I got this parable from a friend. I have made some changes to 'tidy' it up a bit, and to better explain the story.
"Master, I want to be a famous sculptor. What Should I do?" said the young apprentice.
"Well," replies the master, "tell me, what kind of a statue would you like to make?"
The young man thinks for a while, and concludes: 'More than anything else. I would like to sculpt a beautiful elephant."
At this the master places in front of this young man a block of stone and a few tools: "Fine. here is some marble, a mallet, and a chisel. All you have to do now is carve away everything that does not look like an elephant."
So the young apprentice begins. A little off here, a little off there. As the work progresses, the refinements become more precise. The rough stone slowly begins to take shape. The edges begin to become smooth and the final product begins to manifest itself.
Moral of the story.
Our life is as the piece of stone and we are the sculptors. We must have a goal, an objective in life, before setting out to achieve anything. As we work towards the goal, our life will begin to take shape. The work itself makes visible the next step to take. And we continue working, refining until we are happy with the product, with ourself - our life.
Who we become is the ultimate achievement of everything we do. Possessions, awards, and positions are superficial compared to the statue of our life which we leave as our legacy for the generations that follow.
Don’t despair if the direction of your life is still not clear to you yet. Keep working at it, keep chiselling away. One day all will become clear.