Summary of How Full Is Your Bucket?

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How Full Is Your Bucket? book summary


7 Overall

6 Applicability

7 Innovation

6 Style


Going through life with a short, handy, happy philosophy – particularly one as affirming as the concept in this book – is very nice. However, a fine line separates simple from simplistic. Although some readers will enjoy the breezy easiness of this approach, others might find it to be just a first step toward becoming more upbeat. Donald O. Clifton, a pioneer in positive psychology, and his co-author and grandson, Tom Rath, developed the “bucket” and “dipper” theories of happy emotions, based on Clifton’s research. The bucket is a metaphor for your sense of well-being. Every interaction fills your bucket or drains it. You also have a psychological dipper you use to add to or take away from other people’s sense of joy and security – their buckets. The choice, the authors explain, is yours. The book includes small drop-shaped cards for dropping a few friendly notes. It also provides five strategies that can increase your positive emotions and those of the other people in your life. If your bucket is perennially half-empty, getAbstract recommends dipping into this bestseller to see if it holds water for you.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What are the “bucket” and “dipper” theories of positive emotions
  • How to reduce negativity and increase your positive interactions
  • How to use five reliable tactics to generate positive emotions.

About the Authors

The American Psychological Association recognized the late Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D., as the “Father of Strengths Psychology.” He chaired Gallup, Inc., and wrote Now, Discover Your Strengths. His grandson, Tom Rath, worked with him and now focuses on professional development programs.



“The Dipper and the Bucket”
Traditionally, doctors study what is wrong with people. Donald O. Clifton decided to take a different approach and study what is right with people. He became curious when he learned that the death rate in North Korean prisoner of war camps was around 38%, higher...

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    Alexander Palomo 5 years ago
    This looks very interesting and some good reminders of aspect of excellent management skills.

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