your church, or any other place or group you are affiliated with. To have an influence on someone is to be able to impact positively or negatively the decisions that person makes. For example, most people are influenced by their parents and close family. However, in general we are influenced by people we spend time with. That is why it is important to spend time with people whose influence is positive, and not negative.

Regardless of the circles of people you currently frequent, you are already having an influence on them. In order for that influence to be increased, there are a few key personal attributes you must pay more attention to:

  • Competence. There is no substitute for competence, good performance. When you perform well in your areas of expertise and are consistently recognized and acknowledged as an expert, you will have a greater influence on people who value the work you do. Competence is a product of pursuing excellence in all you do. One of the easiest ways to appear more competent to people around you is to do less, but do that little so well that it is impossible not to notice how much caring and involved you were at the task.
  • Reliability. Being reliable is being dependable. In other words, sticking to your own expectation, and the expectations of others to whom you made a commitment, however small. For example, scheduling a meeting and not showing up (extreme) or showing up late without notifying the parties you are meeting with. Those are simple examples that will show people that you are not reliable. Your reliability will be assessed mostly by watching if always do what you say. If you have an issue with reliability, being by making less promises and commitment to people around you. Don’t say anything that implies you will do something if you have not decided and agreed with yourself to do it in the first place.
  • Compassion. Being compassionate is being mindful and thoughtful of others and the situations they experience in their lives. There is a saying: people don’t really care how much you know until they know how much you care. That is very true. If you are to become a person of greater influence to the people around you, show genuine care and sensitivity to their issues. After all, the most favorite topics of conversation in any conversation is “me”. If you care about “me” (the other person), me will be likely to be more sensitive (influenced) to what you say and do.

Exhibit competence in what you do, become reliable by being true to your words, and develop genuine care and affection for others. Those are just three basics attribute you can bring to your awareness and develop more if you want to have a greater influence on people you interact with. What other attributes can one develop to become a person of greater influence?