me kay cooke

Molly finds a formula to improve her French

10 year old Molly explained that her French language grades at school were falling fast but she didn’t really care. She was not feeling motivated to make any effort in this subject.

She had decided learning French was of no interest to her since she didn’t want to become a French teacher when she grew up. It seemed that simple. Her ‘off’’ power-switch thinking told her “it’ll be boring”.


On the other hand, Molly made a huge effort to learn science. Her ‘on’ power-switch thinking told her “this will be interesting”.


I wondered if her thinking was in fact, a bit like a science formula:



“It’ll be boring” > feeling uncomfortable > no effort.

“It’ll be interesting” > feeling inspired > effort.


Molly’s ‘thinking’ conversations inside her mind, sounded something like this:

QUESTION: “why should I have to learn French?”

ANSWER: “it’s not going to be useful to me”


QUESTION: “why should I learn science?”

ANSWER: “it’s going to be useful to me”


We called the answers ‘judgement’ that helped her decide where and where not, to place her attention and effort. Her judgements were based on remembering her past experiences rather than thinking ahead to her future choices.


We chatted about developing a champion mindset, and researched real champions like Einstein, Da Vinci, and Tesla, who shared at least three characteristics:


  1. They used visualisation to explore what they might be able to see, hear and feel in the future.
  2. They had an attitude of curiosity about everything in the world around them and just kept exploring everything, which in turn expanded their thinking into genius minds.
  3. They cooperated with others to learn and achieve more.


Could Molly imagine keeping her mindset open and expanding?

Did she know yet what her own potential is for a champion/genius brain?


Would she like to learn how to develop this?


If so, we’d need to adjust her current strategy for motivation and begin to make a few changes. This is of course, what smart learners of all ages, do.


I wondered about the science of thought experiments and what would happen if she explored a different kind of question and answer in all her classes.


Perhaps she could start by discovering what happened when she changed the question inside her mind:

OLD QUESTION: “why should I learn French or Science?”

NEW QUESTION “how easily can I learn this (subject) whilst enjoying it and having fun?”


And then change the answer:

OLD ANSWER (attitude of judgement) : “it’s either useful to me or not”.

NEW ANSWER (attitude of curiosity) : “I wonder what is possible for me to learn with my brilliant brain?”


Perhaps Molly hadn’t, until now, realised how smart people (lawyers, surgeons, politicians etc) had studied many brain-balancing subjects all at the same time, including maths, sciences, creative arts, sports and languages. That way they had kept their options open and expanded their whole brain capabilities.


So we looked at a new formula for her to think through:




“HOW EASILY can I do this?”

“HOW MUCH FUN can I have doing this?”

“WHAT is possible for me to learn today?”

“WHAT is my potential for champion/genius mindset?”


NEW FEELINGS – we wondered which ones would she notice first:

Motivated, curious, open minded, interested, fun.


NEW BEHAVIOURS – we wondered which ones would surprise her most:

Focused attention, cooperation with others, listening to inner genius and listening to others’ experiences, asking questions to self (e.g. “what am I capable of?”) and asking questions to others (“please can you help me?”), visualising yourself doing these things easily and having fun.


Molly’s interest in science can help her to realise that these experiments have no right or wrong outcome, they simply expand her capabilities in thinking, feelings and behaviours. The champion mindset!

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