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Why change is so scary — and how to unlock its potential - Maya Shankar

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TED Talk

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Unexpected change like an accident, an illness or a relationship that suddenly ends is inevitable — and disorienting. With a heartfelt and optimistic take on life's curveballs, cognitive scientist Maya Shankar shares how these challenging moments can inspire transformation, offering three questions to ask when facing uncertainty, so you can let go of rigidity and embrace change.

Additional Resources for you to Explore

Listen to Maya Shankar’s podcast, “A Slight Change of Plans”, here or check it out on YouTube.

Time and time again, we’ve failed to predict that the technologies of the present will change the future. Recently, a similar pattern was discovered in our individual lives: we’re unable to predict change in ourselves. But is there anything wrong with assuming that who we are now is who we will continue to be? Bence Nanay details the consequences of seeing ourselves as finished products.

"Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they're finished." Dan Gilbert shares recent research on a phenomenon he calls the "end of history illusion," where we somehow imagine that the person we are right now is the person we'll be for the rest of time. Hint: that's not the case.

In a talk full of beautiful storytelling, journalist Shankar Vendantam explains the profound impact of something he calls the "illusion of continuity" — the belief that our future selves will share the same views, perspectives and hopes as our current selves — and shows how we can more proactively craft the people we are to become.

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  • Speaker Maya Shankar

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