Are you a bucket filler or dipper?
There is a marvelous quote by Maya Angelou that I have seen before and enjoyed immensely but recently a FB friend posted it on her status and again it lit me up: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” How true, you can totally remember people in your life that said something that made you feel magnificent and likewise you cannot rid your memory of people who said something that made you feel miserable. A wonderful book was written about this very concept, “How Full is Your Bucket?” by the way if you haven’t read it or haven’t read it in a while you need to, it is fabulous. Basically, are you a bucket filler or a bucket dipper?
I love being aware of how others feel in my presence, I love and thrive off the responsibility of it, it is such a primal connection for me, it fuels my soul. When I meet people I really want to know who they are and what their story is, I do need to humbly admit this has not always been so. I used to view people, particularly in business, at least initially, as to how I could benefit from knowing them. I am not proud of that admission but it is the truth, I should add that as long as both people know that is what is going on it’s ok, but it’s not what I am up to now. I have been on a spiritual journey for the last two years and what I have discovered is how much my awareness of how I treat others truly is reflected back to me like marvelous miracles.
I am very much wired that way. I am a very driven person but my motivation is particularly driven by connections and if I am in a connection where we equally feel fabulous it’s like going into hyperdrive speed. If I am in a connection where I do not feel good or I am aware the other person feels bad, I start to sputter, my tank is on “E.” I have also noticed that even if a person is kind to me but unkind to others I feel just as bad as if they were unkind to me, again I sputter, my tank goes to “E.”
Being motivated by how people feel is a tricky life to lead, because you have absolutely no control how others will perceive you or situations, but it is easy to spot the bucket fillers. I have found the best way to be successful in every aspect of life is to surround myself with more bucket fillers to counteract the bucket dippers. I have actually been conscientiously seeking connections and reconnecting with my bucket filling brethren and all I can say is – holy cow!!!!!
While attending a retreat, I recently watched an interaction where a student confronted a teacher in a loving but assertive manner. Even though the assertion was done with love, I expected the teacher to react in a defensive manner, instead I saw his face soften and he immediately acknowledged the student’s desire. Without a beat the teacher continued his lesson with the understanding that he would, at a later point, address their request. It was a beautiful interaction, such courage displayed by the student, such patience and compassion displayed by the teacher. I was thinking wow if only everyone, including me, could communicate like that how great would this world be, they say money is the root of all evil, well I believe negative feedback is the root of most if not all unhappiness. For many people who were raised in homes where bucket dipping was rampant, bucket filling will not be natural and will take practice and extraordinary presence. But I can tell you, it will truly change your life, your relationships, your spirituality and is worth the effort.
This is actually supported by the research that created the “How Full is Your Bucket?” book. According to the book the primary reason people leave their jobs is that they do not feel appreciated, 90% of people admitted to being more productive when they’re around positive people, increasing positive emotions can lengthen your life span by 10 years, whoa 10 years that’s impressive.
The key is also the ratio of positive to negative, if you happen to be a person who receives positive feedback but tends to only give negative feedback you are the most challenging dipper. As they say in the book your handle is very long. But there is always hope again it’s all about awareness and practice, practice, practice.
I would like to challenge everyone reading this, including myself, to focus on what is right rather than what is wrong, and that can be in relation to your spouse, your co-worker, your boss or even someone’s work product. Bucket filling is an amazing way to improve your life, other’s lives, your business, and your leadership.
“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” – Benjamin Franklin
Posted on April 1, 2012, in Spiritual Journey and tagged appreciation, bucket, Donald O. Clifton, how full is your bucket?, inspiration, maya angelou, motivation, positive, positive thinking, Tom Rath. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.