How Do You Become Heroic?

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I have a friend who sets up mini-challenges for herself.  She's a pro at navigating through LA traffic to get somewhere on time when it looks impossible.  She not only zips from lane to lane and takes clever alternative routes, she projects thoughts to ease her journey.

When she succeeds, as she usually does, it becomes a story she loves to tell.  Why? Because she has become the hero of her story.  She has become heroic to herself.

Mind you, she's not doing this consciously.  She's not setting out to be heroic.  It's just one of those little subconscious games we all play.

We all have stories that drive us.  And often, we create circumstances that make us the hero or heroine of those stories.  The other day, I started pondering how I make myself heroic.  One way is through meeting deadlines against all odds.  I love to tell the story of how I've written 100-page books in 4 days.  My stories often have to do with extreme bursts of creativity (which, I hasten to add, is not the healthiest way to go about things).

But, here's the deal.  I want to become heroic in new ways now.  I want to become heroic because I've fulfilled long-standing goals, for instance, or because I've not only had a brilliant idea and gotten excited about it, but I've carried through with its promise.  I want to become heroic consciously, and not just by acting out on my subconscious drives.

So, here's my question to you:  how do you become heroic?  Look at:

–the stories you tell about yourself to yourself

–the stories you tell about yourself to others

Deconstruct these stories the way you would deconstruct a novel you were studying or one you are attempting to write.  What do you find?  Are you the hero or heroine of the correct story?  Or are you stuck in a genre you hate?  What are your heroics?  And what do you want them to be?

Feel free to share, or not, as your courage may dictate.

**Photo of Hercules courtesy of Xerones, from Flickr, via Everystockphoto.

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