I read this amazing book yesterday that was given to me in the funniest way. Right before my marketing professor handed out the exams, he walked up to me while people were shuffling their papers and getting ready, and dropped that book right on my desk and said “This book will change your life.” That was a pretty bold statement, but he ended up being right.
The book is centered around the concept of buckets. Everyone has a bucket and in every interaction that we have with people, there is this “dipper” that either fills another persons bucket or it dips from it. When you have positive interactions with someone it fills their bucket and also fills your bucket. When someone really comes down on you or you have a string of life events that are negative, your bucket continues to be tipped over again and again. So I am reading this right, and going, “Well this is a pretty simple concept to grasp…what is so great about this book?” Well, the best part of the book is that it goes in depth with statistics and studies by psychologists on the effects of positive emotions and interactions with people. Essentially, you can allow your bucket and the buckets of others to overflow by the way that you treat them, talk to them, and all around act around them. So this got me to thinking. How much am I filling buckets, but also, how much am I having my bucket filled.
I made a really big step the other day while camping and I have to tell this story for a few reasons because I started filling my own bucket. As Im sitting there near the fire pretty late at night, just staring at it and not a sound in the forrest except for this squirrel that loved trying to get at the bagels, I mentally just started writing on pieces of imaginary paper in my head some of the moments where I have had my bucket tipped (moments that I have not let go of) and crumpling them up and tossing them into the fire and watching them burn. Immediately I started to feel weight coming off of my back. Since I forgot to bring the actual pieces of paper that I wanted to write on and toss in the fire, I took the extra step and did it in my mind. This was more challenging but it was more rewarding. I felt much more happy with things and where they were going. No one ever said healing processes were quick especially when the bucket has been turned over so many times. But you know, the frist step it deciding that especially when things are very very good, to not have these things that tip your own bucket. So how do I make sure that personal bucket tipping doesn’t happen?
Fill the buckets of others. In time the old things will fade, but when you tell the people close to you how much you care about them, you end up filling their buckets and your own. You become much happier and live life with a purpose. I am getting so much happier. Instead of talking about what I am going to do, I am just putting my head down and working as hard as I can. I am letting my game speak. This is the best way to get things done. But most of all, I am filling the buckets of those I care about daily. Just like the picture above, I have put on my walking shoes and crossed the line that I was very scared to cross before. I am taking new steps into new ground.