Do things ever go wrong?

“Do things ever go wrong?”  This seems like a silly question. Of course they do. But, often, one does not take this into consideration when making decisions.

One has to realize that the human mind has several drawbacks and one does not really know a lot. Our brains have not yet evolved to completely overcome our primitive impulses and ancestral monkey-like behavior and thinking. There are things that are:

  • known
  • unknown. These are “known unknowns”.
  • “unknown unknowns”. These are things that take us completely by surprise

When thinking of how something will pan out, along with any potential positive outcome one needs to consider the risks and all that could go wrong. Murphy’s law states:

“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

– Murphy’s law

With this in mind, one needs to minimize the exposure to negative effects. This principle can apply to many things in our daily lives.

For example, in finance, carrying debt is sure to cause problems in the future. So, it may be a good idea not to carry any debt. In software engineering, having poorly designed and unclean code in a project causes major problems down the road to whoever ends up maintaining the project. So, it may be a good idea to follow clean code principles and have clean design from the outset.

Similarly, there are many other areas of life, like family, career, etc where the principle of reducing exposure to negative effects can be applied.