Why Don’t Things Work Out

Question on Quora:

Why is it that things don’t work out in life?

There is no such phenomenon as “things that don’t work out” because all things work according to the laws of physics in the universe where we exist. So by asking “why things don’t work out,” what you probably mean to ask is: Why don’t things just go your way?

If I have not misinterpreted the question, the answer is simple: Probability. We all have to deal with probability when our expected outcomes depend on one or more factors that are out of our reach.

Say I wish for a sunny day tomorrow. It might or might not go my way because all changes in Nature are out of my control. Now, let’s say I want to be a millionaire. Guess what, I still have to deal with uncertainty because there are just too many factors such as the growth of economy or even the timing and location of my birth that are completely out of my hands. Imagine the chance I have to become rich if I was born to a peasant family in a rural area of North Korea governed by some corrupted officials.

More than often I think that life sucks because nothing would just go my way with absolute certainty. Then I realize that the very same probability that prevents things from always going as I wish is “protecting” me from some of the worst and rare events that could have completely destroyed my life. For one, I am still alive and healthy as of the time of writing. I am also fortunate enough to have received proper education and become an intellect capable of answering questions on Quora. This is not a bad scenario considering there are people who are struck by some random extreme rare events such as an accident or disease at a very young age and die before they can even learn how to read or write.

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