I have learned a valuable lesson from my life and that is — if you want to live a content life, you must keep it simple. There is an abbreviated formula, easy to remember and it is called ‘KISS’ (Keep it simple stupid). If we follow it, our life becomes stress-free, calm and happy. I learnt this formula during the latter years of my life, but once assured of its effectiveness, continued for the rest of my life.
In my teenage, I often dreamt of instant wealth. When I stepped into business at a young age, that dream once again came alive, this time with more ambition and vigour. I desired money, success and fame, instantly. My day would start with business and end with business. I ignored the work-life balance, neglected my health, complicated life for myself and suffered as a result. Then and there, I realised the importance of living a simple, happy and peaceful life and implemented the idea in practice. From my diet to life-style and business, I adopted simplicity everywhere.
Even after becoming a billionaire, I didn’t forsake simplicity. I remember a funny incidence. One day, my wife invited one of her friends for dinner. When the lady saw my wife working in the kitchen, she exclaimed: “Oh gosh! I thought you have a cook, I didn’t expect you to cook yourself.” Again, when she saw my simple diet, she remarked: “Datar, it seems that inspite of being a billionaire, you are not yet accustomed to the elite and luxurious lifestyle.” I couldn’t stop myself from laughing. I told her: “Madam, a king also has a lot of wealth and eats from golden utensils, but does that mean he should have gold and pearls on his plate? Hunger can only be satisfied by a few simple food items like roti, rice and vegetables. You need not have hundreds of delicacies at a time. My pleasure is in eating simple but delicious food, prepared by my wife.”
It always surprises me as to why people have this misunderstanding that wealthy people should always live a luxurious life. I have seen hundreds of billionaires in Dubai alone, who are super-rich but never boast about their wealth. They live a simple life, like any other middle-class person, in fact, they do business worth millions of dirhams every day. I salute such people. Once, a curious friend asked me: “Jay, why don’t you own a plane?” I replied: “The answer is ownership cost. It is cheaper to hire a plane than to purchase and own it.”
I like a quote by the author Louisa Thomsen Brits — “When we are content, our daily actions are infused with a quiet satisfaction that we share with those around us. We become aware of and responsible for other people’s well-being and they do so for us.”
Dr Dhananjay (Jay) Datar is the chairman and managing director of Al Adil Trading.