Meeting the master of personal mastery: Robin Sharma


In January this year I set an intention for growth. With a general manager appointed, I needed to step up a level in order to create the space behind me for her to fill. Part of this journey was a deliberate search for new learning, new wisdom and knowledge.

The 5am Club by Robin Sharma spoke to me. I began to realise there was something here to learn, not just for myself, but for others as well. A valuable addition to my own beliefs and teachings that would be of use to others. For entrepreneurs and the people who want to make more of their lives and fulfil their inner promise.

So, I attended the annual Robin Sharma Personal Mastery Academy in Toronto, Canada. I am cautious about gurus, who often become insincere and disconnected from their truth and am allergic to the thought of becoming a groupie but there was something sincere about Robin’s message in the book, and especially his willingness to give much of his knowledge away.

The trip took me well out of my comfort zone. It was cripplingly expensive, physically demanding with long flights, even longer layovers and a tight schedule. It also forced me to triumph against my discomfort with networking.

The exchange rate, of course, doesn’t help us South Africans but saving my budget on low-cost hostel accommodation (more like a cupboard than a room, really) added an amusing end to each day, when after talking about ‘living the dream’ and luxury hotels, I returned to meditate in my humble spot!

The workshop was impressive. Every single detail had been thought of and was slick and professional. The venue in the Toronto Hilton was designed to impress, and it did. The food was spectacular, and the endless stream of gifts, books and manifestos quickly made me regret my decision to travel with only an overnight bag!

Robin’s content was high energy as he led us through model after model of his wisdom on personal mastery – his solutions for personal, life and work success. His most unique model is what he terms the four interior empires. The inner core that builds our resilience and tunes us to our own power. It was this model that jumped out at me in the 5am Club. But the model that really resonated with my quest for ‘’learning to teach’ was his PENAM model on the effects of past wounding on our success potential, and a simple AFRA model to overcome this.

These two models made me sharply aware of the impact of generational wounding, and how this can hold one back. He touched briefly on the new science of epigenetics – the science of the hereditary impact of environment on the expression of our DNA. In layman’s terms – the evidence that our thoughts and our environment impact the expression of who we are at a cellular level.

Overlay this to the African continent and you not only have the South African wounding of apartheid, but the continental wounding of centuries of slavery, colonialism, tribal atrocities and gender discrimination. This was the moment when the real purpose of my journey to Canada crystallized for me; in the power of personal mastery for transforming the lives of people young and old, employees, entrepreneurs and the jobless. If we can use these wisdom teachings to help a country find ways to heal and move forward from their generational wounding, we can make a profound, lasting and positive difference. Personal mastery training presents the tools to unlock the potential of Africa.

Robin Sharma pointed out to me that as a Ugandan-born man he also has a passion to support the transformation of Africa, and is keen to be at the forefront of making this happen. In a country, and a continent of many millions of unemployed the tools and models in personal mastery can be the start of a process to strengthen the inner sense of purpose and meaning for all.

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