Don’t fear a new kind of fluency |

Don’t fear a new kind of fluency

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — No matter your politics, religion or lifestyle, the maxim “all of life is a wager” is a reliable one, said Marshall Chamberlain, a self-described recluse and, by many standards, modern-day Renaissance man.

“It seems to me that most people live in a state of inertia and pursue only the most prescribed avenues. To me, the world is much too rich not to sample what life’s buffet has to offer,” said Chamberlain, who has experienced life as a businessman, an officer in the U.S. Marines, husband (and divorcee), father, world traveler, boat dweller, writer and all-around adventurer. He’s also the author of “The Mountain Place of Knowledge,” the first book in the Ancestor Series of adventure-thrillers (

“Spend your days putting off your dreams, and the time to realize those dreams can easily slip away. Considering time and the unknowable nature of one’s expiration date, all of life is a wager. I say the time for taking action on those ideas — usually relegated to daydreams ­­— is now.”

Chamberlain offers the following tips to become a true adventurer.

• Parlay your strengths into new adventures. With a period of his life invested in the USMC, Chamberlain became accustomed to a largely physical, Spartan-like existence. After his divorce, he decided to simplify the needs of his everyday life, so he became self-sufficient, living aboard a 30-foot sailboat for the better part of 10 years. He also traveled the world, participated in activities communing with nature, and pursued his passion to become an author of adventure-thrillers.

• Make a list of what’s really important to you; trim the fat soon after. To put it simply, most of us will not know in advance of our death. We know one thing: we will one day die. With a finite amount of time to wager, we simply don’t have the time to watch the same bad movie every Friday night. Go big! Lose 20 pounds of fat and gain 20 pounds of muscle; or take a chance with that crush you’ve been nursing for six months; or buy a guitar and learn how to play it! You don’t have time for a banal life.

• Become fluent in a second language (literally and figuratively): Indeed, become familiar with Spanish, French, Italian or some other language. More importantly, become fluent in a new language to approaching life. Start saying “yes” to ideas that you’ve harbored for a long time. One thing leads to another; perhaps in learning Italian you’ll develop a passion for the language’s rich culture. This could lead you on a trip to Italy. Who knows? The important takeaway is: Don’t fear a new kind of fluency.

• Confront your fears. Are you sick and tired of the sheer predictability of your 9-to-5 existence? Nothing shrugs off the dreary residue of the daily commute than jumping out of a plane to put things in perspective. If you have a fear of heights and skydiving is too overwhelming, consider going to the top of the tallest building near you. Confronting fear not only fills you with adrenaline … you will also likely walk away filled with confidence. But don’t let the adventure stop there! Let this be a lesson in affirming life’s exciting potential; keep the adventure going by testing your limits.


Marshall Chamberlain is a man focused on his passions, with no time for extraneous niceties like pets, lawns, mortgages or plants. He has a master’s in resource development from Michigan State University and a graduate degree international management from the Thunderbird School outside of Phoenix, Ariz. He was an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and spent years in investment banking, venture capital, and even as a professional waiter. He is obsessed with preparedness, survival and independence. This combination of traits leads him to all manner of adventure, including serious Stone Age survival classes. Chamberlain’s primary world view is simple but profound—“I’m in awe of the magnificence of this world,” he said.

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