Cognitive neuroscientist & former Senior Advisor in the Obama White House Dr. Maya Shankar joins Rich to talk about the science behind growth & transformation, navigating change, and how to make meaning from painful experiences. To read more about Maya and peruse the full show notes, go here👉🏾https://bit.ly/richroll674
✌🏼🌱 – Rich

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FILMED AND EDITED BY BLAKE CURTIS & DAN DRAKE
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00:00:00 – Intro
00:05:16 – How Maya Began Playing Violin
00:08:39 – The Connection Between Music and Math in the Brain
00:09:41 – Juilliard was Her Big Goal
00:13:14 – The Benefits of Limits on Technical Ability
00:14:28 – The Power of Work When Lacking Talent
00:16:55 – Juilliard’s Pre-College Program + Maya’s Experience
00:18:49 – Who is Itzhak Pearlman?
00:24:15 – Pearlman’s Teaching Approach: Teaching Her to Teach Herself
00:26:15 – The Lightness of Spirit Approach, Not Taking Self or Music Too Seriously
00:28:06 – Maya Has Injury and Told She Could Never Play Again at 15
00:31:37 – The Change of Plans – Altered Her Sense of Identity
00:32:25 – Identity Foreclosure – “It Held Me Back That My Identity Was So Fixed”
00:37:19 – Rich’s Story of Losing Swimming Identity
00:41:06 – Finding Book Language Instinct by Steven Pinker
00:45:30 – Maya’s “Do Whatever it Takes” Mindset Story
00:49:16 – Maya Was the Only Freshman Accepted
00:51:36 – Rich Encouraged With People’s Interest in Neuroscience
00:53:00 – Maya’s Passion for Translating Science into General Terms + Examples
00:53:39 – How Maya’s Dad Taught Theoretical Physics Lectures Through iTunes U
00:55:45 – Maya’s Next Inflection Point – She Wasn’t Enjoying the Neuroscience Work
00:57:11 – Maya’s Mentor Laurie Tells Her About a New Way to Work Through the Government
00:58:45 – “The Power of the Default” Being Auto Signed Up Instead of Having to Sign Up
01:00:04 – Laurie Helps Maya Get a Job Doing Behavior-Focused Work With Obama
01:05:54 – “Keep in touch” – What That Means
01:07:40 – Sold Her Lease in California and Moved to D.C. Before Even Getting the Job
01:08:21 – Continuing to Knock on Doors and Making Thing Happen
01:09:04 – The Real Challenge Begins After You Pivot and Get “The Thing” You Want…
01:10:24 – Always Organic + Friendship-Based
01:15:09 – Maya’s Personal Trainer’s Approach
01:17:29 – Gets The Job at the White House… Now What?
01:24:29 – One Word Change That Caused a 9% Increase in Response
01:26:05 – Zero Cost Simple Changes
01:26:45 – A Lot of Hard Work, Got Attention of President Obama and Had Meeting with Him
01:27:56 – Obama Signs an Executive Order to Make Her Team Permanent
01:28:40 – What is Obama Like?
01:33:15 – How the Executive Order Came Into Being
01:34:10 – “Behavioral Economics” vs. Behavior Science
01:36:48 – Battling Systemic Racism/Disenfranchisement. Mistrust/Disinformation.
01:42:45 – Operational Transparency
01:46:47 – Study About Embarrassing Stories vs. Proud Stories Effect on Productivity
01:48:36 – Surrogate Miscarriage Story
01:50:57 – Sharing with Her Podcast Audience.
01:51:44 – The Therapeutic Benefits and Empowerment from Sharing Hardships, Grief and Shame.
01:59:52 – Maya’s Friend Scott Episode: Stage 4 Cancer
02:04:54 – Apple Named Maya’s Podcast “A Slight Change of Plans” The Best Podcast of 2021
02:07:30 – Chasing flow states: ASCoP Episode: “Tommy Caldwell Finds Clarity”
02:10:45 – Actionable Tools for Change.
02:11:24 – How Change Actually Works
02:16:14 – The Illusion of Control vs. Surrender
02:18:06 – Is ‘Being Present-Minded’ a Movement Right Now?
02:23:20 – Closing

* * * * *

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Hi I’m Rich Roll. I’m a vegan ultra-endurance athlete, author, podcaster, public speaker & wellness evangelist. But mainly I’m a dad of four. If you want to know more, visit my website or check out these two the NY Times articles:
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