Beware: “Busyness” is a silent predator. It creeps up unnoticed and ends up enslaving you!
Earlier this month I curated and anchored a very powerful Conversation in our #UncommonLeader Series, hosted by the Madras Management Association. My guest in this Edition was K P Krishnan (KP), co-Founder of Klachak.com and Captr.in, two ventures that are democratizing the visual content creation and management space.
I have known KP for over two decades now.
He started off as a factory hand in his own father’s factory and never let anyone know he was the owner’s son. Then, when someone pointed out that he can never escape the fact of who he really was, he quit. After working briefly as an assistant to an ad filmmaker, and after stints at an internet café and a digital marketing firm, he went overseas. He had a glorious 10-year stint in international sales and marketing that took him to over 40 countries.
In 2011, opting out of a “stagnating career”, KP returned to India to be a photographer. But the fashion and wedding photography scene did not excite him. Instead his sharp entrepreneurial acumen spotted an unstated need in the market: there were far too many talented assistants (to senior photographers) who were unable to launch their careers independently because they did not have the means to acquire expensive photography equipment. Seizing the business opportunity, in 2013, KP co-founded (with his partners) Klachak.com – a one-stop rental portal for all photography equipment and accessories. Today Klachak has 6000 customers across India. Its success led KP to launch Captr.in – a specialist Image Processing Outsourcing service – in 2017. In just two years, Captr has over 600 image processing experts catering to the needs of institutional and retail customers across a diverse spectrum of industries. Between Klachak and Captr, customers can rent cameras, lights and other accessories, shoot images and videos, even rent a studio, and have all their post-production requirements serviced! Simply, KP’s entrepreneurial offerings have democratized the visual content creation and management space. And this has been achieved with a collective, on-board, team size of just 30! (Catch my #UncommonLeader Conversation with KP here.)
Yet, KP’s not the typical, stressed out, forever-running-on-a-treadmill, hyper-obsessed entrepreneur. He’s really a cool, fun, ideas guy! Important, while he invests himself in every idea he conceives, owns and leads, he never gets stuck in any of them. Which is why, despite running thriving ventures, he finds the time to play the drums and jam with his music gang; he cycles and treks, he is an avid wildlife photographer and loves goofing off with his family. To me, he’s able to be this way, only because he is always on his businesses; he’s never in them!
And there lies the big secret to a living full, meaningful, Life. A secret that KP intuitively knows and something that you too can learn.
Which is, at every stage you must pause, reflect and ask yourself these questions: Why am I doing what I am doing? Is what I am doing making me happy despite the challenging, punishing schedule I maintain? Are the outcomes of my efforts flowing freely although there is a lot of hard work involved? Or am I constantly struggling, suffering, harried and unhappy?
Simply, asking these questions help you train yourself in the important skill of being on the business (of whatever you do) and not get mired in it! This means, on a spiritual plane, as the Bhagavad Gita says, learning to live in the world and yet be above it; and as the Bible too says, be in the world but not of it! And in a practical, every day, sense, this means knowing when and where to draw the line between doing something that gives you joy – while engaging you intensely and immersively – and doing something that suffocates you, that drains you of all energy and takes away your Happiness! This further means choosing wisely – choosing not to do most of all that which makes you unhappy.
Beware:“Busyness” is a silent predator. It creeps up unnoticed and ends up owning your Life. It camouflages itself as passion and seduces you with a slew of worldly success measures – fame, money and power. Or it presents itself as seemingly unavoidable social responsibilities disguised as familial needs and cultural values. It often reasons strongly, logically, making you believe that you are doing the right thing by postponing your Happiness. It uncannily keeps warning you that something grave will happen if you don’t busy yourself with more things to do (TTD). And pretty soon, unwittingly, you are a slave of your “busyness”. You keep on doing stuff because you just have to do them; not doing them makes you restless, nervous and scared. Worse, sometimes, you end up doing things only to keep other people happy! Undoubtedly, eventually, “busyness” is an addiction – as ruinous as smoking or alcohol is.
To be sure though, “busyness” is not doing many, many things. It is not about being busy and not having enough time on your hands. It is about inflicting a lot of activity upon yourself without a sense of Purpose, without mindfulness, without understanding what matters most in your Life and why!
I talk from my lived experience. I have lived that unintelligent Life for over a decade. I have forsaken many a family milestone, skipped several school events of my children and have found myself working from cinema halls or dinner tables and even on Sundays and while on vacations. I often convinced myself to be this way with a powerful rationale. I always wanted to grow our business and make it a world-beater. I always wanted fix things at work now, instantaneously. I always thought there would be another day, when there would be no pending TTDs when I could retire, relax and live Life happily ever after. And then the bankruptcy happened in end-2007 – a material state that we continue endure. Thankfully, it jolted me awake up from my stupor! (Read more here in my book: Fall Like A Rose Petal) Else, I may not have lived to tell you my tale, to share what I have learned about intelligent living – from Life!
And this is what I have learned. Your Life is a limited-period offer. Whatever you want to do, must be done in this lifetime of yours. Before it is all over. And believe me when your number is called, you have to go, no matter who you are and how much of your business here, on this planet, remains unfinished. So, don’t postpone your Happiness. Don’t allow yourself to get mired in the business of everyday challenges. Hoist yourself above them all. Review and reprioritize what you want to do daily – surely, choose whatever must be done to earn a living, but please also choose to do all that which makes you come alive! Simply, don’t squander your time here allowing yourself to be held hostage by your “busyness”!
Note: AVIS and Vaani are the happynesswalas. They believe their Life’s Purpose is Inspiring ‘Happyness’! They are going through a fascinating Life-changing experience – a crippling bankruptcy!! Look them up here: www.avisviswanathan.in and www.avinitiatives.co.in.
I can fully empathize with Ambati Rayudu. I have been there, done that. Over time, I have realized that getting angry with people, events, situations and Life is of no use. It is what it is. So, wanting to be seen as one who has been wronged may soothe one’s ego, but Life – people/establishments/the system – doesn’t ever bother. Life just goes on. And you continue to sulk, being unhappy…until you realize the futility of it all. So, the big lesson I have learnt is…keep playing your game (whatever it is), without expectations, for the sheer joy of playing…just that…nothing more…and as long as you are playing…no one, nothing in fact, can ruin your Happiness!