A Slight Change of Plans

Updated: 12 Feb 2024 • 104 episodes

You can follow the show at @DrMayaShankar on Instagram. Apple Podcasts’ Best Show of the Year 2021 Editor's Note: Maya Shankar blends compassionate storytelling with the science of human behavior to help us understand who we are and who we become in the face of a big change. Maya is no stranger to change. “My whole childhood revolved around the violin, but that changed in a moment when I injured my hand playing a single note,” says Shankar, who was studying under Itzhak Perlman at the Juilliard School at the time. “I was forced to try and figure out who I was, and who I could be, without the violin." Maya soon discovered a new path in the field of cognitive science, where she earned her PhD as a Rhodes Scholar studying how and why we change. Her insights into human behavior ultimately led her to create A Slight Change of Plans—Apple Podcasts’ Best Show of the Year in 2021. You’ll hear intimate conversations with people like Tiffany Haddish, Kacey Musgraves, and Riz Ahmed, as well as real-life inspirations, like John Elder Robison, who undergoes experimental brain stimulation to deepen his emotional intelligence, Daryl Davis, a Black jazz musician who inspires hundreds of KKK members to leave the Klan, and Shankar herself, who had her own “slight change of plans” earlier this year. The show also explores the science of change with experts like Adam Grant and Angela Duckworth. "What I love most about this show is that the content is evergreen," says Shankar. "You can listen to episodes in any order and at any time."


Show episodes

Maya Shankar & James Clear 12 Feb 2024 • EN

How to Make Your Habits Stick

Our daily habits are the key to reaching our long-term goals, argues writer James Clear. His bestselling book, "Atomic Habits," distills the most compelling research on how to break bad habits and form good ones. He talks with Maya about how our habits shape our identity—for better or worse—and how to design our habits

36 min
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Maya Shankar & Adam Grant 18 Dec 2023 • EN

Adam Grant Helps Unlock Our Hidden Potential

Psychologist Adam Grant stops by to talk with Maya about his new book "Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things." They talk about how to filter out unhelpful feedback, the benefits of imperfectionism, and why we need to give soft skills more respect.  If you enjoyed this episode, check out Adam’s first

43 min
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When Banafsheh Rashidi gave birth to her daughter, Saba, she immediately conjured up vivid images of Saba's future: passing the driver's test, graduation, and maybe even a wedding. But when Saba received a significant medical diagnosis, Banafsheh's dreams were upended. She talks to Maya about how she redefined success

37 min
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Maya Shankar & Gretchen Rubin 04 Dec 2023 • EN

Get Happier with Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin is an author and podcaster with a passion for helping people become happier. One of the biggest lessons she's learned in her decades-long study of the subject is that there's no one-size-fits-all hack to finding happiness. Gretchen talks with Maya about how important it is to tailor our approach based on

30 min
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Maya Shankar & Hal Hershfield 27 Nov 2023 • EN

Your Future Self Needs Your Help Today

Hal Hershfield is a psychologist who studies the emotional connection we have to our “future selves." He talks with Maya about tactics we can use to strengthen this connection, and why it matters. If you enjoyed this episode, try this one from the archive: “The Science of Self-Compassion” For a behind-the-scenes look a

29 min
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20 Nov 2023 • EN

The Coin Toss

Sonia Vallabh had just lost her mother to a rapid, mysterious brain disease. And then, she found out that the disease was genetic. Doctors told her there was a 50-50 chance she had inherited the same rare genetic mutation that killed her mom. Sonia tells Maya how she managed a torturous state of limbo, and how what fol

35 min
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