Do you fill or empty?

I stopped for a latte recently and was blown away by the experience. I’ve not always received great service at this particular coffee shop, so I guess my expectations weren’t very high.

But as I came to the speaker at the drive thru, this deep, sexy voice said “Good morning” in a way that made me instantly feel special. I know it was a simple interaction – place order, pay, receive latte, drive away. But these folks really did it quickly and in such a way that I left feeling better about my day and about myself. What a difference a positive interaction can make.

In contrast, I had an interaction with a co-worker last week that made me feel icky and defensive. She was fussing to me about someone else, but  was speaking so loudly and leaning toward me that I felt like a blast of hot wind had just hit me in the face – I was leaning back, and my hair was now flowing straight up and back like the trees in a hurricane force wind.

I couldn’t get away quickly enough. Her negativity drains my bucket.

In his book, How Full is Your Bucket?, Tom Rath asks, “How did you feel after your last interaction with another person? Did that person — your spouse, best friend, coworker, or even a stranger — ‘fill your bucket’ by making you feel more positive? Or did that person ‘dip from your bucket,’ leaving you more negative than before?”

I want to be a bucket-filler for people. Like the folks at the coffee shop. Or one of our volunteers who has endured great sadness and death in his family, yet I have never seen him without a smile on his face and a kind word – he has such a great attitude. He makes me feel like speaking to me is the most important thing he will do all day. I look forward to interacting with him, even for just a few minutes. He fills my bucket to the brim and overflowing!

That’s how I want to make people feel.

I want to present a more positive attitude, a smile, sincere caring. I want to encourage the people I meet and present a calm, friendly, loving face to everyone. No matter the kind of day I’m having, I want to focus on the good and the positive and not the negative.

I want to let positivity grow in me!

I will try not to concern myself with things I do not or cannot control – all I can control is my own reaction, and I need to make it positive. Every. Single. Time.

How will you be a bucket-filler today?