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2 Most Important Laws to Understand in Recovery

These are taken from the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, written by Mr John C Maxwell who has had an impact in my life. I like to take his content and his work and he loves when people do this – he loves when people create out of his creations, and I apply it to this journey of life through the recovery process. I believe that all aspects of leadership can be applied to us human beings in our day-to-day lives and everything we do.

Here we talk about 2 of the 21 Laws of Leadership, applied to Recovery.


You will never grow beyond your limitations that are imposed by society or yourself as long as you put limitations on who you are and what you’re capable of accomplishing and achieving in life. You will never transcend beyond those limitations – that is the lid. Your recovery will never transcend beyond a specific experience because it has a lid on it. 

I came across this little short video that I thought was awesome, and it really highlights the law of the lid, so I want to share it with you guys. And here is what the law of the lid says in this video. So it was this guy, he got a jar, and in that jar he had a bunch of fleas, and the jar didn’t have a lid on it. And what was happening was, these fleas were jumping up really really high. The fleas, believe it or not, for their size actually are one of the highest jumping things on this entire planet, and they would just fly out and jump out and jump out and jump out and then he put a lid on it and now the fleas are jumping and what’s happening is, they’re hitting the lid and coming back down and hitting the lid and coming back down. And eventually these started to reproduce and have children and guess what happened when they took off the lid? The children of these fleas, when they would jump, they would only jump to the level of the lid. How fascinating is that? Something that never existed before now was a barrier and prevented them from their full potential. 

Wow, what kind of lids have you or society put on your life? How is it preventing you from reaching your full potential? Sorry for comparing us to fleas but this analogy is amazing. There are people that are marginalized, there are people who are living in disadvantageous situations that have been closed off with lids, whether through their own self or society, and multi-generationally over and over again, they’re unable to transcend and reach their full potential. See, it ain’t about the person. Sometimes it’s about the lid. So if you know you have a lid on your progress in life please find out who put it there, when it was put there, take it off and reach that potential. It’s a beautiful thing.


We recover daily, not in a day. See, that’s the whole thing about a process. A lot of people, they are outcome-driven, they just seek a specific outcome. But true change and true growth happens in the process that you go through in order to get to the destination. We always hear “it’s about the journey, not the destination.” The same thing with recovery – your leadership skills, your ability to grow in different areas, it doesn’t just happen. If anything, it barely feels like it’s happening until you arrive at a destination and look back and see how far you have come. People rarely see their changes on a day-to-day basis. 

If you went to the gym, if you haven’t been going to the gym, or working out, and you feel like you’re out of shape, and you feel like you got a few extra pounds to lose, and you feel like you’re just not in a good place, and say you know what today is the day I’m gonna get back. And you get up and you put your shoes on and you go to the gym and you work out and you huff and puff and you lift some weights and you come back home and you look at yourself in the mirror and guess what? Nothing has changed. And if you say, “you know what? I’m going to go back tomorrow,” and you work out and you go to the gym and you huff and puff and you work out and you come back home and your muscles are sore and you look at yourself in the mirror nothing has changed. And you go again, nothing has changed, and you go again, nothing has changed. And you might say that this going to the gym thing doesn’t work but if you did that for 30 days, for 60 days, for 90 days, you will start to see, despite the nothing-changing on a day-to-day basis, actual changes in that reflection, actual changes in the way your clothes fit, actual changes in the way your mind works, actual changes in the way you feel about yourself.

Change happens daily, not in a day

If you can internalize that message you will have the keys to transformation. How bad do you want to transform? I don’t know. Hope you do. 

You know, if you told me what your habits are on a day-to-day basis, when you woke up, what you did, what you do next, and what you do next, and what you do next, including on Saturdays and Sundays, not just when you’re going to work every day, I could tell you exactly where you’re headed. You might say, “that’s really condescending or that’s really making a lot of assumptions. You have no idea where I’m headed in life, man.” Habits don’t lie. If a person has a significant amount of bad dietary habits it don’t take a rocket scientist to say that your panels and your cholesterol and your body weight and your sugar levels and your arteries are going to become compromised. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to say that.

You can tell where a person is headed by watching their daily habits.

Our daily habits create something and what I really like here is that it doesn’t matter where you hope you will end up. Every road has a destination. I’m going to say this one on the camera because I need you to hear this. It doesn’t matter where you hope that you will end up because every single road in life has a destination. The road you are on right now, despite the hope or desire of getting somewhere, has a destination. Now it matters what road you’re on, right? It matters how your daily habits are because that’s the road. So if there’s a specific place that you’re trying to end up in and you ain’t on that road, hope doesn’t mean nothing, because you won’t get there. And I’m just letting you, right now proactively know, preemptively know, so when you get there you’re not disappointed. No, there is no wrong time to make a detour.

Some of the Best Things in Life Happen on Detours

Me sitting here is a byproduct of a detour I made 15-16 years ago. A small shift in direction that led me to a completely different destination. With sailboats you can’t control the wind but you can set your sails. Small, incremental changes in degrees can have you going from one destination to a completely different one – doesn’t have to take something profound and big. Small changes. And like I say every week and there’s a reason I say it every week, because we have built-in forgetters and we forget the simple things in life – that your direction is more important than your speed. Just be in the right direction, have the right daily habits, have the right mindset, and if you do so you will arrive somewhere that’s pretty freaking awesome. My hope in doing these talks every week is that you get inspired enough to have the motivation to go on that journey.

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

Are you in recovery but not making progress? Recovery is not only possible but attainable, and it all begins with reaching out for assistance. By addressing both addiction and mental health issues, individuals can break free from the cycle of despair and embark on a path to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Contact Buckeye Recovery Network today and initiate your journey to recovery and improved mental health. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

Today is going to be the best day of your life.

Kelsey Gearhart

Director of Business Development

Kelsey carries multiple years of experience working in the substance abuse and mental health treatment field. Her passion for this field comes from her personally knowing recovery from addiction.

Prior to Buckeye she held titles of Recovery Coach, Operations Director, and Admissions Director. Kelsey was brought on at Buckeye Recovery as the Director of Business Development. She has a passion for ensuring every individual gets the help that they need, and does so by developing relationships with other providers.

Kelsey also oversees our women’s sober living environments – The Chadwick House for Women. She is committed to creating a safe, nurturing, and conducive environment for all women that walk through the doors of Chadwick.