Independence vs Freedom

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Independence and freedom are oft understood as one and the same. However, even if we are independent, we may not be free.

We educate and work to become financially independent. A person may be living independently, possessing all the money he requires to have a desired standard of living but may still not feel free to enjoy the money he has earned or feel successful. For instance, if our relationship with money is driven by that I have to work hard and keep saving for a rainy day,there is a sense of constraint. Whereas, if the relationship with money is governed by the sentiment that I have the ability to create money, there is an instant shift in perspective and the freedom to also enjoy the money that one earns.

I have lived an independent life but did I always feel free with myself, No. I was bound by the shackles of perception, self imposed limitations and unable to enjoy my humanness and life of abundance. There was a mistaken belief that I need to prove that I can live independently without asking for support. That was my ego coming in the way. A CEO grows to the top only when he is supported by a successful team below.

As a child, we are dependent upon our family and once again as we age, we become physically dependent. I realised that we are all inter-connected and born to support each other. I need to gain freedom from this ego or sense of separateness that comes in the way rather keep struggling to prove my ability to be independent and in fact enjoy the support and love that I get from the relationships in life. Love enriches life.


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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