Molly Kennedy’s “Flip Your 20” Speech Creates Mixed Reactions

Molly Kennedys Flip Your 20 Speech Creates Mixed Reactions

Anna McLean and Maxim Chalupa, Reporter

On November 28th, shortly after our return from Thanksgiving break, motivational speaker Molly Kennedy delivered a speech on “Flipping your 20”. Flipping your twenty is a play on words for the term ‘paradigm shift’. To explain further, ‘paradigm’ sounds like ‘pair-of-dimes’. A pair of dimes in 20 cents, and if we want to flip our mentality, or our paradigm, we need to ‘flip our 20’. A paradigm shift, summarized by Kennedy, is a change in your mentality. This change can be monumental, or even the smallest of mindset shifts, but nonetheless, a change in the way you think. 


The school gathered in the auditorium on this Monday and sat down for roughly an hour and a half to listen to what Kennedy had to say. She gave us several examples from her own life on how she “flipped her 20” to accomplish something that she thought was impossible, like climbing the equivalent of Mount Everest. In response to this speech, The Laker Anchor sent out a survey to the entire Spring Lake High School on their thoughts and opinions about the speech. Here are the results:


The first question asked was, “On a scale of 1-10 (1=not effective, 10=very effective), how effective did you find this speech? In other words, did you learn something from it?” The average of all responses was approximately a 5.5 on the scale, or in other words, an average of a 5.5 effectiveness rating. 


The next question asked was, “On a scale of 1-10 (1=not engaged, 10=very engaged), how engaged were you during this speech?” The average of all responses was approximately a 5.7 on the scale, or an average of 5.7 engagement rating. 


The final question asked was, “Would you like to see more guest speakers at the High School in the future?” 31.4% of respondents answered yes, 7.8% answered no, and 60.8% said that it depended on the speaker. 


We then left a final space for commentary if the respondent had a prominent thought, feeling, or opinion on Kennedy’s speech. Some notable responses were that:


“Molly’s presentation and the concept of “Flip Your 20” has generated several conversations since Monday.” 


“I felt her message wasn’t very deep, she kept telling us to be positive when that’s something we hear all the time while if it was that easy we would. I felt it was very dragged on, and I think it would have been better if she told us more about her story instead she just talked about her accomplishments which is good for her dont get me wrong but I think it would have affected more people if she would have explained her story and talked about how she got to where she is now.”


“I loved the speech! I found it very uplifting. Her humorous stories and ideas kept me engaged. I also attended her small group session afterwards and I have begun making (if not small) changes to my life because I felt her work impacted me greatly.” 


“I wish we heard more about her story. It was kind of hard to connect with her because she was a bodybuilder and I am not physically built like an athlete. She was so vague on how she got over her trauma that it seemed disjointed, in my opinion. The workshops the other students went to was insightful; however, I don’t think we can evaluate it to the majority of the school’s views as a lot of them were meowing and being disrespectful.”




Overall, the responses and opinions generated from Molly Kennedy’s speech seemed to vary greatly, as is with any motivational speaker. Some ranged from greatly inspired and impacted to much trouble connecting with her story and her ideas. It’s hard to bring in a speaker that will connect with every student, but overall the general response, from the data, was neither positive nor negative, and I think we could all learn something from Molly Kennedy. 


What many students may not know, however, was that there was a small breakout group selected to do an extended lecture with Molly. About thirty of our student leaders were selected to work with Molly and each other on a more personal level to better understand the idea of flipping your 20.


During the breakout session, students were tasked with identifying something that weighed them down during the day. They then had to write about how that affected their view of themself and how it affected their leadership. When everyone did this, Molly asked for each person to reach out to another student they did not know and share what they had written. Molly asked that every student listen to the other and give them space to share whatever it was they had written.


When the group reconvened, Molly then made a tall order for them: to volunteer to stand in front of herself and the entire class to share what it was they had written. A few brave people went up to share. One of the student’s writing was as follows:


“I believe that I am not worthwhile or taken seriously. My own friends say negative things about me to my face. They make me feel disempowered and benign. They do not include me in their activities any longer. People will just talk over me and disrespect me and I won’t say anything about it. I feel like I have to act cool about it and fly by like I don’t care because I’m too strong to let it pull me down. The reality is that I am not and it has taken a great toll on my mental health in the last few months.”


Molly then took this and other writings from the students to encourage them to flip their 20. She told them that when they tried to flip their perspective they should try to put no power or thought towards the feelings that controlled them before. She said not to confront the problem head on, but instead to say they will do something separate that will face the problem. 


Molly asked the same again of every student: to share to another and then share to the whole group. When they did, Molly would help guide them to make sure their flip was achievable and healthy. She made sure that each student felt it was within their power to decide how things made them feel. The previous student, after working with Molly and the class, created this “will” statement:


“I will surround myself with the people around me who I value, ones who love me and raise me up to be a better person.”


Many students like this one showed great amounts of courage with Molly, and Molly’s message definitely went through to the group. Hopefully, we can all learn to take more control over our lives with our help from Molly.