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The Dipper and The Bucket

by J. Money on Friday, December 27, 2013

happy bucket

I came across a new blog this week (Bucking The Trend), and one of the articles on it really hit home. It was about living a more meaningful and deliberate life, where the blogger listed out about 15 or so DO’s and DON’Ts to live by. Keeping his family and kids in the forefront of his thinking.

Here were some of my favorite lines from it:

  • DO be thankful for what you have and not resentful of what you don’t.
  • DO NOT feel like you ‘deserve’ anything.
  • DO have integrity – do what you say and say what you do.  You’d be amazed how far you can get by simply showing up when you say you will.
  • DO NOT care what others think of you.

And then my most favorite:

I had never heard of those phrases before (have you?), but I clicked over to learn more since it reminded me a lot of “the mayonnaise jar” parable we recently blogged about. And apparently it’s a big thing with children, so being the new dad that I am I of course have to stay on top of these things ;)

And I’m glad I did. Here’s what it all means:

The “Bucket Fill-osophy

Each one of us has an invisible bucket.

It is constantly emptied or filled, depending
on what others say or do to us.

When our bucket is full, we feel great.
When it is empty, we feel awful.

Each of us has an invisible dipper.

When we use that dipper to fill other people’s buckets,
by saying or doing things to increase their positive emotions, we
also fill our own bucket.

But when we use that dipper to dip from others’ buckets, by doing
or saying things that decrease their positive emotions,
we diminish ourselves.

Like the cup that runneth over, a full bucket gives us a positive
outlook and renewed energy. Every drop in that bucket makes is
stronger and more optimistic.

But an empty bucket poisons our outlook, saps our energy, and
undermines our will. That’s why every time someone dips
from our bucket, it hurts us.

So we face a choice every moment of every day: We can fill one
another’s buckets, or we can dip from them.

It’s an important choice. One that profoundly influences our
relationships, productivity, health, and happiness.

So, so, true. And it relates to money too, even though it’s not stated so. How many times have you looked down upon someone based on a financial move they’ve made?? Or said something to them, or behind their back, just because you’re jealous as  hell? (*raises hand*)

According to this bucket philosophy, it’s best to keep it to yourself and instead put out more positive words into the universe. Which isn’t always easy to do – at least in terms of kicking out those negative thoughts before they leave our mouths ;) -but of course it would certainly make the world a better place. Even if just your immediate world around you.

Something to think about over the weekend as we say goodbye to the Christmas season, and get ready to jump into a fresh new year. It may have been created to teach kids to be better people, but Lord knows we adults need reminders too!

———–
PS: If you liked this, or want more info and something to teach/show your kids, there’s a book on the bucket stuff as well: Have You Filled a Bucket Today?. I’ll be picking one up for my boys for sure :)

[Photo cred: pj_vanf]


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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 A terrible husband... December 27, 2013 at 6:02 am

I love it. Never heard of it before but it’s a great visual reminder. **raises glass** To a year full of overflowing buckets all around!

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2 J. Money December 27, 2013 at 11:13 am

*Tips some out for his homies*

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3 Dee @ Color Me Frugal December 27, 2013 at 7:23 am

I had never heard of that before either- but I like it. It’s a really tangible and visual way to think about the way our words impact others. Something I have to admit that I don’t often think about (not that I’m going around verbally demeaning everyone, but it hadn’t occurred to me that everything you say impacts others). Thanks for posting this- you’ve given me something really important to think about.

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4 J. Money December 27, 2013 at 11:14 am

I’m glad :) What I find helps a lot is just staying *quiet* rather than voicing an opinion during times I know the only thing that’s about to come out is something negative/mean/harsh. I catch myself about 80% of the time, but still need to work on that 20% ;) Happy holidays!

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5 Brian @ Debt Discipline December 27, 2013 at 8:37 am

Good stuff! I have never heard of this before. Very timely. Something I will discuss with my 3 children.

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6 Money Saving Dude December 27, 2013 at 9:28 am

Such nice poem. It really applies to real life and how we can be a better person. It’s something I’ll be sharing to my friends because it holds a lot of positive values.

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7 jolie December 27, 2013 at 10:57 am

We use that book at school and have days where we focus really hard on helping the kids (and ourselves) fill buckets. It completely changes the energy in the school.

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8 J. Money December 27, 2013 at 11:16 am

Awwww that’s awesome!! It’s such an easy concept to understand, and act upon, too. Makes me want to be a teacher in some small way to help kids practice this, hehe…

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9 Anne @ Unique Gifter December 27, 2013 at 11:33 am

I like that little analogy. Cute, straightforward and definitely a true one.

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10 Dear debt December 27, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Love this so much. I need to work on staying in the positive ad not feeling hollow if people say or do things I don’t agree with, or hurt my feelings. I feel like I’ve come a long way in the past year, but I want more control over my emotions and happiness and let that spill over to others. Gratitude is so helpful in keeping you grounded.

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11 J. Money December 28, 2013 at 8:01 am

A little increase each year, my friend. Eventually we’ll be awesome at it! :)

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12 Angella December 27, 2013 at 1:28 pm

Ohh, never heard of it put this way before. It’s definitely something I need to work on in the new year! Being positive. I wouldn’t say I was negative really, but more of a realist when it comes to life. So yeah, I guess I’m a cynic, which is exhausting. Time to brighten up my outlook on things. I find it especially important with a kid too. They pick up parents energy so easily!

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13 J. Money December 28, 2013 at 8:02 am

Yeah they do!! And they’re made nice and cute for us too which makes it even harder to be mad/negative ;)

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14 theFIREstarter December 27, 2013 at 5:53 pm

Totally digging this! I mean filling it!

When I think of people I know who seem unhappy and negative, they are the ones who will not do you a favour and often act selfishishly. They are definitely the bucket dippers. It is not a path to happiness!

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15 Karen December 27, 2013 at 6:48 pm

Thanks for sharing that. People need to rejuvenate a.k.a. “fill their buckets”. Good reminder. Cell phones recharge. We should too. Happy belated BD.

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16 J. Money December 28, 2013 at 8:03 am

Hah! I like that. Cell phones talk back to us too ;)

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17 Buck December 27, 2013 at 7:15 pm

“…it would certainly make the world a better place. Even if just your immediate world around you.”

This is a big thing with me lately. The older I get, the more I realize that the most significant changes occur at the grassroots level. Very few of us are likely to make front page news but each of us individually can have an impact when operating within our little immediate spheres of influence – those people we interact with on the daily basis. Think of what the world would look like if everyone tried to be more bucket-filling to those folks we see every day.

Thanks for the shout-out, J. Money. I’m honored. Keep up the good work.

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18 J. Money December 28, 2013 at 8:04 am

Amen, brotha. Thanks for the inspiration today – looking forward to more posts from ya!

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19 Happy Life And More December 27, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Love this post! When I was younger, I used to be bothered by what people think of me. It drove me crazy for a while until I decided enough is enough. I now live my life the way I want to, who cares what people think. I also find living life with a positive attitude really helps.

check out my latest post at http://www.happylifeandmore.com/2013/12/23/how-i-visited-11-cities-5-countries-in-europe-for-1000/

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20 J. Money December 28, 2013 at 8:05 am

Good for you! That’s definitely a better way to live :) Will check out your blog as soon as I finish reading the comments here – thx for stopping by.

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21 Heather December 27, 2013 at 11:42 pm

Never heard it before but love it! Definitely an easy metaphor to keep in mind in the new year!

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22 Christine @ ThePursuitofGreen December 28, 2013 at 2:07 am

What a cute little thing to teach kids. It’s a great way to explain something so complex. Plus it makes it more fun to imagine an invisible bucket!

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23 J. Money December 28, 2013 at 8:07 am

I’m gonna put a real bucket on our counter too, and then make people fill it with dollar bills every time they say something bad, haha… A little *extra* motivation to watch what you say! :)

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24 Debt BLAG December 28, 2013 at 11:59 am

Gosh I love this. And I’m certainly guilty of judging, both inside and out. Something I know I need to work on…

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25 Kim January 1, 2014 at 8:48 am

In an effort to fill our respective buckets- thank you J Money for drilling into my head the importance of the emergency fund! With two college tuitions due next week, we had a sudden need for a new used car (old one in accident-everyone ok). Was able to pay cash and get a sweet ride which should last for years in a matter of days. So thanks for bestowing your financial wisdom upon the masses. It’s working! Happy New Year.
PS. Enjoy those kiddos. Suddenly they will be in college and you are crossing your fingers that you did a good job.

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26 J. Money January 2, 2014 at 10:48 am

Oh man, I bet! I’m so glad to hear the good news about your E Fund though :) You never know what life can bring you so always gotta do your best to be prepared!

A very merry new year to you too. Thanks so much for reading my blog :)

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