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Dealing with Temptation

Q: Dear Mark, I am finding the temptation to have an affair overwhelming. My husband had one years ago that destroyed me and I'm still trying to recover from that. Plus, to be honest, there's the attraction. He takes my breath away. What is your perspective? I'm just trying to understand what's going on. I need to hear from a man.
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A: Thank you for writing Be Worth Finding! Here are a few things for you to think about...

1. I can understand the longing for passion and excitement and need to feel loved. I can. However, I don't see the cost as being worth it to you. Whether it's fair or right or not, once discovered, the chances of your husband accepting it are slim. Divorce is very likely. Violence is possible. Depression is probable and it could take you years to pull your life back to just an even level emotionally. Studies show it takes women 3-4 years to recover. Men, too. For you, consider at this point that you've been married more than half your life. I think it could be devastating and much more than you think.

The financial costs are tremendous, as well. I just wouldn't advise it. There are tons of articles on it. I won't retread that topic. Just know that you will probably have about half of the resources available to you that you think you'll have...and you'll be raising your children essentially alone.

2. You have unmet needs. NEEDS. Not wants. I've blogged on the topic of His Needs/Her Needs before.

If there is any possible way, please sit down with your husband and talk about NEEDS. You need affection, communication, etc. Let him know that. Bring that book maybe. Also examine honestly whether you're meeting his needs. Remember... they are needs and they are legitimate. If you're looking around, that normally means they aren't being met. He probably had some that went unmet, too.

Here's a couple of tips from the trenches... (A) ask him for a time to talk. Literally set an appointment if you must. That way he won't feel backed into a corner. Honor it. Defer your thoughts until the time. It should only be a day or two. (B) Sit down to talk. Touch each other. Hold hands or something. This makes it easier for both to listen and lessens the likelihood of tensions escalating. Hopefully this can start some dialogue that is sorely missing.

3. Your recollection concerning my other post is right. I have little respect for men who choose to go this route of pursuing married women. I have contempt for them. He's done this before. He obviously senses your desire and wants to take advantage of it. What's worse is he's hindering the happiness you could be experiencing right now! He can't give you anything but a few (dangerous) moments or he'd at least leave his wife and make an attempt at being a steady presence in your life.

Similarly on your end. If you're going to leave, most states can finalize a divorce in 60 days or so. You can wait that long. I hope. But I really hope you and your husband make one more attempt. If you need to have a counselor present, it would help a lot, I'm sure.

What do you think? If any of this sounds insensitive, I don't mean to be that way at all. I just have seen too many lives get worse instead of better as a result of affairs. I would not want you to worsen your situation or happiness.

"Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." ~James 4:7


If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!

What were you doing at 4AM this morning? One of my new clients was working out before getting to the office by 6AM.

As I sat with him today, he organized a few of his bills... dropping a $24.95/month service because it was "too much" compared to a similar $15.95 service. Cancelled a $12.99/month service because it was redundant. Made a note to himself to check again after six months to make sure he was getting what he's paying for.

Another small matter came up. He picked up the phone and dealt with it. No post-it notes. No reminders. Problem in. Problem addressed.

As I sat there during our meeting watching him handle a few other matters, I'm humbled. His lunch is brought in. Coke Zero. A single veggie wrap with some fresh tomatoes on the side.

Another meeting was kicking off as I left. I walked in just as he was wrapping up another. He'll be at work until probably 8PM. Regular day. One of his kids and grandchildren stopped by the office to say hello. They were waiting for his next meeting to wrap up before spending a little time with grandpa before he gets back to work. Still a lot of sunlight left in the day.

I left his office needing a little bit of paperwork from him. It was all in my inbox before I got out of traffic.

I swear there is not a single lazy, procrastinating bone in this man's body! I stand amazed and inspired to be more focused and professional in my own right... While many others will spend several hours a day complaining about him... Maybe in the afternoon. 4AM is too early to get up! He's in the 1%. Surely he hasn't earned any of his money or status?

My only point is this.  I'm not deifying anyone.  I admire people who make the most of their opportunities for sure.  However, most people have a lot of work, diligence and vision left to manifest in their own lives before they have room to complain about the successes of other people.  If you think about this for your own life, you know it's true.


"Diary of a Cheating Woman"

Watching "Diary of a Cheating Woman", a so-called documentary about the rise of women committing adultery. I have not been so embarrassed for us in a long time.  Kind of sad really.  I guess the premise is to laugh and joke about how it's okay to cheat if the guy isn't a good enough man for you - whether he was unfaithful or not.  Set aside the fact that paying back evil for evil is against everything the Word of God stands for.  Celebrating those who sin is the worst kind of sin.  I am forever ashamed for every person involved in this project.

"Don't repay evil for evil. Don't retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it." ~1 Peter 3:9

"Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable." ~Romans 12:17

"See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people." ~1 Thessalonians 5:15

To be fair, it wasn't only about the women.  There were a number of men interviewed who said they were prompted to commit adultery because of their own trust issues and/or because they learned their wives or girlfriends were already cheating.

Why am I writing about this?  Research.  These kinds of things help me understand where people are and how they think.  Also, I know for a fact that a number of my readers are dealing with these kinds of issues daily and haven't understood what the Bible has to say about these matters of the heart.  If you are okay with any of this, you need to check your heart and repent.  You are broken.

I need to wash my eyes out now.  Or maybe my ears.


Walking the Line.

I finally watched "Walk the Line" (the Johnny Cash story) a couple of weeks ago and it's been in my mind heavily since.  I know for a fact a couple of my friends are probably tired of hearing me talk about it!  Sorry, folks.  Just from an acting point of view, Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon owned it.  They completely owned those roles... learning how to play the instruments, singing their own songs to the point of mirroring The Man in Black and his wife nearly perfectly!  Wow!

Still... that's not what has stuck with me for two weeks.

Single people always talk about wanting to have that man or woman who has it all together.  All the time.  Yet, in real life, there seems to be an element of "rescuing" that happens with most couples that really make it. Cash was at his lowest point when June Carter finally agreed to marry him.  She'd already failed in two previous marriages and had children from both of them.  He had been successful, but was broke, drug-addicted and teetering on the edge of being forgotten.  She had grown up in a prominent family within country music but was now the outcast... the "whore" who couldn't make it work with good men.

They were both damaged goods in the eyes of many.  Maybe even in their own eyes?  But a funny thing happens when two people can both graduate to the point of realizing they need each other.  True partnership.  Thirty-five years marriage.  Old hurts forgotten.  Legacies forged.  It's a beautiful thing.

Also consider this...and I'll talk about it more another day... it's the original voices that we remember.  Unique voices are heard.  Copies are largely ignored.  Johnny Cash was an original.

The moral of the story today: don't be so afraid to need people.


"No more buried talents."

You ever get your hands on an article that really makes you think differently?  I ran across this one talking about how every company needs a mantra.  It hit home with me in a strange way.  Meaning I actually thought about it for two or three days before I came up with mine.  Very different from the all-too-common "I already know that" response I cop when I pick up stuff like this.

But I'd been thinking anyway...  back when I was reading Inc., Fast Company and Success more often I seemed to remember doing a little better in business.  Hmmm....


I've found mine.  "No more buried talents." in case you've not put it together yet.  That captures my heart, my spirit and my mission for me and (most importantly) for you!  It motivates me.  It charges me.  It helps people connect to what I'm about quickly. with Live BIG! Die Empty and this "Experts' Edition" too.  Do you have one?  Maybe you should think about this a little bit?  I hope you will!

No more buried talents!  Let's do this!  Do what?  You already know!  Digging them up and putting them to work is the key to your true prosperity and I want you to have everything that's due you!

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:
Phone: 281-846-5720
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For more information on Mark as a speaker or presenter check out http://livebigdieempty.blogspot.com/p/about-mark_29.html

The Lolo Lesson and the Teachings of Tebow

Lolo Jones has haters now.  Some of her teammates.  Some of the media.  Random people.  Maybe even you?  Her teammates in particular are upset that she gets television interviews, endorsement deals probably in the millions and the love and adoration of fans worldwide... and doesn't have the gold to show for it.  In fact, in the London 2012 100M hurdles - the event for which she is "famous" she didn't even medal.  She came in fourth place.

Somebody called her "the Anna Kournikova of track" - no wins, just hype.  Or the Tim Tebow of track... no accomplishments, just her virginity.

But one thing you'll notice is that nobody knows her critics by name.  I could look them up, but I won't.  Who cares?  Even in victory on the track, they are losing in public relations and at the bank.  Lolo has left them all in the dust and I LOVE HER FOR IT!  Because, at the end of the day, that's the Lolo Lesson for you and your business.  No matter what you do, don't be so freaking boring!  Have a story and share it!  Be more transparent, more authentically YOU and more people will be attracted to you.

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:
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


Too Many Buried Talents?

One of my favorite passages of all time is the Parable of the Talents. Period. Point blank. It's incomparable in my mind because it contains so much wisdom to help us live our lives on purpose, with passion, productively and profitably! No doubt. I love it!

(Horrible image above, huh?  That guy even looks lazy!)

We were studying it in Bible Study last night and a few things jumped in my spirit that I wanted to share today. I'd blogged on this before, too, in a post called "Do You Even Matter?" but faith comes by hearing... not by once having heard!

As we were talking about it, I began to realize that I'd slipped into a pattern of burying my talents.  Check out Matthew 25:14-30 and let it speak to you.  I know for a fact that I'm the guy with five talents.  Forgive me if you perceive that as arrogance.  To me, it's truth.  I am not taking pride in that statement, however, because it's just as true that I've been too often acting like the steward with one talent.

No more.  Today is a new day!

How much talent do you have buried in the ground?  Time to dig them up and put them to work!  Are you hesitating because you don't think you have anything to work with?  False!  Everyone got something - even you.  Chances are you have more going for you than you realize.  Take an assessment today.  Look at what you have instead of focusing on what you lack and get to work!  Your true prosperity comes after giving the Master a return on the investment He's made into you!


Dress Like a Tiger!

I stood in my closet this morning looking at my clothes. (Lord Jesus! I hate getting dressed in the mornings. It just feels like wasted time!  I wish I could wake up fully dressed and clean shaven!)  Anyway, today isn't a meetings day for me.  Phone and e-mail work for the most part.  No scheduled face-to-face meetings.  On days like that, I'll admit to getting a little lazy with my attire.  Not exactly dressing the part always.  Guilty.

Today I made a different choice.  Tiger Woods came to mind.  I recalled how I admire how he always dresses in red on Sundays... his "winning" color.  He wears red when it's time to really get down to business.  And, a couple of recent rough Ambien-fueled (sorry, Eldrick) years aside, it has worked for him.  Then I remembered how much the way we dress impacts how people see and respond to us.  Also, our own moods, focus and productivity are GREATLY improved when you dress for success.  So I made a different choice.  Slacks and dress shoes instead of jeans and Adidas.  (Sorry, DMC!)  I'm already feeling it.

Just a little reminder to those of us who sometimes have flexibility in our wardrobe choices.  There's still something to dressing the part.  I've let myself slip too much.  Time to take it back to where I know I need to be.  I might even break out the ties again.  Also, don't be surprised if you see me in red the next time I have a huge meeting!


What Do Men Look for in A Woman?

I am asked quite often "Mark, what do men look for in a woman?" and it happens often enough where I should respond. I'm always trying to be honest, so I have to give two sets of answers I think: a more general response and a more candid one that answers the question more personally (with all that other stuff about my bias out of the way). Here are what I call my Top 11!

#1 - I am generally attracted to a woman who has some smarts. She doesn't have to be a genius or a doctor and her smarts don't have to be in the form of formal education. Being able to carry a conversation in a number of areas is vital!

#2 - I am generally attracted to women who have good relationships with their fathers and brothers. I don't do well with bitter people. If you still have problems with the previous men in your life, you are not for me.

#3 - A Christian. She doesn't have to be bible-thumping or preaching. But she and I should both agree that the orthodox Bible is the standard for life. We won't always meet it's requirements, but we should at least know where the line is. The Apostles Creed is a good start.

#4 - Raw physical attraction. I like a woman who looks and acts like she likes sex...just reserves it for the special man. A virgin is not required, but some virtue is required. A woman who acts like an asexual doesn't work as somebody I see myself with.

#5 - Children. I have no problem with a woman who has a kid...even two. I don't see it a major issue. Some guys do. To each his own.

#6 - (I posted this entire list before and this one had to do with a woman's physical appearance. I'm choosing to delete it here. To each his own!)

#7 - I like a woman who can be supportive, but still can come with strong suggestions when it is needed. I don't want to be allowed to swim in my own bullshit forever. For a while, maybe, but not forever. I like a woman who can push me to be a better man without needing to break me down to do it. ENCOURAGEMENT is the key.

#8 - I like a woman to have good friends. Preferable with women who aren't bitter themselves. I can't necessarily control a woman's friends. I know that. A woman has to examine her friends on her own. The Bible says that bad company corrupts good morals and that we should not be deceived in this. Bottom line: who you surround yourselves with matters.

#9 - It is important to me that a woman has access to good mentors. The Bible says that the older women should teach the younger women how to be good wives. THIS MEANS THAT GOD KNOWS IT IS NOT A NATURAL SKILL-SET. Bottom line here is that we all will do what we have seen unless we are purposeful about learning a new way.

#10 - There is a final factor having to do with leadership and roles in the household, church and etc. I am more of a traditionalist when it comes to those things.

#11 - There is a final one that is HUGE. It's companionship. There is a book called His Needs - Her Needs that gets into it. A man, me included, wants a woman that enjoys just being with him. Like every now and again actually going to a game or going fishing or doing some yardwork. Whatever. It doesn't really matter. Men need to talk to their women. Women need to do activities with their men.

Those are my thoughts. Am I missing anything?

Looking for Reasons to Marry? Here are Six!

Marriage is under attack. Even people who want to get married, sometimes struggle with their motivations. The most committed and devout Christians have a hard time arguing for marriage anymore. It's difficult. Sometimes it feels like too much hastle to even think about it, let alone find someone with whom you can start seriously talking about it. And there are more and more people telling you it isn't necessary, it's a relic of past times, there's just no reason for it...Biblical or otherwise!

Turns out that there are (at least) six great reasons to married!  Check these out!

1. Procreation (Genesis 1:28)
2. Pleasure (Proverbs 5:18-19)
3. Partnership (Genesis 2:18)
4. Picture of the Church (Ephesians 5:25)
5. Provision for the Woman (Ephesians 5:29)
6. Purity (Hebrews 13:4)

Some people think marriage is just for procreation and, therefore, not for those who don't want children. Some think it's only about financial gain or economic stability. But the truth of the matter is marriage is a gift given by God for all of those reasons and more...even pleasure! Praise the Lord!


How Long Does It Take to Win a Gold Medal?

I saw an interesting article on WSJ.com talking about how long it takes to win a gold medal. Interesting because it included a chart showing how in some events (shot put) it takes all of about 13 seconds to win a gold medal.  Other events are over in a minute or two.

So, how long does it really take to win a gold medal and the international acclaim that comes with it?  Years and years.  Some have given their whole lives. True success doesn't come overnight.  Honest riches are gained over time.  Consistent dedication, discipline and diligence are required.  To think of Gabrielle Christina Victoria "Gabby" Douglas as winning her gold medals in just a few hours cheapens the sacrifices made by her and her entire support team.

Get a team, keep doing what it takes and be patient.  Greatness isn't achieved overnight and it's never achieved alone.  As Gabby says, "Gold medals are made out of sweat, blood and tears."

Great job, Team Gabby!


This just has to be said!?

Here's something I find funny. How many times a week do I hear someone indignantly telling someone something that "just has to be said!"? How many times do you try to "set someone straight" and it's always "for their own good", right?

"Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear." ~ Ephesians 4:29

Truthfully, very little of what "has to be said" actually has to be said. You said it for self-therapy. You feel better. You gratified your own carnal desire. You didn't measure whether your words were wholesome, needed, timely, edifying or gracious. You just went off.

I like how our old friend King James says it: "A fool uttereth all his mind, but a wise man keepeth it in until afterwards." ~Prov 29:11

Do you have friends who uttereth all their minds? Keep better company. Do you uttereth all your mind? BECOME better company. Ask yourself this: Do they really, truly need to hear it? Or do you just really, truly want to say it?   Take more care.  We're going to be held accountable for every careless word we've spoken!