Gone with the Wind

Once upon a time, there was a contractor who built wooden houses along the seashore. He constantly advertised for carpenters. However, most people refused to work near the coast as they dreaded the awful raging storms that would wreak havoc on new construction.  Finally, a middle-aged applicant approached the contractor.  “Are you a responsible carpenter?” the contractor asked. The man assured him he was so good that he could sleep before the strong wind blew.

Although puzzled by this answer, the contractor, desperate for help, hired him on probation. Much to the contractor’s delight, the man worked hard and smartly. Then one night, the wind howled. Startled, the contractor jumped out of bed and rushed to the carpenter’s sleeping quarters, and yelled, “Get up! A storm is coming!”

The man rolled over and firmly said, “No, sir. I told you, I can sleep before the wind blows.” Enraged by the response, he hurriedly stepped out to assess and control the damage. To his amazement, he noticed tarpaulins covered the new construction, the loose furniture securely locked inside, barred doors and tightly closed shutters, and every single thing tied down and safe.

The contractor understood the meaning of “Sleeping before the wind blows.”   

He swiftly confirmed his employment there and then. Years rolled by, and the elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his contractor of his plans to leave the house-building work and live his life at leisure.

The contractor understood his need but was upset to lose one of his best workers. The contractor asked him for one last favor. He wanted him to build just one more house with his complete dedication and efforts. The man agreed, but he was not too happy about the final job; his heart was no longer in his work.  From the very start, he resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. For a master craftsman like him, it was an unfortunate way to end his career.

When the man finished his work, the contractor came to inspect the house and asked him if he was satisfied with his execution.  The man, of course, said yes as he wanted to be done with it all. The contractor smiled and handed the front-door key to him. “This is your house,” he said, “It’s my gift for all the years we worked together.” The carpenter collected the keys with shuddering hands, knowing his new house wouldn’t last after the wind blows!

It was the carpenter’s turn to learn the perils of “Waking up after the wind blows.”

The same carpenter, split story. Why?

No doubt, the carpenter was goal-driven. He looked forward to his profession in the first half and his retirement in the second half. Unfortunately, he allowed his goals to overwhelm his passion.

Often the quality that defines successful people is not their goal-driven thought process. Instead, it’s the passion they are able to put behind their daily duties – regardless of the outcome, headwinds, or sleeplessness!

Headwinds, Adapted, Leader


  1. So true…it all depends how neatly we finish our each duty no matter how small and big it is.

  2. Your short inspiring stories do have a purposefull moral and definitely motivate us.

  3. So Touching Story

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Gone with the Wind - Arun Nathani Blog