<< Danai Chanchaochai, 42, chief executive officer of DC Consultants.
a strange calm and peace that fills Bodhgaya Hall, which welcomes
people from all walks of life Tuesday and Wednesday. It usually provides
170 seats for anyone wishing to take "off" after work to seek peace in
their hearts through meditation and Buddhist teachings.
there was time when as many 800 people joined the session and our
neighbouring office had to keep their door open so the people got more
space to sit and meditate," says Danai Chanchaochai, 42, chief executive
officer of DC Consultants, a strict follower of Buddhist teachings.
space on the 22nd floor of Amarin Tower, Chidlom, must be complete
misuse of "office space", as there are no monetary gain from it.
thinks otherwise. Besides the spacious meditation hall, his office
space is shared by a cosy bookshop that houses mostly books from his
publishing house, DMG Books.
half of all the published books are for sale, the other half are for
free distribution. And the income from selling books will also be
The first thing all his office staff do every morning isn't clocking in their ID cards, but request for precepts.
spending time coaching his staff at work, Danai spends time spreading
the word of Buddha among students and office workers nationwide. Each
year, he preaches at over 1,000 organisations.
This may sound odd to many. Yet, to Danai, this is what he hopes for, a life that he is able to design for himself.
realised that money was so important, a long time ago. Yet, today he
prefers to believe it's just a "life facilitator" that assists ones to
live comfortably. And that should be all.
shouldn't be more important than other things in life ... honestly,
I've hardly seen any billionaires finding true happiness in their
he doesn't want it to sound like a cliche, but the day he realised that
being happy held topmost priority, his life changed.
day that changed his life came when he was a freshman at Assumption
University. Being born rich, it was easy for him to have everything to
keep up his luxurious lifestyle in university, including a beautiful
house and a fancy car. However, things changed when his family's
business went bankrupt leaving him with no income.
Everything he owned was either sold or pawned.
was quite an experience going to a pawnshop. One day, I remember
leaving even a pen with a pawnbroker in exchange for some money," he
were tough yet life went on, including the payment for tuition fees.
Young Danai decided to pay a visit to his old friend - a billionaire who
had everything he hadn't at the time.
still remember that day very clearly. When I entered his room, I found
him sitting on his chair, looking so sad and worrying so much about not
getting his money back from a friend who had owed him.
suddenly hit me hard. This guy had billions in his pocket yet was so
unhappy. So money can't really make one happy. Perhaps, the more you
have, the less happy you are likely to be," he explains.
life's goal changed then - from making a lot of money to seeking true
happiness in life. He decided to fund his own education by switching
from a day to an evening programme and started working full-time.
Eventually, he made his own way.
are too obsessed with money, he cites. "We create our own conditions in
life - which is to have a lot of money. And when we become too
obsessive with something, we tend to be unhappy as we'll want it more
and more and become unhappy if we lose it - never ending need. So, money
ends up using us, not we using it."
whole opinion doesn't go against people making money or suggest anyone
to leave their palaces and live on a street or take a refuge and become
monks. Yet, he says ones just shouldn't hold on to material things too
tightly. He himself has spent, saved and invested. A house, a condo,
land, a life insurance and some mutual funds, he reveals. And the rest
of money usually goes to donations.
He believes in diversification. Clinging on to just one asset may be too risky. Wise risk management should be implemented.
"I don't put my money in stock market, it's too risky. And I don't believe in 'high risk, high return' - that only means greed."
many people are suffering from a loss of their wealth caused by
economic depression and crashes of stock markets worldwide. "That's
because people put their lives on it. However, things change all the
times and people aren't likely to take changes well. So, they're
than holding on to money so tightly and focusing on boosting ones'
wealth, Danai suggests people to build 'richness' from within. The best
investment is investing in ones' minds.
ones should be managing and guarding well isn't their wealth but their
hearts and minds... That's the only way to true happiness."