Drama of Life

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To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring - George Santayana

Seasons are a part of nature’s cycle and we adapt to that change by wearing cool, warm or monsoon gear. Whereas when it comes to our life, we resist change till the rubber band of tolerance is ready to snap. We entangle ourselves in our own web of emotions and then we don’t know how to extricate out of it.

I remember meeting Swami Advaitanandji some years ago, when I got cold feet just before the launch of my book and asked him that what should I do with the book. Swamiji laughed and remarked, why are you even thinking, just do what needs to be done. It sounded simplistic and obvious, yet I agonized for weeks and made life difficult for myself by meeting so many people from PR agencies, book stores, authors and everyone possible. Finally, I did what needed to be done – I sent a personalized note for all friends and colleagues with a copy of my book. The response that I received was better, with least amount of money and time spent. I knew all along that the book was a gift of nature and what was required was selfless sharing of knowledge. I created stress by resisting what was the right thing to do and thinking too much. I got sucked into desire for success, fame, recognition etc and complicated my life.

Why do we think so much? We spend so much time thinking about what’s in it for me, what will happen to me, what if…….these thoughts drain energy and cause fatigue. We refuse to give ourselves a break for even a moment to ask – what is my duty as a human being, what is the best outcome for a win-win solution? We think about worst-case scenarios, how to protect ourselves, how to stay within our comfort zone, how the world and its people are so bad. It’s an list of endless whining. What about us – are we perfect?

Hope is a great gift and curse. It keeps us going but it also slows us down when we can get stuck in wishful thinking. I am reminded of an analogy I heard as a child – a pigeon closes its eyes when it sees a cat in the hope that it will not be able to see the pigeon. Similarly, by pretending or wishful thinking, circumstances do not disappear or correct. No sportsman wins a medal without rigour and action. Life too is a sport, it has its rules, trials and tribulations. Enjoy the Sport.

If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain - Maya Angelou


Knowing and working with Ashu has been a personally and professionally enriching experience. Her worldview has a deep philosophical underpinning and is informed by clarity of thought and tempered by strong sense of honesty, compassion and generosity. Ashu has the desire and the ability to make a difference.

Mr. Jaideep Khanna

CEO & Country Head India, Investment & Corporate Bank, Barclays Capital India

Ashu has worked as a coach with my team on a few occasions to help improve teamwork and team dynamics. Working with a group of type A investment bankers can be pretty tough. Ashu was able to draw out the team to share their views openly in a constructive manner.

Mr. V Anantharaman

MD & Regional Head - Origination and Client Coverage & Co-Head - Wholesale Banking, South Asia, Standard Chartered Bank

I find that Ashu has a knack for cutting to the heart of the matter, no matter how complicated it may be. Her direct approach towards stating the issues up front, and then exploring solutions works very well in a business environment, where time is short and issues are complex.

Mr. Ashok Bajpai

Regional Director, Essar Steel

I have known and worked with Ashu Khanna for a number of years on various programs and have found her to be a very effective coach and trainer. Her programs on leadership and Branding are particularly of high order and clubbed with her unique individual style have proven to be quite impactful.

Mr. Awdhesh Krishna

Global Head - HR, Nomura India

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Being Authentic

"Don't shout" is a commonly used hypocritical statements by a parent to a child. When the command is barked, the child is confused because the parent is expecting contrarian behavior from the child. I too have 'shouted' these words several times and now I laugh at my folly because the words and action never matched. I wonder, was I telling my child or myself to be calm.

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