We planned yesterday's trip to the mall as an alternative to staying inside the house with no electricity for four hours (there was a notice of repair in our village from the local electric provider). The baby needs her baptismal dress, a new pair of shoes and a new pair of socks to go with them, so it was as good a chance as it can get. Of course, our toddler went with us.

What was supposed to be a lovely afternoon focused on our youngest kids turned sour as I carelessly dipped into Mama Sez bucket. I didn't realize how bad it was until I read her message this morning. The negative effect of that bucket dipping has drained her energy and left her unfocused for most of the day today.

I am thankful that she showed signs of recovery this evening and was cheerful during our nightly gratitude ritual.

If you are not familiar with bucket filling and bucket dipping, this book by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D.--the grandfather of positive psychology, was the source of these terms.

How Full Is Your Bucket? Positive Strategies for Work and Life

It's interesting that I was the one who made extra efforts to read the book with Mama Sez and then with our eldest daughter, but still violates its teachings...well, not as often as before, I hope.

I recommend this book for better relationships within the family, workplace, organizations and life in general. It has opened my eyes to the folly of pessimism and negativity. Moreover, there is a huge negative impact of bucket dipping in organizations, from families to companies and communities. They have data to back this conclusion.

Here's what I wrote to our eldest daughter when I gave it as a gift that I didn't have to buy last Christmas. It helps explain why it's important for me to have been introduced to this concept of positive psychology.

"24 Dec 2009

Dearest Ycai, 

I thought of giving you this book that your Mama and I eagerly bought to learn more about "bucket filling."

I was a little apprehensive at first that the topic might be too early for you.  But then I decided that it would be good to start you off as early as possible and open your eyes to the power of positivity.

You inherited traits that tend to make you quite cautious and pessimistic in disposition as well as make you focus on the negatives of others and yourself. There are certain good outcomes in such tendencies, but then anything in extreme is undesirable.  That's why it's important for you to learn and train yourself to balance your natural tendencies with positive psychology.

Let's read this book together, so I'll be reminded (as I tend to do bucket dipping mostly instead of filling) and we can learn together.

Merry Christmas my manita.

Exchanging gifts that we do not buy was a great idea.

Love, Papa"

Mama Sez, I am sorry for dipping in your bucket yesterday. I'll be better next time.

How Full is Your Bucket is available at Amazon and you can buy online through the buttons below.

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About Us (circa 2009)

Our journey led us to this place. A little more than 10 years ago we began our journey as husband and wife. Three years later, we found ourselves with two bundles of joy- a daughter and then a son. They're the children we've dreamed of having.

About five years since the birth of our son, an unexpected gift came- a younger brother to our school-age kids. And soon enough, a baby girl arrived to round the family membership.

Brave was a term used by a friend to describe us. Challenging... and loving it -- yeah, this journey is not for the faint of heart.