People I admire...

I firmly believe that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.  I've worked hard to surround myself with people I admire, and people who challenge me to be a better person, lawyer, and business owner.  I also love reading about people who have acomplished great things.  The following is a non-exclusive list in no particular order of people who's actions and stories inspire me.  - Angela L. Angotti

Buck O'Neil

Just looking at a picture of Buck O'Neil brings tears to my eyes.  He was so filled with grace, and he radiates positive energy even now, ten years after his death.  Buck O'Neil set an example that I wake up every day and aspire to follow.

Buck O'Neil brought joy to everyone around him, and expressed gratitude every time he spoke.  No matter what happened, his optimism never failed him, and he always found good in people.  There is no better coach for happiness than Buck O'Neil.  I love baseball, but even if you don't - I encourage you to read "The Soul of Baseball, A Road Trip Through Buck O'Neil's America" by Joe Posnanski.

Lessons Learned:  You con't control much in life, but you can control what you focus on, so focus on the good.

Favorite Quotes: "I can't hate a human being because my God never made anything ugly. Now, you can be ugly if you you want to boy, but God didn't make you that way."

 
 

Madeleine Albright

Regardless of your political inclinations, Madeline Albright is an inspiration and worth great admiration.  A refugee, a mother of three, and the first female Secretary of State, her memoir is a fascinating read.

I was suprised to learn that she got her start in politics by fund-raising for her daughter's preschool in Washington D.C.  Her fund-raising partner was a fellow parent, Harry McPherson, who just happened to be counsel and special counsel to President of the United States Lyndon B. Johnson from 1965 to 1969 and Johnson’s chief speechwriter from 1966 to 1969.  Albright did so well that she was asked to join the board of the preschool, which McPherson also joined.  Albright subsequently helped McPherson with a sticky situation in which they had to ask a fellow board member to resign.  "Madeline," Harry declared when it was over, "to use an old Texas expression, you are the kind of person to go to the well with."  Albright writes in her autobiography that for years afterward, whenever she needed a reference, that she would send people to Harry.  That relationship, which developed because Albright took her position on a pre-school board seriously and worked to the best of her ability - opened doors for her to make history.

Lesson learned: Perform every task you are given to the best of your ability, and take it seriously - and doors will open for you.

Favorite Quote:   "There is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women."  

 
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Bruce Lee

Believe it our not, Bruce Lee and I have some things in common.  We both started out in the service industry working in restaurants, we share the name Lee, and we both have degrees in philosophy.  I've been inspired by Bruce Lee since I was a teenager. 

Bruce Lee developed an expression of martial arts that was personal to him called Jeet Kune Do (translated: Way of the Intercepting Fist). The art uses as its main tenet: Using no way as way; having no limitation as limitation.

Bruce's art was steeped in a philosophical foundation and did not follow long held martial traditions. Instead it had at its core the ideas of simplicity, directness, and personal freedom.  Long after his death, Bruce Lee’s legacy of self expression, equality, and pioneering innovation continues to inspire me and people all around the world.

Favorite Quotes and Lessons I'm Still Learning:

Research your own experience. Absorb what is useful. Reject what is useless. Add what is essentially your own."

"Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless, like water. You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put it into a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend."

 

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Eunice Schriver

Eunice Schriver inspires me, because she put her beliefs and values into action her entire life.  Schriver was the founder of the Special Olympics.

Schriver's belief in the dignity of all human life was make real when she held the first Special Olympics on her own property. Schriver used her wealth and resources to create real change and be a voice for those who had none.

Eunice Schriver helped create cross-aisle congressional teamwork and worked relentlessly for positive global word of mouth that educated the planet about the Special Olympics and the capabilities of the sort of individuals who were once locked away in institutions. Schooling, medical treatment and athletic training have all changed for people with intellectual disabilities as a result of Shriver's vision; more important, so have minds, attitudes and laws.

Ireland rewrote its anti-discrimination statutes after the Special Olympics World Games were held in Dublin in 2003. China once routinely warehoused its intellectually challenged, but at the '07 World Games in Shanghai a crowd of 80,000 cheered as a video on the stadium scoreboard showed the country's president, Hu Jintao, cavorting with a group of Special Olympic athletes. Three decades ago Russia claimed that it had no citizens with intellectual disabilities--it sent a team of 190 to Shanghai in 2007.

Lessons Learned:  Beliefs and words are meaningless without action.  And one person putting those beliefs into action can inspire the whole world and create real and lasting change.

 

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Bill Murray

Bill Murray inspires me to relax, be myself, and never take anything too seriously.  Impov is hard.  I've always wanted to try it.  I'm still trying to find the time.

Bill Murray delights people on-screen and off with his winningly eccentric behavior, and there is no doubt that he is fully enjoying his life.  There are entire websites dedicated to his antics and I hope to meet him one day.

Lessons Learned & Favorite Quote:

"The more relaxed you are, the better you are at everything: the better you are with your loved ones, the better you are with your enemies, the better you are at your job, the better you are with yourself."