This photo is the last one I ever took with my father. We were at breakfast surrounded by Muay Thai…
The Magic Of Day 1
I am a big believer in ‘firsts’ and ‘happy moments’ because of how special they are. There is real magic in those precious moments. If you think about your first kiss, your first love, your first time in a country, your first time camping, your first time traveling, your first time playing in the snow, or your first time doing something scary, they all leave memories indelibly etched in your soul. The same thing goes for ephemeral moments of happiness when you are truly lost in the now. For me, “firsts” and “happy moments” are some of the most magical moments of life.
There is another deeper extension of these two concepts that I call the Magic of Day 1. It is one of the most powerful tools that I use to keep myself inspired and grateful every step of this journey.
Think about Day 1. Remember your first day of elementary school? Or your first day of high school? Or your first day of a new job? Or your first day in music or martial arts class? Or the first day of a new relationship? On Day 1 of any new adventure or new chapter in your life, you are filled with excitement, gratitude, hope, passion, nervousness, and wonder. You are ready to give everything to it, and you are relentless in your desire to see it succeed. These are the magical ingredients of success in life. Yet, after years go by, most of us forget the magic of that first day. Life becomes routine and maybe even repetitive. Or you might have achieved huge success (or massive failure) that makes you forget about Day 1. Over time, it seems inevitable that most of us become desensitized with this new chapter that has now become a somewhat old chapter. It might be possible that it really is time for a new chapter. Or it might be also possible that you have taken this new chapter (and everyone and everything in it) for granted. Unfortunately, many of us must lose something before we learn to appreciate it. The old adage that “you don’t know what you have until it is gone” is so true.
Luckily, there is an antidote to this poison of taking things for granted. I call it the Magic of Day 1. Whenever I catch myself taking things for granted or complaining about something, I quickly give myself a gut check, and I force myself to remember Day 1. Also, I take myself to a place of gratitude when I think about how far I have come since Day 1. I try to recreate the magic of Day 1 and put myself in an emotional state of joy, wonder, excitement, gratitude, and all of the butterflies of Day 1.
As a hardcore startup entrepreneur, I can tell you that the Magic of Day 1 holds very deep meaning for me. It is my mentality every day at work. You see, it doesn’t matter to me that ONE Championship is a US$1 billion startup today. I don’t dwell on success. I dwell on the keys to success. The truth is that hunger, hard work, and resilience are the keys to success. And those things never change. Today, I work just as hard as I did on Day 1. I vividly remember the first day of ONE Championship like it was the back of my hand. It was us against the world. We had no resources, no team, no advantages, but we had fire, ambition, hunger. The Magic of Day 1 is about fighting for every inch because our future depends on it. The Magic of Day 1 is about ignoring complacency, hubris, and laziness that comes with success. The Magic of Day 1 is about thinking, speaking, acting, and living as if it is Day 1 of your adventure.
There is purity and power in the Magic of Day 1. It doesn’t matter if you are at the beginning or at the end of your journey because the Magic of Day 1 will always bring you back to a time of innocence, gratitude, love, hunger, and dreams.
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 2.7 billion potential viewers across 150+ countries around the world. Forbes most recently selected Sityodtong as one of Asia’s next generation tycoons. Sityodtong was also named “Asia’s King of Martial Arts” by the Financial Times and the “2nd Most Powerful Person in Sports in Asia” by FOX Sports. He is also an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at INSEAD, Europe’s top business school. Inducted recently into the Black Belt Hall of Fame, Sityodtong is a Kru in Muay Thai and a Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Sityodtong holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Tufts University.