The Success Illusion: Final

We conclude our look into raising "successful kids" 

In Part I  I stated that I talk with a lot of parents and often I ask what they want most for their children.  The most common answer I here is Success.  I then ask the parents to define success and what I normally here is a good education, a good job and some financial abundance leading to less struggle then the parents had to deal with.

In Part II we looked at Honesty and Discipline as the top factors that lead to "successful" people and family's according to Dr. Thomas Stanley's research on affluent households.

In Part III we looked at Social Skills and Courage as the final top 5 traits most exhibited by  "successful"  people. 

Today we will look at a few honorable mention factors listed.  First is Education.

Most people often site good grades ,graduating from an Ivy League school or having a high IQ as factors to success.  According to Dr. Staley's research, most millionaires were "C" students and valued creativity over spelling and grammar.  Those surveys concluded that high IQ and good grades often lead to work in narrow fields consisting of data, research or academia.  Most top students do not pursue work in entrepreneurial or people oriented professions so they usually do not gain people skills and do not move into leadership positions.

The next area is Home life. 

Most millionaires stated that growing up they had a stable upbringing and secure love of parents. In their adult lives they listed a strong supportive spouse and strong religious faith as major factors in their success.  Their was also a direct correlation to the length of their marriages and the size of their wealth.  The longer they were married, the more wealth they had. 

The qualities most listed be millionaires in their spouse were as follows:    

Unselfish, Caring, Disciplined, Virtuous, Forgiving, Patient, Understanding and Possessing Traditional Values.

Another major factor was shared dreams and goals and support for on another. 

The number one listed trait from males about their spouse was Honesty. The number one listed trait from females about their spouse was Loving.

So what is the point of all this? 

While financial abundance is not a direct measure of ones character and goodness, the character traits found in these affluent people are.

So many times as parents we focus so much attention and time on school and sports and this has no guarantee of future success.  While these areas are important, what is even more important is the focus and molding of Character traits, Social Skills and Faith.

Honesty, Social Skills, Courage, Creativity, Marriage, Faith, Patience, Unselfishness and biblical morals and values can not only lead our children to financial success but it also sets them up for what Tim Kimmel calls True Greatness.  Anybody can raise children to be successful but very few raise their children for greatness. 

Jesus knew this and tried to tell us this in Matthew 7:24-27

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."

If we build our children on the foundations of biblical values they can have success and greatness.  Instead of focusing a majority of our time on the worlds principles for success, grades and sports, maybe we should start focusing more on God's principles for success?

As the saying goes:

"If you aim for the world, you'll get the world.  If you aim for Heaven, you get the world and eternity in heaven."

-Esse Quam Videri-