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I mentioned Murphy’s Laws the other day and some of you have written to ask for more detail. Well, I found them some years back in Washington DC – stuck on the bathroom mirror in an office suite. Here they are:

Murphy’s Laws.

  • If anything can go wrong, it will.
  • Nothing is as simple as it seems at first.
  • Everything costs more than expected.
  • Every action takes more time than you have.
  • Nothing ever quite works out.
  • It is far easier to get involved with something, than to get out.
  • The more complex the idea – the more simple minded the opposition.
  • Things get worse under pressure.

Alas perhaps most things do eventually go pear shaped – part of leadership, and life for that matter, is knowing how to deal with this, how to understand ourselves, how to prepare for stress and for the festering anxiety of underachieving in the eyes of others.

Much of my life has been helping leaders understand why they act the way they do, and to help them manage their lives. And in the main this has come down to two things – dealing with fear and the desire for love.

Few of the problems you will have will relate to the every day skills of your trade – being able to add up an account, design a building, or pilot a plane – you really should be able to do that.

The challenge comes down to dealing with fear in an apparently unloving world without a worked out and robust set of goals and values. Murphy’s Laws do have a certain relevance – Life does go wrong. To succeed as leaders of your life think about two things:

  1. A life well led is one that focusses on finding, creating and fostering lasting and loving relationships – and I don’t just mean the “love” of romantic movies. My “love” consists not so much at gazing at one another as in looking together in the same direction.
  2. We cannot escape the challenges of our condition. More travel, more houses, more possessions do not compensate for an empty life that has not been confronted. Escape leads nowhere. A life that is really strong fills us to the brim, though we may hardly stir.

Have a good day.