How do we become ourselves?

Summer has finally arrived.  I am so happy!! These images were taken last week when the weather was a bit colder but we needed to feel the earth between our toes.  We needed to smell the life in the water.  I look at these little children and I am trying so hard to raise kids that are themselves.  I want them to be who they want to be and not who they think I want them to be.  At the same time I want to teach them empathy, generosity, happiness and kindness.

 I want them to be good at one thing.  I think everyone should have a thing.  You know, something they are known for.  I want to teach my children that God loves them and knows them.  That when life gets really hard He is there.  But I don't want that belief to cause shame or heartache.  

Sometimes I see great families and I think, how do you make a person great?  You know? Sometimes I will even go up and ask them!!!!  How do you help someone become their best self?  How do we make OURSELVES our best self? Seriously, how?  I would LOVE to hear your advice!