How full is your bucket?

How full is your bucket?

It has been about a week since the Alphakids and Bellwether Schools have rolled out the ‘HAKUNA MATATA’ program which is a happiness initiative focusing on gratitude, kindness and inculcating a positive mental well being in our students. Today we introduce a very simple concept known as ‘filling your bucket’- Inspired by the book ‘How full is your bucket’ by Don Clifton and Tom Rath.

The book talks about this simple metaphor of ‘filling your bucket’ as a way of seeing positivity and happiness in your daily interactions and in your life.  It is a simple concept but can garner extraordinary results!

The idea is this – each of us has an invisible bucket. This bucket is constantly being emptied or filled depending on what others say or do to us. If our bucket is full, we feel great. Similarly, if our bucket is empty, we feel awful.

It is commonly accepted that our lives are shaped by interactions with others. Every such interaction that we have – be it with family members, friends, partners, colleagues or strangers- each of them makes a difference to our day, which makes a difference to our weeks, and in this way makes a difference to our lives. These interactions that we have are rarely neutral – they are either positive experiences or negative experiences.

Going back to the same bucket metaphor, if we say or do nice things for others and hence fill their buckets, we end up filling our own buckets in the process. Put simply- being nice and pleasant to others improves our own mood and outlook about ourselves. Every drop in our own bucket makes us stronger and more optimistic!

What does this mean for education? 

Implementing kindness, gratitude and compassion in the curriculum will garner extraordinary results on the minds of children, parents, teachers and households.

Similarly, if teachers begin to appreciate and praise children who do good work in class, this will lead to greater motivation levels and much happier children! Introducing this bucket concept throughout the school, would lead to fewer fights in the corridors and buses and hence much calmer children. It would generate a culture of giving, helping and collaboration in schools. And in the bigger picture, it would help raise a generation of children who are focused on positivity, happiness and living in the present moment.

A few easy hacks to fill your bucket:

  1. Use the magic ratio of 5:1 – For every 1 negative interaction, make a conscious effort to have 5 positive interactions.
  2. Praise others! But remember, it has to be meaningful and specific praise.
  3. Give unexpectedly! It doesn’t have to be anything big – it could mean giving your time, making small donations, making a stranger smile – anything small!

Let’s begin practicing this in schools right from the early ages.. this will lead to a positive school climate, positive children & staff.. and this will spread  on to create positive parents and positive households. So let us begin this movement right here, where most of the learning happens right in our schools.and let’s all vow to keep filling each other’s buckets! HAKUNA MATATA!

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