Do Good, Be Great
The JoeHero Manifesto
Have you ever been through a difficult time in your life? A time when you felt down, beaten or depressed, unable to see any success in your future?
The year 2009 was that time for me. In five years, I had gone from successful businesses and jobs with a six figure incomes, to unemployment and bankruptcy. The worse things got for me financially, the more desperate and depressed I felt, and even though I had a good deal of education and experience in business and technology, a string of failed job interviews and quick fix business catastrophes quickly eroded what little confidence I had left. I felt destroyed… a failure… and it showed.
But one day I decided to get out for the afternoon and ended up donating some blood at my local blood bank after seeing a sign on the door that said they desperately needed type "A" blood, which I knew was my blood type. The technician was upbeat and thankful, and knowing that I had done something good that day really picked me up. In fact, I couldn't believe how good I felt with a pint less blood…
I had always tried my best to be nice and do some good, but now I stepped it up. And every time I did something good for someone else, even if it was just saying hello with a smile, delivering a complement, or giving an unexpected gift, I felt amazing, confident and happy knowing I had made that person's day. I theorized that the more time I spent doing good, the better I would feel, even regardless of how much money I had.
So I tested some of the different ways that I could do good. And one of my most important discoveries was that the closer I could be to the recipient of my good-doing, the better I felt. I felt really good when I helped someone directly, like with mentoring, or when providing a service, like delivering something or giving someone a ride. But I didn't feel as good when I donated money, like to a charity or in line at the grocery store.
After a few months, just by focusing my thoughts on helping people, I had lifted myself out of my depression. I didn't feel hopeless anymore because I knew that every day was an opportunity to make someone else's day better. And with that, my life had value, regardless of anything else.
Seemingly by magic, once I changed my focus to helping people, things began to improve financially too. Since whatever this was seemed to be working, I decided to quit my financial worrying and just work on spreading the idea of helping people.
Not being skilled in anything else other than programming and building websites, and having once run a large contest website called Windough, I decided that a Hero challenge website would be a great way to get people to try doing good. My hope was that once they tried it, and felt good, they would get others to try it too.
So that's JoeHero… Just my best effort at helping people, and getting others to try helping people too. Imagine what a great world we'd live in if everybody was a JoeHero… If regular people everywhere just stepped up and decided to do something nice for someone else. Seems like the kind of thing somebody should be working on, doesn't it?