Inspire Greatness in Your HomeOct 16, 2022
When you look into your kids' eyes, what do you see? The potential for greatness? Of course you do! But how do you inspire greatness in your home? Herein lies one of every parent's most ambitious task and one that only a small percentage will intentionally attempt. But you can, and the world needs you to.
I think we can all agree that the world is seriously lacking in greatness, especially in the last 10 years or so. We could do nothing better besides, as Rachel DeMille says, "doing what's ours to do," than help inspire the greatness in our kids. And maybe that is what's yours to do. Imagine a future where young people think outside the box, take initiative, find creative solutions, work together and seek wisdom. That is a future filled with dreams, struggles and victories, which are the makings of greatness.
Create An Environment that Inspires Greatness
Due to my and my husband's background and study in leadership, education, and success principles, these are a constant topic of discussion in our home. Consequently, we are always seeking to read, watch and associate with greatness.
We love inspiring stories of people who had a dream, went through struggles and came out victorious. They can come in the form of written biographies, documentaries, news articles/videos or even fictional stories. Each story inspires discussion about the leadership, success and thinking principles or lessons learned and how we can or do apply them to our lives.
We also fill our home with classics of all media types, studying, discussing and appreciating the lessons, the craft and the the journey to create such works.
Let us not also forget the environments outside our home. We attend events in the arts, science and history whenever possible. That includes cultural events, museums, historical places and anything that can inspire and demonstrate the principles of greatness we constantly discuss.
Continually seeking great mentors for your kids can also have an incredible impact on their inspiration for greatness. We are very intentional about this for our son and have found awesome association and great mentorship in our martial arts dojo. Just recently, we attended and helped with the brown/black belt promotion that, though my son was not promoting, was an opportunity to associate with and to inspire greatness. My son and I were both inspired by the level of "showing up" and effort in each performance. We understood and discussed at length what preparation both mental and physical that required, what success principles they had to apply over long-term effort and leadership they had to show. My son got to chat with black and brown belts of all ages and degrees, and see himself in that position someday. Rubbing shoulders like that is irreplaceable inspiration.
Kevin "Cole's" Story
Always being on the lookout, greatness inspiration came to me recently in the story of a 14 year-old boy named Kevin Cooper, also known on social media as "Cole Summers." Kevin's story will inspire any young person's inner greatness to reveal itself, or any aged person for that matter. He accomplished more in his young life than most adults ever will, and as Daryl Gibson titled his well-written article about his life, "America's most remarkable kid died in Newcastle, Utah -- his legacy never will." Kevin tragically passed away in an accident on June 11, 2022, but his example of greatness will live forever.
Kevin "Cole Summers" autobiography is a great way to inspire greatness in your home!
Kevin started homeschooling at about 6 years old with his parents who were quite poor, but decided they couldn't do any worse than the public school, and with is dad being permanently disabled from a military training accident that left him unable to work and undergoing many surgeries, it would be easier and better to have the help at home. Unintentionally, having so much hardship at home, left him be unschooled, which his dad said ended up being a good thing. In his autobiography (I know right? Autobiography at 14?), Kevin wrote that his dad says,
"If he had really paid attention to me he probably would have unintentionally misled me about how he thought things worked, and I would have kept on doing homeschool that mostly copied school."Don't Tell Me I Can't, Cole Summers, Pg. 28
With the support of his parents, allowing him to do anything he wanted as long as it "wasn't illegal," his education started by binge watching YouTube videos of Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger as a 6 year-old while helping his dad recover from surgeries hungry to learn "how people get rich."
That lead to a young Kevin who started several companies, the first of which was a rabbit raising business selling meat to restaurants in CA making a profit of $1000 a month by the time he was 8! Also at 8, he traded auto mechanic work he did for a neighbor for an old pickup truck he would never have a driver's license for. This entrepreneurial spirit continued after legally buying 350 acres of land at age 9, starting 2 LLCs under his own corporation and buying and flipping 2 more properties, including a ramshackle 700 sq. ft. home he fixed and remodeled by watching YouTube videos at 10 and 11 yrs old (though his dad did put his foot down and made him hire an electrician for safety reasons!). It's all true.
All of this is super inspiring and an example of greatness within itself, but the biggest is that from his business pursuits, he learned about the seriousness of the water problem in his area, and after having 3 wells dry up between he and his family, it sparked a need he knew was his mission to fill. He developed a 2 phase "Great Basin Green Plan," starting with his example, to convert the major farming crop in Utah from water hungry hay to more sustainable farms raising meat animals saving billions of gallons of water a year. He said,
"I figured surely there are some adults working on this and coming up with some good solutions. I figured wrong."Don't Tell Me I Can't, Cole Summers, Pg. 108
Kevin "Cole's" autobiography is an inspirational read for all families seeking to inspire greatness in their home, as it definitely fulfills his intention to "help other kids and parents see that we're capable of much more than most of us are allowed to do." (Pg. 13)
Your Greatness Example
There are so many lessons and so much wisdom in Kevin's story, and reading it as a parent, his parents' role in Kevin's success really jumps out at you. Though they were poor, not able to work and lacked the education necessary for greatness, they were the best students, encouragers, supporters and examples of character.
Kevin's dad would often read through books, narrowing the field so that his son wouldn't waste his time on books that didn't serve him, as well as help him with tons of research and paperwork when necessary. He also learned right along side his son, being the best support a boy could have! His parents and older brother would help him with physical labor, encouragement and driving him to business meetings and lawyers. As Kevin says in his book, "The start of every success story is a team." (pg. 44)
Reading the book certainly will show you your gaps in parenting! I know I felt the vacuum there. But it does exemplify the need to be the example of inspiring greatness in your home! That doesn't mean you have to be changing the world, but it does mean that you are consistently a student of greatness and seeking inspiration all around you. An inspired person, inspires others.
Are you inspired for greatness? If not, find something to get passionate about. Maybe it's something your kids are passionate about, maybe it's something that touches your soul too. Maybe you have always felt the need to solve something in the world, but lack the confidence or know-how to go about it. Time to dig in, study, research, discuss, and immerse yourself in the opportunities for you to contribute and "do what's yours to do."
We Need Greatness
We need greatness today. More than ever. We need inspired youth and parents on fire to deploy their unique talents and gifts on the world. You do have a role to play in inspiring greatness in your home. It's possible. I'm seeing the results of it more and more in our son everyday.
I'm not perfect, no one is, but as Kevin's parents decided about homeschooling, you can't do any worse than the world is doing for your kids. But I believe in you, I have hope for our kids and our future with them leading the way into character, teamwork and freedom.
You got this. You can do it!