How To Deserve The Life You Want

I recently learnt about this idea that blew my mind: Mirrored Reciprocity.

This is the simplest way to understand how our world works and if you truly understand it, you will know how to achieve the life you want.


So what is Mirrored Reciprocity?

It is the tendency for our actions to create an opposite but equal reaction. For instance, the harder you push at something, the harder it pushes back.

Many of us have probably heard variants of this idea as it has always been part of our cultural learning.

Almost all religions teach the golden rule.

Those in sales also try to trigger our tendency to reciprocate when someone do something for us.

And it’s not just humans.

Newton’s third law which describes how our entire universe works, states that: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

And how long has this law been true?

Not just recently, but for 13, 700, 000, 000 (13.7 billion) years.

Once you truly understand this simple but penetrating fact, you will understand how to get what you want in life.

Sounds too easy to be true?

Consider this.

Many of us want to be rich. So how can we get the money? Two ways.

One, you can steal or snatch it from others. But what happens next? People will come after you. They will beat you up and punish you. Action-reaction.

What’s the better alternative?

You can create value. Help to solve someone’s problem. Make a new product that makes users happy. And what happens next? People give you the money happily. Action-reaction.

And this is exactly how business works.

What about human relationship? You want someone who is trustworthy, reliable, understanding? Then you have to start being that person. Because someone who is all that is looking for that too.

Give and you shall receive. Action-reaction.

But if it were so simple, then why do most of us not do it?


The Elevator Test

Imagine that you’re standing in front of an elevator. The doors open and standing inside is a stranger. As you walk into the elevator, you have 3 choices.

One, you can smile and say good morning.

Two, you can scowl and hiss.

Third, you can do nothing.

What do you do?

Most people choose to do this: Nothing.

Why? Because if you go for the first choice, you will find that 98% of the time, people will say good morning to you. But the remaining 2% will either give you weird looks or not say anything at all. And you end up feeling embarrassed and looking stupid.

So most of us end up doing nothing — because we fear rejection.

This tendency is known as loss aversion. We overreact to potential losses and miss out on potential gains.

But this means that because of the 2% chance of rejection, you are going to miss the other 98% positive outcome.

If you want to get more out of life, you have to do things differently. As Peter Kaufman, who first introduced this concept say, “You have to be positive and go first”.

And if you keep doing this?

You start building positive networks and reputation. This is how brands work. Overtime, people learn to associate the quality of a product with a name. Between a relatively unknown name or someone they have heard before, people prefer the less risky option.

Because, remember, we are risk-averse.

A real life example is Warren Buffett, the famous investor. Within the business circle, he has built a reputation for being a fair business buyer. As such, he often hears about deals when businesses are looking to be acquired and often get to acquire them at a lower price.

And this is the secret to deserving the life you want.

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But if mirrored reciprocity really works, why do good guys sometimes get the short end of the stick and bad guys come up ahead?