Bucket filler 2

Be a Bucket Filler – Grow your Positivity

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.

Bucket Filler

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




  1. I love the idea of writing notes as a special way to say you noticed something positive.

  2. I think this is something I really needed to hear right now. Going to write notes for my kids right now!

  3. I love the idea of being a bucket filler this week!

  4. My daughter will sometimes tell me when things at school fill her bucket. It’s such a sweet visual for anyone to work on bringing more positivity to others.

  5. I think this is a very powerful post. These are such wonderful idea’s and truths. I’m a recovering pessimist and have been working on growing my positivity as you put it!

  6. I love the positivity in this post. I need to do more to make others happy!

  7. I think one reason why I can cope with stress at work is because we pull together, take time to be nice, and express our appreciation for each other!

  8. This is great. I try very hard to fill when I can. I feel like I haven’t been able to do as much lately, because of my injury, but I’m trying.

    1. Thanks Jenn. I understand because you’re injured it’s difficult to fill yourself with positive emotions. As you said, the best you can do is try 🙂

  9. I really like that term. I try to give positive encouragement to my friends and family often. Now to work on myself!

    1. I hear you – easy to give encouragement to others but sometimes we’re tough on ourselves!

  10. I love the term “bucket filler”. Something my co-workers and I try to do is give a shot-out to a different team member every time we have a team call. We’re a relatively small team (7 people) so a little thing like that makes a big difference.

    1. A shout-out can make a difference! Good to hear it’s something you do at your workplace.

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