There is a fish that is considered by many as one of the world’s most beautiful fish for its vivid colors and markings. This fish is the Japanese carp, or koi. Japanese legend tells the story of 360 carps swimming up river to reach the Dragon’s gate. However, only one carp was able to swim over to the other side. This carp transformed into a Dragon the instant it leapt out of the water. It was that one carp—with perseverance and strength of purpose—that accomplished its dream of greatness.
The tale of the Japanese carp is a very good metaphor for our own ambitions in life. We all have dreams but only a few will find the perseverance and courage necessary in the pursuit of that dream to build something bigger than ourselves. And almost everyone dreams of doing something special, whether it’s being the best bartender, the most sought after lawyer, the most admired yoga instructor, or that entrepreneur who comes up with the next big thing. Our ambition is what drives us, and our dream is what guides us.
Human ambition like the Japanese carp grows proportionately to the size of its environment. Our ambition, being the root of all our achievements, grows according to the size of our dreams and the degree to which we are in touch with our mission. Yet, many believe that ambition is only meant for a few, that we could follow our dreams only if our lives were different, only if we were at the right place at the right time.
Having a deep ambition in life can convert us from being ordinary into being extraordinary. Especially for entrepreneurs, the initial dream and then the perseverance and courage exercised in the pursuit of the dream are the beginning stages of turning the impossible into the possible. And to get started, you must find your unique dream.
In each one of us resides a perfection that is unique to us. This unique perfection is similar to a fingerprint. We leave a print, whether positive or negative, on everything we encounter in this world. To propel our dream, we have to discover that stream of pure positive energy in us. From there, you will understand your own unique way of changing the world and the brilliance in you. You must believe that you are great, that there is something magnificent about you. Regardless of what has happened to you in the past, regardless of your age, the moment you begin to think properly and tap into this energy, your dream will emerge and take over your life.
You must believe, as an entrepreneur, that your dreams and determination combined can produce greatness However, you must have the willpower to stay on the path, and hold on to your dream under adverse circumstances. This dream will eventually transform itself into your purpose in life. It will become the deepest river in your startup that answers the question; “What difference are you trying to make?” Your tactics will change, your marketing will change, your mission might too, but your purpose never will. You build this 24 hours, seven days a week. Every startup that survived and is now thriving has a strong sense of purpose. If you don’t have a purpose or if you constantly change it, you will be looking for love in all the wrong places.