Monday, February 17, 2014

Filling Buckets: The Impact of Positivity

Image by Kathy Cassidy [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0]
Have you heard of the idea of "filling others' buckets?" (If not, you can read to find out more.)

The basic idea: look for ways to build others up. Their "bucket" is a person's emotional self. Filling buckets happens by making a positive impact on that person. I think this is a great metaphor! Once your bucket is full, you can't help but overflow--splashing and pouring out positivity into other people's buckets too!

I tend to be a positive person by nature, and as a teacher I look for ways to build my students up and celebrate great things I see in them. But it's great when my bucket gets filled too.

I had a great "bucket-filling" moment recently. A colleague was talking with on of our mutual students and the student shared this with her about my class:

"If you have to have an 8:00 class, Prof. Mulder is the professor you want to have. He is so energetic and is like, 'We’re going to learn this and you’re going to love it!'"


I feel humbled and honored when people share things like this with me. My bucket is filled! And I feel more inspired to make that statement even more true!

And maybe that's the real impact of positivity? We can make a difference in someone else by taking the time to brighten their day. Not through false praise--that would probably have the opposite effect. But when we see good things, don't be afraid to point them out, to encourage someone, to celebrate excellence. This sort of positive influence might stir your students on to greatness as well!

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