The Bitter Truth: Murphy's Law in Action and Our Imperfect Plans

Categories: Law
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Have we not made a perfect plan and a smooth implementation only to have a lousy end? This is the case of Murphy’s Law “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong” proving true. This is a not so perfect world and neither are we flawless people. We are capable of making mistakes, consciously and otherwise. There may be times when we are such in hurry or excited that we tend to be careless and may, in the process overlook a few details.

Even if such carelessness may or may not ruin things entirely, it still makes us feel that they could have gone better.

A friend used lime to enhance the flavor of a dish she made especially for her husband. She was to serve it for dinner to celebrate their wedding anniversary. It was the night her husband meant to surprise her with a dinner for two at a downtown hotel’s 5-star diner. We must remember that not everything in our life is under our control.

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We share this planet with a multitude of others who have a stake, a say and an idea that each believe to be correct and therefore is the only way to carry out a plan or a project.

To ensure success, we gather them around and make sure we get everyone’s inputs. We form the team and divide the work among the members. Finance released the budget, procurement bought the materials, and the creativity people began their work. The promotional materials were brought to the merchandisers for distribution to retail outlets.

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One store, the biggest and the most visible, could not display them yet because of their end of season sale that extended to a month. That meant promotions had to be put on hold long after its duration period!

Sometimes we second-guess nature, people and events. We prepared for eventualities that may happen. We tended to be too careful and not leave everything to chance. We made sure to plug loopholes and tie loose ends. Every now and then, we checked on our progress to see if we have not missed anything. We were set out to see the bears one unpredictable Alaskan summer. We made sure we had our airtight food hamper, our cameras, and in case we stay the night in a campsite, our blankets, a change of clothes, and all other provisions that we thought of.

We had a load to carry and lug around which we deposited in a safe (from the bears) luggage station. We saw the bears alright but we did not have to stay the night. Nothing went wrong but something was wrong with the plan. We did not have to provide for something that just did not happen. This Murphy Law can be frustrating. Either you ought to be happy that nothing wrong happened in the end or be glad you did not have to use something you prepared for in case anything wrong happened. Murphy’s Law sounds silly and thought provoking at the same time.

It is matter-of-factly or naturally true. There is no way you can argue with it. Try hard as one can, there is no way to dispute the fact that indeed no amount of careful preparation and planning will disprove that nothing will go wrong in anything. There will always be those marginal or small percentages of errors and near misses that even well-laid out plans with scientific and methodical approaches have. In your lab experiments, you explain why the figures you have come up with are not as perfect as you had expected it to be.

It can not be denied that there was or were errors. We had occasions in our lives, whether they were in our homes and in our jobs, when we were tasked with certain projects that needed to be completed in a prescribed time. We were challenged and we rose to the occasion, only to be confronted with “ifs” and “buts” later on. What if I had called the flower shop after the caterers had come in, that way the flowers would not have been moved around too much. But the guests would have not lost their way had I checked on the enclosed map on the invitations before sending them out.

Big companies have planning meetings to avoid errors in project outcomes or targets. Errors can cost the company huge sums of money. However, they too are not exempt from missing targets because of errors along the way , whether within or outside the work flow process. Most if not all Japanese companies strive for zero error targets and continue to raise the bar. If they are successful then they are able to defy Murphy’s Law. All the above bring to mind the real essence of Murphy’s Law about things going wrong. Man is not perfect is an accepted truth.

So it goes that anything Man does will not be mistakes-free. The challenge is in correcting mistakes and righting wrongs. How does one take Murphy’s Law? It tells us that we should not be bothered at all if things went wrong, no matter how hard we tried for it not to. It was bound to happen from the beginning. It is a reality that we must accept and be resigned to. However, it should not be an excuse for not giving our best because of the thought that it is going to bog down or something, anyway. It is just that Murphy would not want us to cry over spilt milk.

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The Bitter Truth: Murphy's Law in Action and Our Imperfect Plans. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

The Bitter Truth: Murphy's Law in Action and Our Imperfect Plans

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