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2/13/14

4 Reasons You Should Be Sick of Relationship Gurus


I'm about finished with relationship advice. I'm done reading it.  I'm (almost) done giving it.  (Also, I am cranky today, so this will read like it.  Maybe I'll come back and edit one day soon?  Maybe not.)  If you can point me towards someone who is actually helping the cause towards people finding and maintain healthy and whole relationships, I will kindly change my tune.  However, most of what I see breaks down into two categories: "Single Folks Gonna Single" and "Wait. You're Married But Don't Want Me To Be?"

Group One consists primarily of single men and women who constantly commiserate (that means the gripe to one another) and share tips that will - inevitably - keep them all single and in the same situation.  Group Two consists of the married "guru" who doesn't seem to have anything to say that can help other people down that path.  They post from their blogs with their pics of their lovely spouse and children but communicate that it probably isn't possible for you to have that life yourself.  Hmmmm...

Anyway... I'm about sick of all of them.  I'm about sick of myself on this topic, too, which is why I rarely talk on it anymore even though I'm asked to interview about once a week.  Instead of my continuing to rant, let me share the main reasons I think you (as a person hopeful of having a happy and healthy relationship with a special person one day) should start tuning EVERYBODY out...

1. The Prevalence of the "Real Men/Women" Tagline.  Anything that uses "real men" and "real women" a lot is a turn-off to me already. It is judgmental.  People are not monolithic automatons behaving all in the same fashion.  There are few things that describe a "real" man or "real" woman in any tangible way beyond their genitals.  We are all always (hopefully) maturing and are somewhere along the road called sanctification.  As best I can tell, the only thing common to real men is not caring a whole lot about what others think a "real man" ought to be doing.

2. Most advice is dripping with low-expectations.  Most of what is out there would more encourage me to walk away from dealing with women (or men if I was a woman) altogether.  Nearly everything people do is viewed with skepticism.  My Lord! Is there anything good to say about people?  Is there anything but criticism and complaining?  I believe there are a lot of good, hard-working, courageous and well-intentioned men out there along with some charming, kind, gracious and spiritual women.  I must be the only one who thinks so.

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3. They only know one line.  I am tired of reading material that has its primary advice "Run!" when dealing with something you don't like. Even more so when they can't (or barely) tell anybody what to seek. It's just run from this... run from that... run, run, ruunnnnnn! etc.  I promise you.  This is firmly lodged in the "Single Folks Gonna Single" mentality.  So many darn red flags.  No green lights?  At all?  I believe we'd be much better off learning to focus on the good qualities of people.

4. It is self-centered and prideful. How about this? How can YOU see through some surface things and help that person mature? Maybe you can and should have some grace towards them?  Most advice continues the presumption that "your" guy or gal must come as a prepared, finished product or they are worthless to you. It ignores the reader's own shortcomings - which are many... being that the reader is a human, too.

5. Bonus.  Instead of wondering whether that person of interest is ready for YOU how about investigating whether you are ready for them?  Ask yourself these non-self-centered (gasp!) questions...

  • Am I ready to place their needs above my own?
  • Do I make them a better person?
  • Am I willing to support their vision for their life?
  • Do I have a vision for my own life?
  • Do I add value to their life?
If you can say "Yes!" to these questions then maybe, maybe you're truly ready for a relationship.  Otherwise the other person may not be getting that great of a deal themselves.  Think about it.  At the end of the day, it is about sacrificing yourself for that other person's better good. If you can't (or won't) do that, you should be letting them go.  God loves them, too, right?


Either way, it seems to me that the best thing to do is to open your Bible to The Proverbs and start to study.  Also, find a few wise counselors with whom you can talk regularly in real life who have lives you want to emulate and disconnect from almost everything else... even me if you need to.  I won't be upset.  I'll celebrate when I see you out with that special person!



Mark Anthony McCray helps people live on PURPOSE, achieve higher PERFORMANCE and experience true PROSPERITY.  Be sure to subscribe to this blog so you don't miss a thing and forward this to a friend if you found it helpful. All material © Copyright, Mark Anthony McCray unless otherwise noted!

He can be reached in the following ways:
Mark@LiveBIGDieEmpty.com
Phone: 281-846-5720
Twitter: @LiveBIGDieEmpty
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LiveBIGDieEmpty
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/markanthonymccray/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/103149858138414160703/posts
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/markanthonymccray

For more information on Mark as a speaker or presenter check out http://www.gigsalad.com/mark_anthony_mccray_houston







2/10/14

8 Ways to Profit from #LinkedIn - the Forgotten(?) Social Network


I can't let this chance to invite you to connect with me on LinkedIn pass.  Can I?  LinkedIn boasts that it is the World's Largest Professional Network and... I can already tell some of you are yawning even as I imagine you reading this.  Alright.  I'll try to make it snappy, give you some good content and be about my business.

I know for a fact that a lot of you aren't even sure you've got a LinkedIn account up and running and half of you are neglecting yours.  Let's fix that.  I believe you are missing out on some huge opportunities to expand your business and career and here's how you can fix it.  Do these eight things today.

1.  Update your profile.  This should be your top priority. As your online resume, you want to include relevant information and your past experience that will help you stand out above your competitors. Include details that will make a prospective client want to work with you. Include a professional headshot and your current contact information. Grab your names.  If you haven’t already done this, get on LinkedIn and grab your name and your company name (they are more selective with these) and edit the URL on your profile so it reads with your actual name. If you leave what LinkedIn automatically does for you there will be lots of extra numbers and characters which confuse people.

2.  Always include a headshot.  This may appear to be obvious, but you often see pages without a picture. Unlike your Facebook page, this picture should be a little more “professional.” Obviously professional is defined differently based on you and your company, but use good judgment. Creativity can work, but can also backfire.  Generally, LinkedIn is NOT the place to express your creativity.  Use Twitter for that.  Or, even better, Facebook.

3.  Connect to all of your current contacts.  Build your own LinkedIn community by connecting with anyone and everyone you know. Use your Outlook or Gmail database to help. The more connections you have, the more secondary connections you will have, which will allow you to view more profiles, and expand your personal and corporate network.  This is a "dig your well before you're thirsty" kind of thing.  The time to network is before you need to network.  You never know who you'll meet online or whom you'll need to call on one day.



4.  Join groups.  Join groups that are applicable to your business and the connections you are trying to establish. Joining groups allows you to stay on top of market trends and important information within your field.  This is the best way to get your name out there in your field.  And don't just join.  Participate.  Talk.  Give feedback in discussions.  Post your blog articles.  Just don't spam.  Spamming will get your posts blocked or get you kicked out of groups.  You don't want that.  Trust me.

5.) Use LinkedIn as a prospecting tool.  Use LinkedIn as a “search engine.” Search for companies you are interested in, and then find out who the key personnel are. Once you find the right person, send them an email via LinkedIn. Often a message via LinkedIn comes off as warmer than a regular email. Additionally, your message won’t get mixed in with the 300 other emails that person receives daily.

6.) Get recommended by your customers.  A recommendation on LinkedIn is very powerful, and a great addition to your profile. It demonstrates to prospective clients that you are an expert in your field. Even a short paragraph of 100 words can have a powerful impact on your reputation. Encourage clients to recommend you; keeping in mind that a great way to get someone to recommend you, is to recommend them first. The positive energy they get from you may lead to them writing an even better recommendation for you.

7.) Expand your LinkedIn reach with Twitter.  There is a little checkbox at the bottom of your “Share an update” box that copies everything you share with your Connections to all of your Twitter followers.  Use it. Perhaps you've been wondering what else you can tweet about anyway.  Well, here you go!

8. Supercharge your Job Search.  Here's a bonus. If you're looking to use LinkedIn to improve your job search, check out these additional notes specific to helping boost your job search:


Here's a final encouragement for you if you're an online marketer.  I've always experienced better feedback (i.e., sales) from my LinkedIn community more so than from my Twitter or Google+ and, for some things, it's even better than Facebook.  My experience is that people come to LinkedIn expecting to do business as opposed to expecting to exchange recipes and cute videos of cats.  That's a powerful thing that you can put to use with just a little effort.

Good luck!




Mark Anthony McCray helps people live on PURPOSE, achieve higher PERFORMANCE and experience true PROSPERITY.  Be sure to subscribe to this blog so you don't miss a thing and forward this to a friend if you found it helpful. All material © Copyright, Mark Anthony McCray unless otherwise noted!

He can be reached in the following ways:
Mark@LiveBIGDieEmpty.com
Phone: 281-846-5720
Twitter: @LiveBIGDieEmpty
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LiveBIGDieEmpty
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/markanthonymccray/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/103149858138414160703/posts
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/markanthonymccray

For more information on Mark as a speaker or presenter check out http://www.gigsalad.com/mark_anthony_mccray_houston







6 Things to Do When You're Scared to Death


Have you every felt terrified about your life, your job, your future?  Come on.  Be honest.  I have.  I'll be honest.  I feel like I've had a long relationship with fear and worry.  I know what terror feels like.  It's a step beyond anxiety and two steps beyond just worrying.  Terror freezes you in your tracks.

The good news is I have finally divorced terror.  Of course, it keeps trying to come around, but we're not in a relationship anymore.  Fear doesn't live with me any longer.  Terror is a horrible thing and, as an entrepreneur/ministry worker/father/single parent you are going to deal with it from time to time until you learn how to press through it.  Here are some ways that I've learned how to keep going.

1.  Remember that YOU are a lion.  You have been given the gift to be bold as a lion.  The Word of God reminds Believers that your standing in God gives you permission to stand and not retreat.  What enemy should make you turn back? Nothing! Timidity is not your birthright so don't claim it.

2.  Change the story you tell yourself.  Pick a power statement that you can rehearse to yourself again and again.  You have got to stop reading the bad news to yourself about yourself.  You are NOT helping anything.  You're only dragging yourself down further.  Remind yourself  "I can do this."  "I can make it through this."  "This is not the final page in my story."  "I will win in the end."

3.  Do not allow yourself to be broken.  The Bible tells you over and over not to be dismayed.  To be dismayed means to be cast down, broken or shattered.  Discouragement happens.  That is a natural part of life.  Don't let your troubles break you.  Your enemy wants you broken.  Your enemy wants you to stay down.  He knows you'll win in the end if only you don't quit.

4.  Command yourself to be grateful and not worry.  Literally sit down and count your blessings.  Make a list.  Are you listening to me?  I'm saying actually take out a sheet of paper and remind yourself of all the great things in your life that you know you didn't and don't deserve.  If you are honest, you will admit there are many of them.  Being grateful is a great way to rid yourself of worries.

5.  Brainstorm solutions.  I learned this from Brian Tracy.  Sit down and think of twenty actions you can take right now to change your situation.  The first five will be easy.  The second five might take you a minute.  Then the work really begins.  Press through until you have at least twenty options in front of you on a sheet of paper.

6.  Take an action.  If you're really going to be bold, take several.  Go through the list you just made and find something you can do right now.  It doesn't matter if it's large or small.  What truly matters is that you make a decision and act on it.  Your intention is to start a virtuous cycle.

I hope you can use one or two of these to help you in your walk.  Stop allowing fear to paralyze and depress you.  You will find out (as I did) that every worry is valuable energy wasted.  I want to see you grab hold of God's best for your life.  I'm in the battle with you.  Let's win this thing!

Are you looking for more guidance on building and expanding your business or just getting some clarity in your life to improve your personal productivity?  Do you want to join a like-mined group of professionals where you can learn to press through your goals together?  Check out my Peak Performance Group Coaching.  It could be the place for you to start making real progress towards your most important goals.

Now, tell me something... how have YOU learned to press through fear?






Mark Anthony McCray helps people live on PURPOSE, achieve higher PERFORMANCE and experience true PROSPERITY.  Be sure to subscribe to this blog so you don't miss a thing and forward this to a friend if you found it helpful. All material © Copyright, Mark Anthony McCray unless otherwise noted!



He can be reached in the following ways:
Mark@LiveBIGDieEmpty.com
Phone: 281-846-5720
Twitter: @LiveBIGDieEmpty
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LiveBIGDieEmpty
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/markanthonymccray/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/103149858138414160703/posts
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/markanthonymccray

For more information on Mark as a speaker or presenter check out http://www.gigsalad.com/mark_anthony_mccray_houston







1/26/14

There's a lot entrepreneurs can learn from @RealJayAbraham



... at the very least he's a genius.
If you feel like you need some breakthrough insights for your business, I urge you to listen to Anthony Robbins interview Jay Abraham here and here for Part One and Part Two.  It's something special.  By the end, you'll be looking for Parts Three, Four, Five and more!

A lot stands out and I won't try to re-preach Jay's sermon, but here is something that stands out from his hour plus on "How to Exponentially Increase Your Business."  For starters, if someone asked you "How many ways are there to increase your business?" you might list a dozen approaches.  In reality, there are only three ways to increase the revenue side of your business - any business:

  1. Increase your number of clients and/or prospects.  (duuuuhhhh) To do this you must employ more than one way of bringing in clients, e.g., sales teams, outbound sales, inbound sales, direct mail, etc.  Most companies only acquire clients through one avenue but looking at other companies (even in other industries)  can show you some ways to raise the number of prospects.  Risk-reversal is the secret.  You've got to lower the customer's risk of doing business with you.
  2. Increase your unit of sale.  This can be done by increasing your prices, pressing more add-ons and up sells or increasing the size of your product bundle so people pay more and also get more value.  While you're working to increase your customer base, also work to increase how much each customer spends with you. 
  3. Increase the residual value of each client and/or their frequency of purchase.  More referrals.  More back-end sales.  Sales of warranties.  This can be done by reducing attrition, too, by the way.  The idea here is to deepen the relationship with your customers and involve them in capturing more business for you.
Do any one of the three and you will grow your business geometrically - imagine being just 10% more effective in each area.  If you can do all three of these at the same time even a little bit and your business grows exponentially (10% + 10% + 10% is typically more than a 30% revenue increase) and keeps growing!  And that's your goal!

Go back and listen to Jay's insights.  I guarantee you'll get something you can put to work for you.

Are you looking for more guidance on building and expanding your business?  Get your copy of "From Idea to Ignition: How to Get Your Business off the Ground" today and also check out "The Sales Monster - 10 Ultimate No B.S. #MonsterTips to Help You Sell More and Earn More Money NOW!"  Both are packed full of information and insights you can take to the bank!  Available for download right to your Inbox after purchase with tons of bonus material!





Mark Anthony McCray helps people live on PURPOSE, achieve higher PERFORMANCE and experience true PROSPERITY.  Be sure to subscribe to this blog so you don't miss a thing and forward this to a friend if you found it helpful. All material © Copyright, Mark Anthony McCray unless otherwise noted!



He can be reached in the following ways:
Mark@LiveBIGDieEmpty.com
Phone: 281-846-5720
Twitter: @LiveBIGDieEmpty
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LiveBIGDieEmpty
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/markanthonymccray/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/103149858138414160703/posts
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/markanthonymccray

For more information on Mark as a speaker or presenter check out http://www.gigsalad.com/mark_anthony_mccray_houston







1/18/14

Feel+Felt+Found (How to Get People to Hear What You're Saying)


Do you feel like you struggle to be heard when you most need to be?  Here's a simple way to offer advice that people NEED and have them actually LISTEN to you. You've heard it said that people don't care what you know until they know that you care. That's true! Now, here's the way to show them that you care quickly and in in a few short statements:

FEEL - "I understand what you're feeling." - Use this statement (or one like it) to make it clear that you are listening and relating to what is on their heart and mind.  This is to people that you aren't being condescending.

FELT - "I have felt the same way." - Show them that you've been there before...either in the same situation or in a similar one.  Now they feel like you can relate to them.  Don't lie.  Just be transparent and authentic.

FOUND - "Here's what I've found..." - Detail what you learned and how you rose out of that place in life. These become the action items you want them to take.

Don't quote these directly! That said, if you use this pattern, people will receive what they need to hear from you much better. They will feel that you care...and then care about what you know!  Once you're done sharing, honor their ability to process your words and leave them alone.  Watch if Feel + Felt + Found doesn't make you a better communicator!

Please leave me your comments so I know how to serve you better!! If this was helpful, forward it to a friend. If you like it and want more, check out The Expert Excellence Webinar (c) - Position Yourself, Promote and Profit as an Expert!   YOU NEED this training.  Your career needs it!  Get it today.  Remember, you're going to have to learn something different to get something different.

To your success!









Mark Anthony McCray helps people live on PURPOSE, achieve higher PERFORMANCE and experience true PROSPERITY.  Be sure to subscribe to this blog so you don't miss a thing and forward this to a friend if you found it helpful. All material © Copyright, Mark Anthony McCray unless otherwise noted!



He can be reached in the following ways:

Mark@LiveBIGDieEmpty.com
Phone: 281-846-5720
Twitter: @LiveBIGDieEmpty
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LiveBIGDieEmpty
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/markanthonymccray/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/103149858138414160703/posts
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/markanthonymccray
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/markmccray/

For more information on Mark as a speaker or presenter check out http://livebigdieempty.blogspot.com/p/about-mark_29.html

1/2/14

You're talking already. Why not get paid?

You promised me you wouldn't enter 2014 with your business and career on autopilot, remember?  It's time to do something you've never done to get to some places you've never been.



I got over 50 speaking professionals to give me their BEST SECRETS for getting paid speaking engagements and I'm going to give some of them to you for in this exciting and informative coaching call.

Do you want to become a paid speaker and teach lessons from the things you've learned throughout your life? Of course you do! Speaking gives you the opportunity to help and at the same time, earn yourself additional income and, believe it or not, people will pay you to teach them the life lessons you've learned.

Public speaking is a business and it can become a BIG business for you.  Unfortunately, unless someone shares some guidance with you, you will basically need to start from scratch. Nobody knows who you are or what you can do. It can be very demoralizing not knowing what steps to take or how to get engagements.  You can get there, but it will cost you a lot of hard work, mistakes and money.  What I've done is put together information that would take you months (or years) to learn on your own.

Some of what I covered in this training call...

* The very first thing every successful speaker must do...

* How to get paid while you learn the speaking business (this is the best on-the-job-training you'll ever hear about).

* Where you can find the opportunities that NOBODY else knows about.

* More, more and more...





If you like it and want more, check out The Expert Excellence Webinar (c) - Position Yourself, Promote and Profit as an Expert!   YOU NEED this training.  Your career needs it!  Get it today.  Remember, you're going to have to learn something different to get something different.

To your success!









Mark Anthony McCray helps people live on PURPOSE, achieve higher PERFORMANCE and experience true PROSPERITY.  Be sure to subscribe to this blog so you don't miss a thing and forward this to a friend if you found it helpful. All material © Copyright, Mark Anthony McCray unless otherwise noted!



He can be reached in the following ways:

Mark@LiveBIGDieEmpty.com
Phone: 281-846-5720
Twitter: @LiveBIGDieEmpty
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LiveBIGDieEmpty
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/markanthonymccray/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/103149858138414160703/posts
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/markanthonymccray
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/markmccray/

For more information on Mark as a speaker or presenter check out http://livebigdieempty.blogspot.com/p/about-mark_29.html

1/1/14

How to Turbocharge Your New Year's Resolution!



Here is a simple way to cut YEARS off of your trial-and-error process in any area and increase your success rate:  GET ADVICE!  There is safety in a multitude of counselors.  Sounds basic yet how many of you have scribbled yourself a little reminder to go get counsel?  Probably not many.

As we enter a new year, many people set resolutions, goals (or just make wishes if you're uncomfortable with that language).  In doing so, they often make a few basic mistakes:

#1 They fail to write down their objectives.  

#2 They don't take advantage of the power of accountability by sharing their hopes with others.

#3 They try to go it alone and do not incorporate wisdom from those who have attempted to make the same changes in their lives.

Need an easy way to accomplish the third one?  Call up someone in your city who's reached a level of success that you haven't and invite them to lunch! YOU PAY! For the price of a decent meal, you can cut years off of your process, save yourself tens of thousands of dollars, ulcers and headaches and more!  Not bad for such a small investment, huh?  An even more cost-effective way to accomplish the same thing is to take them to breakfast. It's hard to break the bank over pancakes and coffee!

You'll be surprised at how many very successful people will gladly give you a few minutes of their time. It's often small to them, but (trust me on this) can be HUGE to you!

So there you have it.  Be intentional about listening to what other people have to say this year.  Seek out people who know more than you do.  There is an old quote that says a smart man learns from his mistakes, while a wise man learns from the mistakes of others.  Obviously a fool doesn't learn at all.  You want to be wise.  Be wise.

If you're a member of my coaching group, check my latest post for two additional helpful tips! If you aren't, CLICK HERE for more information and join today! We will help you get your goals up!

To your success!








Mark Anthony McCray helps people live on PURPOSE, achieve higher PERFORMANCE and experience true PROSPERITY. Be sure to subscribe to this blog so you don't miss a thing and forward this to a friend if you found it helpful. All material © Copyright, Mark Anthony McCray unless otherwise noted!

He can be reached in the following ways:

Mark@LiveBIGDieEmpty.com
Phone: 281-846-5720
Twitter: @LiveBIGDieEmpty
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LiveBIGDieEmpty
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/markanthonymccray/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/103149858138414160703/posts
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/markanthonymccray
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/markmccray/

Click HERE for information on Mark as a speaker or presenter and HERE to learn about coaching programs to help you realize your potential and live more prosperously!

12/31/13

Pass the soap.


Sitting here reflecting on what kinds of behaviors I need to leave behind as the pages on the calendar turn and (for me) changing my language is probably #1.  I really need to wash my mouth out with soap.  Specifically, NO COMPLAINING!!!  NO DADGUM COMPLAINING.

We've become a complaining, bitching, griping society afraid to compliment and praise people.  It's so funny and sad to me at the same time.  But all I can really do is make sure I'm different.  I have to talk in ways that minister grace to those who hear my words.  I have to make sure I speak life into my own world and those around me.

If I can do that, I think that would be a great place to start.  What if everyone who encountered you knew they would come away encouraged, edified and comforted?  Wouldn't that be awesome?











Mark Anthony McCray helps people live on PURPOSE, achieve higher PERFORMANCE and experience true PROSPERITY. Be sure to subscribe to this blog so you don't miss a thing and forward this to a friend if you found it helpful. All material © Copyright, Mark Anthony McCray unless otherwise noted!

He can be reached in the following ways:

Mark@LiveBIGDieEmpty.com
Phone: 281-846-5720
Twitter: @LiveBIGDieEmpty
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LiveBIGDieEmpty
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/markanthonymccray/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/103149858138414160703/posts
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/markanthonymccray
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/markmccray/

Click HERE for information on Mark as a speaker or presenter and HERE to learn about coaching programs to help you realize your potential and live more prosperously!

12/18/13

6 Things You Didn't Know About Marriage


I stumbled upon a cool little video recently.  It's from Jenna McCarthy.  Not Jenny McCarthy.  Yeah.  I had to get that one straight myself!  Jenna McCarthy is the author of "If It Was Easy They'd Call the Whole Damn Thing a Honeymoon: Living With and Loving the TV-Addicted, Sex-Obsessed, Not-So-Handy Man You Married" which gets points for a great title even if it isn't a great book.  (I haven't read it yet so I don't know!)


http://www.ted.com/talks/jenna_mccarthy_what_you_don_t_know_about_marriage.html

I have a heart for this issue because of the mistakes and errors I've made myself.  But every marriage doesn't have to fail.  In fact, success is predictable.  "50% of marriages end in divorce" is what I call a lying statistic.  Why?  Because it is NOT 50% for those who do some basic things.  Here are a few of her suggestions (with my commentary) on how to have a successful marriage.  Love her insights!  Buckle up.  She is blunt!

1. Wives, keep yourself more attractive and thinner than your husband. There is science to this. I promise! And before you get mad at me, get mad at her if you want to.  I'm just telling you what she says.

2. Focus on the positives/praise-worthy moments. I've written about this recently.  There is (according to research) an ideal praise-to-criticism ratio.  We have to learn how to catch each other doing something right.  I remind my fellow men of God this all the time.

3. Husbands should help out domestically.  This leads to more/better sex and happiness at home. It turns out that washing a few dishes goes a loooooooong way to help and heal a marriage.

4. People who smile in photos divorce less often. The eyes are the windows of the soul.  Perhaps this is more pertinent to the singles, but it is no less true.  Look at photos.  You can see whether they are hard-wired for happiness or grief.  Agree?  Disagree?

5. Watching romantic comedies causes relationship dissatisfaction. You have to learn to free yourself from the fantasies.

6. Divorce is contagious. The people with whom you spend your time matters A LOT! You have to be intentional to place yourself in the company of those who are striving to make it.  Quitting too soon becomes a habit.  You can catch that attitude. Get around those who are happy and know how to work through it when they aren't.  Everything could hinge on this.


I've also come to understand that you must work to keep the "love bank" full.  Small kindnesses, gestures, non-sexual touch are all ways to do this.  (Guys, even if Valentine's Day doesn't mean much to you, it probably means something to her.  A unique Valentine's Day gift for her can go a long way!)

If you need help changing the way you see some things and yourself, join my Relationship Readiness Group. You'll love it as study together with a particular focus on how to prepare yourself for love and healthy relationships!  If YOU need this kind of help, join this group.

Remember this, too, as a bonus idea... A well-timed gift can work wonders!  Don't get caught forgetting important dates.

Blessings!

~Mark Anthony




Mark Anthony McCray helps people live on PURPOSE, achieve higher PERFORMANCE and experience true PROSPERITY. Be sure to subscribe to this blog so you don't miss a thing and forward this to a friend if you found it helpful. All material © Copyright, Mark Anthony McCray unless otherwise noted! He can be reached in the following ways: Mark@LiveBIGDieEmpty.comPhone: 281-846-5720 Twitter: @LiveBIGDieEmptyFacebook: http://www.facebook.com/LiveBIGDieEmptyLinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/markanthonymccray/Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/103149858138414160703/postsYouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/markanthonymccrayPinterest: http://pinterest.com/markmccray/ Click HERE for information on Mark as a speaker or presenter and HERE to learn about coaching programs to help you realize your potential and live more prosperously!

12/7/13

14 Books for 2014! (How Many Have YOU Read?)


"When I get a little money, I buy books. If any is left, I buy food and clothes." ~Erasmus

"You should never read just for enjoyment.  Read to make yourself smarter! Less judgmental. More apt to understand your friends’ insane behavior, or better yet, your own. Pick hard books. Ones you have to concentrate on while reading. And for god’s sake, don’t let me ever hear you say, I can’t read fiction. I only have time for the truth. Fiction is the truth, fool! Ever hear of literature? That means fiction, too, stupid." ~ John Waters

"No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance." ~Confucius

I asked my Facebook and Google+ friends for their best recommendations for a superb reading list for 2014 and they really stepped up to the challenge! Here are the ones that bubbled to the top.  If you're needing a little jolt, some new direction or insights for the new year, check these out!


1. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell - This is one book I wish had been written and I had read years and years ago.  Truly remarkable!  I've recommended this book to dozens.  Of course, I'm already a big fan of Mr. Gladwell.



2. Rhinoceros Success by Scott Alexander - One reviewer said "If you are serious about improving your state of being this book is perfect. I make a habit of reading self help/motivation books and this book stands alone as succinctly giving you fine points of becoming a better you. Many of the book's points have been made in other places but this book so refreshingly reminds you of thing you know you should be doing but are not, reminds you of past success, and perhaps introduces some new concepts. A must read if you are looking for success self help books."  Sounds like quite an endorsement and this one goes on my list for sure!



3. His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage by Dr. Willard Harley - The title kind of says it all.  Phenomenal book that is real and not at all judgmental.  Whether married or single (or not sure what you want to be) this is a treasure trove of information and encouragement to become a better partner and to receive better partnership!



4. The Travelers Gift by Andy Andrews - Every person who's read this book has raved about it without exception.  This book is a little Og Mandino and a little Steven Covey.  Nothing wrong with those comparisons at all!

5. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz - I'm intrigued by this book.  It was recommended to me several times.  Not sure if they are trying to tell me about the book or me? I guess I'll have to find out.  I need to grow in several areas anyway.  I'm sure this will help.


6. Getting Everything You Can Out of All You've Got by Jay Abraham - I'm already on record as believing that Jay Abraham is a business genius.  He's the man with the track record to show for it.  Fortunately for you and me, he's got the communication skills, too.  Not only do I learn a lot from his writing, but I enjoy it. #GameChanger




7. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson  - This was given to several members of top management at a company for which I used to work.  It wasn't a coincidence that a round of layoffs was soon to follow!  Nevertheless, it is about dealing with and prospering through change - something most people can use these days.



8. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill - It's about the journey and the person you become along the way.  Don't think this book is about greed.  It's really about YOU.  Timeless classic.



9. The Millionaire Mind by Thomas Stanley - Along with The Millionaire Next Door, these are fantastic reads.  I like "The Millionaire Mind" a little more because the author includes the practical steps and thought patterns up-and-coming millionaires employed during their rises.


10. You Can Negotiate Anything: The World's Best Negotiator Tells You How to Get What You Want by Herb Cohen - This man is FUNNY and really makes you think about how the game of negotiation is played so that EVERYBODY wins.  This is a book for every entrepreneur to read and re-read from time to time.


11. If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat by John Ortberg  Of all the books in the list, I am most likely to get this one next for myself.  That's where I am right now - needing to learn how to walk on water.



12. The Janitor: How an Unexpected Friendship Transformed a CEO and His Company by Todd Hopkins - Amazon says in this fable, "Janitor" Bob Tidwell helps Roger to reevaluate how he is leading his business and his life. Bob's counsel is based upon six principles that Todd and Co-Author Ray Hilbert discovered have the most impact on succeeding in business while holding together a personal life. Their insightful advice is delivered in a real-to-life story that inspires you to find greater fulfillment in your life."  This is another I've not read but comes highly recommended.  I will let you all know what I think, I'm sure!



13. Becoming a Person of Influence: How to Positively Impact the Lives of Others by John Maxwell - I recommend John Maxwell because he writes from a spiritual perspective without clubbing you over the head.  Good man.  You'll like him if you don't know him yet.



14. The Spiritual Life by Andrew Murray - Because it's not all about money and accomplishments.



Just so you know I got about fifty very strong recommendations.  Waaaaayyyy too many to feature.  I will be making the ones I haven't read a personal priority.  Can you think of anything I've missed?


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