Is Murphy’s Law a Myth, as it reveals one side of Reality; but not the opposite?

Murphy’s is one law, which has very simple statement; but with profound implications and interpretations! In its initial form (there are various versions introduced later), it states that “If anything can go wrong — it will”. This law has deep rooted impact on corporate and common lives. Unfortunate part is that most of us tend to use this law as a phrase, rather than making good use of it.

This Law is quoted extensively all over the world; but no one has questioned one crucial aspect – if things have to go wrong, they do; then why not if things have go right, these would! Nature by itself does not differentiate or discriminate between wrongs and rights!! So, Murphy’s Law reveals only one side of the reality – when things go wrong; but does not unveil the opposite, what happens when things have to go right.

Implications of Murphy’s Law

The upsides

  • It advocates acceptance of the fact that things can and do go wrong!
    It is a very important lesson; but very few understand its tremendous relevance in professional and personal lives!! Tendency of most is to see “Glass of water being half empty”.
  • It brings consciousness when 1st thing go wrong, to make efforts not to allow next to go wrong and bring correction sooner than later.
  • Once things have in any case gone wrong, it consoles/cools your mind that it’s because of a law, provided you feel determined to take a lesson and leaf out of it for the next time.

The down sides

  • When things start to go wrong, it can trigger despondency and dejection!
  • People tend to resign to the fate and get in inactive mode, rather than being combative.
    In 1948/49, Murphy was doing an experiment and it became apparent that his assistant has installed the sensors incorrectly and therefore, were giving wrong result. Murphy made his pronouncement, despite being offered the time and chance to calibrate and test the sensor installation prior to the test proper, which he declined somewhat irritably, getting off on the wrong foot with the MX981 team of US Air Force. Later, an interviewer stated that Murphy blamed the failure on his assistant after the failed test, saying, “If that guy has any way of making a mistake, he will.
  • Many tend to react in anticipation and frustration of more things going wrong. So, what need not go wrong at that time would also start to go wrong!
  • It sows the seeds of complacency and kills the drive to look at the opposite side of the Law. This is what seems to have happened to whole world!

Who controls things to go wrong in any case or it’s by mere accidents or coincidences?

To my understanding, God has no interest to control the things to go wrong or right for individuals. Nor, any super natural forces or destiny exist somewhere to monitor and control!

Nothing actually happens in our universe by accident or coincidence either! It is always that there is a cause and what we see is the effect!! It is a different matter that we may not be aware or seeing the causes.

One of my colleagues from USA was traveling from Pune to New Delhi on her way to Austin. Her domestic flight got delayed from Pune leaving very little time to check into international flight at Delhi. As luck would have it, due to some problem her aircraft from Pune did not land at the same terminal in Delhi as that of her international flight. So, she was told on arrival that automatic transfer of her baggage would not be possible and she has to pick it manually and take it to check in counter of flight to USA. She did that without losing her calm only to find by the time she was at security counter that US Airline announced it is closing gates of aircraft. At this time, she tried to bypass long queue for security checking but to no avail. An airport staff was watching her struggle and rushed to her with a wheel chair. With that, the staff could bypass everyone to get security check done and informed pilot that he has a lady on wheel chair. Finally, my colleague did arrive Austin as scheduled and got her baggage too.

So, Mr. Murphy was right? Not 100%; she still managed to reach Austin as scheduled. The Law should have not permitted airport staff to appear and allow a creative idea to use wheel chair to get things done! What helped her apparently is another Law of State of Mind!

Why things would go only wrong and not right?

Left to itself, Nature follows the rule of 50% things going right and balance 50% wrong! If we experience a bias towards wrong or right in a given situation, it has a lot to do with frame of our mind!

There is no mechanism, method or theory that allows Nature to discriminate. Nature plays truly complementary!

We remember things having gone wrong more than what have gone right!

Reality is that whole world falls prey more to Negatives than Positives! These is no rational behind; it is just emotional!!

Emotions make everyone to remember negative or wrong things more than right things. So, the count of wrong things is on our finger tips; but we fail to recount right ones!

So, illusion of more things going wrong sways and swarms our memories!

Moral of Murphy’s Law

Murphy’s Law is a half Myth! The truth is that by themselves, things go as much right as wrong! Since we throw our emotions at stake, we watch, whine, count and focus more on things, which are against our wishes and whims.

So, you have every reason to rejoice. True Law is “If anything that can go wrong – it will; so also what can go right – it will”. And ability to create a bias for right or wrong things to happen is in your mind!

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8 Comments
  • Rudra
    Aug 12,2013 at 12:17 pm

    Well I beg to differ with Mr. Murphy… if he says “If anything can go wrong – it will”, I say “What you allow, is what will continue” (again depends on “State of Mind”, isn’t it??).

    But having said that, in your example of your colleague… I think what helped her more than anything else was her luck!! She was unlucky to start with but then got lucky and reached her destination safely. So that cancels it out, she was neither lucky nor unlucky!

    What about those other passengers in that same domestic flight who also got late? They might have some connecting flights to board as well but to their incessant bad luck, no airport staff appeared for them as their savior!! 😀 So in this case, 1 person got helped and remaining 100s don’t and that’s why (unfortunately) poor Murphy’s Law sustained. And probably that’s why Murphy’s Law is what it is today. People tend to believe what happens to majority of them. 🙁

    Great read – got to know Murphy better!! 🙂

    • Aug 13,2013 at 11:51 am

      Thanks a lot for your comments and analysis!

      Yes, State on Mind is single biggest factor, which impacts our lives a lot. But, most are unable to judge the true state to see/understand its true effect.

      On example of my colleague’s journey to USA, you have evoked Luck, which is not written anywhere! Is not it that when we can’t fathom. we fall on fictions?

      It may be worth recalling 2 rules of nature brought in my earlier posts – we fall prey more to negatives… and masses mostly make mistakes. So, a Law is not a law, if it fails on one but works on 100s! It is only a mass illusion, which gets consolidated as perception!!

  • Murli Lohia
    Aug 10,2013 at 3:40 pm

    From: Shirish.Ratnaparkhi@emerson.com [mailto:Shirish.Ratnaparkhi@emerson.com]
    Sent: Saturday, August 10, 2013 2:46 PM

    To: murlilohia@gmail.com
    Subject: RE: RE: Is Murphy’s Law a Myth, as it reveals one side of Reality; but not the opposite?

    Dear Sir,

    You are absolutely right. A small difference in understanding / interpretation means a lot of difference!
    Thanks a lot for the quick correction.

    • Aug 10,2013 at 3:42 pm

      Thanks a lot for your quick understanding!

  • Aug 10,2013 at 1:42 pm

    Transferred from Face book

    Sagar Shevate commented on a link you shared on 8/9/2013.

    Sagar wrote: “Very interesting..”

    • Aug 10,2013 at 1:44 pm

      Thanks a lot for your interest and feedback!

  • Murli Lohia
    Aug 10,2013 at 1:38 pm

    Transferred from Linkedin –

    On 08/08/13 10:18 PM, Shirish Ratnaparkhi wrote:
    ——————–
    Dear Sir,
    Greetings!
    Great to know the most valuable 50% of the Great Law.
    In SIS, we are dealing with “probability of failure” and that is the buzz word throughout. Good to also look at the remaining part!

    A fantastic article indeed.
    – Nature does not see wrong and right!

    Many regards,
    Shirish

    • Aug 10,2013 at 1:40 pm

      I highly appreciate your valuable feedback and observations! Thanks a lot for your interest!!

      Nature only sees right or wrong (i.e. positive or negative). What it does not do is to discriminate between right and wrong, as mentioned in the post!

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