A writer, passionate extreme sports adventurer, television personality, model, activists, conservationist and fundraiser, Marc Nelson leads a full, varied life. Here he shares his thoughts on living a rich and rewarding life.
What is the secret to your rich and varied life?
I think the realisation that we only have one life (although I'm really crossing my fingers on that reincarnation thing), so we need to cram all of the things we want to do, be, and achieve into this one. I love what I do for work, and also realise that I've been blessed with a pretty good life which means I should be doing my utmost to help improve other peoples lives as well.
Conquering extreme sports doubtless creates fearlessness in all areas of your life. What advice would you give those wishing to embark on a new sport? Firstly, understand the "real" risk factor. Most of the time the statistics of people seriously injuring themselves are minimal, in which case the only thing that's making you scared is your own fear. Convince yourself it's safe and the fear dissipates. Next, pay attention. If someone is giving you instructions, it's in your best interest to be the best student you can possibly be. Two of my favorite sports are scuba diving and kiteboarding. Both require lessons and a license and are very safe IF you know what you're doing. If you attempt them without the proper instruction though, then you're setting yourself up for serious injury. Lastly, trust in the equipment and the team behind the activity. Work (or play) with professionals that have appropriate training and safety gear, and then trust that they know how to make sure that you're safe.
You actively support numerous good causes. What do you gain from your positive giving addiction? Helping others is one of the few things I find more pleasurable than adrenaline sports. We're all human and for many of us we have been fortunate to be born into certain economic and genetic classes. But not all have been as fortunate, and it's nobody's fault. If we can do what we can to uplift the spirits, educate or help give an opportunity to others then wouldn't that be a plus for everyone? Plus there's nothing more addictive than the glow you get from helping others.
What does Karma mean to you and how do you practice it in your life? "What goes around comes around". I really do believe that. In fact it's the basis of my personal moral code. Do what you can to be happy and make others happy but don't hurt anyone physically, emotionally or otherwise.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given? When I was deciding whether to go back to a lucrative office job in Silicon Valley or stay in the Philippines to host Sports Unlimited, my friend Jackie told me "sometimes the quality of life isn't about how much money you make, it's about finding something you love doing and getting paid just enough". I took her advice, stayed in the Philippines and now spend my work week doing what most people save up to do on their annual vacation.
How do you take care of yourself? I go carb and sugar free 6 days a week (although my cheat day can be pretty epic), try to do Crossfit training 3-4 times a week, have an occasional social drink a couple of times a month, drink a lot of water, get 6-8hrs sleep, spend my free summer days at my kiteboarding resort to relax, and above all, try my best to lead a low-stress lifestyle.
Daily Mantra: Think Positive.
Your Legacy: Made a positive difference in the lives of others.