Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tip#150: How Full Is Your Bucket? - Star Trek 1966

The April sunshine continues to shine bright in this beautiful city of mine. I feel every part of my spirit getting re-energized as if I had solar panels for arms and legs. It’s been a long winter and my recent career transitions had been a challenge.

Thankfully another form of energy had kept me resilient and persevering. That energy came from all the supportive people I've encountered.

Power of Recognition

During the past few months I would feel bursts of uplifting energy just by reading the thank you emails I've received for writing these motivational tips. In fact it has always felt good receiving a thank you from anyone for anything. This is a form of recognition and acknowledgement that I do my best to share with others everyday. It's also a practice I've applied in the 22 years of my business as well as what I teach in my seminars.

Common courtesy and being gracious is a powerful form of exchange. Making someone's day can fill them AND you with positive emotional energy.

How Full Is Your Bucket Book

Recently I discovered that there are many more benefits from giving recognition that is both qualified and quantified. I was introduced to a book called How Full Is Your Bucket? It is based on the theory that we all have invisible buckets that is either filled or emptied with every interaction we have.

The book for me was like finding a long lost lover where I asked, "Where have you been all my life?!" Someone had done years of research just to prove what I believed and practiced all my life. And that is the value of saying thank you, smiling to others or acknowledging someone’s accomplishments. It can make them feel good about themselves and bring out their best.

The book actually targets the workplace and how the bottom line is affected by the positive or negative attitudes of the workforce. Co-author Donald Clifton has been called the "Grandfather of Positive Psychology" and is the founder of the Gallup Organization. He knew that a successful corporate culture depended on recognizing and nurturing the value of each and every person.

His grandson and co-author, Tom Rath, is also an inspiration because of the personal story he shares of how he stayed positive with the loss of eyesight in one eye and a rare cancerous tumor disorder as a teenager. He said it was because his bucket was brimming with positive emotions that was given to him growing up. He had a surplus of positive energy he was able to dip into.

Enhancing the Workplace Culture

Discovering this book was a highly synchronistic turning point for me because I was already developing a new program to help enhance the workplace culture. As I've discovered for myself, it is possible to train individuals to have a positive attitude and learn how to support one another as a best friend would.

It's been a journey creating this new outline and thankfully I wasn't alone because I had the recognition and support from people I've encountered. They gave me energy when I didn't expect it. They filled my bucket and now I'm eager to fill even more buckets in the workplace! Download a pdf of the outline: Click here

The Positive Future of Star Trek

Gene Roddenberry is the creator of the original Star TrekTV show as well as Star Trek: The Next Generation. I bring this up because his vision of the future was one of co-operation and not conflict among the crew members of the Star Trekworld.

Some producers at the time thought this was unrealistic and wanted more conflict among the main characters but Roddenberry held fast to his vision. He believed that we would evolve beyond petty disagreements and we would work together for the common good of the planet earth and the other worlds around us.

Do Your Best

So do your best to imagine a positive world in your life and in your workplace. Do your best to fill other people's buckets. See the value of building and sharing positive emotions. We are each on a journey here on planet earth. Support others on their paths and you will be surprised to find support when you need it most on yours.

Tips for energizing yourself and others:
1) Give an authentic compliment to someone
2) Acknowledge something a co-worker has accomplished or achieved
3) Say thank you when someone does something for you, especially a stranger

Emmanuel Lopez
Motivational Specialist & Motivational Wingman
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008


Anonymous said...

I enjoy your tips. I have used them and in other cases, they're a good reminder of what's important.


Anonymous said...

This is really great Emmanuel!! I have always filled other people's buckets! I have been very blessed to attract several good friends who consistently do the same for me! I am in the process of eliminating the "bucket dumpers" from my life, i.e. the one's who either do not fill my bucket or who go out of their way to pitch it overboard!! I love my life when it is full of bucket fillers!! Way to go and keep up the good work! The way we met was by you filling my bucket by leaving a nice comment on one of my 43things goals!! Happy bucket filling!!!

Much love and light!

Anonymous said...

Reading your article was illuminating and a good dose of adrenalin. I just recently finished a stint in Midtown Toronto doing some accounts and Admin work and saw first hand the gross lack of respect that is present in some workplaces because of Callous Politics. Yikes!

I am fortunate in that I was only only there for 6 weeks and enjoy the self employed lifestyle where I met all kinds of persons and your right some really make my day when they are courteous and portary a professional image. Sense of humor can off the hook too. This translates to positive energy that you mentioned.


Anonymous said...

I am grateful to you for this e-mail because, I am currently going through a life/career transition and I am really scared. I am happy to hear that you have found supportive people who have helped you with your transitions. I hope that I am lucky as you are to get the same support from friends and family.


Anonymous said...

Hey Emmanuel!

Thanks for this post and for sharing a great metaphor for kindness.

Sometimes when no one else is available, I fill my own bucket. It's hard to do but it's like flipping a switch: negative to positive.

Does anyone else do self-bucket filling? And what do you to be kind to yourself?

Anonymous said...

Dear Emmanuel,

I wanted to let you know that I enjoyed reading tip #150 immensely (like I have with your previous motivational tips).

Like you, I have always made a point to thank people all the time and give them praise, too. It makes me feel so wonderful, alive inside and energized, too! I wish more people would do it, especially at the work place! A word of praise goes a long way! I have been fortunate enough to have clients who have thanked me and praised me for my work and whenever I feel a bit down, I review those emails or conversations and they immediately bring me up!

I love the fact that you always introduce and share with us an article or a book which has made a different in your life in your blog. I really appreciate your including the website links within your blog, too. I always feel your excitement and joy in each blog and I think that speaks so much of your writing talent and skills! Your passion for what you do, really comes across the page! Keep it up! :o)


Anonymous said...

Ah, the little things in life do make all the difference! I forget where I heard this, but I remember being made aware of the automatic response versus the genuine one. Like "hi how are you?" "good" This person asked how many times do you answer automatically? Make eye contact? How many times do you say thank you or your welcome without even looking at the person? And this really stuck with me!

I now make a point to always make eye contact, and I'll respond genuinely, even to a homeless person asking how I am on the street as I pass, making eye contact and fully asking and answering their questions. It is like living in the now instead of having your head in the future.

Robin B