No winter lasts forever, no spring skips its turn...

I am so excited to be able to be writing this chapter in this amazing leadership publication for women and for men, around the world. It has been such a pleasure to be able to participate in this publication for many, many people to read across the globe. My name is Dr. Tania Simmons, and I am a global entrepreneur and a keynote speaker.

I own several enterprises and volunteer for humanitarian organisations all around the world. But that's not what I'm going to talk about in this chapter; those are things I do; what I want to talk about is who and what we are, and the distinction between doing and being. When I was a young girl, my mother was a driving force, a natural power, as was my father. They are well-known leaders all over the world, and they conduct a variety of good activities in third-world countries, such as establishing schools. But I recall being the centre of attention in our family when I was a little kid. Some of the things that my parents would teach me and talk to me about were obvious to everyone in our family.

A principle to live by. Obviously, one of those principles would be the development of character which was always taught to me from a young age, both my mother and my father. My father would always tell me, “Tanya, you should never just try to do something rather you should always get the thing done and do it. And that was one statement that has just pulsated within me as a young child, you never try to do something, you do it. That message was quite clear to me when I was a child.

Another message that was evident to me at a young age was that hard work always pays dividends. You will reap the benefits of your diligence if you are diligent. As a small kid, I witnessed my father being told by everyone that he would be nothing. He tried drugs when he was in high school. He was a leader of a high school band. A leading band, and then his best friend died. And his world evolved and changed. He then became a pastor, and his entire life was turned upside down.

When he realised what true faith is. At that point, he met my mother, and it was true love, of course, and they fell in love and had me within that union. And from there, he progressed to the highest levels of education in the United States and abroad. From Harvard, accepting him to graduating from Yale and Duke with honours and so on. Today, he lectures at Oxford University, Cambridge, and he is an international scholar, and for that I'd like to honour him. He is my father, and his name is Dr. Michael B Simmons. He has taught me a lot about walking in faith, walking in character, and what true leadership entails.

I believe that foundation is very important. I didn't always have one. The best childhood days. I did overcome, sexual abuse, outside my home and I overcame a lot of different adversities, challenges, but I believe that those are the things that make us. Those are the things you would accept, and you would allow adversity to strengthen you.

Those are the things that will build your character. When confronted with difficulty, welcome it with open arms. It's like going to the gym and lifting weights; you want to grow muscle, but in order to do so, you need additional weights; it's the same way in life. It's the same with adversity; you accept and embrace adversity, and it shapes and strengthens you.

So, as I grew older, I saw what true leadership entailed. My parents exemplified the qualities of true leaders. I observed the development of what hard work and devotion can produce, and those key ideas were ingrained in my character at a young age. And I attribute my success to the important concepts and traits instilled in me at an early age. Today, I also experienced the worth of what true faith may bring: faith that sees when others do not. Faith that accepts the impossible and makes it a reality. The word in our house.

We can't, or I can't, or I can't. That's impossible. We've never used those words before, so they were incredibly unfamiliar to me at an early age. I was indoctrinated with self-assurance. At a young age, and it wasn't until later in my youth that some of those things attempted to shake my confidence. Some of the events in my life attempted to steal my confidence. But, as I've gotten older, I've discovered the power of my voice.

When those things happen at a young age, I would say. It made me feel powerless and took away the strength of my voice. It wasn't until I was older that I realised I wasn't powerless, that I had options that would give me confidence and a sense of purpose. There is a plan and a purpose for my life, and not just for my life, but for the people around me, the people who will come into my life. The people I come across. As a result, my voice was so important because what happened to me isn't just for me; it's for others as well. And it's for me to be able to give back, speak into, and empower individuals around me, to urge them to be their best, to reach their highest level of potential, and to truly feel empowered about who they are and what they can become. This is what I mean by "purpose."

Another key principle is resolution or being resolute. Having a fortitude of knowing who you are, where you come from, who you are, was instilled in me at a very young age, although those things were tried my identity was, challenged throughout my adolescence, knowing who you are is very important. Your identity does not emerge; rather, people might derive their identity from what they do.

And when people lose their job, or there is no longer a thriving business, or when there are difficulties, or when you must be flexible or adaptable, their identity is questioned. But when you come into a fool, knowing that your identity is not based on what you do, but on who you are, then, that is, make sure you resolute and have a strong foundation within yourself, to be able to overcome, just about anything.

Resilience is another important quality that I developed at an early age, since I recall our family moving all over the world. And I would do so because my father was a scholar who attended these high-level Ivy League schools and institutes for his further studies. That would imply that I would be constantly encountering new individuals, whether in new classrooms, new professors, or new pupils. At a young age, I was always meeting new people. Looking back, I believe it instilled in me an extrovert personality.

Even now, I enjoy meeting new individuals. I love connecting with new people. There were, however, some difficulties that arose as a result of this. On the flip side of that, the people around me. Even now have had long standing friendships for years and years. I can honestly claim I have a few of those friends but not many. And, I believe, it has made me cherish my friendships even more now. As a result, I cherish connection. I value heart connection.

Above all, and I feel that in business. It is very important to make sure that you are very astute to other people's needs that you have an ear of empathy. When you are paying attention to others. And because trust is essential for developing strong relationships. Consistency of character is key when you are building relationships, whether personal or professional. People need to see what you bring to the table and who you are; we show people who we are via our daily actions. What they experience from us and how they, how we make them feel.

People remember how we treat them and how they feel within our presence. One of my key aims is to make others around me feel loved, secure, and cared for. That is really significant to me, in my opinion. For me, that gives me purpose to know that I love people well. And they experience that love on a high level. For me this is very much purpose driven. I'm very intentional in my everyday decision making. I think in your family or in your friendships or in your business relationships. It's very important to make sure people understand that they're your friend first. That they are well-cared for, secure, and that you can rely on them. To me this is true relationship building, which aids in the organic growth of your business. The bottom line is to care for people and ensure that you treat people, very, well. People matter, you matter. My life has not always been easy. However, it has been extremely rewarding. I would not change it for anything, because it's made me who I am today. Overcoming sexual abuse at a young age, psychological abuse in different relationships, emotional trauma and losing my first husband and becoming a single mother of two at the age of 22 have all catapulted me in different ways. As I've followed the process and allowed it to shape me from the inside out.

One point I'd want to emphasise in this chapter is that you are never a victim. You are a Victor, and you have been summoned to victory. Every day of your life, there is more waiting for you than you realise. And that you serve a significant purpose. Set no boundaries for yourself, trust in yourself, and the sky is the limit. Some things are taught, while others are caught. These traits were instilled in me as a young child in my household, and I'd like to thank my parents for instilling them in me at such a young age.

These key elements of character development have carried me through my life. I hope these things encouraging as you read them. In this chapter, be true to who you are. Know who, you are. And never settle for less than what you deserve; instead, operate from the core of who you are, enjoy every day with the fullness of life that you've been given, and move forward with utter assurance, knowing that your greatest days are ahead of you.

Blessings, and I hope that this chapter has blessed your heart and life as you read it and take these words to heart, knowing that there is so much more ahead of you than behind you. To your success always.

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