A Law Abiding Citizen - Part 2: Murphy's Law

Part 1: Parkinson’s Law - COMPLETE

Part 2: Murphy’s Law

Part 3: Manson's Law of Avoidance

Part 2: Murphy's Law

Murphy’s Law is an old adage that is commonly described as "anything that can go wrong, will go wrong". Growing up, I was led to believe that this law is more commonly known as “Sod’s Law”.

Whatever you call it, the law that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong, is clearly absolute nonsense and absurd. The world would be in turmoil. We’d all have died at birth for starters. However, whilst this is irrational and untrue, the fear of it influences so many of our decisions: in business, with our money and in our private lives.

Think about it, if Murphy’s Law really existed in its true format, then none of the technology that we currently take for granted would ever have made it through testing, the thought of getting in a boat with the aim of sailing it across the ocean would be completely ludicrous, letting a toddler play with a German Shepherd dog wouldn’t even be a thing, and flying to a different country on an aeroplane to enjoy the our well-deserved holidays would be totally out of the question.

Take my blogs for example. I feared for ages that the reason not to start a blog or produce any content, would be because the worst would happen. No one would read it, no one would care and my mates would all laugh at me… on reflection, this is a bad example as it is not a million miles from the truth, but you get the point.

Why is it, then, that I continue to see people with this attitude toward their money that drives them to live in fear of Sod‘s Law? For example, people often tend to avoid putting money into a pension in case they do not live to pensionable age. This is usually without understanding that even if you are not lucky enough to reach retirement age, the money will be passed on, as part of your estate, to your nearest and dearest – or whoever else you decide might be worthy of it. Anyway, that money is never going to be lost forever, it’s made available to your family to use when you’re gone, and it’s also a highly tax-efficient way to invest/save.

Conversely, I also see many people go toe-to-toe with Murphy’s Law, as if it couldn’t possibly ever apply to them. This is definitely the case with some people when it comes to insuring themselves against premature death, serious accident or illness.

I know, I know… we all think we’re going to live forever and we all think it doesn’t apply to us. We all also now think that Murphy’s Law doesn’t actually exist (cos I just told you) and you’re not wrong… in the main. But we also know that, in certain situations, the worst case scenario can, and indeed does happen.

And trust me, there really is nothing worse than, having taken your chances against anything awful happening to you, then finding that you are one of the unlucky individuals that Murphy’s Law does apply to. Not only will you then be dealing with the emotional turmoil that comes as part and parcel of a serious illness, accident or worse, but you’ll also be waking up to find yourself in financial disarray too. Not a good place to be.

The simple fact is that most things that can go wrong, don’t; but of course we never hear about that because it doesn’t sell newspapers. We only ever hear about the minuscule amount of things that do go wrong because… well, we’re weird and somehow like to listen to and read about that stuff.


Alfie Mullan, July 2019

Want to hold a conversation that will quite literally change your life? Well drop me an email and we can get this new life on the road.