How To Change Your Career: An Inspiring Story With Frank the Builder and the Taoist Monks

Three seconds

just a few seconds is all people need to make first impressions

that’s all it took me to throw a blanket of generalisations over Frank the builder

Frank built supermarkets and carwashes

A no nonsense , knock about sort of guy

Frank went everywhere with a hard hat, roll of plans and the fun to say surveyor’s ‘theodolite’.

That’s easy, I just slotted Frank into the pigeon hole of my preconceptions ..he’s a builder

Then Frank got asked to build a temple

Not just any temple, the largest Taoist temple outside of mainland China, and it was just down the road from where he lives in Australia.

Frank thought this’ll be a laugh so he drew up some plans.

He didn’t bargain on it but he got the job.

First though, the alignment ceremony.

They flew two Taoist masters out from China to align the site to a spiritual energy axis of the water and the mountains.

So Frank rolls up with his hard hat, his plans and his theodolite

but before he can even hammer in his first datum peg the robe clad masters had picked up two sticks, pushed them into the sand and said align the temple to this perfect axis of sea and mountains.

Yeah, right you are said Frank, but his curiosity was piqued, so he followed up on this, and they were spot on.

and the more he asked questions and listened to the answers the more his personal views were challenged

This was a way of thinking he’d never been exposed to before

Frank got curios-er and curious-er

Well the short of it is Frank became a Taoist monk

talk about a transformation (use arm as a visual transformation meter)

he went from meat and mash potato sort of guy to vegetarian

Catholicism to Taoism

from builders boots to toe sandals

Frank, this guy I had so easily pigeon holed as just a builder, inspired me with his courage to follow his convictions.

.. in other words he en-couraged me … en in the sense of to give or pass on … he passed his courage onto me which I carried around, not really knowing what to do with it.

Until one day I found myself in the back of a classroom full of unruly 15 year olds in a school in England. It was a tough school.

How tough? It’s had its own policeman stationed there … and his name was PC Graham Waddington

The reason I was there was in a former life I was a documentary cameraman and I was shooting a documentary on innovative policing.

So there I was filming this policeman talking to a class of 15yr olds about a big problem in the school ‘aerosol sniffing’. He had them under his spell … he had me under his spell.

The bell rang and as the chairs scattered I spied 3 students covertly taking aerosol cans from their bags and quietly leaving them on the table. WOW. One man in less than 30 mins was able to stop 3 kids putting harmful things into their body . Where multi million dollar government programs failed, here was direct action getting results.

and something went off in my head. That was THE MOMENT that I knew I wanted to be standing in front of people speaking directly with people … Ididn’t know how what why where or when.

All Iknew was the courage that Frank, and others like him, had given me,

I i-n-f-u-s-e-d myself with it and my transformation began

I’ve gone from a safe guaranteed job to self employed

back of the room hiding behind a camera to front of the room in front of the camera

I’ve gone from realising that being an expert who sits on his hands achieves less than a beginner who raises his hand and takes a chance.

And you know that courage Frank gave me, I didn’t use it all up, there’s still plenty left

and I’m giving some to you now

so if you feel encouraged by what I say, ‘that feeling’ is you taking courage from me .. I’m happy to give you some … but I can’t take full credit because that’s actually Frank’s courage too

you see courage never dies … we pass just it on … it’s the perfect gift that keeps on giving

so now you can carry it around, and through your actions, pass onto to someone else …that’s how it works

So I’m excited for you because some of you will have transformations

and you’ll know when you do because your head gets giddy with all possibilities and your stomach will be knotted with the what ifs -

don’t worry that’s just the feeling of growing inside this skin package we travel around in.

If you ever feel this, you know what you do?

Grab your hard hat, tuck your plans under the arm, Put your hard hat on, make your plans, tuck them under your arm, and get to it … just like Frank did.

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