My daughter is a third generation cook. My mother in law is a caterer, my wife is a caterer, and now my daughter. She’s nine. Yesterday she was at my mother-in-law’s and they decided to make a batch of chocolate cookies from a super secret special recipe that’s been handed down since forever. Problem is, my mother-in-law couldn’t find the recipe even though she has a collection of recipe books, folders, and cut outs from magazines that would rival the Library of Congress in size. No problem, my daughter said, and commenced to write out the recipe. From memory. Since birth she’s probably made these cookies twice. Did I mention she’s nine?
A few things to notice about the recipe:
The vanilla measurement. Normally it would be a teaspoon but the last time they made cookies my mother-in-law used the cap from the vanilla bottle. Hence, one “top.” And one less dish to wash.
“1 cup sweetend milk” is sweetened condensed milk. The can said condensed so that’s what she did. My daughter is very literal.
“1 cup Flower”….well, you get it.
She’s gets the beautiful handwriting from me.
Now, my daughter is not unique- actually she is to me but in the context of the 6+ billion people in the world she probably isn’t. And while her memory is incredible it says more about what’s important to her than it does about the human brain in general. Cookies are important to her, and making them the right way. We all have the potential for incredible feats of memory if we are provided sufficient motivation.
Need an example? Ever forget to pick up your clothes at the cleaners? Next time, put a $100 bill in the pocket of one of the shirts before you drop them off. Sometimes you have to supply your own motivation.
Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player ever- sorry LeBron. Most people know the story of Jordan being cut from his high school team, and any interview with Jordan I’ve ever read or seen alludes to the fact that he used the belief that everybody thought he sucked as fuel to become the player he did. He’s even hinting at a comeback- at age 50. Motivation is powerful, and whether you are a 9 year old girl making cookies or #23 for the Bulls it can move you to heights that the mere mortal side of you would think impossible.
Or it can help you make a really great batch of cookies.