A mindset shift for mastering a disadvantage

Jonathan Roseland
10 min readMay 17, 2023
From How to Be Cross Eyed: Thriving Despite Your Physical Imperfection — a mémoire and lifehacking manifesto. Download and listen with the Castbox.FM app

I’m not going to suggest something silly like that your physical imperfection actually gives you an advantage. It doesn’t. Well-meaning friends, family, or self-help gurus may try to convince you that it’s somehow a blessing to have this physical imperfection, but it’s really not.

Many people are just born with their physical imperfections and as a result, do not know what life would be like without it. My crossed-eye gives me a unique perspective of having lived without a physical imperfection and now with one. I was a quite good-looking young man, yet over 10 years I became quite cross eyed. So unlike someone who was born with it, I got to experience how people react to and treat me differently as a cross eyed guy than they did as an otherwise handsome young man.

The line of advice that you’ll hear repeatedly from gurus and your parents is that you should just pretend that you don’t have this glaringly weird physical feature. If it doesn’t matter to you, it won’t matter to anyone else — this advice almost always comes from people who don’t have a physical imperfection. It’s well-meaning, but not true, people will treat you differently. You do have a disadvantage.

The truth is that your physical imperfection…

Will make it more difficult for you to make friends.

Networking, parties, and social events will be a little awkward for you.

Makes you less attractive to the women (or men) that you find most attractive and would like to date or have intimate relationships with.

Makes you more of a target of muggers and petty criminals with bad intentions.

Is a factor in your candidacy for jobs that you interview for (although the hiring managers would never admit this to you).

Is likely a disadvantage to your fitness and health.

May hurt your effectiveness as a salesperson.

Will be an impediment to you having a successful public life if your aspirations include appearing on stage, on television, in front of a camera or an audience.

If you let it.

It’s easy to assume that this most conspicuous feature of yours, that jumps out the most when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror, is what people will remember you for and the truth is that it will be, again, if you let it. By default, you will just be the weird-looking guy (or gal) unless you consciously cultivate and sculpt yourself into something else.

This book is about how to do that. There are plenty of books out there about making friends, dating, or being successful in your career but none of them approach these pursuits with the unique handicap of a physical imperfection.

There is a subtle yet powerful advantage in your physical imperfection. I’m not going to tell you right now what it is or how it works. Very few people have uncovered and unlocked this subtle advantage, I’ve met almost none personally. I have though, figured it out myself…

  • It’s jump-started my career, given me remarkable job prospects, and has come to fruition in the enviable position I’m now in; making good money and doing what I love. I’m respected for what I do and I have almost complete freedom with my time.
  • It’s empowered me to make real friends and enjoy intimate relationships.
  • It’s given me powers of influence and persuasion.
  • It’s given me the means and boldness to travel the world; I lived abroad for years in six different countries; Bulgaria, Colombia, Germany, Spain, and Ukraine.

I hope you’ll read this book with keen attention as I’ll reveal it to you in these pages!

I’ve maintained a popular website LimitlessMindset.com and a video channel for several years that’s not really about physical imperfections or being cross eyed, it’s about Biohacking, lifehacking, anti-aging science, and other things that I find interesting.
These are topics that I touch on in this book as they are relevant to thriving despite a physical imperfection but there’s a lot more information on my website, over 400 articles and I’ve produced several hundred infotaining videos. Some of this is quite dry technical information, how-to guides, or scientific meta-analysis of, for example, different performance-enhancing drugs that I use whereas this book is very story-driven and should be enjoyable reading.

Over the past 10 years, I spent more time with personal development practitioners than theorists, specifically entrepreneurs and seducers. By entrepreneurs, I mean people who are actually doing business, who own and operate businesses, not wantreprenuers — people trying to figure out how to start a business, who I certainly don’t have anything against. I’ve been a wantreprenuer, I just don’t hang out with them that much. By seducers, I mean men who are devoted to the art, practice, and science of seducing women.

You don’t have to be an entrepreneur or a seducer to thrive despite having a physical imperfection, but hanging out with these types of people produces the most interesting experiences that make the best stories.
These are not the kinds of people that are going to while away an afternoon smoking weed and playing video games, nor are they going to spend hours debating politics over dinner. They are a whirlwind of action, they are just busy.

There are much better books than this one about entrepreneurship and seduction by authors who have made a lot more money or seduced a lot more women than I but this book will discuss the unique challenges I’ve faced in these domains and how I’ve managed to overcome them.

Definition of Physical Imperfection

Some people may ask

How do you define a physical imperfection?

and then say

Aren’t we all physically imperfect? Almost all of us are less beautiful than an airbrushed Kim Kardashian or Channing Tatum…

Well yes, but some of us have conspicuous physical imperfections. Thanks to a birth defect, accident, medical condition, or just an unlucky roll of the genetic dice we have something about us that is not within the normal spectrum of the natural human physical form. It’s likely the first thing that people notice about us when they meet us.

Social Commentary

Modern society has this ostensible obsession with victimology; with trying to help the less privileged in society. If you were born with the wrong

Skin color

Religion

Accent

Gender

Sexual orientation

Supposedly you are at a great disadvantage to someone more demographically average and at every major institution or corporation you can find offices, officers, programs, quotas, or diversity groups that will advocate for you in an effort to equalize your access to (or the outcome of) opportunity.

Yet if you have a physical imperfection, which I think is a real disadvantage, nobody cares. Other than maybe your mom, nobody is going to give you a leg up or a handout to help you overcome the disadvantage you face because of, well, your face!
Sometimes when discussing politics I’ll joke that I’m going to start a cross-eyedism political advocacy group to promote equality for cross eyed people.

Cross-eyedism will begin producing and distributing persuasive propaganda about the statistical disadvantages we face (because of our asymmetrical faces) and trying to engineer society to accommodate our disability.

For example:

As a cross eyed guy, I’d like to be a high-speed race car driver but people tell me that’s impossible because of my vision! It’s just not fair!
So as a group, we can get a politician to make a new rule that NASCAR or Formula 1 races may not exceed 50 MPH because that’s the kind of velocity at which people like us who don’t see the world in three dimensions could safely race high-performance automobiles around a track. I would never be able to win a race against these guys that can go +200 MPH, it’s just not fair!

The feminist, socialist, or ideological young person that I’m cheekily debating will begin to squirm (literally or intellectually) as I draw this silly comparison between the kinds of political policies they believe in which are aimed to help other groups of people in society and my being cross eyed.
We have these fiery public debates about accommodating, for example, transgendered people who make up a tiny percentage of the population, but you will never see a politician, CEO, or celebrity advocate to make life better for cross eyed people.

Disabled?

At universities, some corporations, in government, and other institutions around the world there is this growing political influence of advocacy for the disabled. These are offices, officers, and programs that exist to try to help the disabled. I regard this as a cancerous scourge that actually hurts the people it pretends to help.

I urge you to stay out of the disability office and away from the benefits system.

The problem is that there is an ever-expanding definition of disabled. The benefits these offices offer can be very tempting. These benefits and programs are insidious teachers of learned helplessness; teaching you that you can’t solve any of your own problems. That you need the government, or some institution or authority to solve your problems for you. This is like heroin, these disability advocates will get you hooked on their “free stuff” and then with predictable certainty at some point in the future when you’re totally dependent on “the system” they’ll take it all away and you’ll be royally screwed!
Recently I listened to this interview about how in Canada’s universities, academic accommodations for the disabled are increasingly being considered a human right. This absolutely undermines the integrity of academia and in the long term hurts those it pretends to help.
What’s happening is that the disability offices are demanding that the academic standards be lowered drastically for anyone disabled. If you can convince a campus psychologist that you are depressed, you join the illustrious ranks of disabled students and the professors must make things extremely easy on you.

The free market is pretty smart, the best firms and employers know that the standards are being lowered for anyone with a unique characteristic that falls under this very, very broad definition of disabled. They won’t admit but they’ll suspect that your professors made things easier for you. Which makes you a significantly less attractive job candidate.
If you’re a younger person who is or will soon be a job seeker, I’d encourage you to include on your resume or mention in your interviews that at no point in your academic career did you receive accommodations for being disabled. If you’re in university or school go to your professors privately and let them know that you expect no special accommodation. Let them know that you can be held to the highest standards without fear of the disability office dragging them through bureaucratic hell.

My personal rule of thumb is to accept the help that comes to me because of the personal voluntarism of the people I have relationships with.
For example: when I first moved to Sofia, Bulgaria I was frustrated with my cell phone service provider, I needed to go down to the store and pay every week for this plan that I didn’t think was a very good deal. I mentioned how this irritated me to the very nice Bulgarian girl I was dating and she volunteered to help me. We went to the store together and she spoke Bulgarian to the employees, explaining my irritation. Then they offered me a much better cell phone service plan than before and the salesgirl even offered to discount it by 50% because I had bad eyes.
Now that’s the help I actually deserved because of the relationship I had! Be extremely suspicious of organizations, institutions, and authorities that are trying to “help you” because you fall into some broad category.

If you’re already acquainted with these disability offices you know that the kind of people that work there or go there for help are kind of weird. None of them are cool people. They just have a needy, insecure vibe. Often they have a victim mindset. They emote a jaded entitlement, they think society owes them something. They are really not the kinds of people that you’d like to be friends with, go on a date with, or hire to work with. If we’re being honest, a lot of people in these disability offices are kind of depressing to hang out with. I’m sorry, call me selfish but life is just too short to hang out with depressing people!

As a general rule in life, you want to hang out with people that are better than you because they will make you better.

  • Hang out with people that are richer than you and you’ll get richer.
  • Hang out with people smarter than you and you’ll become more intellectual.
  • Hang out with people funnier than you and your sense of humor will improve.
  • Hang out with people in better shape than you and you’ll be more motivated to hit the gym and eat right.
  • Go dancing with people that are better dancers than you and you’ll become a better dancer.

How are other disabled people better than you?

That’s all the political commentary you’ll hear from me! The takeaway is that nobody is going to help you overcome the significant challenges you face because of your appearance. You’re going to need to help yourself!

To summarize

  • Your physical imperfection will by default be the defining aspect of your identity if you let it.
  • Spend time with practitioners, not theorists.
  • Hang out with people better than you.
  • Stay out of the disability office.
Originally published on LimitlessMindset.com. I’m not a doctor, medical professional, or trained therapist. I’m a researcher and pragmatic biohacking practitioner exercising free speech to share evidence as I find it. I make no claims. Please practice skepticism and rational critical thinking. You should consult a professional about any serious decisions that you might make about your health. Affiliate links in this article support Limitless Mindset — spend over $150 and you’ll be eligible to join the Limitless Mindset Secret Society.

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Jonathan Roseland

Adventuring philosopher, Pompous pontificator, Writer, K-Selected Biohacker, Tantric husband, Raconteur & Smart Drug Dealer 🇺🇸