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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:

Phone: 281-846-5720
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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!


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!)


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.


~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!


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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