Friday, 11 April 2014

The Best Way to Fill Your Bucket

I have a challenge for the weekend: Can you fill up someone's bucket?

No. Not a literal bucket. Though if you want to help someone with their gardening by doing so, please go ahead.

The bucket I am talking about is far more metaphorical in nature. Far more intangible, unless you are the sort who has such a vivid imagination you can touch it.

This bucket was derived originally from my youngest brother's learning program at preschool since he got pegged as having behavioural problems. (Apparently that is what society likes to call the youngest siblings of eight who eat up the elder siblings intelligence and thereby end up genius's who are easily bored by learning an alphabet they knew by heart a year ago). Every day, if he does something nice for anyone at preschool, or says something nice, his bucket (a metaphorical creation between the helper and his four year old genius self) gets filled a little more. By the end of the week, if he's filled it enough (ie: done at least one nice thing every day), my mom will take him to the park or something he enjoys.

Anyway, it's working fantastically (but then again his honest problem is just that he is hugely curious, overly enthusiastic and massively kind and therefore doesn't realize people don't necessarily like random hugs or being asked a million questions about how electricity works).

That said, my mom recently told me I should try it out since (like most people) I have a large lack of self-confidence. So here I am nicking the idea, though I have changed it up somewhat from how my youngest brother uses it. Perhaps you might too.

The way I see my bucket (or your bucket) is as your spirit (and note here that I am being humanely universal, not religiously specific). You are responsible for what you keep in it and the condition it is in. The more negative you are the more dirty or dinted or full of holes it will be. If you are more positive, your bucket will be cleaner and better for holding things in.

It takes practice. Like swimming, or music or the first time you learned to read. It means seeing people, things and events in a positive light. Say you are late for something and so you are rushing about. Immediately that level of stress creates tensions which overflow from your bucket and lash out at other people or events, like being stuck behind a slow driver, traffic or maybe you were helping someone and are late because of that.

Whatever the case, the negative emotions you have filled your bucket with will spill out and into someone else's bucket. Eventually, all bucket's reach a point of overflowing and that person's bucket, or someone else's will spill out and into yours. Think of the spill like little crabs collected at the seaside, except there are positive crabs and negative ones. The more negative crabs you spill out into the world, the more negative crabs you will get back and visa versa.

Thus, if you fill up someone else's bucket with a postive thought, comment, look or action, you will find similar positive things coming back to fill up your own.

Simple right? Sadly, not quite. Nothing that is important ever is so easy, but like I said, it just takes practice. I'm in the middle of it. Mostly I am just trying to be kind to my bucket and busy patching the holes I've made over the years of not being kind to myself and attracting far to many negative crabs that have ate more holes into it. Nonetheless, like all things it is a start.

So, to kick of the weekend, try out the challenge I expressed at the beginning.

If you want an extra challenge, take a good look at your own bucket, give it a good wash and then, offer to wash someone else's bucket. Treat them to a special day and remember, special things can be as small as a smile, a quick chat, a hug or as large as offering to drive someone home, watching a movie together or going on a hike.

Building up buckets.

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