Valuable Life Lessons Learned Along the Way

Over the last several years of my life, I have "won some" and "lost some" valuable moments of time.  It's all about taking 100% responsibility for your life and decisions we make each day.  As a mother, wife and school principal, I have several responsibilities and roles.  Today I hope to share some key points of life changing lessons and hope they can help you in your hurdles in life.


The purpose of life is not to simply be happy, but to matter, and to leave a legacy on this world.  We can all make a difference with our lives.  We can be all that we can be.  


1.  Maintain an open mind-
Having an open mind benefits you and the world in a number of ways. When you interact with people without judging them, you foster tolerance and encourage those around you to keep an open mind. On a personal level, you open up your world of possibilities.  For example, try new foods, hobbies


2.  Keep your promises-Building trust based relationships, either professional or personal, is a really big thing. It can propel your career or your life if you can do it, and it can sink them if you can’t. I believe that one of the most important ingredients for building these kinds of relationships is keeping your promises. When you consistently keep your promises, you essentially align what you say you will do with what you truly do, and people know that they can rely on you.

3.  Be present-How often are you driving and talking on the cell phone? Do you drift off while others are talking?  What is happening right now, at this very moment?  Connect with the people around you.  Celebrate the small things in life.  Build relationships that last.

4.  Be compassionate- Wikipedia's definition:  Compassion is an emotion that is a sense of shared suffering, most often combined with a desire to alleviate or reduce the suffering of another; to show special kindness to those who suffer. Compassion essentially arises through empathy, and is often characterized through actions, wherein a person acting with compassion will seek to aid those they feel compassionate for.  Put others before yourself.  Show kindness and appreciation without expecting rewards.

5.  It's never too late- It is never too late in life to go to college, to say your sorry or to call a relative.  Life is too short to waste. You can start marking off items from your bucket list right now, this very minute.  Stop waiting for tomorrow, it will never be back.  The simple fact that you're alive makes you worth it.  Dream big- Why not.


You are not what your have done, but what you've overcome.


Stephanie McConnell, me, far left
Judy Pollan, Superintendent and Fantastic Boss
Sarah Richmond, Principal
Receiving an award for our campus

About me:  My name is Stephanie McConnell.  I am a principal in East Texas and I have the most wonderful campus.  I wrote this piece because #5 is about me.  I grew up in poverty with two parents who suffered from substance abuse.  College was never discussed in my home just as it is not discussed in many homes of poverty children.  I am the first to go to college and earn a Bachelor's Degree and then go to college again and earn a Master's Degree.  I was determined to change my future.  I live by this quote by Walt Emerson.  "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies with us."  

Miracles happen every day.  Are you ready to be one of them?



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