Finding the gift that makes each of us special is apparent to some, and a long, difficult journey for others. Waking up every day and choosing growth as our default setting goes a long way toward this self-actualization.

So says Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman, a cognitive scientist who has written several books on the subject of human potential, and hosts the Psychology Podcast, which has received more than 20 million downloads.

And even when you do self-actualize, you’ll likely need to jump to new S Curves later in life. After all, Scott was an opera singer and American Idol contestant before he found his true instruments: writing and listening.

Whitney talks with Scott about his popular sailboat metaphor for emotional wellbeing, why exploring your own mind is just as important as exploring the world, and the importance of letting go of shame from the past.


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