Monday, June 22, 2009

Storm Chasers

A storm's brewin'... I hope.

A few years back I attended a presentation about a bucket - something about our buckets being filled or emptied, based on our interactions with others. And, the more full our bucket the better. I didn't remember details, but I remembered generally liking the premise.

Fast forward.

Wednesday morning I opened my email to a thoughtful note from a dear friend. The note thanked me for sharing an evening of what most of us would describe as mundane (even monotonous) activities - running errands, giving baths to the boys, and cleaning up after dinner. But the note was so personal, so detailed, and so generous my bucket could not help but be filled. Hump day at 9:04 a.m. and I had the energy of a person who could have worked another week.

Suddenly it came rushing back to me. Tom Rath and Donald Clifton, "How Full Is Your Bucket?" They maintain, we experience approximately 20,000 individual moments in a waking day. Each moment lasts only a few seconds - and rarely are they remembered as neutral. Most moments are remembered as being either positive or negative.

Wednesday, June 17 at 9:04: positive.

One more thing. There's a magic ratio. Apparently five positive interactions to one negative interaction is the magic ratio for marriages whereas 3:1 suffices in the work place (yes, marriage is harder work than work).

Today I play weather woman. Today I want to end the drought by creating conditions for a more positive outlook and for renewed energy. Let it rain. Put drops in the buckets of people you know. Say thank you, pay a compliment, or catch someone in the act of doing something right. Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain.

Turns out there's a science to filling buckets just like there's a science to predicting weather (unless you live in Arizona... where it's just plain hot). Drops must be individual, specific, and deserved. If it doesn't fulfill those three criterion, it won't soak in. The drop will run right off, without ever penetrating.

So, regardless of what the weather is doing outside your window right now, make it rain. Commit to a ratio of 5:1. Place five drops in the buckets of people you think are deserving. Let's see today if we can't brew a storm together. And, if you want... tell us about your weather and who you'll rain down on.

Signing off until tomorrow...

12 comments:

Chaotic said...

yes, marriage may be harder, but rain at work...? sigh... I CAN do this! i WILL do this... 5 sincere comments... I know I can I know I can ...

Katie K said...

I love drops in the bucket! This is a year-long activity I did with my RA staff this past year. 5 drops, huh? I'll be back later in the day to let you know how it went!

As James Taylor would say, "Shower the people you love with love."

heather said...

I'll work on my five drops...this will prove a challenge as the day is off to a rocky start.

Cheryl said...

I will be on the lookout today...

Individual
Specific
Deserved

There are plenty of people I can pay compliments to- I work at a great place with lots of great people.

Peggy said...

Wonderful post! This too, will be quite a challenge for me. I've tried it before... and some of the people I know are just...I don't know...wierd.

Claudia said...

Good morning, everyone.

Manic Monday... maybe today's post is especially fortuitous. Making it rain when you're feel sucked dry is probably good for the environment.

cassie p said...

considering it POURED rain here this morning, and our basement did NOT flood, I am happy. I am off to the bank, where I hope I can make my first drop in a bucket!

Claudia said...

12:05 and I've been able to deliver two droplets. Feels good.

Katie K said...

I just gave my first droplet and it felt great!!! 4 more to go!

Robin said...

This is great! Do you have a template for the drops?

Claudia said...

Robin... Yes, I have a template and I would be happy to pass it along to you.

I'll get it in the mail before week's end.

Chaotic said...

okay, I am back...
I rained on Revlon... she did a great job while I took a day off and I told her how much I appreciated all that she did so I could be gone
I rained on April... she handled a call that I did not want to take and did it with style (I got to listen to her talk to the idiot)
I told my boss I thought the donation he was making was worthwhile, and meant it.
3 drops...then a migraine, so rest of day was wasted on pain meds :-(