Five Points

Recently I was drinking coffee and talking with my friend, Ryan Speight and he was telling me about a new business he is getting off the ground called Five Points Navigation. Ryan has a military background and an exercise he participated in there involved a compass, maybe a map, and a destination. Based on that, Ryan takes people into the woods with a compass and a set of tools and teaches them how to reach a specific destination. He teaches people to operate using five points.

An activity like this can be a great way to spend a day with friends, a cool way to teach team building with co-workers, or even a way to learn a new, focused approach to life. What I immediately saw was a connection to our approach to recovery.

All five of these points relate to our recovery journey.

  1. Where is north? What is the guiding point/focus of your life? – When my journey began one of the first things I had to work through was what does sobriety look like for me? I had spent years believing I could manage my addiction. I believed I could limit my use to a specific amount or specific time of day. True progress only began when I was able to nail down my point of reference and for me, that was total abstinence. Anything less always resulted in miserable failure.
  2. Where are you at? – I had to take a good look at my location in life. I was a wreck. My life was out of control and I couldn’t manage things on my own.
  3. Where are you going/where do you want to go? – In my active addiction I was always going somewhere, and I was trying to get there fast. But every time I stopped to look around, I found myself lost, further in the woods. I had to stop just trying to get somewhere and pinpoint where I really wanted to go. I had to visualize what my destination looked like. I didn’t just want to be someplace else. The place I was looking for would be a place of peace, of contentment, a place of acceptance, acceptance of myself and acceptance by others, community.
  4. How far away is your destination? – I had always been trying to get somewhere fast, even when I didn’t know where I was going so, I decided 30 days away sounded pretty good. After all, I had heard about 30 day programs, right? What I actually found was that it had taken years for me to get as lost as I was and it would likely take years to reach my destination. Many experts say it will likely take 3 to 5 years to see real recovery take root. For some a little less. For some a little more. But the consensus is that we will arrive if we begin to walk the path.
  5. What direction do you need to travel? – This is where we look to others for instruction and help. If you asked me to lead you through the woods with a compass we’d both be in big trouble. My friend Ryan on the other hand can get us through the woods safely. This is where we find a sponsor and a group. My guides included both of these plus a therapist, a coach, and a lot of friends that were either walking the path along side me or were further down the path calling for me to follow them.

I enjoyed coffee with Ryan that day and hope to spend time with him again soon. If you’re interested in learning more about Five Point Navigation email Ryan at If you’d like to talk more about learning to navigate a path of recovery shoot me an email at Ryan and I both like to talk.

Published by ronsthots

I'm a Certified Professional Recovery Coach. Feel free to email me at

Leave a Reply