Losses

“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 and work with. 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.

Victories

“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.

Men

“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

Vacuum

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

Vacuum

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.

Victory.

  • 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.

in·ten·tion·al·i·ty

/inˌten(t)SHəˈnalədē/

noun

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.”

Aristotle

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. 

But.

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.

Nein.”

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.

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-night-of-the-long-knives

https://allthatsinteresting.com/sturmabteilung-brownshirts

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.

Racism

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?

Left

Baratunde Thurston – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZgkjEdMbSw

Kimberly Jones –  https://youtu.be/llci8MVh8J4

Center

Middle Ground – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VspjfNMPHyc

Right

Thomas Sowell – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mS5WYp5xmvI

Eric July – https://youtu.be/pf_LQhcIO4g

Holy

Fr. Josh Johnson and Jeff Cavins –  https://www.facebook.com/AscensionPress/videos/574652393191720/UzpfSTU4MDc3NTMwNDoxMDE2MzU1NjEyMDI5NTMwNQ/

Fr. Pierre Toussaint, CFR and Fr. Agustino Torres CFR – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVxcB1qEQqg

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 stgregsym.org and righteousco.com.

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 AdamJ@RighteousCo.com

Church, Get In The Game

Church, we need to get in the game.

By Church, I mean you and me, the Body of Christ. This means the faithful of course but I specifically want to address the youth and young adults out there. You’re not the Church of tomorrow, you’re the Church of today. Here is the field we are playing in and we need to get at it…

2019 A.D. in Buffalo, NY, the Church is taking a beating. Of course the Church has been through worse in history. Christians aren’t being fed to lions or lit on fire to illuminate the roads. But we have been better. What’s more, we can be better.

A few decades of erosion have been working on our foundation. Lack of engagement, uninspired faithfulness, relativism, and scandal have given our Church a weathered attitude. This is not the story of being Catholic. It’s time to snap out of it.

The Church which includes our parishes and Diocese as well as charities, schools, and ministries are sagging under the pressures. I want to use this moment of your attention to call you to arms. We can’t run from the fire, we need to run to it. 

It’s time to get in the game. Ask not what the Church can do for you, but what you can do for the Church. If we are the hands and feet of Christ, how are we moving? If our Body isn’t in motion, then we don’t move forward. 

Here is how you can help us win the fight for a better Church.

1. Pray: Make the time to get back into the pews (or chairs if the church is under repair) on Sunday. Be a part of the community prayer in the Mass. Show up, participate, listen, sing, learn, and reconnect. Pick up your bible and start with the Gospels or visit Jesus in Adoration. Pray for one another.

If you’re not registered at a parish and young adults are notorious with this, go to a parish and commit to the community. Stop bouncing around or leaning on the coattails of your parent’s registration. Belong and commit

Get in the game.

2. Time: There are plenty of roles that need to be done that just require some time and not a lot of training. Find them, commit to a time slot in a ministry that needs help. Greeters, core teams, catechists, money counters, Eucharistic ministers, and so on. Follow your strengths. Pick up the bulletin or look it up online and see a role that could use some hands.

Try things out. Find what clicks and stay long enough to be a leader and make changes if needed. Just don’t go in like a bull in a china shop. Be humble and learn from the role and the leader in place. 

Get in the game.

3. Talent: In addition to roles that need to be done, the Church needs your talent. You have skill. You’re good at that one thing. What is it? How can you use it in the Church? Ask someone how you can plug it in. Can you donate that skill? Can you apply that full-time?

Are you in banking or finance? Marketing and design? Build websites? IT? Barista and can make a good coffee? Set designer? Corporate trainer? CRM specialist? Chef? 

Get in the game.

4. Treasure: Yes the Church needs money to run. It especially needs funds to grow. I know, I know, you don’t want to pay for the scandal but let me put your mind at rest. 

Your donation in the envelope doesn’t go towards that. Upon This Rock doesn’t go towards that. Catholic Charities and Fund for the Faith doesn’t go towards that. The bishop sold his residence and some investments to do so. We’re also covered in insurance. If you’re running from the fire, it’s giving people on the front line less to work with. That’s us going backwards. 

Give your first fruits and be regular. Can you commit to 10% of your income? Shoot, can you commit to $20 a week? Lights need to be on, youth ministers need budgets, and the Church needs tools and people.

“Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered” Proverbs 11:25

Roll up your sleeves, get in the game, and let the Lord use you and your resources. Come with a servant’s attitude. Take a bit of that drive you have for school and workplace and bring it to God’s House. Give your first fruits of prayer, time, talent, and/or treasure. 

Collections and participation are down around the Diocese by 10-20% this year alone. The older generation that has been supporting the Church is dying off. Imagine what we would look like if we brought our talent and resources back into the game? Run to the fire. Take this to prayer with you. Ask the Lord how you can help. He’s knocking.