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197: Change Is The Only Constant - with Maya Shankar


Today on the podcast I interview Dr. Maya Shankar - a cognitive scientist who served as a Senior Advisor in the Obama White House, where she founded and served as Chair of the White House Behavioral Science Team. She served as the first Behavioral Science Advisor to the United Nations and has a postdoctoral fellowship in cognitive neuroscience at Stanford, a Ph.D. from Oxford and a B.A. from Yale. She has been profiled by The New Yorker and has been featured in The New York TimesScientific American, and Forbes and is currently a Senior Director of Behavioral Economics at Google. She's a freaking rockstar, and this episode is a conversation about opportunity, the role that community has to play in the journey of our lives, and creating work that outlasts us.

Check out Maya's podcast, A Slight Change of Plans, here!


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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
The past year has roots so wild right like hard and good and a lot of chaos, and if your like me the morning routine. That you have for your day. Is everything it's how We figure out what comes next, it's how we practise gratitude and sinner ourselves, and it is how we lay our priorities and figure out where we're going. If you have it yet built a morning routine. I want to make sure you know about the start today. Brand. It is a collection of gourd is journals and planners that helps centre. You help you practice gratitude. Be set goals and stay focused in the midst of chaos and in the case of the planner, it helps you break apart those big gigantic dreams in two achievable bite- says pieces. You can.
Find out more at start today. Dot com. Hi, I'm Rachel Hollis This is my podcast I spend so many hours of every single week reading and listened podcast and watching Youtube videos and trying to find out as much as I can about the world around me and that's what we do on the show. We talk about everything life. and how to be an entrepreneur. What happened dinosaurs? What's the best recipe for fried chicken? What's the best plan for intermittent fasting? What's going on with our inner child house therapy working out for you, whatever it is, my guess or into I want to unpack it so that we can all understand these Our conversations. This is information for the curious. This is the Rachel Hollis
I guess I guess that's it start where tell us about yourself at the audience. A thing to this is familiar with you in this incredible body of work. Where, in the White House them. I love this story about getting into Juilliard like there's something again to what were you just take us on a journey of who you are and how you got to be this woman. Yeah. Absolutely. Will it's wonderful to me you and thank them for having the eye I thought I was always gonna be violinist. When I was six years old, my mom went up to our attic and brought down my grandmother's violin, she had brought with her all the way from India is one of the few things she brought overseas with her when she emigrated here, and I pick it up the instrument- and I was just immediately captured by it and I think bye my mom could see very quickly awhile. I think this is kind of a special thing going on, because you know you have to tell kids do lots of things, but she never had to tell me to practice.
always something that fell like joy and funds, and certainly a lot of homework didn't feel like doing fine. Sir, I knew that I just wasn't excited about everything. It was that when really tapped into something within me, and so I became quite serious about the instrument. Over the years when I was nine years old, I audition further Juilliard schooled music in your dear earlier, yeah. Ok hold you have to look at what is it yes, though, what happened is united? the violin and my parents had no connections in the musical world. So my dad's, a theoretical physics, professor, her at Yale, my mom health. grins get green cards in this country's, neither of them had. Any intel into how it is that you break into the classical music world, and so I knew that it was one of my dreams to apply for the Juilliard Pre College programme ends.
We were walking in New York when day or to some other daughter track than I have my violent with me and we walked by the physical building, the Juilliard Building and my mom said to me my at. Why are we just go in like what's the worst that could happen, and you know I'm a nine year old, being leg, mom you're being crazy, like there is no way that we should never go in they're gonna turn us down. This is gonna, be terrible and she's like look the worst thing that can happen as they just tell us like. Thank you have a nice day. Please leave our building. They re just give it a go, so. We walk into the building. I denounced uninvited and my mom, the total fearless go get her with. Also just a very charting lively, bubbly person strikes have a conversation with a and daughter in the elevator, and she explains that either aspiring concert, violinist and if they were willing, would they let me meet her violent teacher after this young girls lesson was over and their families
very very nice and said, oh sure thing. When my lesson several introduce you to my teacher and I ended up auditioning for this teacher on the spot. He accepted me into a summer programme which is essentially like cat fur for violinist, and then I audition for Juilliard in the fall in with accepted and Rachel. I have to tell you like that completely changed my life, because one there's no way in hack. I would ever had been accepted into Julia. Had I not gone through the boot calf or just wasn't good enough, the number two It instilled in me a really valuable lesson about the fact that a lot of times in life, especially when you have dreams and aspiration and things are rarely handed you on a silver platter and what my mom taught me is when the opportunity doesn't exist, you better, while there created Yang happen for yourself, and I love that spirit. I don't think it's a nine year old. I was consciously aware of the facts. You was teaching me this profound lesson in life that I've certainly seen at play out. over and over again as I've-
to get in my life's twists and turns and tried to create opportunities for myself. When I ask, love about that. As I always dig, this reminder that in a people it's example, He's like people have dreams are things that they want to do, and the sort of wondering when that that big breaks gonna happen are when they're gonna. You know, and I really do think there are those moments in life like yes, your mom walked you guys into that building but you had done so much preparation to get to that there's not a world where your mom's, what he went that building if she had seen the dedication that you gave to this craft for all the time before that- and I that, because I think there are a lot of people listening who do have hopes and dreams, and this thing that they want for themselves their kind of like? How can I make that opportunity happen now and I would have come back and say how can you make sure that your totally prepared
that when you do get this moment in time, you can take advantage of it. There's this quote from Oprah that I love or she says, there's no sex. thing. Is luck there's only preparation and meaning opportunity and a moment in time, and are you knew about those things for that to be the life that you ve lived some friend? I think that such an and faithful important point, which is yes, you, you need some of that fearless s, end to innovate and try to create opportunities for yourself, but you basically have to put yourself in a position where you put in so much hard work that at any moment when you are given the opportunity here can seize the moment and deliver yeah an idea that I just had that mindset as a kid which was. This is real we, my big dream in life- and I can't squander it so if I may, Could it be that service of opening the door I better, like March the fn, unlike when I'm in that room and in that fell like you know my responsibility at the time, but you're actually write em just hours and hours sitting in my practice rule
and I dont want to romanticize practicing like I loved it, but you know you're not thrive as one of your friends after school. You dont want to. I practicing Tchaikovsky, and so there are definite very painful moments. I was just such a singular focus that I really did want to make sure I was as prepared as I possibly could be. I love in a reminder to that not romanticizing what that is because It is really hard work right. Like we see these people get celebrated, we see athletes are musicians or be I'd say whenever what you're, seeing when you get to the stage where you're? Seeing what you get too, when you're at the Olympics or the Superbowl, is all of the hard work that happened when no one was watching right like when it sat when it was hard when you that blisters on your fingers, when you're bored, when you miss hanging out with your friends like. Where did you learn the dedication to do something like that
so young, or was it just the love, a violin that that should have made that possible? For you I mean, I think, love you in the door and gets through those early humps, that would otherwise deter a six year old for wanting to keep doing the thing. But if it's sustainable right. I mean in the same way that, like I think the thing that we kept me motivated, was that every weekend Saturday, I was immersed in music world for at least ten hours of the day, so the Julia Prep Profile M is one where you do regular scold during the week, wherever it is that you live, and you know I lived in Connecticut and my mom or my dad would bring me up to New York from Connecticut at we wake up at four hundred and thirty in the morning get to New York, and I would basically engage in like nine or ten hours of classes, essentially non stop
and if you told me that I had to do that in isolation as well as a kid, how can I get out of here? There's no way I don T want to go to Katy sleep over instead, but because I was surrounded by like minded kids right normalize. The whole thing for me right, I was like well, you know I don't always love practicing, but neither does Christa ignited there's, a crackling, all united, neither does is violinist sitting next to me orchestra, but these other kids are doing. They all have the same dreams that I'm that I have, and so I think actually that camaraderie that feeling bad. I was a really alone in this, pursue that I had all these terrorists who are really looked up to and really admired. It was friends with who are living a similar, kind of life. Help propelled me forward and- and I share this because I think we sometimes undervalue these community factors when it comes to our own motivation and psyche some things I realized in a really profound way. Over time. You know people ass, like oh,
you know what drove you at the White House, what drove you at various parts of your career and I think the answer is always people. It's always. People that are energizing me. I guess it's kind of matter commentary even of a cognitive scientists, always been fascinated by humans that I think, are also the most inspired by humans at the end of the day, and so people can be everything, and certainly I think that help music stay really focused. I consider my self, a really creative person, writer and like to think that good, visual I but see when it comes to actual design skill low is really basic. I'm not. Well versed in how to use the different things on my computer I don't even want to call them I do my very best, but it's just not my gifting villain.
This time my company was too small to be able to afford a graphic designer, and so as a business owner had to figure it out, and I think it out easing camper honestly, I've been using camera since, before anybody thought it was cool and now I use canvas pro camera pro- is the easy to use design platform. That has everything you need to design like a pro, it's all in, place and includes a collection of over seventy five million premium photos. Videos, audio and graphics, plus camera pro comes with time, saving tools that simplify and speed up the creative process. So you guys they have these like templates and then use hop your information in there, but it looks beautifully designed my favorite feature is the existing templates, because- feel like if I can start with something that can edit it and make it cool. But I really struggle to build something from scratch.
Design like a pro with canvas pro right now, you can get a free forty Five day extended trial, we use my promo code, just go to camphor dot me slash rise to get your free forty five day, extended trial, that c n v, a dot m e, Slash rise Campbell dot me slash rice. How does that my outrage today, as an adult I mean. Obviously, if Europe Juilliard, if you're in the White House you're in your game, to serve be three. in situations where you're, with the best of the best, where you're with this hierarchy, risen those people that are you're, not at their level, there probably gonna kind of full you up to their levels. You wanted his day in that same space with them. So what is look like in your life or have you expect so time were you weren't being put in
the situations and you had to make the community. Are you had to find that inner circle of people? you know? Maybe it wasn't school or when you were coming up in your career, but where their moments, where you had to make the thing that you didn't yet have yet been. I would say that I have always felt pushed by the. Though, around me, no matter what situation again, because you always find people who better You are like most things in life, but I think the key is figuring out whether their pushing you, right way and along the right dimensions, given your personality and what makes you take so a good example of this not being the case for me was I was doing my post stock in cognitive Neuroscience at Stanford.
in the day and ogier whole dying cause. You are fancy and I need to understand exactly said, are alive or a country mounted I'll, get great, letting the ivory guys putting people at the brain scanners scanning their brains, looking at images trying to figure out how that not onto their decisions or their emotions are what not. Now, as you can imagine right like I doubling had impostor syndrome and this lad, these people were incredibly burly. And smart and talented and motivated, but I remember sitting there we told Miss Effingham awry, I've oratory and it's a windowless through I can then in there for hours, scanning people's brains, and I thought to myself. This is not the life for me. Like I'm already peering into the stewards brain. I dont know whether he has kids. I dont know what his favorite ice cream flavour is. I don't know what his passions of life are given. What is social creature? I am, I feel, like the order of operations is, is like it needed to be the other way around. Where I really got to know, and then I looked into his brain same everything
in a moment. Oh gosh, I dont think I want to do this anymore. so even know. I was sitting in this incredible I remain and making a lot of your listeners will resonate with the feeling that you might be around incredible people, but it's not right for you. It's not the right environment for you, and I think it is just as important and will have to recognise when the environment is tailored to you as it is to recognise when it's not so that you can take active efforts to exit that environment and try to find something that better match or a better fit any can be really hard right. At this point. In my life I had done my Phd for many years that I done this poster my whole undergrad major was in studying the Mai, like I devoted ten years or so to this whole enterprise, and I'm thinking to myself, I don't wanna be a professor. I dont want to be an academic, holiness Whatever her head settle, I, yes, I think, that's an example, ere, I just realized. Wasn't the robot wasn't right fit for me now it's it's a big deal to content that realisation, but I
going to assume- and you can tell me if I'm wrong was that hard for your parents, given that that's what your dad dad you had worked so along and sell Harding devoted so much time to is, for you to decide to change its a great question, not at all hard for my parents night was really nice. So you know the one piece of authority to fill in four listeners is that I lost my ability to play the violin. What sixteen beside a sudden henery, and I just FR the mind through this textbook that I was having my parents cleaner basement. I discovered my sister's old college textbook. It was all about how our minds work, and I was absolutely in awe of the mind it didn't quite have that same spark is violin, but it was pretty freaking close, and that was very exciting to me, because I wasn't sure I'd stumble upon something that I loved as much as the violin and so I I did. My parents had already seen me pivot once in my life and a pretty profound way from violent cognitive science and
I shall never calling my dad when I was in my post stock and being like we'll I've admired for so long. I think you're lucky Not only is this very brilliant professor, but he is incredible teacher, so he's been spending so much of his career, trying to figure out how to translate really complex scientific concepts from physics in two terms that light People can understand, and Cyprus admired so many parts of it like an. I also saw the very romantic parts of being an academic like as a kid. He did a sabbatical cinnabar for us and I hope family got to live in Santa Barbara. For six months. I was like also if you travel do have even conference, is all over the world. This is great that when I called him up, he actually told me he's like Maya then? What I know about you? This is not the right match. Ok, I've met people who, I think You know, academia, for then it's not for you. I think the real challenge for you is figuring out what it is that you what it is that a better fit for
for your personality, and how did you even go about doing now, or did you haven't idea before you made the change he had it? had absolutely no idea, I'm graduating with this postal in cognitive neuroscience and I have no idea what someone does with that kind of degree if they don't become a professor. So I remember calling at my underground advisor and saying: hey Lorry thinks you're getting me in the field of cognitive science. Don't want to do. any more thoughts, and she tells me I said TAT. I try to become a general management. Consulted is a two way, so I leave the field and she said what I know that I could email might not be right for you, but I also know that you are a genuinely fascinated by human behavior, and so you don't want to have to leave fully like. Maybe you can be a practitioner of the field is like okay. What would that look like she said? Well, I heard about this amazing work that was happening in the federal government service was in the Obama White House where they were using inside.
about human behaviour in decision making to help millions of low income, kids get access to free lunch every day at school, and I heard about the story. And it was so emotionally resident for me because I had been very acutely air of all the ways in which incites from behavioral science could, in theory, translate into improvements and people's lives. But now I was hearing about this work happening in real time bright. I think that was the more where I thought okay, I yet. I am really interesting human behaviour and I do want to do this and I would love to do it at the intersection of public policy, because it means that I can actually help people and you too have a really, hopefully positive, real world impact. But then I did happen to my mom's juilliard method, because I didn't know anybody in the federal government. I'd know political connections. No policy connections like it was a totally foreign world for me, so my visor game either email address of a very senior official who had just left the White House? His name is cast on steed and I sent him an email and I was like
I admire I published. Nothing has significance, I ve no public calls experience, but how we love to- work in. You know at the intersection of public policy and behavioral science, and I did a very classic female thing, which is I downplay myself and I even wrote in the note I remember saying Rachel like oh, I know I'm not cool enough to work with the likes of Obama, but if at all possible to do something at state or local government. That would be amazing. So I was already two stacking the cards against me, and I think this is something We see ourselves doing all the time which is just to avoid ever coming off as too confident. You know feeling like yours capable than more than you are like we're, no allergic and averse to that and so faithfully. For me Constantine Open, Email ignored all that crap? It was like here's the president's science advisers, email address. set of a and let him know that you, you know, I sent you along a week later, I'm interviewing
with a senior White House official its blowing my mind that this has happened? period in my life and there was this profound and where I was telling him about all of these ideas, had about ways that we could apply insights about human behavior into the design of public policy and east, and I'm Ambrose recommending something for the first ladies initiative. Goes yeah. I know Michel abandoned her chief of staff, like we can make that happen, and that was. Furthermore, I realize okay, this is real like this is something that can actually happen. My bags and before I even had a formal, for a letter. I signed a one year least in DC, because I I had the vitality of I'm gonna move here, you can go to make myself known and present a forest. You guys to give you this job. So Thankfully, it all added of working out fine, I just I was so excited about the opportunity. Oh, my god, I mean I love this theme in your life of like you, you are. sort of finding a way if the front doors and open your going through a window, but again
You had all of this work and this time and this sort of incubation period to get to that interview and even have ideas to present to them, and I just feel both are important because so often when people? into an interview like that, like this link Listen to this sort of inspiring moment where you get to sit down and whatever they cannot ignore. are the work that went into it before you got to that place again. I think that the point you are making is so important and I'm so glad your ear sharing this insight, because that's actually right and one thing that I learned from going through many. These experiences is, if you build a community of supporters around you, it it doesn't have to be an intentional thing. It can just happened, and you care about people and they care about you and you invest in each other. You don't have to go through these changes alone. You don't have to do them. self. So I remember when I got the White House Interview, I called up five or six of my fellow cognitive scientists. Behavioral scientists now
back in an interview that the White House in three days and I'm pulling together all these proposals and ideas can. We cannot just have thirty minutes longer time to brainstorm stuff and I do feel like if we can build these communities around ourselves. It can actually help us fill in the gaps of whatever knowledge we lack at that moment or whenever inexperience we have like people can help us to rise to the occasion and get to that level as a business owner. One of the things I have been most focused on over the last eighteen months is not making sure that my team can do their job. Do they have the right equipped and to have their laptop at home. What are they need to work virtually, but also, What do we need to be able to do that and feel great? We have done so many initiatives to make sure that the team feels supported and can work through it ever stress they have and with care
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oh yeah it without you really hard. It was an incredibly challenging job and I can t earlier point it's easy to romanticize my time and in the White House, because you look at it you're like oh and then she had this team and had all this impact. then Obama bomb that with her and he signed this thing, but that's just not the reality of one. What went on behind the scenes so soon when we set the scene for you Rachel like. I was twenty seven year old, coming into government again, no public policy experience and I was given some really valuable guidance from my boss. At the time he had worked for Clinton for eight years had left her in Bush and then came back for a bomber. he said is that when he left after Clinton had a very evocative analogy said it was ass though he had been spoke spending eight years building this elaborate sand castle on the beach and one wave came and crash the whole thing over and there is there,
We any remnants of all of the work that he has done. So he told me when you come in its great free to accomplish whenever you cannot, in person. But a lot of that will leave with you and you want the work that you do in government to out last your unique tenure while you're there. So with that lesson in mine, I decided, while I can translate behavioral science into improvements in people's lives, but what if I spent my time instead building out a dedicated team of behavioral scientists? That's could be a formal part of government live past, my time here in the White House and do this as a matter of course right as well as a part of regular business as usual practice in the government. So I decided I wanted to create a behavioral science team, the challenges that there was no mandate to create this team. I had budget. I had no headcount and I ve seen no power. I felt the cards were sacked against me and I really took on the entrepreneur mindset. I knocked on every single
or I could in the government I engaged at all levels of government right. So I worked with new political leadership. I worked with folks had been working in the government for decades. Anybody who is willing to have a conversation with me. I had a conversation with them and what I did I just try to get some quick winds on the board. Convince my peers at the Department of veterans of Ferris just run. One pilot with me or two: Vince. The department of Education is partner with me on one thing, and you know the denominator conversations within me, neither thousands at a certain point and for every hundred conversations I think maybe I get one opportunity out of it and that might be generous. But over time I started to see this cultural change happen.
Let me give you a concrete examples of listeners, know what are even mean by doing this applied behavioral science thing. So a good example is when veterans return from their time overseas. We offer a educational unemployment benefit to them, the with the hope that it can help ease the very difficult transition from military to civilian life, and the unfortunate thing is that, even though the government was offering this programme, a lot of veterans were not taking advantage of even those in their hopefully best interest, and that could be because we were doing their job. Communicating about it may be, was confusing on the application process, etc, etc. So the Department of Veterans Affairs asked for some advice on how to improve their outrage, and they said we are budgets really limited, so we ve got one. He now
and you can just make changes that one. He now that's a marketing email about the programme and we ended up changing just one word in the email. Instead of telling veterans that they were eligible for the programme, we simply reminded them that they had earned it through their years of service and that one word change led to a nine percent increase in participation in the programme and, what's amazing about this as it is, it leverages up he wrote in sight called the endowment, a fact which basically says we value things a lot more when we own then or feel that we ve earned them in some way, because we have now something to lose right from its mind to have and I'm gonna lose it, and so that was an example like one of those winds were when you get it on the board, then all of a sudden you know my colleagues in the Department veterans affairs are now telling their partners in the Department of Defense hey this. My purse and then there's some value here. You know and over time we
able to build enough momentum and excitement that I you know is eventually able to build up this team get a budget that support brief. President Obama and and it of signing an executive order that institutionalized the team as a regular part of government and so yeah. That was an amazing. I mean also he's just the coolest sky did somebody are selling my husband, I was like then TAT day was really the best day. Meeting Obama. My husband had gently remind me that we got married that year. Self deception probably update big member that but also a year defends, come on come on but that is not a tutor above a fan himself. So still have it if you want to buy Obama. So in that time that you're barrier ear. I love love like I'm in a nerd, our big about this all Davis. This idea that you have to create work. That's gonna last you, in case the tenure that you're in the White House, but also what a beautiful thought for all of us to think through, is like
and my training that will out last me. What is the land? See that I leave behind when that administration, wrapped up in you, stay inside working the government accounting you our view shifted and changed since that time periods. So when Trump won the election, I was out the door, however, because I had built the team in a very non partisan part of government- and this was very intentional right member- my bosses advice, which was don't building the place that susceptible to a lot of political influence and leadership change, building in a part of government. That just does good government practice right. So we baked it into a very by partisan part of government, and so they continued to do fantastic work during trumps him in a strange and they continue to operate. Do great work under the binding administration, they ve helped, people. Have a gay wildfires. They ve helped combat the opium aid at the damage like they ve, been doing really incredible. Work to help improve people's lives, laptops
and what then have you been up to sense then? So I moved out to California and started working at Google. Also in a behavioral economics all and then my latest passion project has been starting. My new cast lands, and I totally it Are we have said that I love podcasting? It is such an honour to be able to interview people that I admire so much. I'm sure you ve had this experience. And I know Hillary Clinton, Qc Musgrave Tiffany Hanish Tommy Caldwell, like people which is incredible stories of change and what Love about eight, given my personality is that I have licence to cut through all the pleasantries and basically like hey Hillary Clinton so Tell me about the worse moment of your life. Tell you about the harder helmeted rely you tell me about when you, you know, you're able, as an interview order, really get down,
into that we live in and hopefully unlock parts of them that not only listeners haven't heard, but in some cases they themselves are hopefully realising with you together. the first time and I love it when as a team were unpacking near their life and our stumbling upon new ways of seeing their story or new. Sites are reflections spin, especially the most five fun I've ever had in my life, I mean the violin but like podcasting, doesn't require practicing alone in a room for four or five hours a day, and then I love the social element podcasting getting to work with. My amazing producers and editor and yeah. It's to spin. It's been so much fun. Who was the process fun Entire time was daunting at all when you started because it was this new medium for you or did you just jump, then I guess what I'm? What I'm really asking is when you approached a new project in your life, has been just full of those. Do you approach it with excite,
man? Is there like? What's the process that you go through when you're getting into something that yeah that's a great question, it certainly depends on what it is. I'm pursuing great something's. I feel very It feels very daunting on and other things just my natural enthusiasm in Abuja kind of propels me forward. I would say that I approach basely every project in my life, though with impatience like I I remember my parents have been saying this about me from the time I was a little girl, but, like I want things to have happened yesterday. That's like glass, you just me my life mantra. Did it having yesterday- if not we're moving too slowly. So let me tell you a little bit Rachel about my the genesis for the podcasting. I can let you know how it unfolded, but basically in twenty twenty I was feeling very. overwhelmed by the rapid pace of change that was happening. Around me and I know a lot of people felt very overwhelmed by the rapid change happening around them and I think in part it in part. That was just as very acute feeling that we were not we're not in control
you know like control is in many ways an illusion and is something that we like to feel. We have because it just feels psychologically better to feel like. We have control, but we face. Collective moment as a world where things were just running away from us, and I then tried to put on my psychologists, behavioral scientists, hat and think ok, this disease six of what twenty twenty through our way are certainly unprecedented. There very novel. We don't know how to approach this moment but in many ways our minds are actually built for change and are ability to navigate change is not unprecedented, and that was an insight for me because I thought that moment if I can collect stories of people who have experienced incredible change in their lives and have found some way or other to navigate it. They may not always have been successful, but just like some way to navigate it right. We all have to kind of way through. So many of these experiences made we can learn something really valuable,
can mind their stories for inside second help us think about change only in our own lives and give us more. I would even say like more inspiration does, I think, that's a little bit. Reductionist is just more complexity in the way that we think about change. Could I don't wanna? My goal of this package is not too like have the cheese Raymond tied up a little bow and say: hey, look. Everybody ended up better after a big change to this. Not the case in any. The human experience is so complex and the emotional experiences that accompany a big change are very complex, so my goal was to just again mine pupil stories for insights, and so I pulled together my pitched document and as soon as the idea crystallized, I just went like my abode and won by a vote. Looks like is this singular focus commute
hitting that everyone- I possibly Canada Sphere, that might be able to give you some insight into how to make the thing happen. In this particular case, I went back to my underground adviser lorry Santos she's, the one who recommended that I tried the White House Kagan. She actually has a very successful podcast, Pushkin called a happiness lab, and so she sent my could stock to Pushkin, and I think, within, like a few days, I was teaching. Group, and we did a whole piloting phase, and here we are with the full sees them. Is the law happening in Like November and December of twenty twenty? And now we ve got the whole season, Doorway cell is one fell as smooth as I think any length pursuit is felt to speak, Is it really taps into something within me? That's very deep in terms of passion and I think that the candidates help me realize part of my past for the violin was not even about this sounds it was producing, but about
fact that the violent allowed me to connect with people in this really unique and special way like you can be onstage performing in your forging in him. no connection with members of your audience you're having moments together of beauty right where your appreciating this composers work, I think doing this progress on me realize. Ok, I think the thing I'm actually passionate about is people and the violent with an instrument for affording that human, emotional connection and podcasting is another expression of that Sleep is why one of the most important factors in my house. Honestly, I'm like a toddler. If I don't get good sleep, I'm cranky, I can't focus and I feel, like the whole day, is kind of cruddy. There's all sorts of things that you can do to make sure that you, high quality sleep, but it really starts with the mattress that you're sleeping on, which is why I tried sleep number for the first time. A couple of years ago,
Remember sleep helps us recover faster from exercise, injuries and illnesses. Deep sleep decreases anxiety, the overnight by reorganizing the connections in our brain. Prove, quality sleep is life. Changing sleep special offers for a limited time. Only at sleep number stores or at sleep number dotcom, slash rise I am so excited to announce that for the first time in over eighteen months rise women's conference is in person. I m. Besides myself, you guys, if you have ever been to rise women's conference than you know how special added and if you ve always wanted to go, this is the time Labour day weekend in
certain taxes, my town, we're gonna dance then a laugh we're going to unpack the hard half in our life, the good stuff in our life, we're gonna create roadmap. to where we want to go and hear from incredible speakers, it is three full days, programming. It is a community of women who are like minded they're, not alike. we're not the same. Women come from all over place different religions, different political beliefs, different true orientations. Different ways to believe and love and think and hope, but commonality in us all is that We want to become a better version of ourselves come to rise conference to become someone new. You come to rise conference to take ownership of your life and to remember all of the thing, they make you so great in the first place, so I
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you are explaining it. It is the sort of beautiful, like all of these parts of yourself and all of these party restore our coming together and are really beautiful way because there obviously in violin. There is this performative asp and then you have this work that you ve done and how people think, and I a and a big part of that was you need to understand what you were saying in their scans, but also being able to communicate that to them, and it just feels, like you said, of found this path, and maybe that's why it just organically happened so so swiftly. I love it. I can't wait to listen and actually, for all that I didn't know the term in a big on how the brain works. So I won't Henry, but are you from any recapture Ayman? Didn't, oh, my god, someone I have value. I send you to his home, like all of his work is a round this idea that the brain is one of the one part of the body that, if your ex experiencing sickness or your problem, it's a it you don't. We dont tend to look at it before they prescribe. You,
something that I give you break your arm. They skip. They look at the arm in an extremely see how it is, but a few, having anxiety or depression or ever that they dont sort of look. At that reason, a ton of work and Tb Ion PTSD and am ever really dear friend, who is an NFL and so like he went to see him for what was going, in his anywhere on the dignified. So I love that kind of stuff. Because I think anything that helps us understand Why we do what we do yeah is- a more powerful and and when you re really helpful. Yet I think one. and I ve learned from creating a slight change of plans- is that while their allotted answers and scientific textbooks about how it is that we work. Not all the answers exists in those textbooks end Actually, we need to find both answers and people stories, but also questions and people stories like what are the questions we should even be asked. About high in the first place and our aid and having these conversations with different gas, I realized how multi faceted the change response is an
I think one thing I love it when I proved myself wrong I love when I learned something new that counter, as my former understanding is something that I remember before the Pike ass, I used to think of change unique one dimensional on which you can break up changes. Third, will change and there's unwell change right, those like the desire changes, the undesired change and that naturally, one would give different advice to some one based on whether falls into the desirable or undesirable camp. But what I learned from connecting these views, as that. Maybe the thought, the right way of thinking about change and the reason for that is any change in our lives. It doesn't happen in a vacuum. There can be all sorts of spill over effects into other parts of our life that we simply cannot anticipate in in advance era,
So this one woman, I emailed her very sorry that I interviewed her name- is only Baker. Her lifelong goal was to become thin and she actually reach our goal. In five months she lost a hundred ten pounds, very sudden, drastic weight loss and for a while, she did believe that she was living her dream life until sudden she suddenly she realised that she was actually losing parts of herself in the process. Parts of herself ass, she really valued. So she felt like she was becoming a worse person that she was. It is nice to people. She felt she was becoming more superficial. Sketchy, ironically, felt a lot more self conscious post losing the weight than she had been prior. She felt like she was less outspoken and bold, and this was a great example of someone who will
the change. I mean like invasion and unhealthy process to lose the weight completely surprised herself in the process and realise that that was not at all the change that you ve been craving in her life or needed in her life and that she was worse off as a result and on the flip side, I interviewed a young man, his aim, Scott, you thirty two years old, he's a cancer researcher and he's a self proclaimed health. Not so he's one of those guys that, like the again intermittent fasting, high intensity interval, training course, turmeric and all of its food, I've Indian loved her Marek downpour turmeric on your food Flickr advisory to people. You got it. You know, use that space delicately anyway, so he's done everything he possibly can to try and optimize the quality of life.
Lifespan and only thirty two. He gets a stage for cancer diagnosis that essentially overnight leads him to have two amputate one of his legs. He has had multiple surgery since and including getting averted by removed from his spine and he's done six rounds of chemotherapy to move to Texas to an impatient facility because of the intensity of the chemotherapy, and he tells me my worst nightmare came true and yet, remarkably six months into his treatment, he's sitting on his back patio drinking and have a cup of coffee saying once remarked
We'll Maya is that a more or less fuel as happy as I did before the diagnosis, yet the loans are lower. I'll, give you that, but the good things are just as great a good meal with a friend listening to a beautiful piece of music eating a delicious by the food. There are things that I still really enjoy life and I actually feel on a daily basis, not only justice happy, but I also feel like I'm a better person like I've tapped into parts of myself. I didn't appreciate before have developed a bigger kind of empathy towards people, and you know that's not everyone. Story. But that's Scots story and what that taught me and in what he shared with me is if he had known how he was gonna respond psychologically to this change. He would never have feared it as much as he did in the first place, and I that was so powerful and I get again, I think Elena Story and Scots story taught me, and I hope also teaches listeners that we need to approach changed with a profound and out of humility and almost bs
student of it, where we're looking for ways in which we might grow potentially negative consequences are side effects because things are changes are just never as clean as we think that It's not like. Oh, I would have exactly the same Maya, but I'm just gonna tweak this one piece of me: that's just not how humans work. That's on how life works, and so I've loved discovering these six of change and these learning from from my interview, subjects- my gosh Maya, it sounds so fantastic if people are listening to this end like taking out like. I am because euro at all. What's gonna happen business, this disaster? Where can they listen to the broadcasts? Yes, so it's called a slight change of plans available on Apple podcast. I heard radio Spotify, where we get your podcast and it's a new podcast. So if folks are willing to subscribe and re and share with me much appreciated,
absolutely hey. I really appreciate the time I'm gonna we got to connect and I'm glad I got to hear your story, AY. I feel it is such an important, rotation, obviously coming off of last year and what that felt like for so many people. But honestly, even when we're not inside of a pandemic, we're still gonna expansion, and we all are- it- is the only Comstock and light eggs and thought. I love that your digging in- and I know that that's gonna- be really helpful to the listener to subscribe, unlike and share that so kind of you all things for having young. You ask such thoughtful insightful questions and have wonderful reflections. I actually love Our conversation, the Rachel Hollis Podcast, is hosted by me, Rachel Hollis our show is produced by Chelsea Har fish and edited by Andrew Weller, with a dish production support by sterling coats, our exit producer is Cameron Bergmann. The Rachel Hollis
Podcast is a three percent chance production.
Transcript generated on 2021-07-24.