Applying Deepak Chopra's Law of Giving and Receiving to your Running

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Consider bringing a gift to each person you come into contact with on your next run. This could be a smile, a high five, a hello, a quick wish for peace, a compliment, or even physical gift. Much of our lives are caught up in our concern for ourselves. Often I’ll subconsciously look at what is missing in my life. What do I need to be fulfilled? Once I get to that point, then life will be good!

This is a big myth. I have more than I need right now, but struggle to see it. One practice I love to break this pity party is to bring a gift to everyone I encounter that day.  Deepak Chopra talks about this in the Law of Giving and Receiving. I start with my run for the day. I bring a gift to the people I run with or even the people I pass on the trail. Sometimes it’s just a quick hello, or others it is a stop and chat, or a compliment, or even a silent wish or prayer. This switches the focus from myself to giving to others.

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Just as challenging in The Law of Giving and Receiving is to accept all gifts received as well. I often like to deny or minimize a compliment or gift from someone else. I’ll say, things like, “You didn’t need to do that,” or, “You shouldn’t have.” I’ll turn down a compliment by finding a way to insult myself. Someone might say, “Erik, you have a great mustache.” I’ll say, “I wish! This mustache is so raspy and wiry.” While I do get lots of mustache compliments, this is not accepting. What if I said something simple like, “Thank you! I appreciate the compliment.” This allows yourself to be slightly vulnerable for a second and accept a compliment or gift from another person. 
I’ve done this exercise a few times and have seen that it takes significant discipline to follow, but makes a difference in my perspective. Deepak Chopra recommends doing this for the entire day. I start with bringing gifts to those I encounter on my run, and then the rest of the day is spotty. Try it though, and see what you come up with.  How your day might change compared to any other day. Share your comments with us below!

erik stanley