What are four qualities I need to build into my kids' life in order to make them as great as possible?
You know, when you put a number on anything, you kind of wonder what you leave out, but four is a nice number for me. I like four because I can quantify four, I can keep those in my mind, and when I think of the four things that I wanted to do with my kids, it has a lot to do with the way I was raised and from my study of life and history. When I see the people who really stood out in life, they are the ones that had these things—I see four qualities you want to build into your kids’ life.
And by the way, before I tell you what they are, I want to tell you something. These have to do with how your kids view themselves, and how they view others, and how they view why they are here on earth.
Here are the four qualities.
You want them to have a heart of humility, a humble heart, where they aren’t always about themselves and selfishness and “what about me?” No, it’s never about me. Humility.
Secondly, gratefulness—that they appreciate what people do for them. They appreciate what they have. They appreciate what they have to work with. See, automatically, that’s going to make them a better kid to raise, because they are going to be grateful for you. They are going to be grateful for their siblings. It cuts down sibling rivalry.
Thirdly, a generous heart, a generous attitude—that they see their life to be lived to bring the best out of everybody around them. That makes them better on a sports team. It makes them better as a student.
In fact, I played football in high school, and I knew this one guy, his name was Mike, and I’m telling you: I knew that Mike was going to be a success in life, because he was always out there hitting hard, he always had a great attitude, and you see him hitting hard in that first period and he was hitting hard during the two-minute warning. He worked so hard, but he was always about the other team members. He cared about everybody around him.
And you know what else? He cared for our opposition. You know, when they snapped the ball, he’d light you up, but after he knocked you down, he’d pick you up. You see, that’s a generous heart.
And then the fourth quality is a servant’s heart. When you get kids who just say, “I just want to live to bring the best out of everybody around me,” it is amazing how much better everything else in their life goes. They can process their infirmities, their set-backs, their rejections. They can take on the test of time that comes with school. The thing of moving different cultures—all that stuff, they do so much better, because they say, “Well, it’s not about me. I’m grateful for what I have. I want to be generous with it. I want to use it to help other people.”
You want to change the world with those kids that are living in your house? You build great kids, not successful kids. You build kids that are just absolutely formatted with a heart of humility, gratefulness, generosity, and servant spirit. You will leave a legacy behind you that will never, ever die.