What are examples of Murphy's law

Murphy's Law: These 4 Tips Will Leverage It

What can go wrong will also go wrong - have you ever had this feeling? The phenomenon is known under the name "Murphy's Law". You can use something like this in the rarest of cases. How does this happen? And what can you do if things don't go as planned? Find out here how Murphy's Law expresses itself and how you can undo it ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Meaning: Where does Murphy's Law come from?

Murphy's law has its origin in a failed experimental set-up. The American engineer Captain Edward A. Murphy examined a test of the American Air Force "US Air Force" in 1949. The researchers wanted to investigate the acceleration of the human body. There were two ways to connect the sensors required for this. However, they had all been connected incorrectly, which is why the attempt failed. This realization led Murphy to comment:

If there’s more than one possible outcome of a job or task, and one of those outcomes will result in disaster or an undesirable consequence, then somebody will do it that way.

(If there are multiple ways to get a job done, and one of them ends in disaster or other undesirable consequences, then someone will do just that.)

Murphy's statement was quoted at a press conference a short time later. So the winged quote about failure became Murphy's law.

Murphy's Law Examples

Quite often, Murphy's law describes a chain of events that seem to be related, but represent individual facts on their own. The classic: the bread and jam will fall off the table. Of course, it falls with the jam side on the carpet. But not without removing the white blouse beforehand. Such mishaps are annoying - but it gets really embarrassing in professional life.

For example, if you are already short on time and discover on the way to the meeting that you have forgotten some of the documents. The power went out during your PowerPoint presentation. If the mishaps occur frequently, one speaks of the "law of series": Things seem to repeat themselves even without context. Other examples of Murphy's Law are:

  • When you switch lines in the supermarket or on the street, things move faster where you were before.
  • If something falls out of your hand, it is guaranteed to roll into the farthest corner under a cabinet that is difficult to move.
  • When the warranty period expires, a device fails to work (planned obsolescence).
  • It starts to rain if you don't have an umbrella.
  • You want to complain about a defective device in the shop and suddenly it works again.

The latter is also known under the term "demonstration effect" and also exists with the opposite sign: You want to demonstrate a great invention and at the moment it doesn't work. Either way, according to Murphy's Law, what happens to you Not want.

What are the causes of Murphy's law?

You are out of luck and then there is also bad luck - quotes like this describe Murphy's law quite well. Murphy's law has a certain appeal: The idea of ​​not being responsible for certain events is a relief for many. Telling yourself, “You can't do anything about it, it had to go wrong” is always more convenient than having to ask yourself whether certain events were really inevitable and if so, what part did you play in them?

So it is Murphy's law also less about a law of nature, but more about a perceptual error. This is based on a certain fatalism, which is reflected in statements such as “something always happens to me”. Accordingly, negative experiences are inevitable.

However, this attitude promotes some related phenomena: It comes to self-fulfilling prophecy, that is, what someone already anticipated will also occur. However, this is rarely surprising. Imagine an athlete who doubts that he can beat his last best time. Something like that then leads to self-sabotage.

Physical explanation for some phenomena

If we were to accept Murphy's law as an irrevocable law, that would mean at the same time that there would be no free will and no possibility of influence. Both are demonstrably nonsense. We make our own decisions and these have consequences. The problem is rather that a lot is so automated that we no longer look closely. In some cases, it is actually possible to use rational explanations for certain accidents.

For the famous sandwich phenomenon, for example: Don't drop that on the floor with the butter or jam side to give a bad luck a bad day. It follows a physical law: the height of the tables is standardized. It slides sideways off the plate and therefore rotates when it falls. On the way to the ground, however, it only manages half the turn. If the table were higher, it could very well end up on the carpet with the unlubricated side.

Solution: 4 tips on how to break Murphy's law

If you get the impression that everything is going wrong, we have good news: Murphy's Law can be defeated. Incidentally, the namesake himself is said to have been quite positive. Reason enough to devote yourself to these four tips:

Sharpen perception

Is it really the case that something like this only ever happens to you? Or maybe you don't know such stories from friends? Especially since the word "always" is usually an exaggeration. If certain things actually go wrong disproportionately often, this may be an indication to approach them differently. Sometimes negative reinforcement is not proof of the correctness of Murphy's Law, but the logical consequence of bad decisions: Those who fail to study for an exam need not be surprised if the result is bad. If you leave the house too late on the way to work, you are under time pressure and automatically develop tunnel vision. It has been proven that mishaps happen more often at such moments.

Change rating

Negative experiences are better remembered than positive ones. This phenomenon is a result of selective perception. We only see and hear what we want to perceive at the moment. With this we confirm our prejudices. It is precisely this that needs to be eliminated and the overall picture to be seen: Did the day really only go badly or were there not also good parts? A little more serenity helps to appear more confident - even with a jam stain during a presentation. Say to yourself: Shit happens.

Allow for errors

Mistakes happen. In the rarest of cases, however, the worst-case scenario occurs. If even minor breakdowns get on your nerves, there is only one possibility: You can install safety mechanisms within your own sphere of activity. For an important presentation that would be a spare shirt or blouse, for example. Basically, it is advisable to build in enough time - regardless of whether you have an appointment or study for an exam.

Develop stamina

Some things don't work right away. This has nothing to do with a lack of intelligence, but in many cases with practice. Anyone who is currently tinkering with a program, developing a new product or wanting to develop a new skill will usually not be able to do it overnight. It takes a certain tolerance for frustration and perseverance. The reward is all the nicer afterwards. This phenomenon is not part of Murphy's law, but one of the laws of success.

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