Navigating Change and Identity in the Age of AI Disruption

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“It is an odd reality of being human that we are always changing, yet we dislike change. Especially too much, too fast.”

-Giles Crouch

We don’t have to look far to find headlines citing the impending and continuous changes coming alongside AI implementation. From business operations to creative works to medical practices, the AI disruption shows no sign of slowing.

But if we look at history—and even further back—human identity evolving with technology isn’t anything new.  

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A Taste of Stereotypes: Reflections on a “Typical” Portuguese Restaurant

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A typical portuguese restaurant

On a balmy summer evening in Lagos, Portugal, what began as a simple dinner outing evolved into a lesson on stereotypes and human nature. My family and I, accompanied by American friends visiting us during our annual visit to Portugal, set out to experience what had been recommended as a “typical Portuguese restaurant.”

The recommendation came from another foreign visitor who had been impressed by the homey atmosphere and authentic feel of a small establishment tucked away in a residential area of Lagos, described as a place where you'd feel like your grandmother was cooking for you.

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The Hidden Magic of Livraria Lello: A Lesson in Curiosity and Connection

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Lello

On a gloomy day in Porto, Portugal, my family and I found ourselves standing in a long queue outside Livraria Lello, a century-old bookstore that has become a cultural icon. The line stretched around the block, filled with tourists clutching pre-booked tickets. This bookstore has become so popular that you now need a timed entry voucher just to step inside.

As we waited, I couldn't help but wonder if this experience would be worth the hype. Would we find anything beyond the tourist trap that Livraria Lello seemed to have become?

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The Red Booth’s Second Act: Lessons in Innovation and Personal Growth

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Red Booth

On a pleasant London summer day, as my daughter and I exited the Victoria and Albert Museum, our minds brimming with the artistic wonders we'd just explored, an unexpected sight caught our attention. A classic British red telephone booth stood proudly on the sidewalk, its crimson hue as vibrant as if it had been painted mere hours ago. The crown emblem atop shone with surprising clarity, a testament to careful preservation.

At first glance, I assumed it was an art installation – a nod to British nostalgia placed strategically near the museum. It wouldn't have been out of place, given the eclectic mix of historical and contemporary pieces we'd just witnessed inside. But as we drew closer the true nature of this scarlet sentinel revealed itself: a charming coffee stand.

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Are you feeling boxed in?

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“We’re never truly stuck if we’re willing to put in the work and time to switch directions.”

– Ana Melikian

Have you ever felt like people were boxing you into a specific title, persona, or trait? It can be maddening, especially when we feel the box does not accurately portray who we are.

What if I told you you could turn that box into a platform? If you’re curious about what that means, you’re in the right place.

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Human Potential and Workplace Wellbeing: Fran Dean-Bishop interviews Ana Melikian, Ph.D.

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“I'm pro-self-development work, and it's part of my focus. Yet, I think it is a very narrow view of human potential because human beings—we are also connecting beings. We thrive with connection. We can achieve much more together than we can do alone.”

– Ana Melikian

Are you rising to your full potential? 

We’ve all likely asked ourselves that question before, with varying results.

My background in psychotherapy and psychology led me to the term “Human Potential,” and as I traverse my career journey, I continue to learn more layers to what makes us fulfill that potential in and outside of the workplace. 

The answers look different for everyone, but there are a few key similarities we all need to excel in life and business. 

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The Power of Choice: Do We Always Have One?

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Always is a strong word and can work as a simplification for complex topics. Today, I want to dive a little deeper into what it means to “Always have a choice,” how those choices can sometimes be overwhelming, and where our true power lies.

I discuss: 

  • Questioning the simplistic notion of “We Always Have a Choice”
  • The depth of choice in the context of life circumstances
  • Exploring the paradox of choice overload

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Exploring the Zone of Proximal Growth

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As human beings, we have extraordinary potential that we can tap into and actualize in our lives in significant ways—if we know how to leverage the innate tools we possess in our minds and bodies.  

A concept I love to speak about is what I call the Zone of Proximal Growth (ZPG), inspired by Vysgosky’s Zone of Proximal Development that I learned about when I was studying psychology at the University of Sunderland in England more than 30 years ago.

I discuss: 

  • Understanding the Zone of Proximal Development
  • How the Zone of Proximal Growth applies to personal development
  • Embracing the chance to expand my comfort zone

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AI Disruption: Do You Have the Right Mindset?

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I recently spoke about the unavoidable AI revolution and how we all have a choice in our response to this unwavering change—there are real risks attached to AI, making it even more critical to shepherd ourselves into a balanced and measured response. 

I discuss: 

  • AI revolution vs. AI disruption
  • The importance of the right mindset
  • The AI Dilemma and its potential risks

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Navigating the AI Revolution: Opportunities, Choices, and Impact

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”If we use AI to free us up to do more “stuff,” what are we gaining?

– Ana Melikian

The AI Revolution is here, and it’s not going anywhere. Join me as I walk through some opportunities, choices, and impacts that come alongside AI and my perspective on how to navigate them. 

I discuss: 

  • The inevitability of AI and our power in response
  • The benefits and risks of engaging with AI
  • Using AI to free up time and strengthen connections

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