Can you stand on one leg with your eyes closed?

Yesterday, at the gym, my trainer put me through a mini ‘circuit training workout’.

For those who are unfamiliar with the gym regimens, a ‘circuit training workout’ consists of performing a set of exercises, chosen by the trainer for the workout session, one after another in quick succession. The chosen exercises are performed with no rest in-between successive exercises. Completion of all exercises is considered a circuit and as decided by the trainer, 2 to 5 circuits are completed in a single ‘circuit training workout’ session. Circuits are designed with specific fitness goals in mind.

In today’s session, the circuit included the following exercises: free squats, static squat hold, extended arm rotation, standing bicycle crunches, lunges, lying ab crunches, spine extension (cobra stretch) and finally, balancing on one leg with eyes closed. For each exercise in the circuit, the trainer had prescribed specific number of repetitions (reps). I repeated the entire circuit itself, 5 times.

Of these exercises, the toughest and the most unnerving for me was the last one, which was ‘one-legged-blind-balance-test’ or ‘one-legged balancing with eyes closed’. You do not have to imagine how the trial looks, you can see the picture below instead:

One-legged balancing posture (Source:

One-legged balancing posture (Source:

For each leg, I could manage to hold my balance for barely 4 seconds. I tried all sorts of posture variations like stretching my arms sideways (parallel to the ground), partially extending my arms sideways (at approximately 45 degrees from my body), resting my palms on my hips etc. Nothing seemed to help me go beyond 4 seconds, that too with struggle. However, with my eyes partly open, I could manage about 9 seconds. With eyes fully open, of course, I could stand for 15 seconds on each leg. Another striking experience was, when I was balancing with eyes fully open, I shut my eyes in the middle and the moment I blinded myself, I started losing balance and did not last for more than 4 seconds thereafter.

Now you may be wondering “What does this mean to me, you or anyone for that matter”?

In our daily physical existence, every moment – be it in lying, sitting, standing, walking or running posture – our body performs an amazing act of balancing and coordinates an intricate teamwork among brain, eyes, ears, muscles, nervous system, joints and bones. Many of us take life for granted and go through our daily motions, blissfully careless about our bodies, their complex mechanism and highly intelligent functioning, until we run into an exceptional situation like the ‘one-legged-blind-balance-test’, when our bodies falter and fail. They signal to us something critically important and if we refuse to pay heed, we would surely be scripting a painful epilogue for our life.

In this backdrop, let us see, what this 4-second struggle for the ‘one-legged-blind-balance-test’, means to us.

Various studies have independently established that the balancing duration ranges from 30+ seconds for a youth of ’30 years and below’ up to 4- seconds for an old person of ’70 years and above’. Conversely, if you and I are able to stand unshaken for barely 4 seconds in the ‘one-legged-blind-balance-test’, we are equal, in strength, reflex, coordination and overall balance, only to an old person of 70+ years, regardless of our actual age. If we hold our balance for 15+ seconds, for example, we are equal to a 40+ year-old person.

So, in the process of trying and failing to hold my legs and body still, today I actually felt feeble and infirm like a geriatric, even though my actual age is 51 years and 5 days. ‘So what’, my mind valiantly tried to suggest to me even as I felt like ignoring the signal as an insignificant, passing noise. “I was anyway training hard on other days in tougher workouts involving all kinds of muscles and movements. What if I do not get one stray exercise right”, I thought. But, I sensed something awfully wrong somewhere and felt a major incongruity between my tough workouts on the one hand and the not-so-admirable state of fitness that the ‘one-legged-blind-balance-test’ exposed, on the other.

My sense of disconcertion led me to look for more information on this exercise and the interpretation of its results. This is what my search revealed to me: The ability to balance on one leg is an important test for brain health. Inability to hold our balance in ‘one-legged-blind-balance-test’, is much likely a symptom of some other underlying disease, slow and progressive brain damage, etc., which raises the risk of critical events in old age, like stroke and dementia. Poor ability to balance, moreover, could increase the risk of fall, injury and death in old age. What I assumed as insignificant, turned out to be a marker of critical importance for my well-being, usefulness and success.

It is a fact that as we age, our strength, reaction times, eyesight and flexibility diminish. But, as in many situations of life, this is not a fatal, helpless state. At every stage and every age, we have choices either to continue the status quo or take action and infuse positive change in our lives. For this specific case of enhancing our balancing ability to be commensurate with our actual age, there are many techniques, practices and tools. However, each one of us needs to design a specific lifestyle and regimen that is most suitable for us given our physical and mental constitution.

For all of us walking the path to personal success, what I believe as more important than the details and specific methods, is a holistic approach to our fitness, in which we accord hypercritical priority to all aspects of fitness such as muscle and bone strength, endurance, flexibility, reaction times, focus and balance.

Some cool facts:

1. Do you know that ‘Yoga’ (a group of physical, mental and spiritual practices, which originated in ancient India) has many balancing asanas or poses which help to improve the neuro-muscular coordination? Each of the balancing asana has its own specific benefits. For example, ‘Eka Padasana’ and ‘Eka Pada Pranamasana’ are effective ‘one-legged balancing’ poses, which improve the sense of balance and equilibrium while strengthening the muscles of the legs and lower back.

2. Many birds stand on one leg when resting on the ground.

3. In the Hindu tradition, many sages were said to perform penance, standing on one leg with eyes closed, for several thousand years. The Hindu god, Siva, is depicted in some places in His one-legged posture as ‘Eka Pada Murti’.

4. ‘Single leg balancing’ is a key ability for sports persons to remain injury-free and efficiently generate power in their legs. ‘Single leg balancing’ test is a crucial test for measuring a golfer’s overall balance and stability.

And lastly, whether we are students or sports persons or entrepreneurs or scientists or for that matter, any one with a dream to make a difference, we had better become good at standing on one leg, as it has a direct correlation to our cognitive ability, brain health, physical stability and eventually, our success in our respective chosen fields.

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Winners Win and Losers Lose

Watch Dr. Eric Thomas, directly talking to you in this powerful speech that hits you straight in your heart. You will have no choice but to WIN.

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The Money Is In the List

In my previous post, I had written about freedom from the slavery of employment. I had also summarized the financial success formula in a simple equation, viz., Wealth = f(Value, People). If the People factor is huge, i.e., the LIST OF PEOPLE to whom we can provide value is big, then the Wealth potential naturally increases.

This brings to us the most critical lesson in any business endeavor – The bigger the LIST OF PEOPLE, the higher the wealth we can create and hence the faster we can get to the point of financial success and freedom.

How to create, maintain, give value and monetize such a LIST OF PEOPLE?

In my previous post, I was giving away a free eBook/video and was also referring to a training course on online marketing, which had LIST as its central theme.

While a formal training program will help, some of you will find it lighter and easier to start off with a book that deals with the subject in a lighter way, yet with actionable details. Here is one such book by Jimmy Kim – The Money Is In The List: The Art Of Making Money Online – that could break the ice and get you started on the journey towards financial freedom.

For some of you, this book may give the life-changing “AH-HA” moment. Whatever it is, for many and for sure, it will help discover a method (that has its foundation in online marketing), which will set you on a path to  financial freedom.

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Freedom from lunch box

Last weekend, I chose to stay at home and do something away from my main business of software. On these sort of days, I usually go into a solitary mental journey reflecting on and consolidating my life.

I kept staring out for most part of my Sunday, at the eastern sky from my balcony, thinking of a sad but an instructive aspect of my bygone life. It was about a life of abject slavery into which I lost my 50 vital years – studying what my parents wanted me to, playing what my school forced me to, doing what my employers enjoined me to and in all endeavors of life, blindly following the calf path ( that my predecessor slaves led me into.

All for what? A comfortingly predictable dribble of measly income that guaranteed me subsistence and a templated social identity. As Industrial Trainee, Internal Auditor, Programmer, Project and Program Manager,  I chased money for about 20 years, dragging myself through a burdensome, boring ‘LUNCH-BOX’ routine of ‘8 am to 8 pm’, which often times, sneaked into my bedroom in the form of conference calls and late-night mail exchanges. I did keep earning money, but gradually lost age, health, energy and enthusiasm. The chase never seemed to stop. To earn a living, I was trading my life.

Towards the end of 2003, I had this fateful realization – THAT, all along, I had been remarkably ACTIVE (in right earnest) but lacking any GOAL or DIRECTION.

What does that mean, anyway? Had I, a goal while starting my career, for example, reaching ‘a million dollar’ mark in wealth, my life course would have been totally different. I would not, perhaps, have slumbered in back-office. Instead of learning databases, programming and software architecture, I would have, perhaps, learned sales, marketing and communication. I would have built a following and touched the lives of many. I would have reached the ‘million dollar’ mark, well early in life without having to cage my potential up in a superannuation pack.

With that startling discovery of a gap in my life, I woke up from 2 decades of blissful ignorance, to a possibility of escaping this plodding drudgery and start living a life of fresh financial freedom, by learning and doing those few right things, which nothing of my life pursuits till then had taught. In fact, they had jailed me into so much of borrowed, stale ideas, which nullified my entire existence until then.

In October 2003, I, almost impulsively, chucked my ‘LUNCH-BOX’ routine. I disengaged from employment and embarked on an exciting journey of self-discovery, through my entrepreneurial venture. From then on, it has been a physically and intellectually arduous trek but never with the same lingering stress as used to be in the past.

Back to the weekend reflection …

For the first time, since I started on this journey I was kind-of strongly egged-on from within by a voice that I must start sharing my experiences to others who might be on similar paths, or might be going through the conflict, which I suffered, before I decided to become conscious and abort the nightmare, as it were.

Though, every traveler along the path of this freedom is bound to have his or her own specific discoveries, I felt that there are a few meta-lessons that are common to all and I would be fulfilling my bounden duty in sharing the essential lessons that I have stumbled upon.

So here are my lessons, distilled for you, as I certainly do not wish that you too struggle through the same maze that I got trapped into for a long distressing duration.

1. MONEY is not the same as WEALTH.
Money is what we strive for and earn. It is meant to be spent. Once spent, it dries up. We have to keep chasing it. Wealth, on the other hand, is VALUE. It represents the value that we have created for others and hence ourselves. It is a fountainhead of money, goodwill, relationships and freedom.

2. We must stop chasing money.
What keeps blocking our wealth and freedom is the basic existential trap – symbolized by the ubiquitous ‘LUNCH-BOX’ … – and we keep citing financial want as the excuse for not giving up the lunch box. Paradoxical, as it may sound, to overcome the financial want, we must stop chasing money and instead start attracting WEALTH. It is a mind-shift that demands courage, faith, sincerity of purpose and commitment.

3. WEALTH can be attracted only by delivering VALUE.
If the VALUE is high, we attract huge wealth. If the VALUE is modest, the reflection of wealth is also so. A second critical factor that influences wealth is the number of people we reach our VALUE to. The more the number of people, the higher the wealth attracted. This simple equation will help us get this principle to heart: W = f(V, P), where ‘V’ stands for the value that we deliver and ‘P’ represents the number of people, whom we deliver our value to.

4. It is possible for everyone to become wealthy.
Delivering value and attracting wealth is not the exclusive privilege or blessing of a few. It is as universally available as the elements. However, to court wealth, we must
a) want it from our core
b) respect our gut and trust that it is legitimate to want so
c) believe that it is a definite possibility like so many discoveries that sounded like miracles to start with
d) learn the right and sustainable principles of attracting wealth
above all,
e) TAKE ACTION i.e., invest the required efforts, diligently and intelligently

If you are wondering – “It all sounds fine, but where do I start? Where do I first learn some legitimate ways to start earning regular income, before I think of BIG TIME wealth creation?”, you are right. We have to take baby steps before we try the big leap. We have to learn one simple method among many proven ways, and more importantly start TAKING ACTION.

I too wondered like you, until I stumbled upon an eBook that showed one simple but powerful way to start taking action immediately. I liked many things about the book including its cool style and lightweight presentation of some simple methods to start your journey towards freedom. But I liked it for one other important reason too – it opened my eyes to certain crucial principles of life, viz.:

1) Everyone – I repeat every one of us – regardless of our family history, financial state and educational background MUST learn and master the fundamental skill of SELLING. As Dan Kennedy stresses – we must not be squeamish about selling what we believe to be of value to others.

2) To sell, we need to identify value but – value need not always be created by us. We can be instruments or agents or channels of delivering value created by others.

3) Selling is for and about people and relationships. To scale big-time, we must have a large following of people who are benefited by the value that we deliver.

Apart from these meta, the book also opened a new world of possibility for me through online marketing methods and tools, through which, I have discovered a lot of simple secrets and have immediately started putting them to work.

So, I stop my mail here and let you unravel the goodness direct from the source.

The free eBook is available through the link: The book also contains link to a free video by ‘Jimmy Kim’ (author of the eBook).

I have read the eBook and seen the video. To be honest with you people, I also went ahead and subscribed to (i.e., bought) the training course offered by Jimmy Kim and his team. Personally, I have drawn immense sense from the free lessons as well as the paid training course.

While you may or may not go the whole hog like me, you may at least want to first partake of the insightful lessons from the eBook and the video.

Here is, once again, link to the free eBook:

Wishing you freedom from ‘LUNCH BOX’ soon.

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