We all have an invisible bucket that can either be filled or emptied.
Positive experiences fill our bucket – spending time with our loved ones, doing things we enjoy, celebrating a success – to name a few. When our day equates to more positive experiences, we are happy and satisfied.
On the other hand, negative experiences empty our bucket. Maybe your kids are being defiant. Or you’re not seeing progress at work. Perhaps, you’re overwhelmed by a never-ending list of things-to-do. With negative experiences, we feel downhearted, anxious, and uneasy.
If you had a choice which bucket would you rather have? Full or Empty?
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Be a Bucket Filler
Are you aware that your interaction with others can also fill or empty your bucket? Tom Rath and Donald Clifton introduced ‘the theory of the dipper and the bucket’ in their book, How Full is Your Bucket.
Similar to invisible buckets, you also have invisible dippers. You can use the dipper to fill other people’s buckets through positive conversations. Compliments, appreciation, letting a person know that he or she matters are some of the ways you can increase one’s positive emotions. And the beauty of appreciation for another is an appreciation of positive emotions in yourself – you also fill your own bucket!
But how about the opposite? When you’re unkind, condescending, and unappreciative towards another, you use the dipper to dip from that person’s bucket. You are draining a person’s positive emotion while at the same time also draining yours. You end up feeling shaken and unsteady.
Did you know one of the reasons people leave their job is because “They don’t feel appreciated”? When people don’t feel appreciated, their productivity goes down. In fact studies show, lost productivity equated to costing the U.S. economy billions of dollars per year. How about the effects of positivity? Survey revealed that –
9 out of 10 people say they are more productive when they are around positive people”.
Two Strategies to be a Bucket Filler
How Full is Your Bucket presented five strategies to help us become better bucket fillers. Let me share with you two of those strategies:
1. Shine a Light on What Is Right
Strive to recognize the strengths of the people whom you interact with everyday. When I notice my kids playing together nicely, I make sure to let them know I appreciate their kindness.
In coaching sessions, I recognize my clients’ hard efforts with an affirmation – to recognize their strengths to work through challenging goals.
2. Give Unexpectedly
An unexpected gift is received with more appreciation. To give generously without expecting anything in return is also uplifting. I love the example given in the book with handing out ‘drops’ or thank you notes to someone whom you appreciate. Make your notes of appreciation specific, individual, and deserved.
Grow your Positivity
Being a bucket filler gives you an edge to experience more positivity in your life. Barbara Frederickson, who did a 25-year study on positive emotions, calculated a 3-to-1 ratio of positive to negative emotions, generated happiness and healthy behaviors. Positivity enables people to flourish, be open to change, and have resources available to change and grow.
Wellness Coaching is the perfect avenue to bring more positivity in your life as you embark on your wellness journey! As your Wellness Coach, I come alongside you to explore and amplify your strengths to move you forward and close the gap where you are today and where you desire to be with your health and wellness. I’d like to invite you to schedule a Discovery Call – let’s get to know each other in this 30-min session. – With much gratitude, Elaine