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The physicist Leonard Mlodinow changes how we think about the agency we have in shaping our own destinies. As a scientist, he works with principles like Brownian motion, by which Einstein helped verify the existence of molecules and atoms. As the child of Holocaust survivors, he dances with the experience we all have: that life never goes as planned, and yet the choices we make can matter. “The course of your life depends on how you react to opportunities and challenges that randomness presents to you,” he says.

Leonard Mlodinow is a physicist and the author of several books, including “The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives,” “Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior,” and his latest, “Elastic: Flexible Thinking in a Constantly Changing World.”

Find the transcript at onbeing.org.

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