Mind Alchemy Day 24 – Reciprocity

Steven Aitchison
Written by Steven Aitchison

Mind Alchemy
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Welcome to day 24 of Mind Alchemy. For the remaining days of the course we’ll be taking it a little easier, so the exercises are not so taxing on the mind, but still powerful.

Today we are going to be looking at something called ‘Reciprocity’.  Speaking from a sociolological point of view, reciprocity is when people respond to each other in kind – returning benefits for benefits.

Mind Alchemy Day 24


We are going to take reciprocity a step further.  Instead of expecting benefits from others, we just give without expectation, and continue to give without thinking about the benefits to ourselves.

So what’s this got to do with developing your mind?

Giving somebody something whether it be a gift, your time, a shout out, a helping hand helps the giver feel better about themselves.

Studies have shown that when you give someone a gift, or your time to help you can begin to feel more confident, happier and more worthy as a human being.  We don’t necessarily do it to get something back in return, but sometimes we unconsciously expect it.  However when we begin to consciously give without expectation we can drop the social expectation of the law of reciprocity, therefore making us feel more valued within.

Robert Cialdini, in one of the best psychology books ever written, in my opinion :) : The Psychology of Influence, recounts a story of a professor who sent christmas cards to perfect strangers to find out what they would do.  He was amazed to find that christmas cards came flooding in addressed to him, and most of the strangers did not enquire about the identity of the professor.  This tells us a lot about human psycholgy.

A few weeks ago, when it was snowing quite heavily, I was walking to my car, rather tentatively, as it was icy.  An older woman was walking slowly up the hill and stopped me and asked if I could help her walking up to the main street, about 5 minutes (she must have thought I had a trusting face).  As she held my arm, we talked as if she was my gran.  She thanked me and went on her merry way.  The feeling of being able to help someone was quite elating, a feeling which stayed with me for the rest of the day.  I didn’t expect anything, didn’t want anything but got a hell of a lot in return.

This is the feeling we are aiming for here, to feel valued as a human being and just being able to help someone else is a gift – if you have a gift it is your duty to share it.

Today’s exercise

Your exercise for today is really simple.  Think of 7 ways you can help someone and over the next 7 days go out and help them.

Download todays exercise here

Have you completed

Day1 |Day 2 |Day 3 |Day 4 |Day 5 |Day 6 |Day 7 |Day 8 |Day 9 |Day 10

Day 11 |Day 12 |Day 13 |Day 14 |Day 15 |Day 16 |Day 17 |Day 18 |Day 19 |

Day 20 |Day 21 |Day 22 |Day 23 |Day 24 |Day 25 |Day 26 |Day 27 | Day 28

A few readers are now blogging about their experiences on the course, and it would be great to lend your support:

Stacy Claflin – Grow With Stacy

Marty BoneIdol – Living Life in Chapters

Derek Breuning – Tech Life

Stephen – New Life Starts Here

Read the interview I have done with Angela Artemis from Powered by Intuition

Check out the interview with Sandi Amorim for  Deva Coaching Following an Alchemist

Watch an interview I made with Suzie Cheel on Mind Alchemy


Tomorrow we will doing another visualization exercise which is really powerful.  Until tomorrow my fellow Mind Alchemists……..

Your thoughts

As always it’s good to talk about your experiences and share it with the rest of the members of the course, so let us know how this exercise went for you and if you gained any insights or had any revelations about yourself or your life.

You can share your thoughts at Mind Alchemy Facebook Group

You can Tweet using the hashtag #MindAlchemy

Or of course you can leave a comment below

Some Amazing Comments


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  • For the moment I am housebound but I believe there are still ways I can help and inspire from home.
    I can call older relatives and just listen for a while on the phone. There are always groups on FB asking me to vote for them in contests. If I see that as a way of giving back or paying forward, witout expecting anything in return, if I make my perception of it that I am doing something others will appreciate, it will also give me the feeling of contribution.

  • Amazing.
    I wish this one would go all over the world.
    Many of us got stuck in expecting things from others for what were done.
    I will always remember the part -If You have a Gift -Your duty is to share it:)

    Thank You Seven for Sharing it with us:)

    • Hello Dilana, I like your idea and I think that maybe we could make it real by sharing the initiative with our friends, on our blogs / Facebook accounts etc. (after practicing it of course). We never know who might get inspired. What do you think?

  • This is beautiful Steven. Absolutely beautiful. You don’t see a flower going all coy and closing up just becoz no one appreciates or reciprocates its gift.

    You have indeed taken reciprocity a step further. Perhaps the only way we are ever going to get true reciprocity is when someone (like yourself) gives their gift freely precisely becoz it’s the only thing they can do and be true to themselves.

  • True giving is exactly as it describes. To give without expecting anything in return. The other sort of gifting is what I call trading or trade off.
    How many times have we thought or said “and after all I’ve done for you!” That statement reveals a truth in that the giving is not strictly giving as you have described for the exercise. It is an unconscious trade off. I guess the thought or statement comes from being hurt. Perhaps that is where we corss our own boundaries of giving more than we can handle.

  • I agree helping others without expecting anything in return is good for you. Deepak Chopra says in his book 7 Spiritual Laws of Success……Ask how can I help ……not what’s in it for me. When you ask how can I help……when you come from that orientation………of wanting to help others………then the universe smiles on you. Your life will start to flow……..You find yourself happier.

  • I want to give “thank you” to you Steven, I want to say thanks to everyone who have participate in your course, I also want to congratulate them for taking this step and now it’s time to check out today exercise.

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