What purpose do you have for your life?

Andy Ourada
Redwood Falls Gazette

“Having a vision for your life and knowing where you are going is powerful, but it’s even more powerful when you know why you are going there. Purpose is the ultimate fuel that moves you towards your vision.”

This is taken from one of my favorite authors, Jon Gordon.

Jon Gordon has a series of books that have empowered me to reflect on my purpose and my “Why.”

As activities director at Redwood Valley, I have asked the same of our adult leaders of activities at Redwood Valley to explore and find their “Why.”

I have encouraged them to reflect on what their purpose is and what it means to be a part of their program with or without the scoreboard (or result).

Our programs serve a greater purpose than wins or losses.

Throughout my life, the lessons I learned on the football field, wrestling mat, the golf course, on stage, playing the drums, in the field (FFA) and at the track have guided me through my journey in life.

My purpose statement as the activities director at Redwood Valley is, “I serve and lead to encourage and empower all students attending RASD with opportunities to learn and experience real-life, character building lessons through activities.”

Every coach at Redwood Valley has a purpose statement as well.

The following are a couple of examples:

“I coach to develop men and women of integrity that are committed to and in all they do.”

“I coach young people to become people of integrity, who demonstrate grit, compassion and selflessness.”

“I coach kids to be respectful and humble by learning about who they are as a person. That will inspire them to be great role models.”

As you read these purpose statements, one could say they fit any of the activities we offer at Redwood Valley, yet you will notice, none of the coaches list their purpose as winning.

Do each of these coaches want to win?

The answer would be a resounding yes, but that is a goal not a purpose. We have encouraged our programs to be about more than just the activity they lead.

Our coaches have the purpose of instilling respect, confidence, selflessness, kindness, courage, responsibility, resiliency, self-control, honesty, commitment, happiness, relationships, determination, perseverance and connections in the lives of our students.

I truly believe that these words describe what all of us want for our kids as values as they fly out into the real world after they leave our doors.

The opportunities that were lost last spring and this fall will not define our kids.

However, the lessons of perseverance, resiliency, hard work and dedication that activities teach our kids through practice and competitions will help mold them as they prepare for the next chapters in their lives.

Go Cardinals.


– Andy Ourada is the activities director for the Redwood Area School District