The PENAM Principle.

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In his inspiring book, The Wealth Money Can’t Buy: The 8 Hidden Habits to Live Your Richest Life, Canadian author Robin Sharma describes a framework he termed “The PENAM Principle,” which is at the core of how we become who we are. PENAM is an acronym for the five forces that form our core beliefs, basic behaviours, daily habits, and the way we view the world. The five forces are our parents, environment, nation, association, and media.

P: Parents

“Sure, they most likely had good intentions, but the fact is that they also passed their faulty programming on to you. They did the best they could, based on what they knew and what their parents taught them. If they had money scars and had restricted thinking around financial abundance, you adopted those too (because a child assumes the thinking and subconsciously models the modes of behaving of the caregivers who teach them how the world works). If your parents believed that life was meant to be tragic, that most people are mean, and that human beings have no agency over the way things turn out, you accepted these beliefs and installed these habits. And rehearsed them so many times they actually became your truths and reality. Even if they were wrong.

E: Environment

“Your ecosystem has a dramatic impact on the way you show up each day. Allow mediocre inputs into your personal orbit, like violent TV shows, toxic news feeds and the messaging of narcissistic online influencers and, over time, these forces will degrade your positivity, performance, and joyfulness. Also, the surroundings you were raised in during the formative years that shaped your identity have had a huge effect on who you currently are in the world.

N: Nation

If you grew up in a war zone or a country that suffers from social volatility, this will deeply affect the way you see things. If you are from a nation that is prosperous, stable and safe, this too creates a perceptual lens through which you process what’s possible for you. And who you can become in the future.

A: Association

Who you spend time with has an outsized impact on the way you think, feel, and act. Your friendship circle, for example, is a strong predictor of your income, lifestyle and lifetime impact. Enter relationships with drama queens and chaos kings and you will, over time, be profoundly shaped by these influences.

M: Media

Each day, no matter where you live, you receive a constant torrent of hypnosis and seduction from many forms of media. These could include advertisements designed to make you buy products, suggestions on what life values are important, and subtle advice on how one should live in order to fit in with the crowd. All of this, over time, infects your self-identity and influences the way you interact with opportunity.

All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

Lifelong Learner | Entrepreneur | Digital Strategist at Reputiva LLC | Marathoner | Bibliophile |

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