Dr. Maya Shankar: How to Shape Your Identity & Goals | Huberman Lab Podcast

In this episode, my guest is Maya Shankar, Ph.D., a cognitive scientist, former senior advisor to the White House and Chair of the White House Social and Behavioral Sciences Team. She is the creator and host of the podcast, A Slight Change of Plans. We discuss how our identities develop and change, how our beliefs and internal narratives shape our perception of self, and how to use structured introspection about our values to determine our goals. We discuss how to cope and grow through uncertain situations, especially those that force us to reexamine our roles and identity. Dr. Shankar shares her experience of redefining her identity after an early career-ending setback. She also explains numerous science-based strategies to effectively define goals, structure our goal pursuits and maintain consistent motivation. This episode provides a science-supported toolkit and roadmap to assess your identity and goals and positively transform in the face of change.

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Dr. Maya Shankar
Website: https://mayashankar.com
A Slight Change of Plans: https://apple.co/slightchangeofplans
TED Talk: https://youtu.be/Tt0arZN6EBM
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@drmayashankar
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/drmayashankar
Twitter: https://twitter.com/slightchangepod
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drmayashankar
Publications: https://mayashankar.com/publications

On the dimensionality of odor space: https://bit.ly/475304P
Computations of uncertainty mediate acute stress responses in humans: https://go.nature.com/43y8IJG
The End of History Illusion: https://bit.ly/3KcPkeh
Achievement Goals and the Hierarchical Model of Achievement Motivation: https://bit.ly/3rFmrkz
They Saw a Game: A Case Study: https://bit.ly/44YMphc
The Fresh Start Effect: Temporal Landmarks Motivate Aspirational Behavior: https://bit.ly/46Tszps
Holding the Hunger Games Hostage at the Gym: An Evaluation of Temptation Bundling: https://bit.ly/44Zax3d

Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It: https://amzn.to/3pZl4g6
Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life: https://amzn.to/3QaS0Nw
Get It Done: Surprising Lessons from the Science of Motivation: https://amzn.to/3pRxtTu
The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World: https://amzn.to/3Kailra
Thinking, Fast and Slow: https://amzn.to/3q3u1VN

Other Resources
Identity Paralysis: https://bit.ly/3rFjEYE
Reginald Dwayne Betts: https://nyti.ms/3O52uLx
Rick Rubin: How to Access Your Creativity (Huberman Lab episode): https://bit.ly/44Bjb8B
Dr. Arie Kruglanski & Cognitive Closure: https://bit.ly/3KanqQ4
Dr. Ethan Kross & Venting: https://bit.ly/3Qbrt2E
Slight Change of Plans – Daryl Davis episode: https://bit.ly/3Y6cCbA
Let’s See a Game: https://bit.ly/44Oca3U
Peak-end Rule: https://bit.ly/3rIyo9i

00:00:00 Dr. Maya Shankar
00:02:37 Sponsors: Maui Nui Venison & Eight Sleep
00:05:15 Identity Foreclosure, Identity Paralysis, Throughlines
00:12:10 Identity & Adolescence; “Essence” & Shame
00:16:58 Delight & Awe
00:23:00 Delight & Possibilities for Self
00:29:28 Playing Violin, Childhood
00:34:54 Sponsor: AG1
00:35:58 Intrinsic Motivation; Juilliard & Courage
00:45:43 Competitive Environments; Curiosity & Growth
00:53:46 Re-Creating of Self
01:00:51 Pop-Science, Science Accessibility
01:05:25 Sponsor: InsideTracker
01:06:32 Passions & Curiosity
01:13:20 Change, Cognitive Closure, End-of-History Illusion
01:22:29 Self-Awareness & Critical Feedback
01:30:48 Tools: Flexible Mindset; Reframing & Venting; Gratitude
01:40:13 Tool: Framing Goals
01:47:13 Tool: Agency in Goal Pursuit
01:52:25 Tool: Like-Minded People & Goal Pursuit; Challenging Beliefs
02:01:27 Cultivating Open-Mindedness & Empathy
02:08:15 Building Self Narratives: Empathy, Burnout
02:13:56 Tools: Goal Setting
02:19:54 Tool: “Middle Problem”, Maintaining Motivation
02:24:55 Tool: Aversion & Memory, Peak-End Rule
02:31:41 Zero-Cost Support, YouTube Feedback, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, Momentous, Neural Network Newsletter, Social Media

Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac – https://www.blabacphoto.com

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