What drives you, your passion or misery ?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Many of us dream big and would like to be successful. But What really drives us to that point?  Passion or Misery?

Wonderful Article from

My father-in-law is a very successful entrepreneur and owns several businesses in various industries in several parts of the world. Before I ventured into my first start-up (a coffee business), he asked me what were my motivations for wanting to start this. I told him I had a friend who knows how to roast coffee beans really well. And there aren’t enough nice coffee shops in Dar to hang out at (we live in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania).

He then told me frankly that he didn’t think I had a “natural advantage” in starting this business. After many long talks, what I understood this to mean was that there was no obvious reason how and why I would succeed; on the other hand, the reasons why I would not succeed were many: I had no food and beverage experience, my personality was not really suited for a front-line/service industry job, the people I had chosen to start my venture with had neither F&B experience nor commercial experience, and since when was I even passionate about coffee?

But I wasn’t discouraged; I was thankful that someone loved me enough and was honest enough to tell me things that I might not have been willing to admit to myself. I then started to honestly examine my own motivations for wanting to do this, and came up with the following list:

(1) Pride – I quit my professional job to do my own thing so I better have something to show for it now;
(2) Boredom – I just need to find something to do and stop living off my husband;
(3) Idealism or altruism – I just wanna do “something good”; and
(4) Desperation – can’t find a job (good enough for me) so might as well be self-employed.

Now THAT discouraged me; when I saw how lame my reasons were. Did I even have any passion to bring to the table? I thought about my friend and that he was so passionate about coffee that he went and learned how to hand-roast coffee beans as a past-time. Despite his lack of commercial experience, he had more “natural advantage” than me because he knew his coffee.

Today I read a column on the Harvard Business Review entitled “Mark Zuckerberg and Misery as
Motivation”, which claimed that certain entrepreneurs succeeded because they were driven by something they were bad at. For example, Zuckerberg was a social misfit and hence created Facebook to make more friends. Basically the writer suggests that “the inner drive to succeed emanates from a personal shortcoming or a void in life which was filled by the venture”. This was an interesting perspective to me; so passion is not necessary to drive you to success. If that is true, it could validate the initial motivations I had above for wanting to start my own enterprise. Perhaps these motivations were not so lame after all.

If the thesis is true, they did not quite set out with the goal of becoming a millionaire when they first started their venture. All they started out with was a desire to complete themselves or to make up for an inadequacy. And the success was a mere coincidence due to a combination of factors, i.e., the inadequacy or void turned out to be something the rest of the world had and needed filled as well, he had a savvy friend who gave him business consultancy advice, the rise of the Internet itself (another review I read claimed that not enough credit was given to the Internet for the success of Facebook, that it wasn’t so much the invention (Facebook) but the platform (the Internet) which made the invention. But such a class of entrepreneurs are also called the “accidental” entrepreneurs, or the Accidental Billionaires rather (that’s the name of the book that the Facebook movie, The Social Network, was based take flight.), etc.

Whatever the reasons were for his success, (and avoiding the topic on whether the Zuckerberg depicted in the movie was accurate or not,) somehow I can’t bring myself to believe that he could have achieved what he achieved if it was simply fueled from hurt or anger. It is probably true that many brilliant and successful artists indeed have some kind of crazy genius which sprang from years of abuse or violence or drugs. But when starting out with a goal to achieve long-term and sustainable entrepreneurial success, surely we cannot dismiss those good old under-rated qualities such as originality, discernment, perseverance and good judgment? To me that translates into good friends and loving relationships (people around you who support and encourage you and who are not afraid to give you their honest opinion), self-discipline (prioritizing and working extremely hard), humility and patience (to listen to what other people are saying and to observe and learn from driving trends), creativity (thinking out of the box or trying to get an idea better than the last) and last but not least, passion (simple, unadulterated enjoyment for what you are doing) And I just don’t think one gets all that if one is hurting or angry at the world or has a me-sized void needing to be filled.

I guess what I’m saying is that today although I don’t know if I am passionate enough about coffee to succeed in a coffee business, I am making a choice to find and build up the passion that I need. The lame motivations I listed above may have been good reasons to start, but I don’t think they are good reasons to finish (well, that is). I do not want to start in an attempt to fill up some emptiness in my life or from having to prove a point about myself, but I know I certainly want to finish with an ever-growing passion for life and for making the lives of others better in the course of it.

Is FEAR holding you back from living out your dreams???

Monday, November 29, 2010

The HFM Group is currently starting a new chapter in our business path.  Sometimes in life you create a comfort zone or a safety blanket where you feel the most comfortable and secure. In order to become successful you must step out of that comfort zone and take risks. One of our favorite quotes is " Carpe Diem" which means Seize the Day. Everyday we work on reinventing ourselves for the better and you should too. Our favorite biblical verse is "You don't even know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! (James 4:14)". Always live your life to highest level

Dont let your fears lead to a life filled with regrets
Are we just going along with what other people think or say we should do?  Do we not care?   Are we trying to take the easy (or lazy) road?  Do we put more emphasis on ourselves and our pride than others?  Or are our decisions (or non-decisions) based upon some aspect of fear—fear of failure, fear of being vulnerable, fear of being embarrassed, fear of appearing weak or fear of making the wrong choice?
Fear can be contagious, spread from the pessimism of those around us, and seems to be the common denominator in many aspects of our life today. 
We are fearful of losing our jobs, our investments and our homes, we fear international terrorism, we fear where the nation is headed, we fear the stock market's volatility, we are influenced by the fear of what a person may do in political office, we are fearful of starting a new relationship, we fear being alone, and we fear what we do not understand. 
We don't draw conclusions based on facts, sound biblical advice and our hearts, but rather on fear.  When we make our choices (or avoid them) in this way, they often result in regret—for not doing what we believe in, for not being ourselves or for worrying about things we cannot control.

If we reflect upon yesterday with regrets and tomorrow with fear, we are not content in our situation or the lives we are leading.  Wouldn't we rather have regret for not doing what people say or for almost anything else than regret not doing what our heart tells us to and wonder how our lives would have been different if we had?
If you ever watch professional sports, you see athletes competing with a no fear, no one is going to beat me attitude.  With every shot, every move and every play, they make decisions to act and confidently commit completely, without regret.  They give everything they have and play like "there is no tomorrow," because there may not be in sports, or in life.

As children, many of us grew up with the thought that nothing could touch us or harm us.  We felt invincible and lived fearlessly.  However, somewhere between then and now, we lost that assurance, that "I can do anything" spirit.  At some point in our lives, fear took its place, influenced by society, parents, friends, experiences or from a number of other sources.
As we "matured," many of those fears developed and became second nature to us, and we have grown to accept it and it in us.   Today our fears often dictate how we live.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).
Fear is referenced hundreds of times in the Bible, but in the majority of cases it speaks of fearing the Lord, which brings peace and confidence, not fear of circumstances. 
So, how do we face our fears so we don't live with regrets?  We accept and trust in the perfect love of the Lord.  We ask him for his direction and peace.  We trust him in our situations, and after much prayer we step out in confidence. 
Don't allow your fears or doubts to rob you from your heart's desire.   Get up, take a step out and trust God like your life depended upon it and like there is no tomorrow.  You won't be disappointed and you won't regret it.
Kudos to

The Best Cities for Women

Friday, November 26, 2010

We love New York . Its the best city in the world. 
According to Womens Health Magazine here are some 

secrets to steal from places that rank at the top for health, happiness, and fitness level. 

Get a Mood Makeover

San Jose, California
Want to possess a chipper outlook? Take a cue from San Jose, which boasts the second-lowest depression rate in the nation. One reason for the good vibes: Thirty percent of the women here work out twice a week, the highest percentage of any city we surveyed.

"Exercise stimulates the production of endorphins, natural painkillers that trigger positive feelings," says Sudeepta Varma, M.D., clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center. Even low-intensity activities like walking and weight training can reduce depression.

Also, San Jose averages 300 sunny days a year, so residents soak up mood-boosting serotonin and vitamin D (five to 30 minutes in the sun twice a week is all you need). If sunlight is scarcer where you live, pop a vitamin D supplement (1,000 IU daily).

Treat Your Ticker Right

Seattle, Washington
This city produces strong beats and we're not referring to the indie bands. Women in Seattle are the least likely to die from heart disease (the leading killer of women), and just 10 people per 100,000 die of heart attacks here each year.

With easy access to organic fruit markets, no wonder 28 percent of women claim to snack on fruits and veggies at least five times a day! Some heart-healthy foods to add to your diet, says Sharonne Hayes, M.D., director of the Women's Heart Clinic at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota: oatmeal, almonds, walnuts, and salmon.

Give the Girls a Boost

Minneapolis, Minnesota
With 929 lakes and 13 miles of paved shoreline paths in the Minneapolis St.Paul area, it's not surprising that Minneapolis has the fourth-highest number of female joggers as well as one of the lowest breast-cancer death rates.

"Preliminary research suggests that women who are physically active may have a 30 to 40 percent lower chance of developing breast cancer," says Jennifer Ligibel, M.D., an oncologist at Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. "Regular workouts may help prevent the disease by lowering levels of estrogen and other hormones, which have been linked to the formation of breast tumors."

Find a Hot Date

Fargo, North Dakota
Looking for a few good men? Fargo boasts one of the most female-friendly ratios, with 79 single women for every 100 single men.

And those frigid winter nights are rather conducive to cuddling. "Studies suggest that oxytocina hormone that's released in response to skin-to-skin contactnot only enhances feelings of closeness but also triggers powerful orgasms," says Madeleine M. Castellanos, M.D., who has a private psychiatry practice in New York City.

Try this touchy tip: Have him lightly stroke the backs and sides of your arms and legs, then return the favor.

Live Longer

Lincoln, Nebraska
If you want to blow out lots of birthday candles decades from now, live in Lincoln. The average life expectancy is 80 years, which beats out almost every city on our list.

That fresh farm air helps: Lincoln has had zero days of unhealthy air quality from 2004 to 2008. An average commute of only 17 minutes also means less teeth-grinding stress.

"Less stress equals lower blood pressure, one of the keys to a longer, healthier life," says Nieca Goldberg, M.D., director of the NYU Women's Heart Center.

If your morning drive is a killer, fight back by snacking on strawberries or an orange; studies show that the vitamin C will bring your stress hormone levels and blood pressure back to normal faster

Aim for 45 minutes of exercise five days a week.

November 27th 2010 , A big day for all Small Businesses

"November 27, 2010 is the first-ever Small Business Saturday
A day to come together in support of the small businesses we love.
The shops and restaurants that employ our neighbors and reinvest our money close to home.
The businesses that are the heartbeat of our communities and local economies.
Take the pledge to support small business. For every $100 spent at local small businesses,
$68 returns to the community .
Join the movement."

check out -

You need more sleep: Top Ten Sleep Myths

#1 Catching Up
It's good to "catch up" on sleep when you can--like sleeping in late on weekends. 

It's tempting to sleep late on weekends, but it's important to keep a regular sleep schedule seven days a week. A regular bedtime and waking time will help you fall asleep at night. 

#2 Evening Workouts
A good workout in the evening will make you tired so you'll fall asleep faster.

Exercising regularly does make it easier to fall asleep. But make sure you finish working out at least three hours before bedtime--preferably in the afternoon. A cooler body makes it easier to fall asleep. Exercise raises your body temperature and it takes about six hours to get back to normal temperature

 #3 Older People
Older people need less sleep. 

It may seem like older folks get by on less sleep. But the TRUTH is, they need the same amount of sleep as younger people--seven to nine hours a day. It's their sleep patterns that change: They tend to sleep more during the day, with small naps. 

#4 Brain's Rest
Sleep is needed for your brain to rest.

Sleep is definitely needed--but it's not your brain that needs to rest, it's your body. Your brain is still working when you're asleep, controlling bodily functions like breathing. 

#5 Falling Back Asleep
If you wake up in the middle of the night, it's best to lie still and try to fall back asleep. Getting up will only wake you up more.

If you can't fall back asleep within 15-20 minutes, get out of bed. Go to another room and do something relaxing, like listening to music or reading. If you lie there stressing out about falling back asleep, you'll only get more anxious--and never fall asleep. 
#6 Your Bedroom
It's good to hang out in your bedroom at night, before you go to sleep, because it will get you "ready" to fall asleep.

The more activities you associate with your bedroom--like watching TV, or working on your computer--the harder it may be to fall asleep there when you want to. It's best to use your bed only for sleep and sex, to strengthen the association between bed and sleep. 

#7 Sex
Sex at night will only arouse you and keep you up.

Actually, sex releases endorphins that make you feel good about yourself, so it relieves stress making it easier to fall asleep. 

#8 Temperature
Cozying up under heavy blankets will make you go to sleep faster.

The body gets into sleep mode more easily when it is at a cooler temperature. So if you must use a squishy down comforter (or two), open the window a crack to let in some fresh air. You don't want to be cold, but you don't want to get too warm either. 
#9 Snoring
Snoring is common and totally harmless. 

Snoring is common--and harmless for most people. But it also may be a symptom of sleep disorder called sleep apnea -- (which can be life threatening). If you snore loudly, and there are long pauses in your snoring, you should see your doctor. Sleep apnea can be treated. 

#10 Alcohol
A nice glass of wine will help calm you down and put you to sleep faster.

While drinking alcohol may make you tired and put you to sleep faster (and of course drinking a lot will really knock you out), you'll end up having fragmented sleep and waking up during the night. 

Eat MAD fruits and veggies, you may live longer

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Many of you may know that one of us is a Vegetarian. A vegetarian lifestyle does includes eating alot of fruits and veggies. We are not telling you  to jump up and become a vegetarian lol,  but you should include more fruits and veggies in your daily meals. Here is why :

Article from WebMd

Eat your veggies and you may live longer, a study suggests.
The study shows that eating foods rich in antioxidants, like vegetables and fruits, fights disease and may prolong life.

Researchers found that people with the highest levels of the antioxidant alpha-carotene in their blood had a 39% lower risk of death from any cause, including heart disease and cancer, than those who had the lowest levels of the antioxidant during the 14-year study.
"These findings support increasing fruit and vegetable consumption as a means of preventing premature death," write researcher Chaoyang Li, MD, PhD, of the CDC and colleagues in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Alpha-carotene is part of a group of antioxidants known as carotenoids, which also includes beta-carotene and lycopene. Vegetables particularly high in alpha-carotene include yellow-orange vegetables, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and winter squash, and dark green vegetables, such as broccoli, green beans, green peas, spinach, turnip greens, collards, and lettuce.
Although previous studies have suggested eating more fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of disease, studies have not shown that taking beta-carotene supplements reduces the risk of dying from heart disease or cancer.
Researchers wanted to see if other carotenoids may also play a role in reducing the risk of disease.

Reduced Risk of Death

In this study, researchers looked at the relationship between blood levels of alpha-carotene and the risk of death in 15,318 adults who participated in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Follow-up Study.
The participants provided blood samples between 1988 and 1994 and were followed through 2006.
The results showed the risk of dying during the follow-up period was consistently lower in people with higher levels of alpha-carotene in the blood. The protective effect of alpha-carotene also increased as blood levels of the antioxidant increased.
For example, compared with people with the lowest levels of alpha-carotene (between 0 and 1 microgram per deciliter) the risk of death was 23% lower among those who had concentrations of between 2 and 3 micrograms per deciliter. The risk of death was 39% lower among those with the highest levels of alpha-carotene in their blood (9 micrograms per deciliter or higher).
Researchers say higher levels of the antioxidant were also linked to a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or cancer as well as from any other cause.
They say alpha-carotene is chemically similar to beta-carotene but may be more effective at protecting cells in the brainliver and skin.

Get rid of the belly fat, bulge, muffin top , healthy tips and exercises

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Lean Belly Prescription

Travis Stork, M.D., host of The Doctors on TV, sees the devastating effects of belly fat every day in the E.R. at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville. Heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, sleep disorders, and more—all a result of people who are carrying too much weight.

The Lean Belly Prescription is his 911 response: to blast belly fat—stat! It's filled with simple strategies that will help you lose weight the same way you gained it: By making easy lifestyle choices that will transform your life—but this time, for the better. Changing your body doesn't always mean getting more mileage on your gym membership. Reap the benefits of what scientists term non-exercise aerobic thermogenesis, or "N.E.A.T." 

Get Outside

People who spent at least 20 minutes a day outdoors felt they had up to 20 percent more physical and mental energy than those who stayed inside thought they did, according to scientists at the University of Rochester. 

Clock in Some Cardio

It can be as beneficial as a formal workout, according to a new study in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. Just 20 minutes of playing soccer or dodgeball raised adults' heartbeats to 88 percent of their maximum and burned 160 calories, researchers found. 

Get on Your Feet

When you talk on the phone, stand up. You won't think of it as exercise, but it can help you burn as much as 54 calories for every 20-minute conversation. An alteration of as little as 100 calories a day can start you on the road to serious weight loss. 

Get on Your Feet

When you talk on the phone, stand up. You won't think of it as exercise, but it can help you burn as much as 54 calories for every 20-minute conversation. An alteration of as little as 100 calories a day can start you on the road to serious weight loss. 

Flatten your belly and shrink your hips in just three moves, with this simple workout from The Women's Health Big Book of Exercises. It’ll help you tone your total body, with less hassle than ever. And to speed weight loss even more, make sure to check out the diet secrets in The New Laws of Leanness.

Here’s what to do: Complete the workout three days a week, resting a day between each session. Do the exercises as a modified circuit, performing one set of each exercise in succession, and resting 30 seconds between each move. So you’ll do one set of the alternating dumbbell row, rest 30 seconds, then do one set of the dumbbell sumo squat, and rest another 30 seconds, and so on. After you’ve done one set of each exercise, rest for another 30 seconds, and repeat the circuit two to three times. 
 First exercise

Do 6 to 8 repetitions

Grab a pair of dumbbells, and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Bend at your hips, keeping your lower back naturally arched, and lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor. Let the dumbbells hang at arm’s length from your shoulders. Now pull the dumbbell in your right hand to the side of your torso by raising your upper arm, bending your elbow and squeezing your shoulder blade toward your spine. As you lower that dumbbell, row the dumbbell in your left hand to the side your torso. That’s one repetition.

Continue to alternate sides. 

Second Exercise

*Do 10 to 12 repetitions

Grab a heavy dumbbell and hold an end with each hand at arm’s length in front of your waist. Set your feet about twice your shoulder width apart, your toes turned out slightly. Lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees.

Pause, then push yourself back to the starting position. Keep your torso as upright as you can for the entire movement, with your lower back naturally arched.
Third Exercise

Do 10 repetitions

Assume a push-up position with your arms straight and your body in a straight line from your head to your ankles. Without changing the posture of your lower back (it should be arched), raise your right knee toward your chest.

Pause, return to the starting position and repeat with your left leg. That’s one rep. Alternate until you’ve completed all your reps. 

Tips from Womenshealthmag

Makeup Tips: How to match your makeup perfectly

Find Your Perfect Match

Aim high: Foundation may be the one makeup product you should spend a little more money on. Department-store brands often contain high-tech anti-aging ingredients. Their formulas are perfectly blended (no lumps or frosting-like consistencies), which allows for a smoother, more even finish, and "they contain specially coated pigments that help the foundation adhere better to the skin, creating a weightless feeling," says cosmetic chemist Ni'Kita Wilson, vice president of Cosmetech Laboratories.

The foundations you'll find in the aisles of your local drugstore might not offer the same level of anti aging ingredients, but that's not to say they aren't good. Mac Cosmetics Face and Body Foundation $32,
 CoverGirl Clean Liquid Makeup, $6, and L'Oreal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Makeup, $11,will give you a flawless finish at an affordable price.

Watch your tone: To find a hue that matches your complexion,use your skin tone as a guide: "If you have cooler undertones(meaning your skin has hints of red, blue, or pink), look for shades with the word cool in the name," advises Sheriff. If your skin has warmer undertones (hints of yellow or orange), look for the word warm on the product label.

Put it to the test: A shade that appears to be custom blended when it's on the back of your hand may look clownish when it's onyour face. Instead of testing it on your hand—which tends to be slightly darker than your face— swipe a bit onto your collarbone,which is a closer color match.

Choose the Correct Formula

Oily skin: Women whose skin tends to get a little greasy should avoid oil-based foundations and stick to wet/dry mattifying powders that are on the thick side. These adhere to skin better than liquids, which can bond to oil and slide down your face (eww)

Dry Skin

Dry skin: If your skin is parched, use an oil-based liquid foundation with emollients such as glycerin, lanolin, or ceramides. These moisturizing ingredients will keep your skin looking soft and supple.

Apply Right

Prime time: Before you smooth on your foundation, prep your face with a primer, which will create a base for the makeup and help hold it in place all day. Look for a primer that's silicone based (which seals skin imperfections, creating a smoother surface) and oil-free, suggests Sheriff. Try Cover FX Brite Prep FX, $45,

Brush up: "A foundation brush helps the product go on smoothly and covers imperfections without creating a cakey appearance,"says Sheriff. "Using your fingers can cause skin irritations, because bacteria beneath your nails can be transferred to your face." If you're using a cream or liquid foundation, choose a brush made from a synthetic fiber such as nylon. Try Dermablend Foundation Brush, $22.50, For powder foundations and finishing powders, opt for a natural goat-hair brush, such as M.A.C 134 Large Powder Brush, $52,

Blend In: Pour a quarter-size amount of foundation onto the back of your hand or into a small, clean bowl. Then dip the brush into the product (just enough to cover the bristles—you don't want to drown them), and smooth it onto your skin with even strokes. "Begin on one side of your face underneath (repeat: underneath) your jawline, and work your way up to your cheekbones. Then continue to just below your brows and across your forehead. Repeat on the other side, and be sure to blend, blend, blend," says Barnes. Take a look in the mirror after applying the first layer to see if you're fully covered. You can always add more.

Makeup tips from womenshealthmag

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