Murphy was an Optimist

October 1, 2007

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I have a good friend who loves being the hero in every situation. He’s constantly offering to help other people. The only trouble is, he insists on foolishly ignoring the advice of Murphy.

Therefore, more often than not, it puts him in the place of over promising and under delivering. He proves time and again that to ignore the wisdom of Murphy is go from hero to villain in no time flat! Here’s why:



Although I’m very much a “glass half full” kind of a guy, I’ve learned that by operating under the assumption that “If things can go wrong, they will!” I’m more likely to think through the, “what can go wrong” part, and develop a plan “B” or “C” to compensate.I’ve learned that Murphy’s favorite strategy is the blind side, and optimists are especially vulnerable.

Trust me, it’s great to be “Jelly side up” kind of people in all cases except project planning and time budgeting. If we make a regular practice of constantly planning for the best case scenario, we’re going to get hosed in a hurry.

So what are some strategies to keep Murphy at bay?

  • Brainstorm, try to anticipate ALL the kinds of things that can go wrong, then try to think of alternative ways to handle those situations. You can get a mental picture of all the moving parts by pretending to be a journalist covering the event. Try to answer the questions, who, what, when, where, why, & how.
  • Prioritize by when you should get started. If you wait to start a project until the day it’s due … you’re just begging Murphy to through you a curve ball!
  • Pad your time. If you think it will take three days to accomplish, let everyone know it will take five. Now keep in mind, this strategy shouldn’t be an excuse to slack off. If you take that approach, you’ll be back to under delivering in a hurry.

    Did you just have a deja vu moment? No, this article was originally posted July 16, 2007 and has now been re-released with audio.

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