Former US Marine Officer offers tips for stepping up a man’s game.
What kind of man did you think you would be as a boy? Are you that man, or are you even the guy you’d like to be?
Marshall Chamberlain, a man who has experienced life as a U.S. Marine Corps officer, businessman, husband, father, world traveler, boat dweller, writer and all-around adventurer says it might be time for you to step outside of your comfort zone and become one of the few and proud above-average men. “It’s easy to slip into a lifestyle that you don’t want,” says Chamberlain, a man who prefers goal-oriented pursuits, such as survival classes and building things, over mundane routine. He’s also the author of “The Mountain Place of Knowledge,” the first book in the Ancestor Series of adventure-thrillers.
“Over time, the decisions you make accumulate and lead to a place you may not have expected. In some ways, males in our society have lost the art of being free men, so I want to encourage them to make a conscious decision about who they want to be and rigorously pursue that goal.”
Chamberlain outlines the path to being an above-average man.
• Be honest with yourself. There’s always room for improvement, whether we’re talking about average men or above-average men. It may not be easy, but be honest about your weaknesses – really honest. For example, are you where you want to be in terms of physical fitness? How do you feel when you see yourself in the mirror? Being in shape is its own reward, but it also serves just about every other aspect of an above-average man’s life, requiring discipline, determination and good judgment. What’s on the outside is a dead giveaway to what’s inside. Are you fulfilled in your job? Are your relationships unconditional? Do you really have friends?
• Embrace transformation. The journey to becoming an above-average man will be a rocky road; but it will be well worth it with results you can be proud of. It will require change. We are creatures of habit – but would you rather be like a domesticated house pet with a set feeding schedule or a free man who looks forward to life’s challenges and opportunities to grow wise? Challenge yourself and you’ll find talents and strength you didn’t know you had.
• Measure yourself. You can’t know if you’re improving unless you establish baselines. Fitness is easily measured; review what you’re buying at the grocery store right now, and measure your waistline. How many push-ups or pull-ups can you do now, and how many will you be doing in six months? Measure creative and intellectual pursuits. For example, if you’re learning a new language notice the improvement in conversation from week to week. Try reading articles in the new language; if you can’t understand them at first, try again a month later. If you want to be a good person, understand and practice the characteristics of impeccability.
• Be hungry for life. It’s easy and safe to retreat into things that we already know and do. New ideas and activities challenge your brain and body. Think about the assumptions you have about life, and seek out ideas that contradict them. Deeply consider the merits of both, and think about what makes sense after doing so. Consider getting out of the house for a weekend – that could mean something as extreme as a Stone Age survival course, or something more intermediate, like a camping trip. Maybe it’s time to experience a new culture in another country. Life is too fascinating to be lulled into a complacent existence.
Marshall Chamberlain is a man focused on his passions, with no time for pets, lawns, plants, puttering around or companion compromises. He has a Master’s Degree in Resource Development from Michigan State University and a graduate degree in International Management from the Thunderbird School near Phoenix, Ariz. He was an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and spent many years in investment banking, venture capital and even a stint as a professional waiter. He is obsessed with preparedness, survival and independence. This combination of traits and an unconditional openness to life lead him to all manner of adventure. Chamberlain’s primary worldview is simple but profound—“I’m in awe of the magnificence of this world.”