Personal Development

How To Change Your Life with the Law of Reciprocation

“The difficulties we face in life are sometimes molding us into greatness.” — Itayi Garande

Want to know how to change your life for the better?

Try using the Law of Reciprocation.

You can use it to change your life for the better.

Normally, people think of the Law of Reciprocation in terms of social behavior.

But you can uplevel the Law of Reciprocation to think more broadly in terms of your life.

You can use the Law of Reciprocation in life to get life on your side and to create more positive experiences.

The basic idea of the Law of Reciprocity is the idea that your actions get rewarded.

Similarly, imagine how life rewards you over time as you continue to take positive actions.

Tony Robbins Says We Experience What We Focus On

Tony Robbins makes a great distinction about the experience we call life:

“We don’t experience life.
We experience what we focus on.”

That’s an empowering distinction.

If you want to change your life, change what you focus on.

Basically, you can shape your experience by choosing what you focus on.

If you want more positive experiences in life, then focus on what’s right and what’s here, not what’s wrong and what’s missing.

It’s easy to focus on all the negative things in your life and in the world.

The skill you need to practice is focusing on the positive things in your life to create more positive experiences.

What is the Law of Reciprocity?

As a general rule and social norm, we don’t like to owe somebody something or be in their debt.

So we return the favor, or we pay them back in some way.

That’s reciprocity.

Valeria Sabater, psychologist summarizes the Law of Reciprocity like this:

“The law of psychological reciprocity is about giving to receive, helping to be helped, and appreciating to be appreciated. It’s a reminder that doing good deeds for others will inspire them to do the same for you at some point.”

Jamie Logie shares a nice definition on Learning

“The law of reciprocity is all about an action being rewarded with another action in return.”

Logie share a simple day-to-day example of the Law of Reciprocity in action:

“You are probably using this law every day, and not even realizing it. A basic example is the idea of a simple smile. When we smile at someone, the other person will usually smile back.

Your action is you giving the smile, and the reaction is them returning the smile to you. This is one of the most practical, simple, but still effective ways to practice the law of reciprocity.”

Robert Cialdini on the Law of Reciprocation

In the book, Influence, Robert Cialdini writes about the Law of Reciprocation:

“The rule says that we should try to repay what another person has provided us.  If a woman does us a favor, we should do her one in return; if a man sends us a birthday present, we should remember his birthday with a gift of ours; if a couple invites us to a party, we would be sure to invite them to one of ours.”

Brian Tracy on the Law of Reciprocity

Brain Tracy uses the Law of Reciprocation to improve his persuasion and influence in business and in his relationships:

“People have a deep subconscious need to reciprocate for anything that is done to or for them.  The Law of Reciprocity is one of the most powerful of all determinants of human behavior.

This is because nobody likes to feel that he or she is obligated to someone else.

When someone does something nice for us, we want to repay that person, to reciprocate. We want to be even. Because of this, we seek an opportunity to do something nice in return. This law is the basis of the law of contract, as well as the glue that holds most human relationships together.”

Tony Robbins on the Law of Reciprocation in Life

According to Tony Robbins, life will give you back, or reciprocate, whatever you put out, whether that’s positive or negative.

In fact, life may even amplify or compound it.

In his year-end message,  Tony Robbins shares how the Law of Reciprocation applies to life:

“We all get what we put out, and often tenfold.  It can happen either negative or positive.

If you constantly find the blessings in life.  If you look for what’s right instead of what’s wrong. And if you’re constantly trying to be a blessing to other people, then you’ll be blessed.”

Focus + The Law of Reciprocation in Life + The Pygmalion Effect

Here is a simple way to think through how your focus, your actions, and your expectations shape your life experiences.

  1. Focus – You’ve heard the saying, “What you focus on expands.”  It’s true.  Whatever you focus on, you will get more of in some way, shape, or form (and sometimes it will be counterintuitive).  Focus on what you want to experience more of.
  2. Actions.   The Law of Reciprocation says life will give you back what you put out.  Do more kindness.  Do more gratitude.  Do more positive impact.
  3. ExpectationsThe Pygmalion Effect basically states that you get what you expect.   People with great things in their life, tend to have great expectations.

Something to keep in mind when you put this all together is the idea that your beliefs go a long way in shaping your life experience.

You probably heard the saying, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

The irony that many people learn in life is that it should actually be, “I’ll see it when I believe it.”

Sometimes the best way tot get out of your own way is to suspect your disbelief.

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The Pygmalion Effect—You Get What You Expect

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