The Heroic Imagination Project (HIP) is a nonprofit training organization based on the research of Dr. Philip Zimbardo, a retired Stanford psychology professor. HIP teaches strategies that allow people to act with character and courage in the face of bullying, peer pressure and indifference. The project suggests that everyone has the ability to perform exceptional actions, even in the face of adversity, if they learn to think heroically and to be aware of the pressures of conformity. In a recent NPR interview Zimbardo stated, “Heroes are not extraordinary people…They’re ordinary people who do an extraordinary thing, step out of themselves, put their best self forward in service to humanity. And it starts with internalizing heroic imagination, namely—I could do it” (read more in the story from NPR’s Morning Edition).
This logic is reminiscent of Dr. Debbie Storrs’s Action Planning Session at the close of Finding the Center on April 9, 2011. If you find the idea of acting as an everyday superhero inspiring, or feel you need a review, see the online lessons offered on the Heroic Imagination Project’s website. Using text and video clips, the lessons explain what social psychology has recently discovered about heroic behavior, better preparing the user to act heroically when the opportunity presents itself. Register on the HIP website for free to access the lessons.