I recently attended a conference where I had the honor of hearing Carol McCloud, author of “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?” and many other children’s books, speak about the wonderful concept of bucket filling. Her website is www.buckfilling101.com. I loved the ideas she shared on doing good things for other people (filling their bucket). It’s along the same idea of the “Pay it forward” movement. A person’s bucket refers to their mental and emotional self, which includes self-concept, self-esteem, joy in life, confidence, and so forth.
While these books are geared towards a younger population, the concepts and challenges are made for adults as well. She touched on many key points, but a few stood out to me:
- Go out and fill buckets! Give compliments to people, encourage them. When you are out for a meal, look around your table and see if there is someone who looks like they may not be having a very good day and do something nice for them, such as paying for their meal. Overall, try each day to fill the emotional buckets of other people.
- Avoid taking from another person’s bucket! We take from others when we criticise or bully them, or anything else that brings someone down rather than builds them up. Those who have a need to take from someone else’s bucket are really just trying to fill their own empty bucket!
- Fill a bully’s bucket too! Those individuals who take from others (bully, criticise, or treat negatively) are the people who usually need the most bucket filling. They are lacking love and acceptance in their own lives. Unfortunately, treating others negatively never gives us what we are lacking. According to Carol McCloud, we can never fill our own buckets by taking from the bucket of another person. Even though it feels like they don’t deserve it, do something to fill this person’s bucket by giving them a compliment, smile, or other positive gesture that helps everyone feel better.
- Remember your loved ones. So, what about filling the buckets of people we know and love? What kinds of things can we do for our husbands, mothers, and friends to show them how special they are to us. In the conference, we were asked to choose one person and write down 1o ways they fill our buckets. I chose my husband. Some of things I wrote were making me laugh, supporting my passion for counseling, being a good dad, and his loyalty. Doing this really makes you think about how much your loved ones do for you and how much they mean to you. Carol encouraged us to think of more gestures we can make to show them how special they are. I made a committment to try to make my hubby lunch several times a week. This simple gesture takes me 5 minutes in the morning, but shows him he is special and worth it! What can you do to fill the buckets of your loved ones?
I am so encouraged by her testimonials of how good deeds really make a difference in other people’s days. My goal is to fill a stranger’s bucket at least one time this week, and continue to find ways to fill the buckets of my friends and family. I challenge you to do the same!
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