Murphy’s Law: A Different Perspective

Last night my laptop crashed when I was in the middle of writing another piece for my blog and didn’t save it for quite some time. I felt frustrated since I could not put it together again and led to writing this post instead.

“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Don’t we all know how true this is? When you try to get things to work in your favor, they are prone to get worse at the worst possible moment and in the worst possible way. This isn’t because of some strange power the law possesses. In reality, we give importance to Murphy’s Law in our routine life.

If you change queues or traffic lanes, the one you were in before will always move faster than the one you are in now. If you don’t feel well and make an appointment to consult the doctor, by the time you get there you will start feeling better. And if you don’t make an appointment then you will probably stay sick for a longer time. There are many other things that can and will go wrong in every possible manner.

Another variation of Murphy’s Law.

Have you ever noticed that the most valuable items are irretrievably damaged, while things you don’t care about last forever? Fours year back, I bought my first brand new iPhone which was expensive compared to the phones I earlier used. Due to obvious money reasons, I tried to keep it very safe and bought expensive tempered glass and a back cover to protect against any damage. But if you can think of three possible ways in which it can get damaged, and circumvent those, then a fourth way, unprepared for, will promptly appear. To prove that right, it was stolen within the next three months. And that too on my birthday, the worst possible moment I could think of. So take care of the things you value most and they’re most likely to be ruined. After a few weeks, I bought another iPhone but this time with no back cover or tempered glass to protect it and I recently replaced it after three and half years of use.

Does it really impacts us?

We expect that things should always work out in our favor. But when things go wrong, we look for reasons. Murphy’s law doesn’t need to be overtly bad; it’s just something that’s unexpected. Humans have the tendency to resist changes that are sudden and unwanted. You feel out of control when things like these occur, and this raises your stress level.

“The more you try to be certain about something, the more uncertain and insecure you will feel.”

A quote which caught my attention while reading the book ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck‘ authored by Mark Manson.

I feel it is very well applicable in the subject context as well. The more you try to expect everything in your favor, the more disappointed you will feel at the worst outcomes.

How to use it your way?

But there are ways to tackle it. This is no rocket science but a simple act of a pessimistic mind with an added action. Start with expecting the unexpected and smile. It does not prepare you for the worst outcome, but for the stress coming along with it. If you prepare yourselves with anything that can go wrong will go wrong and still able to smile through it, you are doing much better than the majority of people who are engaged in their lives to notice only good things in their surroundings.

For example, next time you lose something important, expect that you will find it in the last place you look. Don’t look there first by cutting corners out of temptation, though. When standing in a queue of a supermarket with multiple checkouts, expect the other queues to move faster. Try moving to a shorter one as many times as you want, but always expect it to move the slowest. In fact, Murphy’s Law can help us prepare for the unexpected problems and challenges that life throws our way.

While you are reading this, something is going wrong but you don’t know it… yet 😉

Keep expecting the unexpected and Cheers!

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4 thoughts on “Murphy’s Law: A Different Perspective

  1. Nice article Shailesh. Loved reading it and believe me I could relate and I am sure many others too. However, I have a different view-point on this.
    I was in supermarket queue multiple times and many a times in queue which moved faster than others. For Murphy law, I believe, we tend to remember our disappointments for a much longer duration. Every time we are posed with a question of “which queue to choose”, a sense of fear of choosing the slowest moving one fills our mind and if that really turns out to be slow moving one, that confirms our belief for more one time..
    Next time try paying attention to “Anti-Murphy Law” and I am sure you’ll find multiple instances which will fall-along this new belief. We are what we CHOOSE to believe.

    1. Thank you so much. I totally agree with your viewpoint on the “sense of fear”, which is what we need to get rid of. And yes, we are the ones who give so much relevance to Murphy’s law in our day-to-day life, but when things go well (Anti-Murphy), little is made of it. Indeed a good perspective to look at and think about it more. Cheers!

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