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What a 15-year-old meth addict taught me about leadership | Brian Fretwell | TEDxBoise

24910 ratings | 1090889 views
How do you lead someone who knows what they need to do to change their life but—despite all your help—isn’t going to do it? Brian Fretwell was confronted with this scenario repeatedly during his time as a teacher in the chemical addictions unit of a juvenile corrections facility. The honesty of a 15-year-old meth addict, and the wisdom of a mentor, reframed Brian’s definition and practice of leadership. Brian Fretwell helps people realize their value. He began his professional career as a teacher in juvenile corrections, empowering disenfranchised kids to do things they didn’t believe they could. From the Australian Outback to the Arctic Circle, today Brian teaches individuals, teams, and companies how to draw out their hidden potential. He got an MBA, ran a 100-mile ultra-marathon, overcame his fear of flying, and wrote a book because he didn’t think he could do any of them—and being a hypocrite isn’t his style. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx
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Text Comments (1735)
Mia W (1 day ago)
He reminds me of a grown up evan hansen
DONBIT (2 days ago)
quien de Venezuela? ted es otro lvl
e we (2 days ago)
This guy should just stay at Build-a-bear
Shari Lyn Reynolds (2 days ago)
Absolute BS! Man, come on, you should have taken note of sum of your fellow TEDX correspondents cuz your story is an obvious lie, and once you lose trust in your audience you lose your audience! Nice try!
Jon Davis (2 days ago)
Pistol Soob (2 days ago)
the crying part was corny
ASMRbitrary (2 days ago)
Next up Sal the sociopath.
Sarah Hase (2 days ago)
“Your family members are dead, don’t do meth”
Aaron Blanchard (3 days ago)
R.I.P Nathan
JEbLC (3 days ago)
This man the type to tell you how to tie shoelaces in an entertaining way ..
JEbLC (3 days ago)
Nathan watching this like: I trust you and you spill the beans to the world ..??
Sean Thompson (4 days ago)
Are people on here claiming to be meth addicts for attention?🤔 People are weird a.f.
Heff A (4 days ago)
The sarcasm was a good give away. Your jokers are usually quite troubled.
UnitedRaccoon57 (4 days ago)
Y is everyone talking about people who are saying his breathing is weird I saw one comment on his breathing and 50 talking about all the comments talking about his breathing
Tracey Segarra (4 days ago)
I teach storytelling to individuals and organizations and have been looking in vain for a great TedTalk to show people how to tell a compelling story and then tie it back to their work. You did it brilliantly, seamlessly, and beautifully.
Isabah Khondaker (4 days ago)
i actually thought it said "math"
photojones1 (5 days ago)
I am an ex user of meth back in the early 90's when I started using I took a 1/3 of an 1/4 gram of meth I stayed up for 9 days by the time I was kicking two years later I was using 4 grams a day and would maybe be up for a day! So I know what this is all about unfortunately. The trick to get passed sleeping all the time (which is one of the reasons people never get off this drug) is when your kicking, grab a gallon of water and hit the sauna for 15 minutes breaking a sweat drink some water, leave the sauna for 15 minutes cool down then go back to the sauna. Do this about four times, then repeat this procedure for a couple of days. What would normally take weeks sometimes months for users to get passed sleeping all the time will be reduced to three to four days. YMMV The person that showed me this saved my life, hopefully you will use this to do the same!
Jed Lawson (5 days ago)
15 year old meth addict? Seem's a bit far fetched, more likely contrived for this story.
Jason Tan (5 days ago)
BitzTurn Byte (5 days ago)
This guy needs to look up the definition of leadership because, for some reason, he is trying to confuse leadership with courage. The kid taught him what courage is, not leadership. The kid taught him what vulnerability looks like, not leadership.
Lizardo'clock (5 days ago)
Really liked this. Thanks for sharing
sb white (5 days ago)
"teacher" that doesnt understand common sense until now lol wow
Youngsung Sim (5 days ago)
Did anyone else think that at first the vid said math addict?
vishnu Jyo (6 days ago)
Good Will Hunting? Anyone?
Teddy (6 days ago)
Dude has me crying.
J Ignatius (7 days ago)
You can not be effective working with people with addiction to drugs and/or alcohol unless you're an addict yourself. I don't care how many degrees you have. If you're not an addict you cannot possible understand addiction.
balbinder bains (7 days ago)
you can bring horse to water but cant make him drink it as they say
Maddybruhhh (7 days ago)
I can totally relate cuz I’ve been around a lot of people like this in my life.
Nathan Dean (7 days ago)
My names nathan and a drug addict what a premonition
Nandez (7 days ago)
Sounds like he just ran a marathon.
Aaron Hicks (8 days ago)
Mr.Charles (9 days ago)
I cried a little at the end there...
kamran bartley (10 days ago)
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MiXA28 (10 days ago)
Why is everyone talking about his breathing? If you understood and listened to what Brian had to say, you wouldn't notice it.
Cole Nagel (11 days ago)
Can we please find Nathan
Zoey (11 days ago)
Absolute heartbreaker of a story and such a riveting speacher and actor. The audience is just like "WOW; what a moment!"
ImGoingSSJ (12 days ago)
Damn. Looking back at my severe drug use and constant failure to achieve or act out any goals this was exactly the issue. Of course I knew I wanted a family, career, friends, it's just the previous experience has made both my conscious AND subconscious see for themselves the failures and that I CANT sustain the plan whether i want to believe or not, it just hurts to say it out loud when you know it will never happen as the memories of previous disappointment wash over. So in defense I said like nathan, that I wanted nothing, just the euphoria or something sarcastic. I didn't want to commit to " i will do that" when even my subconscious knew I was gonna fail. And it's not a selfpity or illusion, you seriously can't even imagine the actual amount of catastrophic failures an addict has been through to get even a lousy shot at normal life, even strong willed people begin to unconsciously stray away from taking care of self, belittle themselves and learn to intentionally NOT set goals out of simple fear of another failure. You develop a reflex to do exactly the opposite of setting a goal, perhaps the subconscious trying to protect ya? if I hit your head with a brick every day you will develop protective reflex and flinch way before and avoid anything that leads you there again. Normal people have just a few(comparatively)catastrophes so they didn't get a chance to break, if they still have such hope in "its gonna be ok".
Shalynne Espich (12 days ago)
"the part that still believed in himself" this is what you should get from the video if i have to tell you. As a 15 year old girl, I must tell you every outlandish dream and thought of myself being great at something and enjoying it has been put down or laughed about. Let kids dream, let adults dream, let people believe the best in themselves
Zuri Reynolds (14 days ago)
I’m 53 seconds in and I’m already distracted by his breathing.....
Echo (14 days ago)
This made me tear up........
ArmadylRush (14 days ago)
Why are you out of breath😂
JD Williams (14 days ago)
Kylar Lee (14 days ago)
Yeah dude, meth is pretty great😋
aviel Meghnagi (15 days ago)
Nathan for president
Kane Settree (15 days ago)
Single best video I’ve ever watched
I've been all around the grelobe. Globe.
Raymond Maglaris (15 days ago)
I almost cried when Nathan admitted his fear. I had that same moment in my method addiction where I had no hope and was so scared.
TΛBBY (16 days ago)
_Horrible human being, taking in oxygen and converting it to carbon dioxide._
Rocco Kelly (16 days ago)
I hope Nathan sees this.\
Sean Lee (16 days ago)
This reminds me of a saying told to me a while back. "The most important question is, 'What is your next step?'.
Clint Reeves (16 days ago)
Dude is a bad actor
chris (16 days ago)
this is quite the title
ReMastered (17 days ago)
Lol, I thought the title was 15 year old math addict Had to read it like 4 times
Alex Wasser (18 days ago)
save you some time: "don't do drugs" you're welcome
Dadan 2 (19 days ago)
So many people talking about the breathing is cracking me up, even the people who say it doesn’t bother them
NecessaryElements (19 days ago)
Anyone know how to spell ajewke? Can't find anything but heavy breathing bollocks in the comments.
NecessaryElements (12 days ago)
+Brian Fretwell many thanks.
Brian Fretwell (16 days ago)
keith stoltzfus (19 days ago)
God bless men like this
Brian Fretwell (16 days ago)
Thank you keith
keith stoltzfus (19 days ago)
I can sense the empathy in this guy n it honestly made me cry... I’ve been thru addiction n rehabs n counselors n some most REALLY do care. I’m very empathetic n it’s beautiful but at times it is sooo hard
Cassandra Darling (19 days ago)
beautiful. confidence, courage, vulnerability.
Brian Fretwell (16 days ago)
Very kind of you to say Cassandra
MassDynamic (19 days ago)
11:22 I'll tell you what I want, what I really, really want So tell me what you want, what you really, really want I wanna, (ha) I wanna, (ha) I wanna, (ha) I wanna, (ha) I wanna really, really, really wanna zigazig ah
doctorpaintball (20 days ago)
Great talk
SuPa SnEaK (20 days ago)
Looks like he accidentally swapped his pants and shirt colors 😂
James Borja (20 days ago)
This had virtually nothing to do with leadership. Im disappointed I watch the entire video.
Kat Smith (15 days ago)
it has everything to do with leadership. Work with others so they can be their own leaders.
Louie Goldstein (20 days ago)
ya theres 15 mins of my life i wont get back
Sandy Shores (21 days ago)
Great talk. First TED talk I have ever cried listening to. Wonderful to know that there are (at least some) men out there who are emotionally intelligent. Pretty simple to recognize genuine emotion.
Sandy Shores (14 days ago)
Don't be sorry Brian. I find it a breath of fresh air for men to be honest about how they feel from their heart, and to show it. So many dissociate from their being, the first I expect to embrace trans-humanism. We are meant to "feel". When people stop feeling, they turn their back on their innate intelligence and what makes them human. I cried because I "felt" what you were feeling". All good. :)
Brian Fretwell (16 days ago)
Sorry it made you cry...hopefully a good cry.
krasnowDD (21 days ago)
Why is Nathan?
tensive (22 days ago)
why u cry
Virginia Bushnell (22 days ago)
I died laughing for about 5 minutes when he said he was going to continue using meth when he gets out. That’s just funny.
000makeyourmark000 (22 days ago)
This one sucked
Dakota Hayes (23 days ago)
Huh, it's almost as if drug addicts have actual emotional baggage and are just trying to cope with it with drugs and are probably more than just criminals.
Brian Fretwell (16 days ago)
Funny how long it takes some of us to realize that.
Wing Eater (23 days ago)
For all the people who think that there is no such thing as a 15 year old meth addict, take it from a paramedic, there is a world right under your nose that you don’t even know exists, and it’s not pretty.
Brian Fretwell (16 days ago)
Keep up the good work friend.
Tori L (23 days ago)
never (24 days ago)
ive got chills omg this talk is definitely one of my favorites
Brian Fretwell (16 days ago)
Way cool. Stoked you liked it.
Rufus Mann (24 days ago)
literally cried 😭
Brian Fretwell (16 days ago)
Me too :)
jordan (25 days ago)
do you need your inhaler, sir???
jordan (16 days ago)
Brian Fretwell 😂
Brian Fretwell (16 days ago)
Yes I do
Saimah RamenArt (25 days ago)
I’m in tears 😭
Brian Fretwell (16 days ago)
So was I :)
sano189 (25 days ago)
I'm a 15 yr old math addict
Brian Fretwell (16 days ago)
calculus will get ya every time.
skyler dirienzo (25 days ago)
Just WOW
Brian Fretwell (16 days ago)
Thanks skyler
The voice Of reason (25 days ago)
*Reads the title* He’s talking about lil pump!
Brian Fretwell (16 days ago)
I don't know who little pimp is... and now I feel really old.
papajon. png (25 days ago)
He needs to blow his nose. His nose whistling
Brian Fretwell (16 days ago)
I think my nose might just be too big.
beep bop (26 days ago)
his breathing into the mic pissed me off
Brian Fretwell (16 days ago)
The sound pissed me off too.
Isabella Mayumi (26 days ago)
looks like he had a very exciting moment in life with Nathan lol
Mark Charlton (26 days ago)
"People don't need our answers, they need our participation"
Fredrik Lundgren (26 days ago)
Awesome! Thanks for sharinf this. Awesome speech 💪
Brian Fretwell (16 days ago)
You are welcome Fredik. Awesome response.
Senpie (27 days ago)
not going to lie, I clicked on this thinking that it said math addict.
Brian Fretwell (16 days ago)
+Miniland up all hours of the night, going from lamp to lamp.
Miniland (26 days ago)
What about a moth addict?
Erdők Mintájára (27 days ago)
perfect - thank you for sharing the story.
Brian Fretwell (16 days ago)
you are welcome Erdok.
Devour Wolf (27 days ago)
11:40 is so cringy lol
Ronin larsen (27 days ago)
Wait, he can breath????-Everyone in the comments
John Howard (28 days ago)
This was a great presentation. It was real. The best presentations I have seen are usually based on real life experiences, thank you sir.
Brian Fretwell (16 days ago)
Thanks John, and I totally agree.
Michelle Dyason (28 days ago)
at 4.05, i ask: why do you think people want to be told what to do or it's useful to give them the solutions? what kind of solution is that? are you going to always be there to tell them what to do? give a woman a fish and she'll eat for a day, teach a woman how to fish and she eats for life (iff we get ride of the super trawlers and stop acidifying the oceans). you are essentially cheating, forcing your cheats on to another, we don't learn through cheating.
Michelle Dyason (28 days ago)
this talk put me off ted talks, now i feel sick.
sylvia dailey (28 days ago)
He should find Nathan.
Ludovica Latner (28 days ago)
what happened to Nathan
иєкσ fяєαк (28 days ago)
yall are terrible this talk was inspirational
marco i (28 days ago)
breathe in breathe out. ahh
Sarah Kerrigan (29 days ago)
AND BY THE TIME I GET TO THIS VIDEO IN THE FEED i decide to crawl into a dark dark corner and wish i was never born....e
Blue Warrior (29 days ago)
I thought it said, "Math Addict".
Paul The Pandaren (29 days ago)
Would have rather seen a video of a 15 year old meth addict teaching ME something about leadership
John McSayer (29 days ago)
1:10 aside from teeth grinding there's no "teeth issues" associated with meth. He was just too lazy or poor to be able to brush his teeth.
Constant Z (29 days ago)
Let me guess. Nothing lol.
Rei Swan (30 days ago)
For a moment I was confused whether he is crying or acting.Still I am...

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