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Don’t compete. Believe in yourself

By Dr Dhananjay (Jay) Datar

Published: Thu 27 Jan 2022, 9:00 AM

In the last 38 years of my business life, I have never had any enmity or envy towards anyone. I have always avoided aggressive competition from my side. Even today, I compete with myself, believing in the principle of continuous improvement.



But just because you do not set out to make enemies, doesn’t mean you don’t actually have them. People will be jealous of you for no reason. I have experienced such incidents both in India and the UAE. In Mumbai, where I was residing, someone was secretly pouring dirty water and garbage on the roof of my car. When my driver informed me, I kept a watch and caught the culprit. I was surprised when that person turned out to be a lady living on the upper floor who I wasn’t acquainted with. I could not understand the reason for her behaviour towards me. Later, I found out that it was out of pure jealousy. Her husband had faced a massive loss in business, having to sell his luxury car to cover it. His wife, accustomed to a luxurious lifestyle, suddenly found herself living frugally. This made her depressed and she became jealous of anyone who possessed a luxury car. I advised her husband to purchase at least a second-hand car, as his wife was obsessed with owning a car. The gentleman agreed and did so, after which I got rid of the problem.

In the UAE, I have experienced the same jealousy but in a different form. There was a strange lady living in my apartment building. Whenever any resident would take up some renovation work in their flat, this lady would get impatient and start even more expensive renovation work in her house. If anyone bought new furniture, she would sell her old furniture the same day and buy new pieces. Once, her neighbour changed the floor tiles in his flat and this lady became so desperate that she also broke the tiles from her flat, which were in excellent condition. Although her habit of competing with everybody was not harmful to others, she herself was becoming deranged. Later, I found out that her behaviour was a result of her depression. Her husband was so immersed in business that he could not pay attention to his family. Her children were studying abroad. The loneliness made the lady depressed and she began taking anti-depressants and sleeping pills. One night, she went for a drive with her pet dog. She couldn’t control her sleep and crashed her car. She had to be admitted to the hospital. My wife and I went to the hospital where I convinced her husband about spending quality time with his wife. Later, we taught her meditation and with the help of thought control, she abandoned competing with others needlessly.

It is better to improve ourselves than to think about others. I like a quote by James Lendall Basford —"Pure love allows no room for jealousy.”

Dr Dhananjay (Jay) Datar is the chairman and managing director of Al Adil Trading.


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