Murphy was an Optimist

Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”  You might be tempted to think that this is negative thinking.  But secretly I think Murphy was an optimist.  See, if you are expecting everything to go wrong, you a) are not surprised when it does, and b) are pleasantly surprised when things go right.Murphy's Law

Through the process of dealing with HMOs and various doctors playing “cover your liability ass” and thereby delaying treatment to my mother’s various medical issues, my acceptance of Murphy’s Law has been a tremendous help in staying calm and just focusing on jumping through the next hoop.

But acceptance of this law can easily be applied to other areas of your life as well.  If you have kids, for example, just expect the milk to spill.  It’s GOING TO spill.  Guaranteed.  So why freak out, yell and get all flustered?  When it happens, take a deep breath, tell your kid, ‘mistakes happen,’ and help him or her clean it up.  (And then find the sippy cup in your back cabinet so you can make it through dinner.)

Or does this sound familiar:  There’s a big staff meeting and the CEO talks about this great new computer system everyone will start using next week that will make your life easier.  Ha!  When has a new computer system ever made life easier on the first day?  Knowing that it won’t work, you can ask the nice geeky IT guy in advance to give you an old school print out of the manual so you can read it when, invariably, both systems are down and there’s nothing to do.  Or, you know, you can plan on playing candy crush on your phone for a few extra hours that week.  Whatever works for you.

Random side note:  The Murphy in Murphy’s Law, was based on a comment (“anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”) from engineer Captain Ed Murphy in 1949 on Edwards Air Force Base about a malfunctioning strap transducer.  But the phrase has been seen in literature back in the 1800’s, so “Murphy’s Law” might actually be “Holt’s Law” or “De Morton’s Law”.  Figures.murphys_law

Try accepting Murphy’s/Holt’s/De Morton’s Law this week.  Let me know if it helps keep you calmer.  Do you have any other tips for keeping positive?  I’d love to hear them in the comments section.

Lisa 😉

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9 thoughts on “Murphy was an Optimist

  1. Just so you understand the cover ur ass medical reactions ur experiencing explained…. Any Dr. who deviates from the ” Standard of Care ” promulgated by the AMA could be sued by his patient….True…. but more likely will be hounded by the AMA itself. Especially if drug company reps feel challenged by competing chemical products from others but most assuredly by anyone proposing alternative medical or non medical means to help patients. Sad…Rather hard to advance new ideas of any stripe or should I say ” Challenging ” Good Luck

    1. Yes, I can see the doctors’ point of view for all the liability issues, which is why I’m doing my best to stay calm and rational. It’s just frustrating to see my mother have to go through so much added stress when she’s not feeling well in the first place.

      Thanks for the kind thoughts!

  2. Not all IT people are total geeks… 😉 A new anything system for the computer I can almost guarantee will not work as it is expected to on day one (or probably not for week one) because typically it isn’t tested… like at all to see if it is actually going to work. Oh and good luck getting a manual – we usually don’t have one and end up using Google when it doesn’t work. 😀

    1. Ha! Wishful thinking for the manual. (Whoever would have thought wanting to read a manual was something anyone would wish for? *Sigh*)

  3. Ya know, that’s a really interesting way to look at things, but I LIKE IT! I’m an eternal optimist, but I’m also pretty high strung. I like your idea of being prepared and accepting possible catastrophes, so it minimizes the impact.

  4. It may sound cheesy but the Garth Brooks song that says “sometimes I think go for unanswered prayers” really does apply to just about anything that happens in life. We go through struggles but we sometimes need to take a step back and understand that there is a lesson to be learned from it.

    Over the last three years I’ve lost both my parents, my grandmother, uncle and brother-in-law and my daughter ran away from home and no longer lives with us. I say all of this because I had to struggle a lot and had a lot of “WHY ME” moments but there is a reason for all this darkness and I have opened my heart and mind to the lessons that life is trying to teach me.

    No matter what the struggle is you will get through it…sometime we end up with scabs but it will be ok.

  5. I’m awful because I’ve probably embraced Murphy’s law too much in my life. I try to be positive when I can but since I was a teen I pretty much adopted the philosophy of expecting the worst so you won’t be disappointed. Terrible, I know! But there have been lots of times when it has helped. Another thing I think about is just knowing there is usually a way to resolve things one way or another. I like that one better.

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