As a CEO, I hire only PHDs. My definition of a PHD is a superstar who is poor, hungry, and…
Some Of The Best Days Of My Life
I recently received another “Save the Date” reminder for my 20th year Harvard Reunion for this week June 6-9, 2019. Unfortunately, I am too swamped to go to Boston to see all of my friends and classmates.
It is insane how fast time flies. It only seems like yesterday that I was in my 20s when I entered Harvard to get my MBA. Back then, I owned a single suitcase that had all of my life’s belongings. I was so ashamed about my parents’ poverty that I kept it a secret at Harvard. Eating one meal a day is not something you rush to tell people, especially at Harvard. I survived on a few dollars a day, counting to the exact penny on a daily spreadsheet. I could not even afford the subway or bus. And the crazy shit is that my mom ended up living in my tiny dorm room in my 2nd year because she had nowhere else to live.
As a child, I didn’t grow up poor. In fact, I grew up in a loving home with everything I needed, and more. Life only changed when my parents went bankrupt, and literally lost everything, including their home. Poverty tore my family apart. And my father eventually abandoned the family.
One thing that I can tell you is that money has nothing to do with happiness. Those days at Harvard were some of the best of my life. There was an innocence and purity about those days. I was just a kid chasing his dreams. I had an unquenchable fire in my belly to bring my family out of poverty, to do something with my life, to make my mark in this world.
If you are going through a tough time in your life, my advice is to embrace everything as a wonderful opportunity. It is your time to shine. Work hard and drive through it with everything you have. Cherish the lessons. Count your blessings. Never give up. Always remember that the greatest stories in human history are those that involve immense suffering and the triumphant overcoming of it.
Adversity is the mother of greatness. It really is. There is no greatness without suffering. You are more powerful than you know. You see, a clay pot sitting idly in the sun will always be just a clay pot. It is only through the heat and fire of the furnace does a clay pot turn into beautiful porcelain.
We are all just claypots ready to turn into beautiful porcelain. Embrace the fire.
Chatri Sityodtong is a self-made entrepreneur and lifelong martial artist from Thailand. His rags-to-riches life story has inspired millions around the world on BBC News, CNN, Financial Times, Bloomberg TV, CNBC, Channel NewsAsia, and other major media. He is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of ONE Championship, Asia’s largest global sports media property in history with a global broadcast to over 2.6 billion potential viewers across 140+ countries around the world. Forbes most recently selected Sityodtong as one of Asia’s next generation tycoons. He was also named “Asia’s King of Martial Arts” by the Financial Times and the “3rd Most Powerful Person in Sports in Asia” by FOX Sports. He is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at INSEAD, Europe’s top business school. Sityodtong holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Tufts University.