Coffee & Planning

“You aspire to great things? Begin with little ones.”

– St. Augustine

I’m in the midst of a number of turning points in family, ministry, and business – my planning is running at a high octane at the moment. I bring this to the table as a reminder to always keep your planning and your coffee hot.

Well, at the very least coffee is a subjective taste. But planning is indispensable.

There are seasons for planning and depending on your field of view, it’ll vary from person to person. Here are some tips for planning that can help get your stuff done, no matter the discipline. But I dare say, Evernote is a great tool for the job;)

  1. Make Coffee – Yes, set your environment to work. Get some time on the calendar to block off for this, make a really good cup of rich coffee, remove distractions or put on some lofi and get your tools together. Set the scene for you to focus on some deep work.
  2. Define Your Goals – What are you doing? What do you want to achieve? Lay it out clearly. Start with the end in mind.
  3. Breakdown Your Tasks – Line your goals up with tasks. Who do you need to call or contact to bring on board? What needs to be booked? What money will need to be allocated?
  4. Set Deadlines and Timelines – When do you want a goal and a task done? What do you expect to happen along the way? Strive for completion but leave room for flexibility.  

Rinse and repeat. Whether it is planning a family trip (which I’m doing), or planning a new arc to a ministry (which I’m also doing), or a deeper run with business (that too). Go get it!

Adam Jarosz is bringing fuel to the productively faithful – subscribe here to get The Climb articles right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along the Righteous journey on Instagram @righteousco.

How To Build A Ministry (and more!)

“The most untutored person with passion is more persuasive than the most eloquent without.”

– Francis de La Rochefoucauld

You are probably not working in ministry full time but this might be of value for you as you lead or dream of ways of serving the Lord. I was recently helping a gentleman in Washington workshop young adult ministry at his parish. He’s new to the game and had really good questions as he was in the midst of starting this age group in one of the most hostile regions for Christianity in the country.

It won’t be easy. There is no magic button to crafting a ministry today, what works in one area might not work in another but there are a few common points I can distill down to share after twenty years of seeing and doing. This is what I had to offer him…

1. Prayer – This is the most essential element when working for the Lord. It’s true no matter the discipline but especially in ministry – you can’t give what you don’t have. If you are not steeped in your prayer life you will not bear fruit and will become susceptible to splintering spiritual attack. Your gifts and talents were provided by God for a reason, return and pray without ceasing through the day. If you’re preaching, don’t just know the Scriptures, love and apply them. Embrace the sacramental life and see the wealth of graces Jesus provides us for the spiritual journey. Repent of the sins that gum up the engine and begin again! 

A well-honed prayer warrior runs downhill! 

2. Build Relationships – As he was starting out, his connections were thin. You have to do the work and go and get them. Make the introduction to everyone. Speak at Mass, get in the bulletin, see them after church as they’re departing, and load up your schedule with coffee dates.

This will lead to your first round of leaders in joining you along the way. We call them Core Members as they make the core of the ministry. Sell them on the mission you see and onboard them (really a whole other conversation). Form them along the way but you’ll see through your conversations what their gifts and talents are. When you’re well steeped in prayer, the Lord provides. When you multiply the team, you multiply your reach and effectiveness.

Don’t just look for low-hanging fruit at church either, reach out to connections because someone always knows someone else who needs to be reached. Comb the data and phone blitz. As you accumulate people you’re engaged and hospitable with, your offerings will grow or you’re primed to start inviting to your meetings. Lastly, keep a prayer list and keep adding and praying for the people you serve, hard to reach, and haven’t even known yet. Ask how you can prayer for them, log it, pray for it right then and later.  

3. Don’t Quit When It’s Hard – You’re going to eat a lot of gravel. You’ll feel terrible about yourself at times – “I’m not good enough”, “Someone else should be doing this”, “I don’t know what I’m doing, nothing is working.”Sound familiar? When you trust in the Holy Spirit, He’s a Master Chess Player. He’s put you exactly where you need to be. You’re the guy (or the girl). The Devil wants nothing more than to make the Master Chess Player’s pieces to move themselves off the board. Double down because the Lord provides. If you need a break, take a retreat. If you need support, ask for it. If you need more skill, endure and learn. The fruit will come.

I’ve been pondering this exchange and I’ll say this formula has legs in your industry or family. Your dreams are in front of you. You’re good enough. Go get it as the Lord allows.

Adam Jarosz is bringing fuel to the productively faithful – subscribe here to get The Climb articles right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along the Righteous journey on Instagram @righteousco.

Priorities V – The Leisure

“Real recreation quickens aspiration.”

B.C. Forbes

Welcome to the fifth installation with the Righteous Way priorities, I’m walking through an alignment of priorities that the productively faithful should consider when gauging your efforts. Last week we covered the fourth of five priorities, The Labor – the work of your talent and time. All of this comes behind the highest priority with The Transcendent, your relationship with God.

Because leisure sits at the bottom of our priorities list doesn’t mean we have to be ho-hum about life. Life should be led joyfully. Joy is much deeper and more gratifying than happiness. It’s easy to resign happiness to the times we set aside for leisurely pursuits but if we do, we risk accepting joyless areas of life and do nothing to change it. This can lead to living for the weekend at work, or escapism in marriage, or even hedonism redirecting our life. Ordered correctly, leisure is important for our health. But let’s get the fun in here, this is a leisure article after all…

Adventure calls, and it is up to us to answer. We can burn ourselves out with all the dreamings and doings of life. Guilty of that myself. So with that, don’t let leisure just be wasted time in-between things to do – make the most of it. Here are four ways to consider putting this time to good use:

  1. Exploration – For many including myself, exploring new things is the spice of life. Whether it’s travel, the outdoors, music, or literature, the pursuit of exploration is a part of the adventure that calls within. Literature is filled with characters in pursuit of exploration, and it can be just as exciting in real life. By trying new things, we can broaden our horizons and discover new passions.  
  2. Play – Sports, friends, and kids. You’re never too old to play. Shoot, I was playing with little dollies yesterday (with my girls, of course:). Play is important for kids and adults, especially when done together. It’s fun, imaginative, and builds friendship. As we get older, play looks different. Sports and board games take over for tag and army guys but it still fills a spot in our life to share in fellowship. It can also be done solo if you need to get away from people and decompress. 
  3. Share – While there are times for solitude, there is always a time to share with others. Whether finding adventure or simply shooting the breeze – invite others into this. Sharing time with others is easier in some seasons of life but it’s important in every season of life. By sharing our joy with others, we can deepen our relationships and create lasting memories. 
  4. Recover – If you’ve been pushing yourself too hard and feeling burned out, it’s time to take a recovery break. Take a timeout, and write down what you need to heal from and what remedies may help. Seek feedback from a spouse, spiritual director, or trusted friend. Take a retreat, a trip, or simply turn off all work-related aspects. This recovery break may be the catalyst you need to change direction or confirm that you’re on the right path.

To wrap up, leisure time should be viewed as a valuable and essential part of our lives that brings joy and strengthens our other priorities. Let’s get intentional about our leisure time and embrace exploration, play, sharing, and recovery. It’s time to inject some adventure into our lives and live joyfully.

What’s your favorite way to spend your leisure?

Adam Jarosz is bringing fuel to the productively faithful – subscribe here to get The Climb articles right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along the Righteous journey on Instagram @righteousco.

Priorities IV – The Labor

“America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, an imagination, and unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.”

Harry Truman

Welcome to the fourth installation with the Righteous Way priorities, I’m walking through an alignment of priorities that the productively faithful should consider when gauging your efforts. Last week we covered the third of five priorities, The Vocation – your specific life’s purpose with your family or flock. All of this comes behind the highest priority with The Transcendent, your relationship with God.

We’re four parts in and now getting to our work. That isn’t to say that our other priorities don’t take work, they most certainly do. This work, our labor – becomes the means to fund everything else and a place to put our talent and skill to good use. It’s important to keep it in check from overtaking everything else.

Time for money. If you’re working full-time, you’re easily putting in forty hours or more. As a leader, you’re fifty+. Entrepreneur or ministry leader, sixty+. Some people are working two jobs just to get by, stacking hours. We put time in and someone pays us for the effort/product/service we put out. The more in demand your skill level or the more clever you can make yourself to someone, your rates will rise. It’s a fair market.

But all the time we give away towards this endeavor can cloud our priorities. It can easily become our unintended number one priority. We can move our relationship with God to the backseat or swat our spouses and kids aside because of the next thing that needs to be done after hours. We don’t take care of ourselves and watch our health disappear. I know this because I’ve been there.

For sure, there are sprints with work. We should work hard. When it’s time to focus, absolutely, put your mind where it needs to be. “There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw, that it is from the hand of God,” (Ecclesiastes 2:24). But none of it should be at the sacrifice of our other priorities. It’s good to hold ourselves accountable and check in with the outside perspective of our spouse or superior frequently.

Unless you’re blessed with the responsibility of living off of capital gains and don’t need to work to live, you’re like the rest of us who have to build our careers and generate income through time and talent. “You either work to live or live to work“, a common phrase that has some truth to it. I can’t say that one is right over the other, you’ll know the answer in your heart.

  1. Work to live – You don’t love it but it’s been good enough to stick with because it’s fueling your outside life. You’re happy to go in and do what you do well and when it’s time to go, you go – until you have to go back again. Where life takes place is outside of work. You gain your energy back with family and friends, the hobbies and travels you have in store, and the comforts and options your paycheck affords you.  
  2. Live to work – You are on a mission and can’t wait to get back to it. The sweet spot of talent and interest is at equilibrium. Time feels like nothing then you’re here, what’s another ten hours? You wake up at night with the notepad next to the bed, scribbling the next idea. You’re great at what you do and you yearn for more of it.

Your outside relationships may work, but it could also be an escape from them.

Our work can do immense good no matter our approach but it can also do immense harm if we let it. If we’re not living to our potential and feel stuck, that can also break us down. It’s good to be real with ourselves, take our labor to prayer, and pursue excellence.

Take to prayer…”Lord, am I where You want me?”, “Do I have my work balanced well with my other priorities?”, “Am I utilizing the talents you’ve given me, or have I buried them?”, “What if You’re asking me to do a new and greater work?”, “How can I give back because of what You’ve given me?”, “Thank You for what has been given to me.”

The last of the Righteous Way priorities is our Leisure…

Adam Jarosz is bringing fuel to the productively faithful – subscribe here to get The Climb articles right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along the Righteous journey on Instagram @righteousco.

Priorities III – The Vocation

 “I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.”

J.R.R. Tolkein

Welcome to the third installation with the Righteous Way priorities, I’m walking through an alignment of priorities that the productively faithful should consider when gauging your efforts. Last week we covered the second of five priorities, The Ore – allowing yourself to be well-formed as an instrument with purpose. All of this comes behind the highest priority with The Transcendent, your relationship with God.

What would you give your life up for?

I mean, fully live and die for? To spend your life’s journey taking on a big purpose?

Would it be your work? A job or a project? Money or fame? A sprint in leisure?

Vocation isn’t a job you transition from or climb a corporate ladder for – it’s a mission designed for you beyond labor, a calling that requires everything you have. It’s a cooperative choice that needs discernment and prayer along with dedication through the thick and thin of life’s journey. Vocation becomes your identity and is the outlet for your directed love.

Vocational living isn’t by accident, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you as a prophet to the nations,” (Jeremiah 1:5). You are called to do something great with your life, this is it. Your labor supports the Vocation, not the other way around.

The same character traits and skills that make you good at one, will make you good at another – love, selfless service, prayer, fun, perseverance, and dedication. It’s important to recognize the Vocation you’re in and that you are there for a reason. Whether loving your spouse and raising your family or providing spiritual guidance for your flock, you are divinely placed, right there, where you’re at.

I’d like to do a quick flyover of what the Vocations are, recognizing the inadequacy of a short block of text to cover it. There are thousands of years of writing behind each one not to mention the contemporary research and stats of where each one is today. That’s for another time. Let’s start where everyone begins…


Singlehood – Our Vocational journey begins when we’re born into singlehood. It’s less of a Vocation and more of a season. We spend a good portion of it in childhood and formation but eventually, we get to the point where we feel a call to something and start to explore it. Secular society has us programmed for two things: autopilot marriage and perpetual hedonistic singlehood. Neither routes are good for us and are actually toxic to the soul and our loved ones.

The antidote is striving toward intentionality. I will run two routes through intentional singlehood…

  1. Prepare and Explore Vocations – Singlehood is a great time to get clarity on what you’re made of. This is where discernment comes in. What gifts and talents do you have? What desires do you have on your heart to do? Who do you want to serve? What do you want life to look like?  We also have a great opportunity to intentionally date. We’re conditioned societally to be married and we often feel like it’s just what needs to happen. Most people will get married and that’s great but sometimes people sleepwalk into it without kicking the tires thoroughly and seeing what other options speak to the heart. Not everyone is made to be married so what else can your heart be made for? Prayer and finding a spiritual mentor are key instruments in this process.  
  2. Perpetual and Intentional Singlehood – Marriage isn’t for everyone and that’s ok. This gets a bit nuanced because you can be dealing with a lot of factors like “I haven’t met the right one,” or “I don’t like people,” or “I’ve been wounded so much”. There is a societal price that is paid for not “fitting in” but don’t let that eat at your joy. I’ve seen the anxiety people face with this. Don’t force something that doesn’t need to be. Certainly, find the healing that needs to be done, re-write the script of dating, make a new plan – but at the end of the day, you can still love well. Love and serve others, if romance isn’t in your court, the Greek philia and storge, love of family and friends is powerful. I recommend, C.S. Lewis’s book The Four Loves.

Marriage – Matrimony is a beautiful and life-giving sacrament. Most people are called here and it makes sense, as it’s an essential building block for society to grow. If you’re blessed to share in the joys and challenges of marriage, you do it together for life. Marriage is the only Vocation that merges two individuals into one and is the only Vocation that enjoys the ordered gift of our sexuality or Eros (with the exception of the traditions in the Eastern church’s that combine priesthood and marriage). To be co-creators, Lord willing, is a powerful purpose – but for those who can’t too, there are ways to live that fully as well.

To be careful, autopilot marriage is spoon-fed to us through culture. Media and news portray marriage as easily dissolvable. “When you fall out of love, it’s time to move on,” – love is merely a feeling and when it’s gone, it’s run its course. The result is many stumble into marriage seeing the divorce rate between 40-50% and have come to expect that in the institution. Marriage requires so much love and dedication, even when it’s hard.

Marriage will require resources to provide for the family, so you generate income with a job or capital gains. Most will invest in a career that will consume a majority of their time over your life and they spend that time making choices of what comes first. Some traditions will pursue ministry or mission work and you include your family along the way, but your family will always take priority when push comes to shove no matter the mission before you.

Priesthood, Religious Life, & Consecrated Virginity – Lastly we come to the service of the Lord, by dedicating oneself fully to the sacramental and communal life. These Vocations are specialized in the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental traditions of Christianity. They can require vows of prayer, chastity, poverty, service, and obedience in their ministry.

There is a special call on the hearts of those called to this Vocation and while it’s important on any Vocation to discern well, it’s especially true to have guidance and wisdom to be able to get to clarity. Each lifestyle is unique and radically different than what society has to offer but your spouse becomes Jesus, dedicating your life’s actions and prayers to serving Him.

Those called to these Vocations serve flocks and communities of faithful or missions of evangelization around the world. Often, the adventure will carry them where they are needed and frequently that’s away from their family to serve other families. I’ve met and worked with a number of people who’ve dedicated their life in this way and I have to say they are some of the most joyful people I’ve met.

To wrap up, your Vocation sits above your labor. This is your life’s purpose and you’re built for it. Nourish and invest your time and energy into it. Embrace the joys and hardships that may come with it, and seek help when necessary. Pray always, you’re doing great work. The best part is you get to choose and follow your heart’s desire, the Lord knows what that is. We’re all called to something, so let’s make sure other people in our life are supported too.

Next week we’re on to our fourth priority, Labor.

Adam Jarosz is bringing fuel to the productively faithful – subscribe here to get The Climb articles right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along the Righteous journey on Instagram @righteousco.

Priorities II – The Ore

“Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.”

Theodore Roosevelt

Welcome to the second installation with the Righteous Way priorities, I’m walking through an alignment of priorities that the productively faithful should consider when gauging your efforts. Last week we covered the first of five priorities, The Transcendent – directing your highest priority above so everything below is well-ordered and designed with a purpose.

Our second stop when ordering our priorities comes to ourselves. I’ve settled this into the second tier despite the urge to place it lower in pursuit of selflessness. However, on one hand, it’s important to realize that we are instruments and that to be of service as an instrument, we must be formed. We can’t give what we don’t have. On the other, we are born into life and spend our formative years in singlehood. For the young and unsettled, singlehood can be made intentional in our preparation for our Vocational callings of serving our family, flock, or profession.

I love the imagery in Scripture of refining, “The refining pot is for silver the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests hearts,” (Proverbs 17:3), “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction,” (Isaiah 48:10), or the familiar “Iron sharpens iron,” (Proverbs 27:17). It’s part of the love letter from our Creator who knows us too well, our Blacksmith. We will be formed one way or another, so who is doing the formation in your life?

Raw Ore – We don’t come onto life, thankfully for our mothers, fully grown. We spend our early years in formation by our families, religions, schools, communities, and various inputs. Everyone is handed an experience to start with – some better than others. No matter the starting point, that isn’t the finished race. We eventually claim ownership over our life whether we’re ready or not. When we do, we pick up the reigns and start steering. What we start to determine for ourselves is how we’re going to spend our time, effort, and love moving from ownership to death. Maybe you are recognizing a need for redirection or you can state the moments when you set your feet and began your direction.

Heat & Hammer – You’re going to be formed one way or another in life – when we hear the call on our heart from Above, life looks much different. Life isn’t just about how we can pursue the next enjoyable moment or comfort zone, a way to wish away the hard times. But suffering in life can be formative in making us a more powerful instrument of service even in the face of evil. It’s a symptom of a fallen world. When we think “God, why did this happen to me? Don’t you love me?”, the answer is, without a doubt, He does. God walks with us even in the hardest of moments, He will not abandon us. But despite whatever we get hit with, we can see the goodness that can shine on the other side. When you take a 30,000-foot view of your life, you can see how hard moments may have struck you into something different than you were before, but how can you use that for good? How have you grown through even painful hits? Where did the heat of the moment reveal cracks that need to be healed in an even greater way? Just like iron, heat and hammer can bring out the impurity to make the ore strong. We are also generally shaped into what our purpose will be in this process, what capabilities and talents are grown in this?

Whetstone – After a blacksmith has hammered the instrument into what it’s going to be used for, it’s time to hone it, a more careful sharpening. When making a sword, a blacksmith will use a whetstone to create a sharp edge. It will smooth out the roughness and create a shine. In the same way, we get greater clarity for the purpose we have been designed for – maybe this is greater professional or educational training, a seasoning of confidence in dating, or a maturing of an idea. What do you see in your life as an advancing trait, skill, opportunity, or call?

The Sword – Insert any analogy you like – Maybe you’re not a sword, maybe you’re a hammer to form others. Maybe you see yourself as sickle for harvesting. Use your imagination. I like the image of a sword. I trained and competed for twelve years in fencing, I’m familiar with its usage, I know how it’s handled offensively and defensively in conjunction with the strategy of the game. I think in the same way I’m designed for proverbial battle. I see how my formation continues, but so does my usage. The analogy can certainly be used in many different directions, in some ways, we’re never done learning or being formed but at some point, you go from formation to use. Not everyone is a sword or a hammer or a whatever – everyone is formed for their own reason. When we allow ourselves to be formed and used as an instrument of our Creator, then it becomes very clear that we’ve been made to do remarkable things big and small.  

Pray for direction and take advantage of opportunities that come your way. Don’t fret the heat and hits in your life, embrace them and grow through them. Take account of your skills and ask, “What do you want me to do with these?” Lastly, don’t be afraid of failure and take action, there’s growth there too. Because we are formed by the Creator – our love, virtues, skills, and vision become selfless and geared for the service of our next priorities…

Bringing fuel to the productively faithful – subscribe here to get The Climb articles right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along the Righteous journey on Instagram @righteousco.

The Righteous Way Priorities

“But strive for greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.”

St. Paul (1 Cor 12:31)

Whether we intend to or not, we prioritize our life with our actions. We choose to put our energy in place by way of organizing or procrastinating. We may prioritize leisure over work or instant gratification over compound interests. Priority comes in many different ways and you can hear a million ways to organize it.

The Righteous Way includes organizing not just our energy and effort but aligning it to give our life true meaning and direction. We are made for great things but not because we will it or we take cues from what the world offers us – but because of what our Creator wills for us.

When we align our will with the Father’s, life gains a clarity you can’t get anywhere else. To live a righteous life means to get our priorities straight.

First, it lies with making our relationship to the Triune God of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit paramount. Without being connected to this reality and knowing and trusting where He will take us, our work and direction can become lost. By being connected, “we can do all things in Christ who empowers us,” Philippians 4:13.

Second, and I’m having a debate on placement between two and three, is ourselves, The Ore. Not to be inward-looking and selfish but to recognize that we can’t give what we don’t have. It’s important to allow ourselves to be instruments that need to be sharpened for the love and work ahead. We need to be formed and purposed so we can figure out what is being asked of us in any given season of life. Love, discipline, and skill can wane or grow over our life by the choices we make. How are we going to let our Ore be formed along the way?

Third, The Vocation. Not to be confused with little “v” vocation as the job or career we take but big “V” vocation for what our true calling is. We’re all born single, most will be called to another state of life. A refined call of the heart, a great mission and task that requires more than the work you put down after you clock out. It’s your identity. Most are called into marriage – to love their spouse and if God willing, raise babies. Others are specialized with a unique draw – priesthood, religious life, and the refined singlehood of consecrated virginity. All of these require love, joy, commitment, service, death to self, community, perseverance, and grit.

Fourth, The Labor is the work we do – our careers that fund our life and giving. Some people are unbelievably blessed with talents and clear direction for their labor. Others have to walk a hard road to find it. Some make great money but feel desolate on the inside. Others have hearts overflowing from their labor but struggle to put food on the table. This part of our life takes up most of our clock as we trade time for money, usually 40-60 hours a week. Because of this often times, this becomes our life. Our priority. We put everything that is above on this list, below this priority. It’s easy too. I’ve done it myself. Our work is important, especially if you’re a provider but if it’s out of internal priority it will wreck your life. When it’s guided correctly, it can do immense good.

Lastly, The Leisure in your life has a unique stature – as Aristotle said, “The end of labor is leisure.” We want to enjoy life, we’re not just donkeys at a grindstone destined to slave our way to retirement, then and only then, will we truly enjoy. No, that isn’t it. Life is an adventure and it’s important to break, rest, and explore. This isn’t last on the list because it shouldn’t exist for us but because after the above, our leisure can recharge us for the above. The tale of caution should be told, a life of leisure as a top priority can lead to a life out of sorts. It can steal and rob us of fruits only the others can provide and the tricky part is, it feels great while doing it. Balance and temperance are key.

This is the way;) The next few Climbs will explore each of the five in more depth. I’d love to hear your thoughts, how would you place these?

Bringing fuel to the faithfully productive – subscribe here to get The Climb articles right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along the Righteous journey on Instagram @righteousco.

Priorities I – The Transcendent

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.”

St. Paul (Romans 12:2)

I realize that a quick blog of this topic is radically insufficient, but this will have to do as I work on a greater approach. The start of our priorities for the Righteous Way begins with God. There is no secret to Righteous Co., everything begins and ends here. It’s a core function of the business because it’s a core function for me. For any Christian, it’s our mission set by Christ – “to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I command you, and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age,” (Matt 28 19-20).

I work with so many different people on various roads and dreams. Faithful and secular. Catholic, Protestant, Non-denominational. Contemporary and traditional.

There is a common thread – losing sight of what lies above and in our hearts is easy. The secular world is a powerful engine that will seek to drive our attention to the things that destroy our souls and our life’s purpose. We need to set it straight and get clear that the reality of God in our life is much more potent.

I often hear, “What is the purpose of life?”

The answer is easy to say but much more difficult to live out when you boil it down. It’s simply this, get to Heaven and take as many with you as you can.

If you want to live a life where your heart is full and you feel like your life has meaning and purpose, reconnect with the most powerful Being in not only your life but in the universe. He alone will give you direction and the first step in that direction is back to Him. He will transform every step after that. This is true no matter how far you’ve gone or how far you’ve fallen.

There can be a fear of the unknown with that, a desire to hold on to a piece for yourself. It’s natural. It can take a bit of time to wrap your head around it or it can take a moment of prayer to give it all upward. Wherever you are in your relationship with God, consider handing over your heart and your direction to Him in prayer. Hand the keys over. It’s ok, you can trust Him.

The order of our priorities starts with the Lord’s blessing and direction. There are other paths you can choose for sure, but they are fraught with dissonance, anxiety, depression, complacency, and even comfort. The path with the Lord doesn’t make life easy or comfortable, He tells us to pick up our cross and follow Him – but it’s a life of love, blessing, full hearts, healing, sharp vision, and service. Each step after is filled with the proper purpose and order – our self, our Vocation, our Labor, and Leisure.

Remember, this life is only so long. It goes by quick. Eternity calls beyond and that lasts forever. As St. Aquinas said after a vision of Heaven, “All that I have written appears to be as so much straw after the things that have been revealed to me.” Even if we alone mastered our life here, there is much more ahead. We can’t take it with us.

Part II continues with The Ore, ourselves. While it’s important to live life selflessly, you can’t give what you don’t have. We let the Lord hone and sharpen us with purpose so we can be better instruments of love and labor.

Bringing fuel to the faithfully productive – subscribe here to get The Climb articles right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along the Righteous journey on Instagram @righteousco.


“All the clouds that use to look like cars now look like clouds.”

Maps and Atlases

I’m cheerleading our group of guys embarking on this year’s Exodus 90 journey with the ministry. For the uninitiated, it’s a powerful ninety days of prayer, fraternity, and asceticism while walking daily through the book of Exodus. For the hungry of heart – it’s a great road map to build your faith and discipline. Going through it three years in a row, I (but no more than Ani) was ready to give it a break. Each year since we’ve had leaders step up and take the helm with a fresh and hungry crew of guys.

There is something in the air this year that is getting me to go back to the disciplines we had hardily taken on. Not all of them, but I’m reintroducing a couple I found to be the most difficult at the time – not because I’m a glutton for punishment but because I’ve learned a lot about them since.

Concurrently with my contemplation of Exodus, I started watching Limitless with Chris Hemsworth on Disney+. It’s a series where Chris pursues healthier disciplines and explores lifestyle changes to test him and help him lead a longer life. The series isn’t too long and is aesthetically pleasing but two episodes, in particular, rang my bell – cold water and fasting, the two things that have been settling into my heart as the start day drew close.

Cold Showers – All three years of going through Exodus, this particular discipline had my number. I never enjoyed it. Never saw the benefit. Wussed out in some of those Buffalo cold-pipe January/February mornings with a twist of “just a little” warm to stop the pain. They just sucked.

I was introduced to a number of articles this past summer and then a guy named Wim Hof the Ice Man, dedicated to cold training and the positive impacts it has on your health and mindset. Bringing cold showers or baths into your life has a number of benefits. I started taking cold showers again this summer for a bit, which is really easy when it’s hot out but I did notice a change in my day – I had picked up more energy and a clearer mind later in the day. I also noticed a change in my inflammation management as my joints and guts recovered faster from my poor choice of eating wheat. I cooled off when fall rolled in and the water got cold. It was a bit of an experiment I wasn’t ready to commit to.

Chris’s challenge in this episode was to swim in open thirty-degree water in Scandinavia. Yea-no for me. But the training was interesting and could be downsized for the normal person.

Fasting – Hemsworth takes a number of these disciplines to the extreme with challenges that most people won’t attempt but the point isn’t to do an extreme challenge it’s to introduce the concepts in your own life. Chris makes a four-day fast while being active. Knowing I struggle with 24-hour fasts before bloodwork, I couldn’t imagine 96. Plenty of science and benefits to it which is great but the thing the show doesn’t go into is the faithful importance of fasting as a prayer. We’re so used to having food at our disposal, we can eat and snack whenever we want. We don’t usually go hungry. It’s easy to say, “I’m starving!” and have no idea what that feels like. Knowing hunger reminds us and our souls of the hunger we should have for something greater. When you fast, you’re lifting up that discomfort and pain as an offering to God and saying no to something so natural for a time for the supernatural.  

The building block of discipline required for fasting and training yourself for cold overrides our cravings in our body and crosses a number of paths – spiritually, romantically, physically, and mentally. I haven’t done anything bigger than a 24-hour fast yet or jumped in one of the Wim ice baths, but maybe someday. But for now, I’m reclaiming a number of disciplines I had left behind with a new set of eyes and a new hunger for growth.  While you’ll have to approach Limitless with a grain of salt, it’s well worth the watch. Perhaps you’ll find some nuggets that inspire you to action as well.

What are your thoughts on the conversation?

I love sharing insights and reflections for the faithfully productive – this article is from Righteous Co.’s weekly newsletter, The Climb. If you want to see content like this and more, subscribe here to get The Climb right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along on Instagram @righteousco.

Get At It

“Don’t stop when you’re tired, stop when you’re done.”

– David Goggins

Oh, we’re a few days from 2023. You know that. Another year is staring you in the face. It’s staring me down too. I can feel it with anticipation and I’m ready to leave 2022 behind. Not because I want to forget it, I won’t. But because we have places to be.

I wrote an edition at the beginning of the quarter on sketching out the coming year in advance, you can read that here if you’re interested in some planning. I want to focus on the anticipation of a new year today. That feeling of charging up. Perhaps you can relate to slogging it out lately. A lot of people I’ve talked to recently have been hitting the sand and it can be discouraging. But here’s the thing, we take what we’ve learned and move out of it. We don’t need to stay there. It’s part of the growing process and if you aren’t growing, you’re dying.

I like taking the start of each year as the next round, like the ring of a boxing bell. We only get one go in life. For the young: it’s easy to waste time and let it slip by thinking we have time to kill. For the old: another day is a day we don’t have to lose. I’m walking the line between each. The bell is about to ring for 2023, are you ready for the next round or are you going to let 2023 get the first hit?

Let’s put our shoulders into this year and do great things. Wherever you’re at, start or continue but don’t sit. Get it. Get at it. Apply yourself hard in a direction worth going. If you find resistance, mow it down. If you fall, get up. Knock something out.

What is that going to be for you? How is this year going to be different?

Let’s do this year hard. Come Holy Spirit.

— Adam Jarosz

Founder/Leadership Coach

Righteous Co.

I love sharing insights and reflections for the faithfully productive – this article is from Righteous Co.’s weekly newsletter, The Climb. If you want to see content like this and more, subscribe here to get The Climb right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along on Instagram @righteousco.

Plot 2023 Now

“Ideas are the currency of leadership.”

Ken Coleman

I know it’s early. Hear me out.

We’re in the fourth quarter of 2022 and there is a lot in front of us to finish the year. It’s that last sprint until the next year starts up and it seems like a long way from now. Except that it isn’t. We’ll be in the holidays soon and November and December get crowded quickly. You don’t actually want to wait until Christmas to throw your ideas together. That’s why this time of the year is a great time to start your planning and goal-setting before the time you think you have slips away.

  1. You have time but be intentional. The benefit of having a head start now is the time you allow for ideas to mature. It doesn’t have to be perfect now, this is sketch time. Open your notes on your phone (Or Evernote for you forward-thinking people) and start a workspace, “Ideas for 2023”. Having this on your phone will make it accessible no matter where you’re at so in a flash of inspiration, it’s already at your fingertips. Don’t wait until you get home for your notebook or computer.  After you create this note, make four blocks underneath representing each quarter of the year (Q1, Q2, etc).  
  2. Ponder the big things you want to achieve next year. Start with the one big thing. Something that if you could only do one big thing in a year’s time, what would it be? What is exciting or necessary? Is it a large project, a career move, a new home? What needs to happen each quarter and month to prepare or set the stage?  Whatever the big thing is, put that at the top of your page as a header goal. Maybe you have two or three of them you’re juggling but don’t go more than that on big ones right now. The problem with setting too many big goals is that it’s easy to get overwhelmed by them and none get done. Prioritize and refine to one, maybe two. 
  3. Write it down and make it plain. Habakkuk 2:2 “write the vision and make it plain,” from 600 BC provides sound advice even for us 21st-century technocrats. As you’re pondering, write out and draft your ideas. You don’t need to overcomplicate things, make it clear to yourself (and your spouse if you have one) and let the later planning and production carry details. 

What might be a good idea at 3am might prove later unfeasible and that’s ok. As you draw closer to the end of the year, you’ll have a list of actionable goals and items you can decide what to do with. At least for right now, you can seize the opportunity to let your dreaming and doing age like a nice Kentucky bourbon.

— Adam Jarosz

Founder/Leadership Coach

Righteous Co.

I love sharing insights and reflections for the faithfully productive – this article is from Righteous Co.’s weekly newsletter, The Climb. If you want to see content like this and more, subscribe here to get The Climb right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along on Instagram @righteousco.

Merry Christmas from the Jarosz’s

“Christmas is built upon a beautiful and intentional paradox; that the birth of the homeless should be celebrated in every home.”

G.K. Chesterton

I’m profoundly blessed in life to be able to pursue the things of my heart starting with my relationship with God which has led to starting a family all the while growing in skill and opportunity. I’m thankful for this journey. I’m thankful for you who continue to follow along and keep your dreaming and doing in front of you.

What’s great about this season is that as a reflection of what it is – the arrival of God made man for the purpose of bringing us Home, that’s the real gift. All the dreamings and doings are fruitless if we don’t recognize that this is what life is all about, the Incarnation and Jesus stepping in. Christmastide is a great time to count the blessings in the right order. Go to church, lead your family’s prayer at dinner, read the gospel accounts of the Nativity, offer a prayer of thanksgiving by the tree – many ways to do so.

Let this be a season of gratitude for us, the Righteous, to let our work flow from that starting point. Very quickly after we enter the Christmas season we’re into the next year. What a way to prime the changing of the calendar. There is grace in gratitude. Fruits come from grace. Let us take the time to soak it up and lean into the coming days of our Lord’s birth.

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!

I love sharing insights and reflections for the faithfully productive – this article is from Righteous Co.’s weekly newsletter, The Climb. If you want to see content like this and more, subscribe here to get The Climb right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along on Instagram @righteousco.

Sad News: A Witness

“For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

– Jesus of Nazareth (Jn 6:40)

The score is even – three Jarosz babies here, three in Heaven.

We found out that our expectant baby’s heart had stopped yesterday. It’s especially hard because we lost another at the beginning of September. While we are broken-hearted we are people of hope. That’s the thing about love and loss as the faithful – whatever comes our way in life we know we’re in Good hands.

We’ll see our babies again in eternity and it is a reason for joy. While I’ll miss the dirty diapers, paying for college, and walking down the aisle – a greater and longer time will be had later in Glory. It’ll be something to see them on that day, Lord willing. I suppose they’ll have a greater education in Heaven than anything they’ll get here with Jesus raising them. All of our babies are well-loved in our hearts and while it doesn’t get easier the more it happens, there is peace in knowing they are reserved for Sainthood.

While it’s painful to share, especially since we had just started announcing as we’ve come out of the first trimester, we’re open to being a witness to life. Life is precious no matter how far along or small those little ones are. Walking the vocation as a co-creator comes with its risks – a risk to receive, a risk to love, a risk to provide, and a risk to lose. For whatever reason that our journey includes this path our response mirrors the Immaculate, “my soul proclaims the Greatness of the Lord.”

May whoever reads this and mourns, know you’re not alone and there is reason to hope. Marisol, Francisco John, & Lucia – pray for us.

Adam & Ani

What Is Leadership? AI Guest Writer

AI development is fascinating me. It’s a little scary. I’m still developing my thoughts on it. In the meantime, I’m going to make it work for me before we all start working for it. I asked a beta AI bot called ChatGPT to write a 500-word blog post about leadership – this is what it wrote in thirty seconds…

Leadership is a quality that is highly valued in all aspects of society. Whether in the workplace, in sports, or in our personal lives, effective leaders are able to inspire and guide others towards a common goal. But what makes a good leader?

One key quality of a good leader is the ability to communicate effectively. This means being able to clearly express ideas and plans, and to listen to and understand the perspectives of others. A good leader is also able to adapt their communication style to different situations and audience, and to use a variety of channels (such as speaking, writing, and body language) to get their message across.

Another important quality of a good leader is the ability to make decisions and solve problems. This means being able to evaluate a situation, weigh up the available options, and choose the best course of action. A good leader is also able to anticipate potential challenges and develop strategies to overcome them.

In addition to these technical skills, a good leader also needs to have certain personal characteristics. This includes being honest and trustworthy, having a strong work ethic, and being able to inspire and motivate others. A good leader should also be able to build and maintain positive relationships, and to create a inclusive and supportive team environment.

One final quality of a good leader is the ability to continually learn and grow. This means staying up-to-date with developments in their field, and being open to new ideas and perspectives. A good leader should also be willing to take risks, to challenge the status quo, and to embrace change.

In conclusion, leadership is a complex and multifaceted quality that involves a range of skills and personal characteristics. Effective leaders are able to communicate effectively, make decisions and solve problems, inspire and motivate others, and continually learn and grow. These qualities are essential for guiding teams and organizations towards success.

This is the interesting part… ChatGPT gives the following guidelines for sharing AI created content…

  • Attribute the content to your name or your company.
  • Indicate that the content is AI-generated in a way no user could reasonably miss or misunderstand.

So I totally wrote (and by wrote I mean prompted AI) this article. Strange world we’re walking towards…

Dream. Let Machines Do. Be Righteous.

Time Out: Defend the Family

“I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.” 

J.R.R. Tolkien

It’s essential to follow along with the Culture Wars for a number of reasons, protecting your family is among the top. We’re defenders of the family around these parts. 

I’m sure you’ve heard about the hullabaloo with the recent bill in Florida, “Parental Rights in Education,” or colloquially known as, “Don’t Say Gay” by media members. It boggles the mind that there are people and companies upset that there would be limits in the sand on when to teach sexuality – in this case, 3rd Grade and under. As often the case the chatter is distant and we go about our business.

This week struck home with a debate on Facebook, hearing radicals advocate for the sexual education of children in elementary and younger. At first, I watched it unfold, then engaged. Happily.

Seems silly and fruitless to do so on Facebook. But here we are. Meet them where they’re at.

I was giving a tubby to Izzy and Wyatt, 4 & 3, respectively – just about the age these radicals want to start talking about matters for adults. My kids were singing about beans and how they’re good for you. Innocence.

There are real failures happening in the culture today. Evil people want your kid’s minds and souls. Be aware and defend the family. The righteous men and women need to speak up and start making a pushback for values and against vice. Teach your kids well because no one has a greater interest than you.  

I’d love to hear from you – What are you doing to protect your family generally? If single, how are you engaging in culture now?

— Adam Jarosz

Founder/Leadership Coach

Righteous Co.

I love sharing insights and reflections for the faithfully productive – this article is from Righteous Co.’s weekly newsletter, The Climb. If you want to see content like this and more, subscribe here to get The Climb right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along on Instagram @righteousco.

Iterations – Labor & Life

“An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.”

Dr. Edwin Land

There is a myth. It’s called perfection. Many people chase it – many more don’t move because of it.

I am definitely not a perfectionist. I believe in excellence but perfection is a mirage. When you pursue excellence, you’re giving the best you can toward something, accepting it, and learning toward the next iteration. Perfection is the need for flawlessness and it can be haunting.

Here is why I pursue excellence – you’ll never be perfect in this life. Perfection is needing to get a 100%, every time. You can’t maintain that indefinitely. When you fall short of perfection, you’ll have the added angst of beating yourself up unfairly.

An important trait of excellence is iteration, starting in one place but improving upon it for the next round of efforts. After you’ve learned lessons and received feedback, you move on to the next iteration and so on. It’s never perfect and actually quite gritty but before long, you can look back and see you’ve made progress from where you’ve started. Oftentimes, it’s an education no class can teach you.

This is my work philosophy with Righteous Co. and in pursuit of excellence, I find myself at the start of iteration III. 2023 is going to be an excellent year. I’ve further refined/honed my mission and market. With that comes new offerings and in some cases, withdrawals. Each iteration up to this point has been hard-fought while working full-time and growing a family. We keep moving forward.

If you find yourself in the category of beating yourself up because you’ve fallen short or haven’t started because it just isn’t right yet, consider this other way. Just get started and do your best. Of course, you’ll fall. That’s part of it. It won’t be perfect and at times you’ll feel embarrassed, it’s ok. Because the next iteration will be better. You have something on the heart, don’t let perfection get in the way.

— Adam Jarosz

Founder/Leadership Coach

Righteous Co.

I love sharing insights and reflections for the faithfully productive – this article is from Righteous Co.’s weekly newsletter, The Climb. If you want to see content like this and more, subscribe here to get The Climb right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along on Instagram @righteousco.

Advent Reset

“The giver of every good and perfect gift has called upon us to mimic
His giving, by grace, through faith, and this is not of ourselves.”

St. Nicholas of Myra

I got halfway through writing this Climb when I thought better of it and started over. I’ve been rather critical of the cheap secularization of Christmas lately and was leaning into that for this edition however, prudence calls for peace in honor of the Prince of Peace. I’ll save the critique for another time.

I think another take comes from a moment I had two nights ago – we had brought up some of the Christmas gear and the kids were really excited about it. They wanted to help but really it was too much. Each box was opened and tossed around, fragile ornaments flipped and flopped, lots of giddy screaming, and to top it all off… all of the Christmas tree lights didn’t go on. All of them. I even checked other outlets, didn’t matter… tossed. What was it? One season? I put them away working, a year later all dead? So there I was.


But I recognized that I was losing patience and I took a deep breath. Time out. This is actually the dream for me. Our kids were excited about Christmas. This is such a small window. They’re growing quickly and I need to embrace the moments.

Advent is more than Christmas to-dos. After I took a long exhale and regrouped I changed my mind. We put a YouTube crackling fire on the TV and opened up some books and snuggled in. The kids smothered me on the floor as I read and Ani sat behind me on the couch while the soft electronic glow of the fire lit the room. Eventually, we tucked the kids in and settled in front of the TV fire again and had my pregnant wife fall asleep on my shoulder.

The dream.

Yesterday morning continued the graceful Advent moment where we continued the Advent reflections and prayer around the candles at breakfast. We read from a little devotional that might be a little over their heads but for the questions in it, their little answers were the same, “because Jesus loves us.”

That’s the answer, isn’t it? That’s the season. That’s Advent. Because Jesus loves us. It’s easy to be caught up in the preparation of it all. It can stress us out. Let’s take it another way. Embrace the moment. Because while Advent will return, we’ll never have another moment like the one we’re experiencing right now. A future Advent will have its turn, but this Advent is now. Embrace who and what is in front of you and dig into that with love. Why? “Because Jesus loves us,” (first).

Happy Advent Everyone!

— Adam Jarosz

Founder/Leadership Coach

Righteous Co.

I love sharing insights and reflections for the faithfully productive – this article is from Righteous Co.’s weekly newsletter, The Climb. If you want to see content like this and more, subscribe here to get The Climb right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along on Instagram @righteousco.

Not good… yet.

“There is nothing like a dream to create the future.” 

– Victor Hugo

I watched a talk years ago by Simon Sinek, the corporate soothsayer, where he encouraged the audience to not be discouraged by an early lack of progress in an endeavor. This talk stuck with me and sat in my mind.

“Maybe your business hasn’t grown… yet.”

“Maybe you didn’t get the promotion… yet.” 

“Maybe you’re not good… yet.” 

I’ve heard this repeated a number of ways since then. It’s rather simple really. Get started, apply yourself, don’t give up.

Just like with compound interest, time can be on your side. That early imposter syndrome and lack of confidence can kill designs of the heart. We can put things away too early and throw in the towel before it blooms.

You have these designs put on your heart to do. We all do, no matter the discipline you come from. That nagging call that comes back. Maybe you’re not that good at it… yet – but get started and give yourself the space to grow.

It doesn’t matter what age or position in life you find yourself, what the design is, or what resources you have – start. 

— Adam Jarosz

Founder/Leadership Coach

Righteous Co.

This article is from Righteous Co.’s weekly newsletter, The Climb. If you want to see content like this and more, subscribe here to get The Climb right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along on Instagram @righteousco.

When it hits the fan (or floor)

“When you fall down, focus on the solution, not the problem. You might quit or fail 100 times. Keep that clear picture of where you want to be.” 

David Goggins

I had just sat down earlier when an unnamed family member revealed the toilet was clogged. We’ve been there, we’ve handled such things. To the rim, but no overflow, great. I decided to let things, um settle. So I came back a little bit later and it was at a manageable level. Gave it a good plunge…

…and it comes back with vengeance. More than I anticipated. I haven’t sworn like that since I left the kitchens ten years ago. I’m sure you can picture it.

That’s not the worst of it. This was a second-floor affair.

As I’m running for more towels (I had exhausted my upstairs supply) I inform Ani of the situation – she was in the downstairs shower missing the excitement. I’ve never seen her laugh harder but she comes out in a towel to notice that the poop water was pouring from our ceiling dining room light onto the dining room table.  

It wasn’t a little.

We laughed through it. We’re laughing about it now. This is a story to tell later and we’ll laugh at it then too. 

So as I’m reminded… When it hits the fan and goes sideways – at home or on the job, take a deep breath, do what you have to do, and don’t crush the people around you. The mess is a moment but your response can be forever.

— Adam Jarosz

Founder/Leadership Coach

Righteous Co.

This article is from Righteous Co.’s weekly newsletter, The Climb. If you want to see content like this and more, subscribe here to get The Climb right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along on Instagram @righteousco.


High above the hot Saharan grassland in an earlier time, a buzzard takes notice of a party of Homo sapiens led by their Homo naledi trackers — half stride in a wet gulch. Whenever humans were on the move, there will be blood. The buzzard found it was best to follow along and spent the extra energy to disengage from the easy thermal updraft.

Down below, a sapien named Iry was leading the party but after hours of steady pursuit, it was time for a break in the hot midday sun. Settling beside a shaded and pooled part of the stream bed, Iry knew they should be making the most of the height of the sun while the predators were least active but the heat was oppressive. Iry and the other sapiens could manage on but the smaller naledi, while impressive for their kind, were not suited for this type of marathon. They were talented trackers but couldn’t keep up with man’s build.

The sapien hunters rested their eyes after drinking their fill from the muddy pool and munching dried meat they brought along. The three naledi’s chirped and shuffled about some toadstools under a dead tree nearby. The naledi wasn’t as vocally apt as the sapiens and resorted to signing with each other and their other human counterparts. They signed and chirped among themselves as they picked the fungi, extra excitement was had at discovering a termite mound. Iry set watch as he set his spear at his side. Letting the others doze off in the shade, Iry rested his eyes but honed his hearing. Sight here could often deceive but acute hearing in a visual world gave opportunity. The area was alive with activity as birds of many kinds darted around, the air was bustling with squawks and calls. The deer they spooked upon entry into this space didn’t clear off too far as he could hear them just out of sight, back to grazing in the green tall grasses. The deer, much sharper of hearing, would serve as a good advanced warning should they take an interest in anything bigger than a honey badger.

In the early days, mankind wasn’t the only humans around. Our competitive advantage was our stamina and intelligence — complimentary to some, rivals to others. Hundreds of thousands of years before man’s best friend was canine, it was Homo. Being the newest on the scene, we learned that we could work with others like the Homo naledi — friendly, complementary, and naturally capable additions to a tribe. Others, like the ancient and primitive Homo erectus, were strong and fiercely independent. They had different sets of eyes, palettes, and societies. These apex man-apes have been on the scene for a long time and have been used to running the landscape. They didn’t respond to relationships, they hunted all, even fellow humans.

The cooperative party was originally double, on a rescue mission. But it quickly turned to a retribution mission upon coming across the quartered and butchered remains of their progeny at the hands and in the camp of the bloody erectus. After a clash that left half of the co-op’s original party dead or wounded, the erectus ape-men fled the scene into the wild where the hunt continued.

Thanks to the loyal naledi, erectus hadn’t been lost. At least three were being trailed from the camp. The co-op party didn’t know where they were headed. They had hoped to catch up to them before they met a larger troop. As Iry’s internal clock ticked he sat up to round the party to keep moving. Before he roused the crew, he took notice as the naledi sat in a circle among themselves eating quietly, even as fully mature they reminded him of his now late children, small and innocent looking. Iry drew his eyes down to his arm, to where his dark skin was interrupted by jagged pink scarring from the time he was there to protect his children in need. That one was feline. Now, he had to live with the time he wasn’t there. This time it was erectus.

Iry whistled and everyone was up and on trail again, naledi leading away by carefully watching and smelling the ground. The human co-op was quiet and efficient — master hunters and well-experienced together. Moving quickly and stealthily down the bank of the sunken stream bed —naledi tracking by scent and footprints, sapien watchful for other predators. Lesser seasoned parties would have lost the trace long ago in the soft mud of the active water source, animals have been crossing and mashing evidence throughout the day. Erectus was using choice spots to throw off the trail by showing false exit spots or intentionally using the water to conceal prints. However, these naledi were very good and motivated. The sapiens weren’t the only ones to suffer loss. Seventeen of them were carried off in the night, no survivors. These naledi mourned too in their own childlike way.

The day wore on, shadows grew longer and the sky hued orange and the party kept up their pace. As the sun began it’s final descent the naledi now committed to an off point, easily climbing out of the waterway to a slight trail of broken grass, single file. The mid-Saharan grasslands were characteristically flat, spotted with rocky formations. The trail led to a rare grouping of trees and a stark rock formation some distance behind it.

Upon climbing out of the sunken stream bed Iry exhaled sharply, seeing their mistake. While he couldn’t see them, he could feel eyes staring stealthily… ominously. They stood clear above the grass, even as they crouched following Iry’s lead, he knew they would have been seen from the tree cluster. This was a trap of design.

This prey was no ordinary prey. They were wittier than the rest of the kingdom, sly even. It wasn’t good enough to find them, you had to keep watch that they weren’t playing you. As Iry recalled the lessons of his father, his mind raced to undermine and reverse the ambush. The others stayed crouched, silent, waiting for their leader to move. If they stayed too long the assailants would know they’d been detected. As witty as erectus was, man too was clever. 

Iry stood up and yawned and stretched. The others looked at him as he stood at ease, looked at each other, and followed suit. The naledi barely stood above the grass. They looked puzzled but did as the sapiens did. Iry casually wrapped his arms around one of the companions with a celebratory smile but started laying out the plan through his grin. The sapiens started laughing, naledi puzzled – looking to Iry but missing the subtlety. Iry gave them directions with hand signals and they hopped slightly in the grass with new excitement before they started foraging nearby.

The party would take a quick break here but the sun is heading to the last stretch of its stay. Shadows getting long and dark. Other predators will be hunting soon and being in the open is the last place any hominid would want to be. While feigning carelessness they need to wrap this up soon otherwise without setting camp they will be at the mercy of the wild.

The naledi led as before towards the grouping of trees, close together and low to the ground. Sapiens upright but watchful, shuffling their feet in the grass. The perimeter of trees was dense with brush and thistles but there was a small game trail opening they followed in. Watchful of the brush on the sides, they passed without incident into the interior where the dense brush eased into a rather cleared undergrowth. The trunks of the trees and light grass gave a rather clear optic of the area. It was a shelter for game — much of the soil overturned from many feet and the bark scuffed up from horns and tusks. While the center was clear, the edges were impermeable and dark, only some light escaped from the canopy above but the day was getting long.

The confident feint the party was leading had now transitioned to cautious progress inward. A few paces in, one of the naledi abruptly stopped, close fist in the air and face intently at the ground. The other two signed quickly and looked around and back. The first, without looking back at Iry, signed that there was only one set of their prey’s footprints here. It was easy to fake foot impact in grass but the soil made clear intentions.

Iry was right, they’ve been played. The lone set of footprints went straight, through the clearing, into where the game trail funneled into a tunnel of foliage. The kill zone. The trap was set.

It was already darkening. If they pulled away now, they wouldn’t find shelter for the night far enough to make distance from their opponents. It would be a long night if it was just the animals of lesser intellect but Iry knew erectus would be looking for the kill at this point. There was no turning back. An ambush triggered before maturation was a benefit to the defender, which they now were. 

Iry knew well that success would require the team to save face. He gripped his spear forward and tightly, exhaled softly, and pressed ahead with bravado. The four sapiens formed a single file line while motioning the three naledi in step — two in front, two in back with naledi center.

It was quiet. The noise of the grassland birds now silent. A lone cricket on the left. Ten paces from the foliage tunnel now, no sign of erectus. The tunnel area darkened, dense on each side. Iry continues without hesitation. The soft padding of their feet is now the only noise. He’s the first to enter, while the tunnel is dark, he could make out the trampled dirt ahead. Ten paces in, the whole party is surrounded by dense thorns and foliage. While at first glance it seemed smaller, there was enough room to maneuver. The trail was made from larger game.

Fourteen paces, Iry closes his eyes and sharpens his hearing. The breathing of his compatriots was clear despite the attempts to muffle it. His heartbeat heavy. A number of mosquitoes buzzing nearby. He moved ahead blindly a bit more. Then, a shift.

On the right. So slight. Too easy to pass off. But it was unmistakable. An intentional yet subtle shift of a stance. No one else caught it. Time slowed.

Iry thought of his slain children, remembering their laughs and cries. He remembered his grandfather and father teaching him the very skill he now needed to unfurl. Iry the sapien repositioned his hands tighter and in an explosive pivot, hurled his spear left-handed to the right, into the dense plants.

The trap was sprung early. The proceeding moments brought the clash of hominids long pursued. Two naked erectus came out from more than twenty paces ahead on the trail in a fury, howling with vocals of ancient lineage that were part man, part ape. They hurled axes that critically injured one of the sapiens and caught a naledi in the head, behind the other sapien who dodged. The naledi was killed instantly. The sapiens had the edge with weapons and numbers but erectus was strong and fierce. One of the naledi was stout of heart and jumped into the fray but had four fingers taken in one bite which was then proceeded by a stiff forearm to the temple rendering an instant knockout. The other naledi held and mourned the now-dead individual who still held the axe head in his face.

An unforeseen erectus came in from behind but too late. This would be the fourth after Iry pulled his spear from the throat of the initial erectus slain to start the battle. The other two erectus had just fallen, the fourth comer engaged lightly but thought better of it and escaped further down the trail. Iry and another gave chase as the last erectus sprinted into the now dusk grassland. The last of them had made good ground before the sapiens entered the clearing but as primitive justice would have it, a big cat had taken notice of his hasty departure from the protection of the wood and ran him down. A high-pitched ape scream was quickly throated and that was that.

Iry and the other hadn’t come out far from the trail when they saw the pursuit. They looked at each other, stopped, and quietly and carefully crept back to the safety of the trees. Iry looked back over his shoulder toward the open — the last erectus was heading as the crow flies to the rock formation in the not-so-far distance. He could make out the evidence of an encampment, a slight glow off the rock at the base of the shadowed crag. As the duty of his forefathers, Iry would have to lead the advance to extinguish the flames of the next erectus camp. Iry exhaled as one does when he sets his mission. A motion from above caught his eye, a dark buzzard circling above.

For now, Iry would have to tend to his party to make it through the night. Wounds to be cauterized, their dead buried, and erectus dragged out in the open to keep the carnivores busy.

The sapiens may have been the newest hominid on the scene and would toil to subdue the wilds while competing with other beings for dominance ecologically, reproductively, and culturally. It’s clear to understand what it means to be called human today but that would have looked very different in the time when man ran with other man.

A shout out to the PBS Eons show for a great episode on the mysteries of the naledi, sparking the idea to tie them into this. Excellent series.



“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”

– Amelia Earhart

This is a follow-up to last week’s Climb on victories.

An early thing to learn in life is how to take a loss. It happens to the best of us. Losses hurt and even burn deeply when the stakes are high. You don’t always win. And no, you shouldn’t get a prize for losing. It’s life and there is no reward for such a thing. We’re disservicing kids in the gentle attempts of the school years to make everyone a winner. It doesn’t prepare them for the realities of life.

Learning how to take a loss is much more than keeping your head high and not feeling bad. A loss can even teach much more than a victory. This isn’t just a sports lesson, this is a leadership lesson.

Basic Level Loss – I’m sure the first lessons in taking a loss started with my dad and were reinforced time and again through various coaches I’ve had in sports as I’ve grown. The early lesson is not to be a “sore loser”. If you’ve been bested, don’t throw yourself on the ground and pout. Stand tall, shake the hands of your opponent, and keep your chin high – “you’ll get them next time.”

Not so easy sometimes growing up, or now.

Next Level Loss – is to ace the above but to go deeper inside yourself. I’m going to divide this into two fronts – lessons and energy.

Lessons – The basic loss level deals with how you’re saving face but does little to learn and apply to the next challenge. When wins and losses become lessons you’ll never really lose again. Now everything has a value to be applied forward. I’m not saying that you should hope for a loss in sport, work, or competition. Of course, a win in your scenario is what you want to achieve (remember the prize obtained ie. win, promotion, goal obtained), but if you lost, apply the tactical lessons ahead. For example, what did you learn about your adversary or environment? How does that impact your planning and moves? What repetitions or practice do you need to implement? Maybe the goals need to change.

Whoever can make adjustments for the next round, whatever a round looks like for you, is going to be much more likely to succeed. Sometimes small adjustments to get you across the finish line. Other times, you need to scrap it all and start over. Having outside perspectives or coaching helps with this.

Energy – A loss can sap your confidence if you let it, especially when it’s public or in front of people you know, work with, and lead. It can be deflating or can stir up rage as seen by Ken Dorsey from the Bills this past week here.

When you take a loss or defeat, it can have a variety of emotions like frustration, anger, and jealousy. Not helpful – you’ll need to practice humility and patience. But. That passion can be diverted to something more positive like determination and dedication. Sometimes a loss can sit and simmer, driving you harder for the next go.

But it’s all a choice in the end and practice makes perfect. It’s better to ask yourself ahead of time, how do I handle losses when they come my way and how do I want to use them to grow from?

Here’s to your next win and loss!

— Adam Jarosz

Founder/Leadership Coach

Righteous Co.

This article is from Righteous Co.’s weekly newsletter, The Climb. If you want to see content like this and more, subscribe here to get The Climb right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along on Instagram @righteousco.


“The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight but no vision.”

Helen Keller

How often do you celebrate victory in your life? Or even yet, just recognize it? I don’t mean being grand or pompous about it but just giving justice to those moments when you’ve overcome and accomplished. Big or small.

We live in a world where victory is out of sorts from both directions – either it is showboated and strutted around or we give it no due because maybe it just wasn’t good enough or “nobody cares,” or maybe the most potent… “it’s not as good as the next guy,”…

Using the cardinal virtue of temperance is a good key to gauging our victories. Temperance puts us in the golden middle of responses. Are we coming off too hot? Are we lackadaisical? Surely you don’t want to be a poor sport in victory or defeat but don’t undersell a victory either. Celebrating or recognizing is a way of encouraging us along the way, and when you humbly share with others (and let them share as well,) it breaks the self-defeating ideas that can keep us under a dark blanket. It could be as simple as giving thanks in prayer to toasting a victory with your team at an outing.

If you can claim little victories, you can see that you can claim big ones as well. One step to the next. When defeats come, and they will, count them too and learn but then get back to collecting victories. This builds momentum and can get you out of places where you feel stuck.

Something I do with our team just after our prayer in YM staff meetings is to share a victory from the week. Could be anything small or big but there is always a win to be counted in our lives. We can learn from both.

Wins and losses can both be blessings but losses are for another time.

This article is from Righteous Co.’s weekly newsletter, The Climb. If you want to see content like this and more, subscribe here to get The Climb right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along on Instagram @righteousco.

There and Back Again

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”

St. Augustine

What a journey – the second Iron Ore Men’s Retreat is in the books. Battles are fought in life and there are things that will seek your abdication of great things for comfort. This is the story of Iron Ore. We’re formed through tough stuff, for tough stuff.

This year has been a struggle in many ways and when it came to IO: Algonquin, I limped my way into it. I just needed more time, more energy. After the depleting success of the YouCon conference in ministry, I was staring at IO, spent.

But here’s the thing. When we do what is given to us faithfully, God provides the rest. Every yes, no, maybe, and yes-then-nos, or no-then-yeses all along the way provide exactly what the Lord has intended.

The Wild Six gathered in the Adirondacks with a familiarity of brothers, not strangers. We set up camp in the rain and enjoyed dinner and our opening session at the beautiful Whiteface Lodge. We set the pace of the experience by reflecting next to a large granite fireplace – drawing upon the story of Moses staring upon the mountain where the Lord descended in His theophany.

The next day, up and at it early, we went to the trailhead. You can smell the rich evergreens and foliage with every breath. It was a long day, over eleven hours there and back. Some of us as old pros on the trail and some of us brand new to the experience. One gentleman trained for seven months in preparation for this, he had never taken on such a challenge, but his trainer pushed him to get ready for one of the more challenging ascents in the New York High Peaks.

Well, we all worked hard. We made it to one of the most spectacular views I’ve seen in my life. I’ll put it right up there in the pantheon of vistas I’ve seen – Denver Rockies, Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, castle top view of Assisi. 5,114 ft at the top.

After a tough ascent with stretches that you’re climbing on bald rock with three-point contact, you’re refreshed by the cool alpine air and the stunning 365º scenery. We celebrated. We rested. We shared in a session right on the peak, now reflecting on the Transfiguration and our life’s journeys.

What goes up must come down. After fueling up, we made our way down the slow and grueling descent to where we started. It took longer going down, working a new set of muscles and pressure points but not helped by the exhausted set that got us up.

No matter. We made it there and back again, alive and capable. We did that. There were no shortcuts. Just tough, gritty work blessed by the Lord’s hands. If we can do that in the setting of granite and sap, we can certainly do it among paper and screens.

For myself, I found some clarity on what the next stage of RCO looks like.

Next stop, the tallest – Mt. Marcy August 25-27, 2023. Early Bird registration is now open!

— Adam Jarosz

Founder/Leadership Coach

Righteous Co.

This article is from Righteous Co.’s weekly newsletter, The Climb. If you want to see content like this and more, subscribe here to get The Climb right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along on Instagram @righteousco.


“It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish.”

J.R.R. Tolkien

This year has proven to be a real challenge in business. A growing family and large ministry movements and pressures have sapped creative and productive energy from the entrepreneurial efforts – yet in this is a formation.

What would have been difficult even a year ago is becoming lighter to handle. It’s not unexpected of course, when you exercise, you can take more weight and reps. Positioning your feet on stable ground is easy to do, but when the boat is rocking you need to earn your sea legs. This formation is solidifying and clarifying the next steps with Righteous Co.

What is getting clear through this formation is a suite of options to help men grow – spiritually and productively. As a man, I see genuine masculinity under assault in society. I hear from men all the time of the struggles they face – faith, direction, commitment, fatigue, goals, and accountability with the families, lives, and dreams they lead. I feel all of this not because I’m on the clouds above it but because I’ve been working through it all myself.

Men need men as iron sharpens iron. How the Lord is working in this, in the time I can offer in this season is coming into the mountains this weekend with me. I’m not expecting to come down as Moses with stone tablets but simply letting the Lord work internally so I can give externally in service of my fellow man.

Pray for us as I’ll be praying for you!

— Adam Jarosz

Founder/Leadership Coach

Righteous Co.

This article is from Righteous Co.’s weekly newsletter, The Climb. If you want to see content like this and more, subscribe here to get The Climb right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along on Instagram @righteousco.

To The Mountains

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”

Theodore Roosevelt

We’re last call for our second Iron Ore: ADK Men’s Retreat. I’m excited to head back to the Adirondacks – the fresh mountain air, the green and sappy evergreens, and rocky vistas. Beautiful. It’s really God’s country out there. New York has some excellent natural features and the ADK is at the top of the list.

This is the backdrop to the ADK series as we tackle the top three mountains in NY. Last year and the year before the test run was Whiteface. Rigorous and wild, victory and defeat. A storm chased us off in the test but we came back to win it last year. This year, we’re on to number two with Algonquin.

The physical challenge is genuine but it’s only a part of the experience. Where the real metal is formed is in the heart of the retreat – to open up to what the Creator is calling you to do in this season of life. When do we make time for that?

The physical mountain is perennial, but the answers to the proverbial mountains in our life have answers. We don’t need to be stuck there. So as the saying goes, “Come with a why and leave with a purpose,” is true. We have extraordinary purpose, whether it is small or large, this life isn’t to be wasted. But sometimes we need to be proactive and make the time to get clear. That’s where this experience sits.

If you or a man in your life needs to make that space to get clear and tackle the challenge, it’s not to late. Message me and let’s get out there! If this isn’t the right time, we’re on for the last Adirondack high peaks next August 25-27 with the highest peak, Marcy. After this, there is no guarantee we’ll be back but we will move ahead with the next amazing round of Iron.

Pray for us.

This article is from Righteous Co.’s weekly newsletter, The Climb. If you want to see content like this and more, subscribe here to get The Climb right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along on Instagram @righteousco.

Mind Dump & Priorities

“Man must be disciplined, for he is by nature raw and wild.”

Immanual Kant

*Quick note* I missed my first Climb last week. We had a killer event in youth ministry, YouCon and I was on full afterburners all week. I’m sorry I missed you – but if I was going to break goal for something, this would be it. Now back at it.

This is a follow-up to the last Climb, “The Weekly Planning Session”. If you want to get more out of organizing all that you do, check it out. This is a natural follow-up because it breaks down the mind dump and how to prioritize it into what’s useful. As a leader of any project or business, especially when also navigating family, you need to prioritize what is coming at you. It’s just as important to say no to things that come your way as it is to say yes. All things are not created equally on your list.

Mind Dump: All is fair game here. This is the battleground of ideas and to-dos. Whatever comes your way put it down so you can recognize it and get it off your personal RAM. You can discard it later, but for now, put it down.

For example, here is a list of some items from this week that make my mind dump…

Mind Dump

Fix oven – igniter

Personal Retreat I

  • Mass, confession, journal, praise & worship – St. Michael’s
  • Answer big questions
  • Reflection – Wilkenson Point
  • Day 2 – SWOT and further probing
  • Energy recoop

Iron Ore Retreat outreach

YouCon recap, budget, timeline for next year

Clean the toilet


Buy black rifle coffee at Cabelas – yum

Convert kids savings to UTMA

Read third book of Space Trilogy

Ok, there are some of my items simplified. Let’s prioritize using the priority quadrants underneath. It’s easy to click, copy and paste into position…

Quad 1 – Urgent & Important. These are the fires on your mind and desk. ASAP’s. Not fake ones, but the real you need this done today list because it’s due-or-die today. If it’s not do-or-die, then it’s just fodder for…

Fix oven – igniter

Iron Ore Retreat outreach

Personal Retreat I

  • Mass, confession, journal, praise & worship – St. Michael’s
  • Answer big questions
  • Reflection – Wilkenson Point
  • Day 2 – SWOT and further probing
  • Energy recoop

Quad 2 – Urgent & Unimportant. This is the list where other people’s items go that don’t actually move your needle. Just because someone has an urgent item, doesn’t mean it’s your priority. This list can actually eat your time up so fast you never settle into work that matter to you, the stuff only you can do. You can also add your own items here and feel good about saying no to them.

Clean the toilet


Quad 3 – Not Urgent & Important. This is my favorite list. This is where your big ideas and dreams reside. You have time to let them bake. This is deep work level that moves your initiative beyond burnout and into purpose. Don’t let it get too crowded and protect it like a baby condor.

YouCon recap, budget, timeline for next year

Convert kids savings to UTMA

Quad 4 – Not Urgent & Not Important. The runner-up to the favorite. This is where the bad ideas and “no’s” go to die. After dumping them above, I will recognize it and intentionally put it out to pasture and wipe it out. It doesn’t belong and is taking up mental RAM from things I really need to and want to work on. IF it is intriguing enough it may reside for a couple of Weekly Planning Sessions until I delete it for good or reprioritize, but it usually means death here.

Buy black rifle coffee at Cabelas – yum 

Read third book of Space Trilogy – may linger until I get started

I hope this helps! I find this system to be relevant in most of my work but will sometimes fatigue and simplify for a season and come back with renewed organizational vigor to tackle the next round of challenges.

This article is from Righteous Co.’s weekly newsletter, The Climb. If you want to see content like this and more, subscribe here to get The Climb right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along on Instagram @righteousco.

The Weekly Planning Session

“Security is defined by ones ability to produce.”

General Douglas MacArthur

Do you feel like you have a lot of responsibility and need to organize it? How do you keep yourself on track and prioritize? You might have your own systems in place for keeping all that you do in check – but in the case that you don’t, check out this system I picked up along the way starting with Brett McKay’s version and adding processes along the way.

I feel like I’m drinking from a fire hose often so to keep track of it all I do a Weekly Planning Session at the start of each week. I’ll get a cup of coffee and lay out my agenda and priorities for the week. This format is best done digitally but you could certainly do it on paper too, just with a little more writing. Evernote is my favorite tool for storing all my notes and creating a log. I have years of workflow now logged with dates. I carry over from the previous week on a new page, copy & paste from the last, and delete the completed/redundant/consciously-low-priority items. 

I’ll share my personal session and format below with notes in red as commentary. I’ve streamlined my lists to the basics below…


Weekly Planning Session 7/25/22

Big Rocks – These are the biggest projects on my horizon. I keep them at the forefront because it reminds me every day of what’s ahead and how to prioritize. See my “big rocks vs little rocks” article for more here. Big Rocks get their own planning pages.

Stage Curtain Project – imminent 

Building / Basement Project – on-going

YouCon – August 5-6, 2022 – imminent

Iron Ore – August 26-27 – short and ready

Brave IV – October 21-23 – medium and started

HS Spring Retreat – March 24-26 – long

YouCon II – August – distant

Daily Freshers – I leave things here that are inspiring and challenging me to stay sharp. I need that in front of my eyes.


  • How to make a victory?
  • What goals do we/I need to focus on to obtain victory for?
  • Art Williams
    • What’s the big dream/vision?
    • Gotta have an edge – better at something than everyone else. What is that?
    • Positivity – 98% of winning is being excited. Be positive, aggressive, enthusiastic
  • Stay disciplined
  • How do we get on the street? Main street and Spot/Starbucks
    • Out & Abouts
    • Relational Ministry – Tacos, coffees

Mind dump – This is where the magic happens. No matter what comes to mind, this is your dumping ground so you don’t lose track of tasks and ideas. All is fair game here from the mundane (get staples to “MAN, I just came up with an incredible idea to change the world!”). This becomes an active workspace over the week as you prioritize and scratch them off

Righteous-Discipline for 2022 – I’ve incorporated an exercise from a mastermind group here, a word or phrase to filter life/labor through for the year

  • Order lights
  • Order banners
  • Order memory cards
  • Admin
    • Submit receipts – ASAP
    • Reimbursements from personal CC
  • Call Stella 
    • Needs help with YA ministry
    • YA population: 10-15 people (17-18 mostly, 20’s and 30’s missing). Has relationships with 3-4 of them.
    • Urban setting, Eastside
    • Neighborhood has young adults
  • Call back Brian – wants to be added to list
  • Call Jesse from Good Shepard after connecting with Sara post-YouCon. Prolife ideas
  • Get back to Rachel about insurance
  • Tell AM / FL about Mark Hart insurance
  • Life Teen subscription to pay Sept 1?
  • Kaitlyn settled email from Typa
  • Post Coffee Talks
  • Amped incoming, Ukraine roundup!

If needed, I’ll further filter my priorities. Not all things are created in your to-do. Say “yes” to what needs to be said yes to but let “no” be something you’re not afraid of.

Urgent & Important

Splash youth ministry day

Call Joe Zambon Called 11:15am

secure help

Training catechists next Thursday at 7pm 

Get dates to Fr. Leon about calendar and Encounter

Submit my hours and sick day – Due Monday 6/6[x]

Get the receipts and monthly credit card statement turned in.

Urgent & Unimportant

Fill out the request for Ramseys

I’m told to kick rocks

Not Urgent & Important

Place new contacts in the system from the sign ins and permission slips

Get the receipt from the pizza night and submit the payment from 21 teens and 3 chaperones

Plan out productivity

Focus Seek – January 1-5 in TX

Not Urgent & Unimportant

Order SGYM jackets

Go through the Life Teen materials

Cookie Dough with the ladies – need eggs

Sell concessions at the sports games next year?

Brothers of Mercy campus- in need of servers – part time 3:30-7:30pm


I’ll track other things below that, like an update on financials and further organizational processes, you can tailor from here. Maybe you’ll find this one helpful but I’d love to hear what you do to get your dreaming and doing done! Thanks to Evernote, I can access this on any device and on the go. It acts as my personal dashboard and keeps my workflow in front of me – has been essential as I lead on many fronts. 

This article is from Righteous Co.’s weekly newsletter, The Climb. If you want to see content like this and more, subscribe here to get The Climb right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along on Instagram @righteousco.

Big Rocks vs Little Rocks

“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

Napoleon Hill

I saw a presentation a long time ago that stuck with me. The presenter was talking about how to lay out your priorities in planning. He started by talking about how everything is constantly vying for your attention, to equal urgency – self-imposed or otherwise. It’s our job to give them a priority.

So he then placed a jar on the table representing our ability to produce. On the side were pebbles and rocks of various sizes with a cup of sand – representing all the things to be done.

If you take all the little things and put them in first, the big rocks don’t fit in the container. Try again. 

If you carefully place the big rocks in first, then the pebbles fit snuggly around it, and the sand falls in between.

There are many ways to approach the topic of priority, but be clear on what those big rocks are in your life. If you don’t put them first, you’ll never get to them. The jar just fills with the busyness of sand. You don’t want to look up months or years later and have missed the opportunity. Even if that is the case, there is no time like the present to dump the jar and try again.

This article is from Righteous Co.’s weekly newsletter, The Climb. If you want to see content like this and more, subscribe here to get The Climb right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along on Instagram @righteousco.

Do. Greatness.

“Idleness is the enemy of the soul.”

St. Benedict

Have you realized that you were made for great things? I was on retreat years ago where the speaker quoted Pope Benedict XVI, “The world offers you comfort, but you were not made for comfort, you were made for greatness.” That quote struck a nerve in me. Rang a bell. Lit a fire. Name an inspirational figure of speech and this was it. 

One of the things I know I’ve been blessed with is a super-active imagination. I daydream a lot. Always have. My night dreams are active too, I share them with Ani often. The thing is, I never knew what to do with them. I didn’t know I could do something with what was going on in my head. 

Step by step though, I realized that the things put on my heart and head could have been designed if I applied draft and action to them. Realistic pacing and patience were other things I had to learn (still am). How to handle a flood of ideas, sift through to manageable, and put realistic timelines on everything became a lesson in turning dreams to doings. Not everything needs to happen right away but what is the long game?

You have great things on your mind and heart. That greatness isn’t the “worldly greatness” but one of the Lord. That’s different. It’s life-giving. What dream do you need to breathe life into with action? What do you need to commit to right now? What do you need to do

As important, what do you need to say “no” to?

This article is from Righteous Co.’s weekly newsletter, The Climb. If you want to see content like this and more, subscribe here to get The Climb right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along on Instagram @righteousco.

Do. Intentionally.

“Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what is.”

Steve Jobs

One of the most difficult things to accomplish is taking what dream and vision you have on your heart and mind, and give it wheels. How do you do it?

Building a business, leading in ministry, raising a family, learning a skill – almost anything you have on your radar needs one thing. Intentionality.




the fact of being deliberate or purposive.

(thanks Google)

You know what this is. It’s not some new-fangled word that guru Adam came down from the mountain with. It’s familiar. Yet, can become distant. We lose sight on the things we want to pursue, either out of boredom, difficulty, fatigue, or pain. Sometimes we get overwhelmed or life gets away from us. Sure. It happens to all of us.

It’s rare to have things happen well by accident. As a guy who likes to cut to the meat and potatoes, getting intentional is a verb. It’s an action. It’s what moves the needle yet provides clarity. Being intentional on one of your big items means you are squaring up, making time, and designing plans. It means saying no to others. Let your “yes” mean yes and your “no” mean no so you can streamline and focus your efforts.

Are you living intentionally or are your dreams and projects floating by? What needs that attention in your life?

This article is from Righteous Co.’s weekly newsletter, The Climb. If you want to see content like this and more, subscribe here to get The Climb right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along on Instagram @righteousco.

Make That Vacation Time!

“The end of labor is to gain leisure.”


I started my vacation time on Monday. I’ve got two weeks off from ministry and totally need the break – mentally, spiritually, and physically. But I don’t think there is anyone who appreciates this break more than my wife Ani, the rockstar who makes it all work at home. She gets the break too. 

I’m not great at the vacation thing in this season of life, maybe you can relate. There’s so much to do and two weeks doesn’t seem like a lot of time to do it. I have plenty of run-over from work on my mind. I’ll have finished vacation time by the time my head realizes I’m on it.

Taking a break is so important. Our minds need to take a step back to get a better field of view. To recharge. To refresh. Lord knows I need a recharge. 

While I love traveling, we’re not doing too much of that with the little ones right now. So we’re making the most out of local stops and the outdoors. It doesn’t have to be big and grandiose to get the same results. Whether you have a big budget or a little one, a lot of time or a little; make the most out of the break.

Be intentional! If you go into the vacation with questions about the next steps on your heart, give some time to pray and contemplate it. Let the aim of your vacation have a start and a finish to it, how do you want to feel when it comes to an end? What will you have to do to achieve that?

Put it on the calendar, give it a plan and a purpose, include who you want (or don’t), and set your budget. 

So when are you going on vacation next and why?

This article is from Righteous Co.’s weekly newsletter, The Climb. If you want to see content like this and more, subscribe here to get The Climb right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along on Instagram @righteousco.

Dreams & Dinosaurs

“Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.”

Farrah Gray

Because the new Jurassic World trailer is out and fresh in mind, it brings me to when I was a kid. Loved Dinosaurs (really still do). They’re fascinating. This immense amount of time before us was filled with a world we wouldn’t recognize today. We often sweep it all together in two time-blocks, “here-and-now”, and then the “past”. It’s crazy to think that the time between us and T-Rex is about the same time between T-Rex and Stegosaurus. 

When I was a kid I dreamt of being a paleontologist. I wanted to dig up and study dinosaurs. I was seven or eight when I was digging for fossils in our driveway with some friends and felt so strongly about it that I stopped and called them together and poured out my heart, “Guys, if I go to dig up dinosaurs, will you come with me too?” 

I never did become a paleontologist. My friends never came with me. That’s ok!

While I still enjoy paleontology, it wasn’t a dream I couldn’t make use of in a big way. As I’ve grown, bigger dreams became clear through prayer – like getting married, raising a family, and serving others.

My kids now like dinosaurs and we have fun with them but not all dreams are created equal – prayer and discernment are essential for getting your dreams ordered. Moving a dream to crafting a vision and building a roadmap of goals requires planning and hard work. What has the Lord put on your heart to dig into and separate dirt from bone?

Go dream it, then do it. 

This article is from Righteous Co.’s weekly newsletter, The Climb. If you want to see content like this and more, subscribe here to get The Climb right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along on Instagram @righteousco.

80 Days to Iron

“Anyone who seeks truth seeks God, whether or not he realizes it.” 

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

Summer is a couple of weeks away and as I write this, we’re eighty days from Iron Ore: ADK Men’s Retreat. As the season transitions, it’s a great moment to spotlight it. Our second in the series of being in the Adirondack high peaks – we’ll be venturing onto and up Algonquin Peak, the second-highest in NY. After conquering the third-highest with Whiteface last year, we’re ready for the next step up with 5,114 ft of tough incline and trail.

It’s not just about the physical challenge of course. We’re spiritual and mental creatures too. This retreat is designed for the man looking to climb the mountains in their life. We’re going to have an incredible group of intentional men who need to make space for clarity of what’s being asked of them in life. Everyone comes from a different discipline or vocation but we share the common thread of being a man formed by God with purpose. 

Jesus leads by example by retreating and recharging in the wilderness. There is grace to be found in God’s country and the crisp mountain air brings the soul to life. As men, we have designs and purposes set on our hearts – vocations and dreams to climb. As we let our Maker form us physically on the mountain we amplify the spiritual and mental parts of our being.

The retreat isn’t for everyone. It’ll be hard. You’ll be tired. We might have a storm chase us off. 


You’ll feel alive and charged up. You’ll come down from the mountain with greater clarity on the heart. We’ll cheer in invigorated fellowship over good bourbon when we get back to the bottom. You’ll have an encounter with the One who made you.  

This is the Iron Ore experience and I want you to prayerfully consider it. Registration is open. Want to see more information, click here. Questions, call me.

This article is from Righteous Co.’s weekly newsletter, The Climb. If you want to see content like this and more, subscribe here to get The Climb right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along on Instagram @righteousco.

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda – SMART Goals

“Our life is frittered away by detail… simplify, simplify.”

Henry David Thoreau

One of the best layups I’ve come across for dealing with goals is the acronym SMART. Maybe you’ve heard of it. It’s a way of measuring up if the goal is actually feasible and grounded instead of being “pie in the sky”. Seriously, if you want to move the needle on something you’re working on, dig in and sketch it out.

S – Specific – is the goal foggy and nebulous or is it clear and concise?

M – Measurable – Can you measure it with numbers or scale? How can you know if you got there?

A – Achievable – Is it actually possible? Or what steps need to come first?

R – Relevant – Is this a part of your bigger plan or is it a distraction?

T – Time-based – Can you put a time on it or will it always be “later”?

This is where the dreaming and doing of RCO comes into play. Take the dream and vision that’s being built on your heart and get real with it. Whether this is the first time you’re hearing about SMART goals or the thousandth; take dream/vision/goal “x”, and apply each step. No really, just give it a sketch with a pencil and paper (or my favorite, an Evernote) and try it out. Play with it, see if it makes sense or if something else comes out of it. 

You can either square up with what’s been sitting on the heart or confirm that it’s not something you’re going to do — which frees up cap space for the things you do want to do. But as my dad raised us on… “the worst things in life are the woulda, coulda, shouldas.”

— Adam Jarosz

Founder/Leadership Coach

Righteous Co.

This article is from Righteous Co.’s weekly newsletter, The Climb. If you want to see content like this and more, subscribe here to get The Climb right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along on Instagram @righteousco.

Righteous Discipline

“Where does discipline come from? This is a simple answer. Discipline comes from within. Discipline is an internal force.”

Jocko Wilink

I alluded to the challenge our mastermind leader put forth, to come up with a word to serve as a guiding mission for the year. After pondering and prayer I settled on two and ended up coupling them, Righteousness and Discipline. 

There is no shortage of gritty people offering advice on discipline, including my favorite ex-Seal Jocko Willink. I recognize hard things to come over this year, and I know I need to get gritty and focused. But not with the pomp that comes with the discussion but because of the heart of it. 

That’s where righteousness comes in. Not only is it the founding principle for the company but a call to be implemented in practice. So, for the year, to accomplish the hard things, I’ll be using righteous discipline

One of the brilliant guys in the group sent me a message after talking about it at our meeting yesterday;

“The society lady told the brilliant pianist, “Maestro, you’re a genius.” The maestro replied with a smile, “Thank you, madam, but before I was a genius I was a bore.” His apparently effortless artistry was the byproduct of hours and hours of unseen, disciplined practice.

Our world applauds the glitter of genius, but it does not always appreciate the drudgery of discipline. When trouble comes we react, sometimes with courage, sometimes with cowardice. Occasionally when the pressure is on, we instinctively know exactly what to do. At other times we flounder. To a large extent, our reaction has been determined before the pressure arrives.

As with the artist who has practiced, it is the hidden hours of discipline that determine our performance under pressure. The battle is won before the battle is begun. Remember that.” – David Brader

This article is from Righteous Co.’s weekly newsletter, The Climb. If you want to see content like this and more, subscribe here to get The Climb right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along on Instagram @righteousco.

See you on the Mountain!

Adam Jarosz

Fire – A Shorty

Sour black smoke bellowed into the air and carried harshly into the woods beyond the homestead’s clearing. The frontier cabin popped and crackled in the heat, interior flames not yet escaping.

Jean-Pierre wiped his hands off with a handkerchief as the home burned behind him. The owner’s voices silenced from asphyxiation after being locked in were just a momentary embellishment. Vive la France.

The Frenchmen and his posse were finishing up their mission for the crown, the second of the day — the eighth of the week. A compatriot fired a salvo of Mohawk arrows into the front door. Another couple into the window sill, with intended precision.

Jean-Pierre thought about his family walking away from the growing blaze. This was for New France. They would be something here. This new start would fix his family tree for the next generations. Blood on his hands meant food in his children’s. The British were just expendable to this cause. Everyone was.

He took his spare tomahawk and lobbed it into the wagon’s side quarter panel. His eye was caught just above his splintered intended target to see a little dolly in the wagon.

Jean-Pierre didn’t recall seeing a little girl in the carnage. Did someone get away?

“Philippe, did you see a girl?”

“Non, pourquoi?” answered Philippe.

Jean-Pierre held the doll up with a stern face.

“Captain Jean-Pierre! Captain!” One of the younger compatriots ran from the woods screaming frantically and waving his arms, difficult to see but it looked like he had blood across his face. The Seasoned One, a veteran of the frontier took an arrow from his quiver and set it to sail into the young man’s chest. He never liked the garçon and now he was giving up their position in dramatic flair, it only seemed right to The Seasoned One. It wasn’t the first time he made such a decision but it would be his last.

The rest of the compatriots lowered and listened, forming a parameter around the front clearing. Each one quietly checked their muskets and powder. They’re here. Zut.

This band of irregular calamities didn’t need the escaped girl to give them away. While she was rescued, the Mohawk war band had been in pursuit with intent to kill. Not only was the British bounty lucrative, but the French were also playing games and causing scandal with their legacy. That itself was enough.

The Frenchmen thought they were clever but they would pay for their work. The flames began to break through the roof of the frontier home.

Silently, with only the sound of the landing arrows and cracking skulls, the first two compatriots were felled. Jean-Pierre shouted a command but it was too late for the planned course. Eyes set on the tree line, they didn’t see the four Mohawk warriors who had been stealthily working through the grass for the past thirty minutes to position the ambush. Before the Frenchmen could react to the assailants it was indeed over before a musket shot was fired.

The little British colonial would be brought to safety and placed with a new family. The Mohawks would be paid handsomely for their bravery. The French would pay dearly for their trouble in the region but not without drawing blood.

This was the frontier in the New World. Brutal and rugged. Competitive and dangerous. Old versus new. Life’s formative measures spawn the seeds of progress at the expense of another’s life’s formative measures. The war was not yet ready to begin but it was coming soon enough. The land was too small for all the competitors – in the end, the blood of the coming French and Indian War and the subsequent Seven Years’ War, would pave the way for Independence from all crowns.

Ministry & Business

“Hell is full of the talented but Heaven is full of the industrious.”

St. Jane Francis de Chantal

I occupy a strange intersection of experience between ministry and business. My full-time work is in ministry, ten years serving youth and young adults (another ten in volunteer ministry). To overlay, also spent ten years working in culinary and events. 

Righteous Co. is not a ministry, while it’s certainly a faithful venture, it is no non-profit. I hope and work towards making this a viable living down the road. Here is where the niche lies (and everyone should have a niche no matter what you’re doing or who you’re serving but that’s a Climb for another day), and it can appear to be a strange relationship but business and ministry can be very complementary.

Culturally, industry and church feel like oil and water but when you lead in both you begin to see how one can strengthen the other. Aside from being open and listening to the Spirit, here are a number of ways I find overlap…

1. For starters both need a mission. You have to set the course for your people to go the way. If you’re not clear on what that mission is, you need to pause and take time out to get clear. What are you doing? Where are you going? And most importantly, who do you serve by this mission? If you don’t know where you’re going, you certainly won’t know the route get there. “Write the vision and make it plain,” Habakkuk 2:2, make sure you communicate and let everyone know where you set the course. 

2. Servant leadership. To serve another requires humility. Humility is a heck of a virtue to apply in your life generally but bears a lot of fruit in ministry and industry. Service shows you are willing to put another before yourself and that variable sacrifice, is attractive and noteworthy. People will follow leaders with loyalty when they know the leader is willing to put themselves on the line not talk from on high. Retention and growth ++.

3. Smell like the sheep. Know your people. Don’t be disconnected. Your audience, clients, and community are not below you. Understand their needs, wants, desires, and fears. Your message or product should reflect that otherwise, you become irrelevant and out of touch which leads to being tuned out. Spend time with your people. Actively listen, take notes, and ponder. Then apply to your work. 

4. Lastly, both need productivity. If you’re not growing, you’re dying. You have to get creative with how you produce results. Businesses and churches both fail for varied reasons but a common root is they’ve stopped producing fruits. Fear, burnout, laziness, and failure to adapt will strip your productivity. Setting goals, upgrading tools, getting help, and making a change can boost productivity. 

I find business often lacks heart and church lacks production (not exclusively). Where do find yourself and do you have any stories to share about it? Send my way!

This article is from Righteous Co.’s weekly newsletter, The Climb. If you want to see content like this and more, subscribe here to get The Climb right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along on Instagram @righteousco.

See you on the mountain!

— Adam Jarosz

Fall – A Shorty

It has been over forty years since the last time a storm like this shook the Western Interior Seaway — winds howling, water capped white, shores battered.

A flash.

A bang.

A man falling through the rain and wind, tumbling to the sea below. Providence that he wasn’t so far up that he’d die on impact but high enough to crack pain on the awkward arrival to the surface.

The man’s plunge into the dark and tumultuous waters shocked him, only natural instinct pulled him up, thanks to a flash of lightning to guide which way to go. The swells were no friend as they pounded him again and again. He was aware enough to catch his breath in the lull. Try as he may, the current pulled him away from his heading, thankfully. Disoriented, he chose to swim away from shore but God was with him as the waves drove him ashore regardless.

Crashing on sand and coughing up water — exhausted from the struggle, he climbed into a haven of fallen trees and passed out.

Jack, the man, opened his eyes as a beam of light moved through the fallen tree’s limbs. While he was wet, he was very warm and comfortable.

Until he started to move.
His neck hurt, a product of the fall. Muscles and joints hurt, products of making it to shore. His head hurt, dehydration.

Jack cursed. A number of times. Kingsley was the target of his ire. He knew who put him here. He just didn’t know how. More cursing.

Jack climbed out of the trees to see what was before him. The hot sun overhead blazed the morning air. The sea before him was calm, gently lapping the shore. Birds high above rode the air quietly. The scene behind was a dense and lively conifer forest. The air, humid, thick, and floral. An air of paradise.

More cursing.

Jack sat on one of the branches, not knowing where to go from here. He was certainly thirsty, that would be his first priority. Next is to get a gauge on where he’s at.

Water was easy, some of the large ferns nearby pooled fresh rain from the storm. Check.

Jack trained early in his career in OODA loop — observe, orient, decide, act; essential for situational agility. Now, this was a situation.

Observe - Salty sea shoreline, hot temperatures, humid, wilderness. Ok, feedforward.

Orient - No injuries but fatigued. No food or shelter, weapon check – pistol secure, phone – soggy. Ok, feedforward.

Decide - Need more input, where is he? Any nearby settlements or landmarks? Looks like inland slopes upward. Need to scout and get a lay of the land. Feedforward.

Act - Time to move.

Jack began inland through the forest. He wondered where he was. Looked like northwest US or west coast Canada with a variety of conifers and ferns. But it was hot and humid. Maybe ninety degrees, plus. Not sure what to make of it, he needed more input. Every chance he had to drink stable rainwater he took it.

It wasn’t long before the ground began to incline, Jack kept a determined pace. He was mad at himself for losing his cool back on the beach. Jack knew his target had got to him first, he just didn’t know how. Whatever Kingsley was doing, he had used it on Jack. Whatever this is.

It was time for a break as he made the ascent to a long plateau. Jack was working hard through the damn forest. The bugs were gnarly. He had never seen dragonflies or mosquitoes like this. His watch had stopped working correctly, but it was an hour since he had left the beach.

A mist had crept into the forest, a still quiet fell upon him as he knelt catching his breath. The lively forest chatter had ceased. Running through the OODA loop’s observation, he could see the sea through a gap in the trees. Not so helpful yet but he could see the ground start up again in about fifty yards.

He scanned around the vertical lines of trees and a horizontal figure subtly caught his eye. Large figure — bipedal. Partially shrouded in mist, and colored to match the trees was a long and tall statue of a theropod. While its still tail and torso were a stark broadside presence, it was the long and slender head that was most curious — pointed in his direction, as if it were looking right at him.

It was looking right at him. Jack was frozen, squinting to see better when he noticed also that there were slight movements; the chest expanded and the eyes blinked. This thing was alive. It dawned on him that Jack had interrupted its course, wherever it was headed, it was now locked onto him.

Jack had been in many tough situations in the course of his life, well seasoned. He had never thought he would lay eyes on such a creature. Carefully he unholstered his firearm and slowly stood up. The beast was maybe twenty yards, still and locked on.

Jack didn’t have confidence in his 9mm to dispatch this forty-foot-long beast. The creature just stared with unrelenting eyes for what seemed like an eternity in the frozen moment.

All at once in a space out of sight in the forest, a crash of excitement and loud horns and yelps — a stampede of alarm, crashing through trees and brush away from the center of gravity between Jack and the theropod.

The gig was up, the carnivore was had and noticed. The surprise failed. The stalk was over. The predator stiffened up as it turned its head toward the hullabaloo.

Time to act, Jack turned and ran toward a tree he had observed that he would be able to climb quickly. This was the moment while the disappointed creature was distracted. He didn’t want to wait until it took its ire out on him for losing a meal.

He had sprinted fifteen yards and earnestly began to climb. Heart pounded in his chest and ears. He could feel his borrowed time and didn’t waste it looking over his shoulder. Sap from the conifer tacked his fingers as he climbed. Just a couple minutes into his sprint and climb he was already up high, he thought. Before he finished his thought a jolting snap just below his feet forced his eyes down to see the theropod’s snout inches from his foot. He didn’t even hear it coming.

The weight of the monster shook the tree as it slammed upon it, forelimbs scratching in frustration on the bark. An extra stretch and bite caught on the branches as Jack braced for death. Seeing he was still alive as the branches quickly failed around him under the pressure of its incredible bite force, Jack scrambled higher — slipping out of reach as its jaws closed tight. He could feel its hot breath blow up his shirt.

For the first time, he heard the stealthy theropod with a screeching roar that pierced his soul. Jack wet himself and cursed as he climbed higher out of reach. The pale white and shaken Jack was still alive. The frustrated theropod was still meal less and eventually gave up.

Jack realized he had dug his grave with his investigation. This wasn’t teleportation. This was time travel.

Fuel Up With Coaching

“Be who you were meant to be and you will set the world on fire.”

St. Catherine of Siena

I belong to a mastermind group called “Becoming Brave” with a group of men getting after it as husbands, fathers, and leaders. The group is led by two excellent coaches, Michael and Chris, both of which are not only in the race of life themselves but excellent at drawing out the best of people. The group helps me to grow and keep the blade sharp.

We had a killer call yesterday with some food for thought. It made me reflect on what I find so helpful about being a coach myself; that’s reflecting accountability and perspective through the relationship. We were drawing up actions, words to apply for the coming year that we can use as a self mission, admittedly the action to do so went right over my head before the call. But the follow-up and challenge to do so were there, not as a stick or a hard push, but an invitation. I set a goal to discern out the week and decide by Friday to come up with the word. I’m looking at something around “sustainability”, “discipline”, and “family”. We’ll see where I end up.

It’s tough to do it yourself. It’s tough to maintain the motivation and drive you can peek with, alone. It ebbs and flows. Waxes and wanes. Breeds inconsistency. Accountability through various relationships such as a spouse, boss, mentor, or spiritual director is great but sometimes you need next-level attention for the long arc as a leader. I know I do. 

More and more leaders are investing in that accountability through one-on-one or group coaching. This isn’t a sales pitch for my services (although I do offer it), but a call for you as a reader to consider the investment in that companion on your journey. To layout the dream and get the accountability to see it through. God has placed an awesome dream on your heart, help it along.

Gut Check

“Anybody who doesn’t have fear is an idiot. It’s just that you must make the fear work for you. Hell, when somebody shot at me, it made me madder than hell, and all I wanted to do was shoot back.”

Fighter Ace – Colonel Robin Olds

I’m not a fan of flying however I did a lot of it when I was younger. Smooth flights were fine, but an ounce of turbulence was worth a pound of anxiety. I escorted my grandma on a number of occasions to my aunt’s in South Carolina, there were a few of those flights that straight up put the fear of God in me. When you’re terrified, you think about life critically. You think about death, like crashing 30,000 feet in a firey ball. Questions that came to mind: Adam, what are you doing with the life given to you? Am I living a life I could be proud of? Am I living fully?

Two lessons came out of that time for me; 1. My life gut check. 2. A new relationship with the rosary.

While I would recommend the rosary to anyone who is facing fear, I want to break open the gut check as something you may find helpful as a tool in self-awareness. The fear faced in that time gave me a reflection on my life I wouldn’t have otherwise faced. As I was facing directional troubles in my late teens and early twenties, a basic check on the four pillars of my life became super important as I moved forward.

I gauged these pillars as such; Heart, Brain, Soul, Body. Then I would reflect on each one, to be real with myself. I was either hiding from myself or lying to myself. I had work to do. How was my heart? Dealing with heartbreak at the time, I needed to address it because I was stewing and not moving forward. My brain? I wasn’t growing and learning, I needed to invest in myself and start taking dreams and life seriously. Soul, felt like I was growing and gaining in my relationship with Christ. Body, doing fine as a competitive fencer and staying in shape.

I would use the three pillars on the go and check myself with either color of green, yellow, and red or quick thumbs-up, sideways, or down. Still do. As I would gut check myself I found the priorities of what I needed to draw my attention to. There have been times when I’m running on all cylinders and times when all four crashed and needed help. Simple enough to do in your head and can be weighty enough to spend a day hiking on.

Gut Check. How are you doing? How are your pillars and how would you rate them, being 100% honest with yourself? Where are you advancing well and where do you need help?

— Adam Jarosz

Founder/Leadership Coach

Righteous Co.

The Climb is a short email refresher sent out on Righteous Wednesdays in 2022. Serving you through sharing quick insights, content, and updates for your week as you dream, do, and be righteous. Have you missed out on past editions? You can catch them here. Want to see future ones? Want to see future ones? Sign up at RighteousCo.

Follow along on Instagram @righteousco for more Righteous content.

Time Out: Ukraine

“Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage.”

C.S. Lewis

There are big motions in the world right now – it’s not business as usual. Maybe you’ve been glued, maybe you’ve been indifferent, or tuned out but it’s worth taking a time out to assess what is happening on the world stage because it’s going to impact you if you haven’t felt it already.

History is being played out in the war in Ukraine, it’s not a sideshow. The implications are very real, lives are being lost in dramatic despair, prices are rising, and the risk of greater escalation is an accident or bad decision away. 

 Pray. Pray for the souls lost and will be lost. Pray for peace. Pray for the consecration of Russia. Pray that good people do the right thing. 

Volatile events serve as a reminder that anything can change in a flash. It is best to secure all of your fronts. The world is changing rapidly, have you considered how a volatile environment impacts your family, finances, the people you serve, and your labor prospects? Be aware and stay on your toes.

It’s not a time for fear but a time for prudence. 

The Climb is a short email refresher sent out on Righteous Wednesday’s in 2022. Serving you through sharing quick insights, content, and updates for your week as you dream, do, and be righteous. Have you missed out on past editions? You can catch them here. Want to see future ones? Sign up at RighteousCo.

Follow along on Instagram @righteousco for more Righteous content.

Nein. – A Shorty

June 30, 1934

It was a damp and dark night in Hamburg, the air especially heavy. The Sauberzweig home, tense.

Otto paced in front of the hearth, pipe in mouth, Hamburg gazette underarm. His lips, held the end of the pipe tight, like a Rottweiler who’d found his favorite bone. A few rounds of fresh and fragrant tobacco had already been expended — room cloudy and full.

Otto’s stern expression wore consternation and complexity. Frieda sat at the desk, writing with clarity to her sister in Düsseldorf.

They didn’t have much time.

Perhaps less time than they thought.

A knock on the door.

The Sauberzweig’s both stopped and looked at the door in the parlor, eyes ablaze.

Just four hours earlier, retired General Otto Sauberzweig marched into the Schutzstaffel headquarters in full regalia to protest the unlawful and treasonous murders the night before in Wiesse. Word travels fast underground. Germany hasn’t been right since Wilhelm, but it is fast becoming unrecognizable. Vicious.

Otto looked at Frieda, Frieda looked at Otto. Another, but more firm knock.

Otto took another puff of the pipe and walked slowly to the door and unlocked the bolts.

“Guten abend General. I hope you don’t mind our stopping by so late,” a young but strong man with a crisp brown shirt led a posse of four Sturmabteilung officers. “Do you mind if we step in?”

“Nein.” Otto coldly replied with one arm across the door.

“I see.” The lad let a slow smile grow on his face, eyes locked to Otto’s. “You see General, I’m here to pay an unofficial visit this evening and thought we could sit down as countrymen and talk. Perhaps Frau Sauberzweig could join us?”

“Nein.” Otto’s reply, was more firm than the last. This time, blowing a puff of smoke forward, into the face of the young lad, who didn’t break his gaze or smile. The young man’s face held a soft glow from the interior lights but the other three who stood behind were silhouettes in the night. They said nothing but stood at ease, unflinching.

The young officer stood a moment, staring at Otto, saving face — with the exception of a new fire in his eyes.

“General I must insist we speak, out here is fine enough for the moment.” Otto kept his gaze, only using his lips to readjust the pipe in his mouth. “I understand you stopped by headquarters today to express your, grievances. I must say, leadership finds your lack of confidence,” the lads blue eyes tightened, “abrasive.”

Otto’s face was dark from being backlit but his inhale drew oxygen through his pipe and illuminated the embers to draw a deep red glow across his Prussian mustache and fierce coal eyes.

“The lads and I are here to bring you,” while trying to peer over his shoulder, “and dear Frau the opportunity to change your mind.”

“Progress is being made General. We could use men of your talent to serve this great nation again. Your reputation proceeds you, and we can certainly never forget the sacrifices you once gave. But. Now is the time to serve again. An evil is growing in this country and our leader is fighting for us, for a New Germany. One we can all be proud of,” the lad’s voice grew with excitement as if for the first time he had some hope. Otto stood firmly, one hand on his waist, hidden back as his jacket hungover, the other placed across the doorway.

“General, doesn’t it bother you to see our nation slave to the world and ruined by rich rats?” Otto caught a glimpse of a subtle movement of the guard to the left as he adjusted his hands to grip a baton. “The tide is turning. You will need to determine if you are on the side of progress or on the side of decay.”

A veteran of the Great War, a proud Prussian, General Otto Sauberzweig led many brave men into hell. He saw countless dead and dying. Otto inhaled again, a fierce highlight of his eyes wiped the smile off the young officer’s face. The moment sat in the air. The silence deafening.

Another movement yet out of complete sight by the guard directly behind the led officer.

“So General, I ask, will you join me down to headquarters where we can clear up this little misunderstanding?”

A long still pause.

Otto had seen what this new progress had to offer, what it promised. Progress doesn’t necessarily mean goodness.


The young blonde officer, still eye locked, snapped his fingers and the other three quickly drew their batons. Within a second, a rapid draw and fire of a seasoned Luger P08, hid nicely from Otto’s hip, dropped all four Brown Shirts upon the approach. 

Frieda had taken a position in the side yard, Geweher 98 carefully aimed across the hood of the getaway car, just in case. Now that the guests have retired for the night, it was time to enact their planned escape to the free world —perhaps a little sooner than expected.

The “Night of the Long Knives” and its implication of Hitler’s rise can be explored with a couple of the quick links below. The story above is just a fiction, but there were many who did resist the Nazis, too few albeit.

Rebuild Discipline

“Opportunity is missed by most because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

Thomas Edison

Our youngest, Kateri, is seven months old. I’ve learned that when the babies come, routine discipline takes hits. And it should. All hands on deck for not only the mommy and baby but for forming the new way of life that is taking the weight of adding to your family. I’ve also learned it takes a little grace to walk through it.

But it’s time to get back at, to rebuild discipline. Not as it was, but to refine forward knowing what life is like with our family of five. That refining is built across three fronts – Mental, Physical, and Spiritual. From there, everything else begins to fall in line. 

Post-delivery, discipline begins to atrophy. It takes intention to bring it back to life. So maybe you haven’t had a baby recently. Maybe something else has caused the discipline to atrophy in key areas of your life. Maybe that lack of discipline is beating up your prayer life, your productivity, and your relationships. Focus on that for a minute. Write it down. Then get intentional to pick it back up or refine forward. 

Adam Jarosz

Founder/Leadership Coach

Righteous Co.

The Climb is a short email refresher sent out on Righteous Wednesdays in 2022. Serving you through sharing quick insights, content, and updates for your week as you dream, do, and be righteous. Have you missed out on past editions? You can catch them here. Want to see future ones? Want to see future ones? Sign up at RighteousCo.

Follow along on Instagram @righteousco for more Righteous content.

“Why Can Life Be So Difficult?”

Why can life be difficult? Does this sound familiar…

“But I prayed about it and nothing happened.”
“I tried so hard.”
“God isn’t listening.”
“It’s not fair!”
“I’m not privileged.”
“I’m not good enough.”
“I’m not _____ enough.”

The conversation and effort can end there, sure. You can give up and despair. But then you missed something…

You missed the growth you’ve achieved from hardship. The lesson of resiliency. The grit that only comes from failure and a bloody nose.
Maybe that prayer is answered in a way that makes you stronger, not more comfortable.
So whatever hits you’re taking now, you’re designed for great things. Get at it.
#dream #do #berighteous #grit #hardship #life #ministry #business #men

Best of the socials! This is transferred from the Righteous Co. Instagram page to put writings in one location. Follow along @righteousco for more Righteous content.

Newborn Ponderings

One of my favorite (but happy when it’s over) moments as a dad with newborns is the late-night ponderings. Often pacing and swaying with baby in arm you think about life as seconds tick by. Those seconds can feel so long on little sleep but those are seconds you won’t get back. They’re already done. Before you know it, newborn time is done.

The thoughts I had last night were about how amazing the newborn experience is. We’re formed in a comfy warm womb, we know little of the outside. When Kateri was ready, out she came, through a rather traumatic experience for a baby, into a different experience. From breathing liquid to air, using new senses of light and smell, now having poop squirt out your butt, and having to work for your food in the mouth you didn’t think needed before.

I then thought about how that experience is always unfolding or needing to unfold for us later. How a traumatic and challenging moment can force us to grow and use new senses. From one world to another. But we’re made for it. Right from the beginning.

So if Kateri can do it. You can too right now. Whatever challenge you find yourself in, embrace the cross. Lean into it. It’s different and difficult, but wow it’s worth it when you find you have room to grow.

#dream #do #berighteous #fathers #dad #men #family #coaching

Best of the socials! This is transferred from the Righteous Co. Instagram page to put writings in one location. Follow along @righteousco for more Righteous content.

Get Brave

This past weekend would have been our third Brave retreat with the young adults. As the canceled weekend came and went, I think the theme of that retreat is more relevant than ever. I want to take a few moments to reflect on where we find ourselves, especially as we stare another round of lockdowns.

It can be scary out there. Uncertainty and hurt feelings left over in the political environment, the return to lock-down before Thanksgiving, the anxiety of wether or not your job will furlough you, and the ever present drumbeat of Covid contamination (among a litany of other fears) can wreak havoc on your emotional and spiritual health….

Fear not however! The message of the Lord is this, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus,” Philippians 4:6-7.

In our first Brave retreat, we talked about being brave in a world of darkness. It can be hard to live life, especially a life of faithfulness. At Brave II, we broke open the story of Peter being called out of the boat and into the storm, to trust Jesus and call for help when we fall (Matthew 14:22-33). We know the Lord will be there with a hand but it is important to know to keep our eyes on Him, even when it seems impossible.

Be brave. Trust the Lord. Do not be anxious.

We’re always called back to relationship with Jesus. Use this time to do so. Even as churches return to live-streaming, your prayer life can flourish. Open scripture. Break out your rosary. Join the live-streamed Mass. Zoom with faithful groups. This whole era is a call back to prayer. Hear it. Respond. We’ll be back for Brave III when we can. When we do, we’re going to celebrate and give some praise. Until then… Be brave. Trust the Lord. Do not be anxious.

Adam Jarosz is the Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministry at St. Gregory the Great and the owner of Righteous Co.. His vocation involves loving his wife Ani and two babies (and one on the way), Isabella and Wyatt.

He also enjoys being active outdoors, getting gym time in, and writing. Yes.. tacos too.

2020 Vision: Race & Racism

This is a wild time in our nation. Not to be colloquial but society is in a wilderness right now. The story of race has been cut open new again and everyone is trying to figure out what to do with it. I’ve been listening, praying, and reading the various voices in the conversation of race. Left, right, and holy. The 1619 Project, Thomas Sowell, MLK, The Breakfast Club, Candace Owens, BLM, Larry Elder, Kimberly Jones, and Allen West amongst others. I’ve listened to black voices in the Church about their experience around this issue, including a “Coffee Talk” conversation I had with Fr. Moses, you can find it here.

What this article is, a commentary and challenge to get back into a place of dialog and debating of facts. To think as an individual and break from whatever narrative you are immersed in is the foundation of civil discourse. That means educating ourselves beyond the spheres we frequent. We have carved out idealogical lines with our families, friends, social media, and news outlets. Made tribes armed with spears. This closes our minds. Let your fingers loosen and defang yourself. A return to prayer softens the heart and clears the mind. We need a lot more of God if we’re going to solve the problems we’re facing in the 21st century. 

What this is not, a full treatise on the topic. I’d be kidding myself if I thought I could solve or dive into all of the facts or perspectives involved in a quick read blog post but I would like to encourage you to tune into the various links and sources in the post for more reading. There are much smarter people engaged and my perspective is limited but what I will rely on are some of the black voices advocating in the scene.

While discerning my way through the conversation, something has become abundantly clear. There is a struggle of message in 2020. I think everyone can agree what happened to George Floyd was a terrible and ugly moment for the country and it was. Nobody cheered. Nobody celebrated. But the following month would have made it seem that the opposite was true. The nation exploded with fervor. The country took hold of passions and ran with them. 

A loud collective voice took over and led what should have been a peaceful movement of solidarity turned into chaos. Riots and destruction in the streets, proclamations that the nation is systemically racist, that police need to be defunded, and our history should be torn down. And you have advocates stoking the fire saying that it’s legitimate. I disagree.


As a white man in America, I find that it is a little intimidating approaching the conversation, not because I have a problem with talking about tough conversations or that there is any shame, but there is a pressure out there to think a certain way, to tow a line. Cancel culture is very real and limits discussion and opportunity. In a free and liberal society, free speech is one of the most important pieces of our heritage. This is the most difficult article I’ve written but my nation, my voice.

First off, if you are judging someone based on the color of skin, you need to check yourself. As Americans and Christians, that is not who we’re called to be. Judging on race is cheap and thin-skinned. It’s dehumanizing and embarrassing. It is important to remember to love one another, to love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus told us this as the second greatest commandment (Matt 22:38-40). 

Our history is steeped in our racial divide. Slavery and the proceeding hundred years before the overturning of Jim Crow was terrible. As history, it’s important to read and learn about where we came from and have fought to overcome. It’s important to also know the history so you are not fed lies. It’s important to remember that it was blacks and whites who worked together to solve these problems. This isn’t an us versus them game as common narratives would claim. It’s going to be a just us mentality to bring healing and better opportunity for all.

The Challenge

I want to provide some contrast. If you’ve been observing, a lot of voices are saying that we need to listen. As President Obama has challenged lately, “make people uncomfortable.” Challenge: to listen to the other side. I’ve put down just a few samples of some of the most intriguing voices at work right now. The challenge here is for you to break outside of your tribe for a moment and pick another side below and listen to the argument. Go ahead. Hear it through. Is it convincing? What about it do you disagree with? Is there a common ground? Stretch a little.

Next level is to compare and contrast, who do you align with, and why?


Baratunde Thurston –

Kimberly Jones –


Middle Ground –


Thomas Sowell –

Eric July –


Fr. Josh Johnson and Jeff Cavins –

Fr. Pierre Toussaint, CFR and Fr. Agustino Torres CFR –

Black Lives Matters

I haven’t heard one argument that claims that black lives don’t matter. The phrase “black lives matters” is something everyone can get behind. Black people and culture of course has a place in this nation and should be protected and invested in. Yes, they matter. 

Then there is the Black Lives Matters Movement, an ironclad identity that you would be foolish to oppose, because how could you ever get away with saying you don’t support Black Lives Matters? But here I am and here’s why I stand on this…

The ironclad wordplay is very clever, however there is much to BLM that I cannot get behind. First of all is in their mission, the disruption of the nuclear family, the unit on which society is built on. We know by stats that families that stay together have higher incomes, better health, and are overall happier. In a time when fatherlessness is at an all-time high for black families, why would we encourage otherwise? 

Secondly, Patrisse Cullors, the founder of BLM, claims the ideological framework of the movement is Marxist. That they are trained that way. Marxist? The same ideology that is responsible for over 100 million deaths in the 20th century? That sought to enslave the world in an unjust economic system where liberty and opportunity are snuffed out? I’ll have more to say on this in the fourth installment in this series, “Socialism the Great Enslaver”.

Thirdly, one of the founding members, Shaun King is openly advocating for the destruction of Christian property and holy imagery. He’s not the only one. Aside from the fact that nearly every society has portrayed the Lord in local imagery, including Black and Asian Jesus, the Lord is someone who we are made in the image and likeness of. Christian art reflects that. The removal of national sites should be a democratic process with a vote where people in a community have a say, not the roving bands of brigands with an ax to grind. Most importantly, we need to recognize this for what it is, a hate crime against religion. You have no right to the destruction of other’s property and this level of incitement to violence to a specific faith, is actually a crime. There have been reports around the country of churches being vandalized. The St. Louis reports of Catholics being assaulted by praying by the statue of St. Louis himself is terrifying. They didn’t fight back. This is Marxism.

I’m all on board with the fact that black lives matters. If you think BLM is worthy of a knee, look again. 

The Antidote

The greatest thing we can do as a country is to pray. If we’re going to solve anything, we need to put away our swords and do it together. If we are one nation, under God then let’s call ourselves back to that. Ourselves. Before we point out the splinter in someone else’s eye, we better work on the log in our own. For some reading this, you might roll your eyes at the God thing, but one thing is clear, we certainly don’t get our rights because of man.

It doesn’t matter what side of the lines you find yourself, this is a good time to check and see how you treat people. It starts in us and at home before we can ever go and change the world. If you have struggled in the past with seeing others who are different, through skin or ideology, gut check yourself. No, you don’t need to make a pressured social statement, just work on it. Stretch and learn. Lead with love. We have one home, let’s live up to what the country has set as our mission statement, “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

If I can boil every conversation I have heard down to one point, it’s this. I hear a black community in desperate need of fair and fearless opportunity. We’ve been trying to solve this problem for the last sixty years through a liberal/progressive government ideology with terrible results, beginning with the Great Society. As Lyndon B. Johnson, a true racist, was heard saying, “I’ll have those $#% voting Democratic for 200 years.” I highly recommend Thomas Sowell, famed economist and advocate, to hear what he has to say about that experiment. 

It’s time for a free market and entrepreneurial approach. Everywhere the free market principles are executed there is a rise of opportunity to those people. England, America, post-war Germany and Japan, South Korea, Israel, and more. We are the land of opportunity and we don’t need to burn it to the ground, we need to turn it up around the country in places like Chicago, St. Louis, and Baltimore. Let’s give more opportunities to support black small businesses and incentivize raising families and communities. Let’s teach free-market principles and entrepreneurship at young ages and inspire and encourage the vision through. 

In addition, perhaps the most insidious is the long-running scourge of abortion in low-income communities. Planned Parenthood, founded by eugenist Margaret Sanger, is still targeting minorities with two out of every three surgical abortion sites in black/minority communities. The mindset of the Confederacy and White Supremacy, eugenics is the disgusting discipline of selective breeding. It is sadly still alive and well-disguised as women’s rights today. When black women represent 13% of the population and receive 30% of the abortions, there is a problem. As of 2008, that was over 1,000 babies a day. Over nineteen million since Roe v Wade. However, you won’t hear this on the news. If there has been a single effort at keeping the black community a minority, it’s this. I highly recommend you read Sanger’s words and read the abortion stats and not ignore this. This needs to end.

Lastly, we don’t need to defund the police and remove key protections for at-risk communities. What we need to do is have reform and better equip our police with the right training and accountability so they can do a better job at protecting justly. The vast majority of police are good but we do need to hear the fears of innocent people whose trust has been broken. Police do good work. Oversight, training, outreach, and reform can help rebuild relationships with police and the communities they serve. If we learned anything from CHOP/CHAZ, it’s that lawlessness is a disaster. We need to protect our communities because we’re only hurting ourselves. I’ve seen too many interviews where black business owners had their lives ruined because of lawlessness.

In Close

The benefit of hearing all sides of the situation and educating yourself is that you don’t just hear what one narrative is trying to sell you. There are so many problems facing our black brothers and sisters in society. It’s all of our jobs to make sure that we all rise together. This isn’t a black versus white issue. This is an us issue. We the people won the Civil War together. We the people beat Jim Crow and segregation together. We the people beat redlining and exclusionary banking together. And as we pursue the goal of “a more perfect Union”, we’ll beat our next hurdles together too.

Adam loves living out the vocation of marriage with his wife Ani, and proud father to Izzy and Wyatt. He loves God, getting outdoors, doing work that matters, and writing about things true to the heart.

2020 Vision: Introduction

There is a lot going on in this country. While I’ve been busy raising a family, building a ministry and a business, I’ve been away from advocating for Life, Liberty, & the Pursuit of Happiness. There is a lot to say about what’s going on. That’s why I’m going to stand up and share my thoughts about this year, but not only that, it’s time to stretch and get active.

And a year it has been.

Big things are happening and “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

Racism, Marxism, Desecration of the Faith, Desecration of our History, Vice over Virtue…

It’s time to get busy.

As a Catholic American man I don’t want to stand by and watch our country burn. Enough. This is has been a call to action. As a part of the effort; my daily rosary, phoning my legislature and executives, writing in this blog, and more.

This is the introduction of a six series stretch, focused on this year, about six topics that we need to talk about. I’ve listened and read enough over the last few months from all sides, it’s time to share and challenge the narratives wrecking our country and faith. On the schedule…

  1. Race & Racism
  2. America the Great Liberator
  3. The Great Hypo-cracy
  4. Unashamed Faith
  5. Socialism the Great Enslaver
  6. True Virtue

I hope you read along and share but more importantly pray and get brave.

No, we’re not looting but we are getting busy.

Adam loves living out the vocation of marriage with his wife Ani, and proud father to Izzy and Wyatt. He loves God, getting outdoors, doing work that matters, and writing about things true to the heart.

Be Not Afraid

This is a adaptation of a reflection I gave yesterday online for the parish. As I’ve been personally reflecting on the environment we find ourselves in, I’m drawn to the lessons of history to find a way through. Old Testament, New Testament, and history since, the Lord is always calling us to pray and fear not. A timeless lesson.

The Lord moves through history, after all it’s HIStory. I love history. Especially listening to podcasts about it. Right now I’ve been digesting What We Saw: The Cold War and my favorite over the years, Revolutions. There is so much to pull from the tides of history, lessons learned can save us heartache. What I would like to do here is highlight how the 20th century can reflect us in the 21st.

I’m going to start in 1917, just over 100 years ago. Our Lady appeared to three children in Fatima, Portugal. The signs and wonders that came from her messages revealed three things I would like to highlight,

1. Recite the rosary everyday for peace in the world and for the end to WWI. However if people don’t continue offending the Lord there will be a second and more deadly war.

2. Establish a devotion in the world to her Immaculate Heart

3. Consecration of Russia, otherwise she will destroy nations and oppress the faithful.

The requests fell on mixed ears. People were already praying for the end of the Great War, so adding more was a natural inclination. Dedicating Russia? Fell on deaf ears and didn’t happen. Later that same year, the Tsar was overthrown and the Communist regime took power. We’ll set that aside for now, and let it simmer. Or fester if you will.

The very next year on November 11,1918, known then as Armistice Day or as we call it today, Veteran’s Day, ended World War I with much rejoicing. That is unless you were Germany in which you were saddled with crippling reparations that would later breed resentment and the rise of the Nazi’s.

Two years later however, we enter the decade of the “Roaring 20’s”! Life was improving as the modern era took hold with electricity, cars, and planes arriving across society. Literature like the Great Gatsby capture the imagination in this fast paced decade with flappers, prohibition, and high flying stocks. Interestingly enough we see the start of our own decade with memes and social posts reflecting the same title of the “Roaring 20’s” here and now.

What tends to happen when things go well in society? We get distracted. We get busy. We lose sight of our relationship with God. Materialism and hedonism tend to rule our time and imaginations. It isn’t the Lord that walks away from us but we who walk away from Him. During this time, people became distracted and didn’t hear the call from Fatima.

Black Tuesday, 1929. The market crashed. This launched a decade of poverty and desolation across the world. Food lines and high unemployment along with failing crops in the Dust Bowl are reflected in works such as Of Mice and Men and Grapes of Wrath.

I remember my grandma telling us stories of the Great Depression and living frugally her whole life. She would share tales of being out in a field in Springville as a kid, picking beans to bring home a little money for the family. I was a witness to one of the last times she, my mom, and aunts canned for the last time. I never liked canned tomatoes. A skill obtained from the time that was necessary. I wouldn’t know where to start today, never needed to because you can just grab it at the store. Stores never fail.

One of my grandma’s favorite scripture quotes, that has since become one of mine as well, is Psalm 91. Fittingly it seems to fit times such as these as the Lord is always reaching for us. Hard times always seems to be an opportunity for us to hear him more clearly.

Thankfully the Great Depression eased. Only for the price of the second Great War. The Great Depression fueled resentment in Germany as normal people carted wheelbarrows of marks for bread. The rise of the Nazi’s fed off of this and seized power from a weak and unsupported republic. The Soviets consolidated their power and crushed dissension in their motherland.

World War II killed over 75 million people. People raised in this age knew fear. They knew anxiety. Real fear was marching into a death camp or staring down the hull of your landing craft approaching Omaha beach. Fear was wondering if your loved one was coming home or if you were coming home in a pine box.

The world went from World War II straight into the Cold War, marking peak of the communist, atheistic, Soviet regime behind the Iron Curtain. The Nazi’s were notorious for a methodological and industrial process in exterminating over 11 million in camps that I had the honor of walking in myself. The Soviets however. Over 27 million perished because of their reign, inside the motherland and reaching across the world. The close ideological brethren in China, killed over 45 million in the Great Leap Forward.

Fear and anxiety now covered the world because of the reaches of the Atomic Age. Rocketry and splitting of the atom was sure to deliver a sun at anyone’s doorstep within twenty minutes of the press of a button. Only thing you could do was pray and hide under the desk.

Headlines from this era consisted of the Berlin Airlift, The Korean War, Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the brutal Vietnam War. From the Bolshevik takeover in 1918, atheistic Communism, started in Russia, claimed over 100 million lives.

In the midst of all the fear and evil in the world, there was certainly hope. With great fear comes the Hope and Love of the Lord. In desperate times comes great Saints who rise to the occasion not because of some chemical or program but cause of great faith. Just to highlight a few humble 20th century Saints below who lived a relationship with the Lord and let Him guide them in dire times…

  • 1930’s, Sr. Faustina shares the message of the Divine Mercy, along with that is the famous image and chaplet of the Lord. She passed away from an illness, tuberculosis, in Poland at 33 years old, the Jesus year, just before the outbreak of the War in Europe.
  • 1941, Fr. Maximillion Kolbe gives his life in place of a father at the death camp at Auschwitz, Poland.
  • 1978, Pope John Paul II in his inaugural address, stared down the communist leaders in Poland and the Soviet Union and told the people to “Be not afraid!” as he led the Poles and the world in faithful fortitude.

Since the failure of consecrating Russia in 1917, the Church rallied and not only consecrated Russia but the world. By 1989, the iron grip of the Soviets was spent and outmatched. In the end, they couldn’t stomp out the flame of faith and hope. The hope for peace prevailed. By the power of prayer, martyrdom, and the blessings of ingenuity of the free world, the predicted Russia terror was over.

Now we as the free world are asked by Saint John Paul II, “Yes free, but free to do what?”

We’re just twenty percent into our own century but by this time in the last, those Saints were already walking, working, and living out a mission. They were youth and young adults. Who are the Saints of the 21st? They could be you. You just have to decide to be one. It starts with an invitation of the Lord. Difficult times gives us pause and a chance to reflect on our relationship with Him. How do we heed the call to prayer? More time. Less distractions. Clarity. He has only been calling for us for all of history. HIStory.

I’ll leave one last reflection below, just simply an except from Saint John Paul II’s inaugural address I referenced earlier. I think you may find hope and a timeless relevancy in it…

“Brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to welcome Christ and accept his power. Help the Pope and all those who wish to serve Christ and with Christ’s power to serve the human person and the whole of mankind. Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors for Christ. To his saving power open the boundaries of States, economic and political systems, the vast fields of culture, civilization and development. Do not be afraid. Christ knows “what is in man”. He alone knows it. So often today man does not know what is within him, in the depths of his mind and heart. So often he is uncertain about the meaning of his life on this earth. He is assailed by doubt, a doubt which turns into despair. We ask you therefore, we beg you with humility and trust, let Christ speak to man. He alone has words of life, yes, of eternal life.“ JPII – inaugural address October 22, 1978

You can follow his work at and

Lead With Virtue: The Cardinals

Virtue: behavior showing high moral standards.synonyms: goodness, virtuousness, righteousness, morality, ethicalness, uprightness

How often do you consider virtue in your leadership role or organization? Not a lot? Let’s talk about how it can actually build up the core strength of your culture by intentionally giving it a home. I’ll be revisiting the various virtues and their application overtime but for now I’d like to give a broad overview for you to consider beyond your old college ethics class. If you’ve taken a personality test like the Meyers-Briggs or Enneagram, you may find these virtues helpful in shoring up your shortcomings.

Let’s start with the Cardinals or “hinge” virtues, four prime virtues that all other virtue hinges off of. Prudence, temperance, justice, and fortitude. These four have long history starting with Plato, working their way through time being refined by great thinkers such as Aristotle and Aquinas. Fascinating reads of course but these classics are just as relevant in the 21st century as they did in antiquity. Why? They speak to foundational character that is timeless.

Prudence: In other words, wisdom, taking knowledge and using it correctly. Are you making wise decisions as a leader? Are you giving permission to your staff to make wise decisions? Better yet, are you allowing and showing patience to your team so they can grow in wisdom, even if they fail. One of the greatest teachers is experience. Are you allowing yourself and/or your team to make mistakes that come with earned experience? If we don’t have that permission, albeit within control, then outside of the box thinking and creativity can be stifled. We lose depth and can stagnate.

Temperance: How are you temperate or reasonable in your work flow. If you’re an Enneagram 7 like me, you can chase ideas on a whim and get scattered pretty easily. Maybe you can get angry quickly as a 4 or 8. Working on your temperance strengthens your ability to control outbursts and time. Staying level and having self-control is important to leading stability.

Justice: Think about your team. Maybe they are staff, maybe volunteers. How are you treating them? Naturally, you’ll like some more than others but are you being equitable? Are you giving fair time and attention to each or are you punishing someone with unfair demands or even dialog? Maybe a hard working team member needs a justifiable raise. Maybe that failing or toxic member needs to be released? Communicating expectations and working on how you deliver justice helps build respect from your team.

Fortitude: Be brave. Leaders are faced with tough and sticky decisions or actions everyday. Creating vision, large investments, hiring/firing, accountability, etc. Indecision can slow down your progress and make organizations clunky. Bravery is action, even when you are afraid. Sometimes you need coaching or practice to move forward. If you’re a Enneagram 9, you might want to think this through.

Using the Cardinals is an easy way to check yourself as a leader and gives a little scaffolding to work from. Add these to your planner and ask yourself, how are you doing with them. You’ll find that by building off of this foundation of virtue, you’ll be leading a healthier team and more important a healthier you.


Adam Jarosz is the founder of Righteous Co. His vocation involves loving his wife Ani and two babies, Isabella and Wyatt. He also loves writing, hitting the weights, and building people up. Need advice on how to use your skills? Shoot him a message


 “Only staying active will make you want to live a hundred years.”

Japanese proverb

Thanks for following along on this project to define the Righteous Way Priorities. It is important to set our priorities straight in life. Maybe you agree with what I’m proposing, maybe you disagree – either way, I’d love to hear your thoughts. How do you set your priorities? In what order would you align those I listed? Did I leave anything out that you feel should be included?

I’ve been working on this for the past seven weeks and it became really apparent early on that a blog series is insufficient. What I’ve shared with you is a seed or outline of a bigger project that I think can really be fleshed out. This will take time to accomplish but it has already been started.

A few concepts I feel need to be included but act more as an overlay than a particular priority – gratitude, friendship, and wealth. I think these three saturate each level and should be handled differently than a tier list.

Gratitude – It is so ever important to be thankful for what we are given. God’s blessings of people, challenges, victories, materials, opportunities and even failures with the lessons they bring – all deserve gratitude. An action of prayer upward and a sense of humility goes a long way in developing our character and sharing in the fruits of life.

Friendship – Friendship and fellowship are really important for us as humans. You need to interact and share in good, healthy relationships. It creates shared moments and enriches life. We can be friends with our spouses, siblings, the people we serve, and even our Lord. As Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that a person will lay down his life for his friends,” (John 15:13). Each priority tier has the opportunity to build a friendship and share company. We have to balance between the number of friends we can reliably have versus how much time we can develop each relationship. Just the same, not each relationship needs to be our “best friend” but you never know who or why God puts particular people in our life until we grow in it. It’s also of note that friends may come and go with a particular season of life, and that’s ok. We can be grateful for the time we have with them.

Wealth – Fickle subject. You can do extraordinary good or ruin your soul with it. Scripture gives us much caution about it. The use of money requires wisdom on how to obtain it, put it to work, and spend it. When ordered correctly, it can strengthen each Righteous Priority by creating opportunities and giving back in the ways put on your heart. Financial guru, Dave Ramsey would say to build your house so you can give outrageously in the future. Whatever your financial situation, it will impact your priorities, direct your workflow, and give purpose to giving.

Thanks again for following along with this series. If this was fruitful for you, I’d love to know how. Send me a line!

Keep going out there. You have a great life in your hands, go make the most of it.

Adam Jarosz is bringing fuel to the productively faithful – subscribe here to get The Climb articles right in your email box, every Righteous Wednesday. You can also follow along the Righteous journey on Instagram @righteousco.