Universal Law of ReciprocationDecember 12th, 2007 by John Wolfe
In the post, Q & A: Law of Attraction & Manifestation, I mentioned my hobby of weight training. On the surface there may not seem to be a lot of spiritual understanding one can gain from such an endeavor, nonetheless, there’s been a great influence upon me through a connection to that pursuit. This influence came in the form of a man by the name of Bill Phillips and his magazine Muscle Media.
Bill is well known these days because of the phenomenal success of his book, Body for Life; however I’ve been aware of him since my senior year in high school, back in 1993. His magazine was right there with me during my early days of training and as time went on it seemed to mature and morph into a manual for not only strengthening the body, but also the mind.
Bill’s approach changed from being geared toward advice for hardcore training to incorporating the mind, body and spirit connection. I didn’t necessarily appreciate the style changes while they were occurring, but I can now look back at many of those old articles (I still have my collection of Muscle Media) and see the gems within. It’s from one of those articles that the title of today’s post came.
At the beginning of the magazine, Bill used to do an editorial section called “No Holds Barred.” In the April 1999 edition, he featured an article on what he calls the Universal Law of Reciprocation. I’d like to provide a few excerpts and summaries of that article, and then give my interpretations of it at the end of this post:
“If you’ve never heard of that ‘law,’ you’re not alone, even though it’s the oldest rule in the book— it’s at the center of virtually every religious, moral and ethical system in the world. The Universal Law of Reciprocation dictates that the more you and I help others, the more our lives are enhanced. It’s so simple and yet so powerful.
“Awhile back, I made a big discovery. Most people have it backwards. They want to get before they give. This formula never works in the long run. My experience is this: when I focus on creating value for others, in my personal or professional life, I don’t get back a return that merely equals what I invest. I know my return will be double, triple, or in some cases, even ten times greater. And, for the most part, I don’t even think about my future return. The payoff is automatic, and it adds up.”
Bill goes on to outline three principles for applying the law of reciprocation.
The first: Give Positive Feedback Daily
This is an exercise in focusing your attention upon the positive aspects of individuals that are a part of your life. Bill advises that you try and find something positive you haven’t recognized before in at least two people each day. Instead of immediately noticing something, which upsets or bothers you about them- do your best to look for any beneficial aspects within them. Then take the time to share these positive thoughts, either in person or in a letter or card, with the people you were focusing on.
“This simple exercise creates immediate results that will increase your energy and confidence and show you what a difference it makes when you look for what’s right, instead of what’s wrong. When you say something as simple as, ‘I appreciate your support,’ you not only lift that person’s spirit, but as dictated by the Universal Law of Reciprocation, you will get more positive energy than you give. That’s the way it always has and always will work.”
The second: Give to a Worthwhile Cause
Bill discusses ways in which you can give parts of yourself, whether it’s your time, effort, resources, or money to a cause you’re passionate about. He has always been a supporter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and relates many experiences with the children he has had an opportunity of meeting, while helping to make their dreams come true. He goes on to emphasize that the cause you support can be a charity, a church, or an individual who needs your help.
The third: Give Others Hope
In this exercise Bill quotes Nelson Mandela from his 1994 inaugural speech: “As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” This tenant focuses upon inspiring and uplifting others through our words and actions- leading by our own examples.
“Unfortunately, the unique and admirable human instinct to help others is not generally supported by today’s mass media, which is much more intent on shocking us than inspiring us. It’s no wonder most people lack confidence in their abilities or don’t dare dream of great things— each of us is constantly being bombarded with messages telling us what we can’t do, rather than what we can.
“If the media paid even half as much attention to all the positive things people do for one another— the acts of everyday heroes in our society— as they do criminals, catastrophes, and hundreds of other real or imaginary complaints, it would lift the consciousness of our society, as a whole, to a higher point.
“The bottom line is this: you do have the power to change. And you do have the power to inspire others, and in return, they will inspire you— they will help fuel your desire to move forward in the direction of your goals. And I’m certain it will all begin to come your way, as soon as you decide to…well… give it away.”
While I agree with everything Bill wrote in his article, I would like to add something to his second exercise about giving to a worthwhile cause:
When we give in this manner, we always want to approach it from the attitude of being an uplifter and not from a place of feeling sadness or heavy identification with any negative aspects associated with the cause. If we continue to give while feeling sadness or depression over the individual(s) we are giving to, we are only putting more of that out into the Universe. See the individual(s) in a positive light, as you are giving, and your gift will mean so much more (both for them and you).
Bill’s article and philosophies on the law of reciprocation have much in common with the law of attraction. It’s all about focusing on those things that we find desirable and enriching the lives of others along the way. What we are putting out there on a daily basis continues to find its way back to us, many times over, because the Universe serves to reflect our ideas, along with our core attitudes and actions.
When we follow our passion and allow our light to shine (as Nelson Mandela stated), we are utilizing the means to uplift others. I truly believe if we make these our priorities, it’s impossible to fail at any undertaking we pursue. The Universe will see to our success.
You can learn more about Bill Phillips and his latest projects at Transformation.com.
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