Murphy’s Law teflon

We are all too familiar with Murphy’s Law!

Some would say there’s no way to avoid it because Murphy is watching our every move and monitoring our plans and goals and conspiring to throw a cog in your wheel when you least expect it.

If anything can go wrong, it will

To some degree, this law is the battle cry of pessimists . . . those people who don’t want you to succeed . . . or secretly hate progress.

Another degree is that of the realists who believe that whatever happens is the only thing that could have and that almost nothing of real significance goes according to the plan . . . These folks expect Murphy to show up and might even get a chuckle when he does, followed by: “Of COURSE my old friend Murphy would show up NOW!” . . . and then they move forward with steel resolve to move over, under, around or THROUGH whatever Murphy has presented.

So the title of this post may be a little misleading (That’s just the Marketer within me), because the reality is that in some way Murphy will ALWAYS show up.

It’s how we respond to and/or deal with Murphy’s antics that “separates the men from the boys” . . . Will you cave in and abandon the effort, or will you persevere and commit to FINISH – OR is Murphy trying to get you to see the TREES instead of the forest?

The “Teflon” will NOT ward of the possibility of Murphy showing up, but it WILL minimize the effects (consequences) on the project.


  • ALWAYS expect to be surprised! Don’t be so attached to your plans and your outcomes that you can’t find a little humor when things don’t pan out as planned. With every Home Buyer or Seller I serve, I have a conversation that introduces the probability that Murphy WILL show during this process. while I take great pride in delivering a SMOOTH process, not even I can kill Murphy. When something does go awry, we all say: “AHA! Here’s Murphy!” . . . I say: “I warned you, so now let’s deal with it.”
  • Be prepared! We CAN minimize the collateral damage of Murphy showing up by keeping our ducks in a row. For the most part, this means having a defined process and sticking to it. As long as we are doing what we know “works” consistently and keeping in-line with time-lines and paperwork flow, we frustrate Murphy because we’re too “dialed in” to allow the pressure to cause us to fumble.
  • Don’t EVER play the Blame Game! If you want to cast blame on anyone when things go wrong, blame MURPHY! There is NO benefit to pointing fingers and investigating and putting energy into prosecuting (lynching) some poor soul who might have dropped a ball because he was attending his GrandMother’s funeral (or something). WHO CARES who screwed up? Let’s project ALL of our energy on defeating Murphy and fixing whatever it was that broke. If you want to prosecute, do it after the project is complete.
  • Murphy CAN show up more than once!  and often does. Don’t rest on your laurels when you survive Murphy’s first appearance . . . He’s still eagerly watching to trip you up again. It’s not that he’s mean – It’s just what he does . . . It’s his JOB, and he’s GOOD at it.
  • Know when you’ve entered a cul-de-sac! In the event that Murphy shows up repeatedly, the work becomes exhausting and less fun for everyone involved. It may be time to pause the game and circle the wagons for a pow-wow to decipher whether this effort is jinxed – doomed for failure. The old song: “You gotta Know when to hold’m and know when to fold’m” . . . and this is OH-SO-TRUE when it comes to Murphy. You might have entered a veritable minefield . . . or a path that goes – well – NOWHERE! Maybe your team is having personal issues or the mojo just isn’t there anymore. Whatever the reason, acknowledge when it’s over. If the horse is dead, stop beating it. Morbid and sad . . . and TRUE!

I can only label this post as being a “Good Start” when reckoning with Murphy.

It’s best to embrace Murphy and seek to understand him.

Don’t be a Murphy hater!

Sometimes his meddling in your affairs is doing you a favor . . . Like when you KNOW something you are doing is not going anywhere useful but you continue doing it just out of some mental hang-up you have that you have to finish EVERYTHING you start.

This works for Projects and relationships, and jobs . . .

There now – Bottom line!

Murphy helps us stay tuned in to the things that really matter – the Vital Few 20%.

He helps us sift out the 80% (Trivial Many) so that we CAN enjoy a more simple and less complicated life.



Published by Barry Owen

Strategist-CEO of Pareto Realty Real estate sales Professional Inviter-Facilitator-Practicer of Open Space Technology Opening safe space for people & organizations to self-organize around issues & opportunities BarryOwen.US Invite-Listen-Love

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *