Be Good "Pay-It-Forward" Experiment Explained

Be Good Social Experiment is a way to track the impact of "Pay-It-Forward" by revealing how people give time to each other. 


My "Be Good" experiment (called SerfBliss) explained at TEDx 

Sneak peak into my nationwide "Pay-It-Forward" Journey 

Why did "Be Good" start?  


Every time I talked to my grandma, she always ended the conversation with "Be Good, Bubba boy." I've dropped the childhood nickname, but kept her advice: "Be Good." It's simple, yet profound.  Good is what makes you feel happy, successful, and virtuous. Good = positive. The following are explanations on what "Be Good" looks like. Here are Four Good Agreements that - if honored - ensures success for a Pay-It-Forward tracking system.


BE good does it work?


To start, reach out to a good person you know and offer to help them. Ask if they are willing to give double the time to other people - Pay-It-Forward style.  Set the time, date, and type of service that will take place.  Make sure they are okay with it being recorded/posted for public view.  Show up on time, be cool, do your best, and record the experience.  Post online and then watch what happens.  Always remember, they don’t owe you, they owe the world.


My Background

At eleven years old, I was suicidal. My dad was pretty abusive, but not as much as some. PTSD set in. Out of survival, I learned how to re-pattern my mind.  Since childhood, I’ve re-patterned my mind four times. Each time the process removed a different limitation: first time I got rid of anger, then insecurity, then shame, and the last time I re-patterned I eliminated anxiety. For 30 years, I've experimented with ways to increases happiness. I went from feeling like a worthless child to feeling priceless.

My personal PIF training ground.

I've learned that the only sure way to grow happiness is to help people who help people. Through this practice, I have become one of the happiest people on the planet. Looking on the news, it seems like everyone in the world is depressed and miserable. I want to share what I've learned so that other people can learn how to be happy.

I’m an ordinary guy that grew up in the woods. Most of my family consists of simple folk. Graduating high school, never going to prison, and having all my original teeth makes me “highfalutin” amongst much of my extended family.  I am proud to be ordinary. Even my object of study is unoriginal: service. It’s the oldest thing in the book.  Don't believe me? Read any ancient book. 

After reading up on religion, philosophy, business, psychology, and civics – it seems like serving others is the key to everything. When serving friends, family, and co-workers it’s called “helping”.  If you serve an organization it’s called “volunteering”.  Together, they are called service. Even police have “Protect & Serve” on their vehicles. Good cops serve while bad cops do something else.  It’s the same with CEOs, pastors, parents, politicians, managers; just about everyone is separated by either acting in their own interests or in the interests of others. It is either "ME" individual-based thinking or "WE" community-based thinking.

By living in a constant state of giving, I emancipated myself from fear and now enjoy a life beyond what I thought possible.  I spent one year serving people around the country, to prove that living a life of giving was possible in modern society. I recorded the process so that anything learned would be organically captured & easily shared with others. I pushed the "service envelope" as far as humanly possible so I could learn all the lessons helping others has to offer.  Now I share what I learned with others. I Pay-It-Forward!

Imagine what kind of system we could grow if we tracked time and revealed the great givers in society.  Society could easily promote those that actually strengthen the moral fabric of their community. We could reveal the six degrees of separation through the selfless-giving of time.

Every great journey starts with a single step.  The first step is the hardest because it launches people into the unknown. This is where I come in. I've been working on Pay-It-Forward tracking system for the past seven years and now I get to help people take the first step. I connect people with meaningful volunteer opportunities and guide them how to use helping others to increase their own personal happiness.

You will find explanation & list of benefits below.


Four Good Agreements

1. BE GOOD - 


2. DO GOOD - 



       DO DOUBLE





The Four Good Agreements

1. BE Good - Receive Service

Givers need receivers.  But what makes a good receiver? 

  • Show up on time - it stinks to help someone that disrespects your time
  • Be nice - kindness and being pleasant goes a long way
  • Be clear about what you need - mow lawn, babysit, brainstorm business ideas, paint house
  • Limit requests by the time frame given - if they offer three hours, don't expect them to paint your house
  • Don't ask for things beyond the giver's ability - if they've never painted a house before, chances are they won't do it right
  • Set up the giver for success - you provide all the tools and resources needed (paint, tape, brushes, etc.)
  • Record the commitment - BEFORE it begins (then during & after)
  • Provide good food - eating together creates community so have fun with it
  • Ask for allergies - the earlier you know the better
  • Serve alongside the person helping you - it's fun!
  • Show appreciation - everybody loves gratitude
  • Offer guidance - remember that they are new to your world


2. Do Good - Serve Others


Everybody loves a giver.  But what makes a good giver?

  • Show up on time - it's lame to disrespect time - don't be lame
  • Be kind - everyone likes a nice person
  • Communicate your abilities - be open about your past experience and what you are comfortable doing 
  • Establish the time frame you have available - round it to the nearest hour
  • Give a little cushion time - if you have 5 hours, then offer 3-4 & extend to 5 if needed
  • Be clear about your skills - be open and honest about what experience & training you have and don't have
  • Make sure you have everything you need before (if) they leave - assume the service is void if you just waited around because of lack of communication.
  • Record the commitment - BEFORE it begins (then during & after)
  • Appreciate whatever food they give - gratitude is the fertile soil where friendship grows
  • Articulate allergies before connecting - no dogs, no cats, no gluten, no peanuts 
  • Ask for guidance - remember that you are new to their world & (like me) failed mind reading
All wounds of honor are self-inflicted.
— Andrew Carnegie


3. Give Good - Do Double

Good is good.  But what does "giving good time" look like? 

  • Satisfy expectations - fulfill your word 
  • Give your best - remember your actions define you
  • Do more than expected - be generous with your time and skill
  • Act in a way that you would want others to see - remember that others will see it
  • Benefit someone other than yourself - either the receiver personally or a person/group the receiver selects
  • Produce desirable work - the person who commits to PIF your time decides what is desirable 
  • Create an enjoyable experience - those involved need to be happy about the experience (before, during, and after)
  • Give so others give more - commit to give more (at least double) time others give you


4. Inspire Good - Record Service

Good video is awesome. But if doing good is good enough, then why do I need to record service? 

  • Reveals those that give - shows those that take
  • Watching good calms the mind - the science is there (trust me or read this)
  • Encourages good - being watched brings out the best in people
  • Even the best people forget - having a reminder is beneficial (just ask anyone who forgot their wife's birthday)
  • Increases belief in others - seeing someone make a positive impact reminds us that we can do it too
  • Memories change over time - we've all had the friend that "forgot they borrowed $50 bucks" 
  • Better followthrough - seeing yourself commit to PIF is the best way to ensure that you will continue to spread goodwill (especially when you know others will see it too)
  • People will do more good - watching others give more encourages everyone to do the same
  • Eliminates misunderstanding - when everyone agrees to the same set of "giving rules" it creates a culture of understanding & people either follow through or don't
  • Sets up validation process - good work gets "Paid Forward" while bad work doesn't
  • Establishes vetting process - good people have a history of social good, while bad people don't
  • Enables us to grow a system - by tracking, measuring the exchange of time in a Honest, Open, and Transparent manner enables participants to create a system of self-governance

Some Limitations to watch out for

Helping others through Pay-It-Forward is a fun way to connect with the world. It builds community, connection, and happiness! However, sometimes it can fall short. Here's how: 

  • Some people only receive (which kills the whole concept - LAME!) 
  • Some people only give (which limits the connection & impact they have) 
  • Some people only pass on what they received (tit-for-tat - which limits growth)
  • Some people don't document the service (which calls into question "Did the service really happen?")

The "BE Good" program is designed


For Individuals to:

  • Alleviate depression & Strengthen the Mind
  • Remove isolation & Grow Community
  • Create Fulfillment & Establish Purpose
  • Develop Self-awareness & Cultivate Inner Potential
  • Improve Decision Making & Increase Foresight
  • Remove PTSD
  • Increase Happiness

For FAmilies to:

  • Have all the benefits of the individual
  • Learn about each other
  • Strengthen loyalty
  • Acquire emotionally wholeness
  • Empower individual & group potential
  • Grow together 

For Organizations to:

  • Strengthen Servant Leadership
  • Improve confidence & performance
  • Magnify collaboration & team building
  • Amplify employee engagement & customer service
  • Boost retention & financial performance
  • Increase effectiveness & creativity

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