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The Loser's Guide To Getting Lucky
BBC ^ | 12-26-2003 | Professor Richard Wiseman

Posted on 12/26/2003 8:15:44 AM PST by blam

The loser's guide to getting lucky

By Professor Richard Wiseman
University of Hertfordshire

Why do some people get all the luck while others never get the breaks they deserve? A psychologist says he has discovered the answer.

Ten years ago, I set out to examine luck.

I wanted to know why some people are always in the right place at the right time, while others consistently experience ill fortune.

I placed advertisements in national newspapers asking for people who felt consistently lucky or unlucky to contact me.

Hundreds of extraordinary men and women volunteered for my research and, over the years, I have interviewed them, monitored their lives and had them take part in experiments.

Professor Wiseman's top tips

The results reveal that although these people have almost no insight into the causes of their luck, their thoughts and behaviour are responsible for much of their good and bad fortune.

Those who have succeeded at anything and don't mention luck are kidding themselves

Larry King

Take the case of seemingly chance opportunities. Lucky people consistently encounter such opportunities, whereas unlucky people do not.

I carried out a simple experiment to discover whether this was due to differences in their ability to spot such opportunities.

I gave both lucky and unlucky people a newspaper, and asked them to look through it and tell me how many photographs were inside.

Professor Wiseman's formula came too late for some... I had secretly placed a large message halfway through the newspaper saying: "Tell the experimenter you have seen this and win £250."

This message took up half of the page and was written in type that was more than two inches high.

Anxiety

It was staring everyone straight in the face, but the unlucky people tended to miss it and the lucky people tended to spot it.

Everything in life is luck

Donald Trump

Unlucky people are generally more tense than lucky people, and this anxiety disrupts their ability to notice the unexpected.

As a result, they miss opportunities because they are too focused on looking for something else.

They go to parties intent on finding their perfect partner and so miss opportunities to make good friends.

They look through newspapers determined to find certain types of job advertisements and miss other types of jobs.

Self-fulfilling prophecies

Lucky people are more relaxed and open, and therefore see what is there rather than just what they are looking for.

Luck is believing you¹re lucky

Tennessee Williams

My research eventually revealed that lucky people generate good fortune via four principles.

They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.

Towards the end of the work, I wondered whether these principles could be used to create good luck.

I asked a group of volunteers to spend a month carrying out exercises designed to help them think and behave like a lucky person.

Dramatic results

These exercises helped them spot chance opportunities, listen to their intuition, expect to be lucky, and be more resilient to bad luck.

I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it

Thomas Jefferson

One month later, the volunteers returned and described what had happened. The results were dramatic: 80% of people were now happier, more satisfied with their lives and, perhaps most important of all, luckier.

The lucky people had become even luckier and the unlucky had become lucky.

Finally, I had found the elusive "luck factor" .

Here are Professor Wiseman's four top tips for becoming lucky:

Listen to your gut instincts - they are normally right

Be open to new experiences and breaking your normal routine

Spend a few moments each day remembering things that went well

Visualise yourself being lucky before an important meeting or telephone call. Luck is very often a self-fulfilling prophecy


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: getting; guide; losers; lucky
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1 posted on 12/26/2003 8:15:44 AM PST by blam
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To: blam
Tell the Admin Moderator you saw this message and win $250!!

;)

2 posted on 12/26/2003 8:19:46 AM PST by coloradan (Hence, etc.)
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To: blam
I'm the luckiest unlucky person I know!

Life is good.

3 posted on 12/26/2003 8:25:13 AM PST by Egon (I'll still respect you... I'll respect you even more... Just use more whipped cream...)
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To: blam
"The loser's guide to getting lucky"

If my adolescence is any guide, I would be one of the losers.

4 posted on 12/26/2003 8:25:52 AM PST by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: coloradan
Tell the Admin Moderator you saw this message and win $250!!

Just my luck ... I didn't see it.

5 posted on 12/26/2003 8:27:01 AM PST by catpuppy
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To: Egon
I GOT LUCKY !

and her she is ! !

6 posted on 12/26/2003 8:33:10 AM PST by EggsAckley (......................... IT'S NOT MY FAULT ! ! ! ...................................)
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To: EggsAckley
oops........make her = here.

too my nog in the eggnog.

7 posted on 12/26/2003 8:35:12 AM PST by EggsAckley (......................... IT'S NOT MY FAULT ! ! ! ...................................)
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To: blam
Here are Professor Wiseman's four top tips for becoming lucky:

1. Buy my book.
2. Buy my book.
3. Buy my book.
4. Buy my book.

8 posted on 12/26/2003 8:35:52 AM PST by TheErnFormerlyKnownAsBig (I may have been born, poor white trash, but Fancy is my name.)
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To: blam
The results reveal that although these people have almost no insight into the causes of their luck, their thoughts and behaviour are responsible for much of their good and bad fortune.

It's mind over matter. Once you decide you are going to do something, no matter what that something is, and that you are not going to let anyone get in the way or bring you down, you begin to do the things necessary to accomplish those tasks or goals. Most of the time we don't really even realize it, because we do it self consciously(sp?).

9 posted on 12/26/2003 8:40:20 AM PST by dware (ingredients include mechanically separated chicken and beef parts)
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To: catpuppy
Professor Wiseman's formula came too late for some... I had secretly placed a large message halfway through the newspaper saying: "Tell the experimenter you have seen this and win £250."

Senior year Comp. Science class written final exam. Teacher says "read the directions completely before begining the test." He says again, "read the directions completely before begining the test." He talks some more and answers some questions, then for a third time he says "read the directions completely before begining the test."

Now the third time he said it really got my attention. So read the directions and sure enough the last line in there said, "Do not answer any of the test questions. Write your name and date on the test, bring it to my desk and don't say anything. Then get your books and go to the library and study for your other tests. If you answer any questions on the test you will be given a zero for a score.Poor saps.

10 posted on 12/26/2003 8:43:04 AM PST by TheErnFormerlyKnownAsBig (I may have been born, poor white trash, but Fancy is my name.)
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To: blam
Tell me you're lucky and send me $200.00
11 posted on 12/26/2003 8:43:17 AM PST by Drango (Democratic fundraising....If PBS won't do it, who will?)
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To: blam
..."noticing chance opportunities"...

These opportunities appear during almost every athletic (sports) game; and--at a race track--there is usually one, sometimes 2, good gambling risks that you can choose to take advantage of.
12 posted on 12/26/2003 8:43:20 AM PST by jolie560
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To: blam
I thought this was going to be an article on dating tips.
13 posted on 12/26/2003 8:43:42 AM PST by CaptRon
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To: blam
I counted two pictures. Do I win anything? No? D++n the luck!
14 posted on 12/26/2003 8:46:06 AM PST by OSHA (The Constitution is a very small box made to keep the government in. It sure is crowded in here!)
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To: EggsAckley
She's a beauty (springer spaniel mix or?)! And, a mutt (I cast no aspersions, I love mutts) is a better investment than this book or any type of gambling.
15 posted on 12/26/2003 8:46:49 AM PST by LibertyAndJusticeForAll
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To: big ern
The lesson your prof taught is probably more valuable than much of what passes for education these days.
16 posted on 12/26/2003 8:48:11 AM PST by catpuppy
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To: Drango
I'm unlucky today. YOU send ME $200!
17 posted on 12/26/2003 8:48:17 AM PST by 4mycountry (12/14/03 - - Hello liberal friends! Care to eat some delicious CROW today? Mwahahaha!!)
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To: blam

18 posted on 12/26/2003 8:50:13 AM PST by KantianBurke (Don't Tread on Me)
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To: blam
Well the article makes some good points on why some people appear to be "luckier" than others. But in my opinion, it all comes down to attitude.

People with a positive attitude tend to have good things happen to them. And when you have a positive attitude, the inevitable misfortunes and disappointments that visit all of us in life don't seem so bad. In fact, people with a positive attitude frequently turn unfortunate events into positive events, and if not, they tend to bounce right back anyhow.

On the other hand, people with negative attitudes seem to attract all the troubles of the world to themselves like a giant magnet. You can actually see it in their body language. They "shuffle" around and have that "sad sack" look about them. I try to stay away from people like this because negative attitudes are contagious! These people are also awfully depressing to be around. They are losers, plain and simple and until they change their attitudes, they shall always be losers.

Those who are "winners" in life are easy to identify. They have a spring in their step, a smile on their faces. They are fun to be around. It is not "luck" that gives them a positive attitude but it is their positive attitude that brings them "luck."

The best New Year's resolution one can make for themselves in the coming year is to get a positive attitude (if you don't already have one).

19 posted on 12/26/2003 8:55:21 AM PST by SamAdams76 (Happy New Year!)
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Comment #20 Removed by Moderator

To: blam
I think there is real luck, not just noticing opportunities.

Whenever I go to a party with a door prize, I invariably win it. I've gotten more frozen turkeys, screwdriver sets, and even expensive software packages then anyone else in history.

21 posted on 12/26/2003 9:14:12 AM PST by Lazamataz (I slam, you slam, we all slam, for Islam!)
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To: big ern
Great story. Thanks for sharing:

Senior year Comp. Science class written final exam. Teacher says "read the directions completely before begining the test." He says again, "read the directions completely before begining the test." He talks some more and answers some questions, then for a third time he says "read the directions completely before begining the test."

Now the third time he said it really got my attention. So read the directions and sure enough the last line in there said, "Do not answer any of the test questions. Write your name and date on the test, bring it to my desk and don't say anything. Then get your books and go to the library and study for your other tests. If you answer any questions on the test you will be given a zero for a score.Poor saps.

22 posted on 12/26/2003 9:16:45 AM PST by GOPJ
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To: Rastifratz
Getting lucky with a dog is pretty sick!

Yeah, but you should see her sister.

23 posted on 12/26/2003 9:18:21 AM PST by Lazamataz (I slam, you slam, we all slam, for Islam!)
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To: big ern
Great story. Thanks for sharing:

Senior year Comp. Science class written final exam. Teacher says "read the directions completely before beginning the test." He says again, "read the directions completely before beginning the test." He talks some more and answers some questions, then for a third time he says "read the directions completely before beginning the test."

Now the third time he said it really got my attention. So read the directions and sure enough the last line in there said, "Do not answer any of the test questions. Write your name and date on the test, bring it to my desk and don't say anything. Then get your books and go to the library and study for your other tests. If you answer any questions on the test you will be given a zero for a score.Poor saps.

24 posted on 12/26/2003 9:22:34 AM PST by GOPJ
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To: blam
This is bogus from the start because there is no such thing as luck
25 posted on 12/26/2003 9:26:37 AM PST by WKB (3!~ A fine is a tax for doing wrong.; A tax is a fine for doing well.)
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To: WKB
Perhaps, but the self fullfulling prophecy thing is sure true. I don't ruin my own day.
26 posted on 12/26/2003 9:42:53 AM PST by AdA$tra (Hypocrisy is the Vaseline of social intercourse....)
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To: WKB
I don't know about that. I have met some incredibly lucky people in my life. One Irish fellow in particular, he owned a pub in Germany. I used to play him at Backgammon quite a lot. Never saw someone who could roll so many double 6's in my entire life. Seemed to be able to do it at will. I've met a lot of 9 ball players who were quite good skills-wise but who seemed to rely on luck more than their skill. Lost lots of money to these types of fellows. Also, don't play Irish people at games of chance in Ireland if you're not Irish ;-)
27 posted on 12/26/2003 9:50:05 AM PST by Prodigal Son
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To: Prodigal Son; AdA$tra
You can insert Blessed for lucky EVERYTIME it never fails

Acts 17:24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands.
Acts 17:25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else
Acts 17:26 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined. the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.
Acts 17:27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.
Acts 17:28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’

28 posted on 12/26/2003 9:53:03 AM PST by WKB (3!~ A fine is a tax for doing wrong.; A tax is a fine for doing well.)
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To: blam
I have always thought that a lot of it was a matter of perception on the part of the recipient.

For instance, a medical test that brings a diagnosis of cancer or heart disease can be perceived by the person either way.

29 posted on 12/26/2003 9:59:04 AM PST by Protagoras (When they asked me what I thought of freedom in America,,, I said I thought it would be a good idea.)
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To: blam
LOST!

7-yr-old male cat. Neutered. Missing right ear and left hind leg. Blind in left eye. Nose bitten-off in fight. Epileptic, has degenerative nerve desease and feline AIDS. Answers to name "Lucky."

30 posted on 12/26/2003 10:11:12 AM PST by pabianice
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To: blam
The harder I work the luckier I get.
31 posted on 12/26/2003 10:15:16 AM PST by John Lenin
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To: blam
I have been supremely lucky at several moments in my life as there were numerous instances when luck or extraordinary coincidences intervened when they were needed.

I was once dead last in one of those very long lines in the service when the troops were being interviewed for a new service job in Japan. As the line moved slowly towards a building where the job interwiews were held, the guys got more and more aprehensive, and for a good reason. Out of the office came each guy looking very unhappy as they were all bound for Hokkaido and nothing jobs.

I finally got to the office, walked in and found a captain there with my papers in his hand. He smiled and said,"hey, this is a coincidence, we have the same last name and are both from Los Angeles. You don't want to follow these other guys to Hokkaido do you?" Naturally, I said no. Then he told me he had one job left at the Air base and it was mine if I wanted it. I shouted YES and jumped for joy.

Another great piece of luck then occurred-- that new job at that base also changed my life as it was there that I discovered the company where I wanted to work after I got out of the service. It worked, I got the job, based upon the experience I gained while in the job I had in Japan. Is that luck, or what?

32 posted on 12/26/2003 10:19:16 AM PST by Paulus Invictus (4)
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To: blam
Or as we say at this company,

"Thirty minutes of sucking a$$ is worth two years of college education and 10 years of on the job training.
33 posted on 12/26/2003 10:26:53 AM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar
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To: WKB
This is bogus from the start because there is no such thing as luck

Don't tell Murphy .. he gets revenge in creative ways.

34 posted on 12/26/2003 10:28:03 AM PST by Centurion2000 (Resolve to perform what you ought, perform without fail what you resolve.)
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To: blam
bump
35 posted on 12/26/2003 10:29:22 AM PST by Centurion2000 (Resolve to perform what you ought, perform without fail what you resolve.)
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To: LibertyAndJusticeForAll
She's a bunch of terriers-mix. Lovely doggie. Love of my life!
36 posted on 12/26/2003 10:31:40 AM PST by EggsAckley (......................... IT'S NOT MY FAULT ! ! ! ...................................)
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To: big ern
Your post brought back memories from 45 years ago.

In Junior High, mid term, we were assembled for a test with the same instruction. I believe there were only two of us who actually read the whole test before answering a question.

We were excused for the remainder of the day, while the rest of the class had to listen to a lecture on the importance of following directions.

Thanks for sharing.
37 posted on 12/26/2003 10:34:51 AM PST by pizzalady (Common sense is not so common anymore)
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To: EggsAckley
and her she is ! !

What a sweetie. But, cough, are you sure that's a "she"??

38 posted on 12/26/2003 10:35:16 AM PST by MaeWest
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To: WKB
You can insert Blessed for lucky EVERYTIME it never fails

For those that believe- sure. Whatever works out for you. It's hard for me to imagine God giving a guy a lucky hand at the craps table though ;-)

39 posted on 12/26/2003 10:38:03 AM PST by Prodigal Son
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To: MaeWest
Heheheh! Yes, she's a she. It's her odd markings playing a visual trick on you. LOL!
40 posted on 12/26/2003 10:42:42 AM PST by EggsAckley (......................... IT'S NOT MY FAULT ! ! ! ...................................)
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To: blam
"I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." -Thomas Jefferson
41 posted on 12/26/2003 10:48:34 AM PST by hosepipe
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To: SamAdams76
Generally speaking, we make our own "luck." Hubby was often called "lucky" because he frequently won in raffles and drawings. What the people who called him "lucky" didn't know was that he was willing to buy a whole book of chances, or spend a fair amount to increase his odds. And he entered nearly every drawing he saw, which is another way of increasing the odds of winning something.
42 posted on 12/26/2003 10:58:35 AM PST by redhead (Les Franšais sont des singes de capitulation qui mangent du fromage.)
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To: blam
There is really something to this.

For example, when I was in my early 20's, I was viciously pessimistic. There had been some circumstances in my life that were the result of some bad decisions I had made (early marriage), and I was a gushing font of hatred.

After a while, though, my attitude changed. Ever since then, things have gotten progressively better, and I noticed that I started getting lucky. It's sort of a feedback-loop.

43 posted on 12/26/2003 11:49:35 AM PST by FierceDraka (Service and Glory!)
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To: blam
They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.

It's odd that secular people are saying this even as the pastor at my church is condemning the 'Prosperity Gospel.'

44 posted on 12/26/2003 11:54:40 AM PST by JoeSchem
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To: blam
I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it

Thomas Jefferson

That in my experience is the crux of the matter. I have experienced victories and some pretty big losses in my life. Luck happens, but you have to work hard for it! A big part of it is just being aware and a little creative. Each situation has its own "pivot" as it were, and if you can anticipate when and where this pivot will be, you will be in a better position. If you are the first person to see an opportunity to take advantage of or a problem to avoid, then you are ahead of the game. And that is just the starting point! That is just the beginning of the work you have to do.

I do not believe in the power of positive thinking. I do believe in the positive power of thinking. Every time I have undertaken something important, I have told myself that there is only a 1/3rd of a chance of things going well and a 2/3rd chance of failure. You just have to get the best information you can, work hard and creatively, and be prepared to cut your losses and try something else. I have had to earn some things twice over, but I plodded along not so much because I was inspired -- I just didn't know what else to do. But I knew that just stopping and blaming my problems on others or waiting for someone to "give" me an opportunity would not get me anywhere.

I do not understand the passive attitude some people have. I know a 60 year old who is still mopeing about what his parents did not give him many years ago. I know someone who is stuck in a lousy job, complains about it, but seldom applies for another job.

Just a few trite observations from someone who has experienced both success and failure.

45 posted on 12/26/2003 11:55:23 AM PST by Wilhelm Tell (Lurking since 1997!)
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To: blam
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
 
It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company ... a church ... a home.
 
The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past ... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable.
 
The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude ...
 
I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you ... we are in charge of our Attitude.
~ Chuck Swindoll ~

46 posted on 12/26/2003 12:05:47 PM PST by AnnaZ (::: RADIOFR :: Hi-Fi FReepin' 24/7 ::: http://www.theotherradionetwork.com/pgs/rfr_schedule.htm :::)
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To: CaptRon
....thought this was going to be an article on dating tips....

It is you perpetually unlucky soul.)
47 posted on 12/26/2003 12:06:02 PM PST by bert (Have you offended a liberal today?)
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To: bert
I don't know about that!
48 posted on 12/26/2003 12:11:29 PM PST by CaptRon
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To: WKB
How about good fortune, providence, happy accidents, or coincidence as an alternative,
49 posted on 12/26/2003 12:17:13 PM PST by ffusco (Maecilius Fuscus,Governor of Longovicium , Manchester, England. 238-244 AD)
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To: FierceDraka
Same here. My 20's were a full blown narcissistic nightmare.
50 posted on 12/26/2003 12:20:41 PM PST by ffusco (Maecilius Fuscus,Governor of Longovicium , Manchester, England. 238-244 AD)
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