Find the Potential in Change || Maya Shankar

August 31, 2023

Today we welcome Maya Shankar to the podcast. Maya is a cognitive scientist and the creator and host of the podcast, “A Slight Change of Plans”. It was awarded as the Best Show of 2021 by Apple and received an Ambie award from the Podcast Academy in 2022. Maya has a postdoctoral fellowship in cognitive neuroscience from Stanford and a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Oxford. She’s a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music’s pre-college program, where she was a private violin student of Itzhak Perlman.

In this episode, I talk to Maya Shankar about change. Humans have a desire to attach roles to identities. But when events disrupt that, we may feel unsure of who we are. Having gone through huge shifts herself, Maya shares with us ways in which we can reconfigure our identities and pivot to pursue our goals in different ways. Change can be disorienting, but it affords us a deeper understanding of ourselves. Maya also believes it’s also an opportunity to re-examine our long held beliefs and values. We also touch on the topics of cognitive science, mindfulness, awe, and hope.

Website: mayashankar.com

Twitter: @MayaUmaShankar


  • Maya as a violinist
  • Identity paralysis
  • Reconfiguring identity
  • A blind cook becomes a master chef
  • Post ecstatic growth
  • It’s okay to change values
  • Mindfulness and awe 
  • Re-examining our values 
  • Embracing a flexible mindset
  • Cognitive closure
  • Maya’s Slight Change of Plans
  • Pivot your goals



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