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Angela M. Odom

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The 6 Things I Learned From 6 People in 2019


I don't mind failing or looking foolish or being rejected. I think falling down; not getting it right the first, second or 1,000th time is part of growth and development.

I'd rather risk it all; than regret at the end. I live for the DASH.

The challenge is to remain focused on the one who provides all there is for all of us all of the time.

This is an annual title I publish as a way of capturing the most significant lessons I've learned during the previous year. Review the articles of the six people I learned from in 20152016, 2017, and 2018. 

I remain unapologetic about my thoughts on learning and winning. I do not believe we lose, I believe we simply learn from our experiences.  In the year 2019, I learned a lot about myself and others. 

I present the 6 people I learned 6 things from in 2019

Oprah Winfrey

Besides being a multi-billionaire, Oprah Winfrey is an inspiration to many because she teaches at every turn. For years I watched her interview interesting people from various backgrounds on her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show. 

The most memorable lesson I learned from watching Ms. Winfrey's talk show is to watch a person's action as opposed to what they say.  I admire how she continues to expand her business ventures as well as her philanthropy. 

I've had the honor of attending four of our live events. Each time I became aware of yet another gift that I have. Ms. Winfrey is the ultimate teacher.  

One of the stories that resonates with me is the story Ms. Winfrey shares about her grandmother showing her how to hang clothes outside on the clothesline when she was a young girl. Her grandmother's intent was to teach her how to fit into the restricted Jim Crow era. However, Ms. Winfrey knew deep down in her soul that she would not be doing this type of work. I love that she didn't take her grandmother's dream for her. She chose her own dream. 

Lesson Learned: Have your own dreams.


Michelle Obama

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama is an American lawyer, university administrator, and writer, who was the first lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. She is married to the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.

I'm inspired by the positive messages Mrs. Obama shares coupled with her obvious love and respect for her daughters and her talented husband.

I relate to the many the stories Mrs. Obama shared in her book, Becoming. Especially, the story she shared during interviews and within her book about her being a box checker. I'm glad she learned how to swerve

 Lesson Learned: Adjusting your life's course is the right course.


Lorie Fanning

Fueled with the insight of her own mortality after having two heart attacks and two strokes while serving in the United States Army, Lorie Fanning continued to serve and protect our country.

Fanning retired as a Major in the United States Army. During her 16 years on duty, she served in Operation Just Cause, Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

She and I met when we were both serving at our first military duty station at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. We were tent-mates during Operation Desert Shield/Storm in Saudi Arabia and roommates while attending our technical training school at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indianapolis. We formed a bond based on trust, respect, and love. 

It gives me great comfort to know that Lorie Fanning is my everything friend.  Even though I'm not her best friend. She is one of my few confidants.

Lesson Learned: Discern whether people are your confidant, constituent or comrade.


Dr. Joe Dispenza

As a lecturer and educator, Dr. Joe Dispenza's website states that he is driven by the conviction that each of us has the potential for greatness and unlimited abilities.

In his easy-to-understand, encouraging, and compassionate style, he has educated thousands of people, detailing how they can rewire their brains and recondition their bodies to make lasting changes.

I am drawn to his message to meditate and to find a space to think differently. 

Lesson Learned: The best way to predict your future is to create it.


Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

As The Speaker of The House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi is second in the presidential line of succession, immediately after the vice president. As of 2019, Pelosi is in her 17th term as a congresswoman.

Mrs Pelosi confidently carries out her duties ignoring the barrage of noise on social media. She seems bothered by the weaponized messages from the twitter feed of the President of the United States. She doesn't seem to care what anyone calls her ---- as long as they call her "Madam Speaker". 

Lesson Learned: You can't intimidate a focused person and stop them from completing their mission.



 My Favorite Teenager

The realization that I was operating from a position of fear, anxiety, and worry. While my favorite teenager was feeling criticized and judged. I decided to something different because what I was doing was not working.

I changed my approach first with a personal letter to my son. Then I had a conversation with my favorite teenager that I pray will change the trajectory of our relationship. Communication is critical within all of our relationships.

I recognize that it’s time for a reset. 

Lesson Learned: Trust the Process.


 Question: What lesson did you learn over the past year?  Do share.

I'm rooting for you,



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Angela M. Odom is a leadership coach and an author of BRONCO STRONG: A Memoir of the Last Deployed Personnel Services Battalion and a contributor to Camouflaged Sisters: Leadership Through The Eyes of Senior Military Women Leaders

ONLINE: ANGELA M. ODOM I Instagram I Facebook I LinkedIn I Twitter I You Tube




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