The Mathematics Of Why Life Sucks

The Mathematics Of Why Life SucksMy first (and ex-) wife was one of those people who frequently said things such as “the world’s against me”, or “life’s not fair.”

But who or what exactly are “the world” and “life”?

Let’s face it, out of the six billion plus people on this planet, the vast majority (99.9% or more) probably didn’t even know she existed, so why would they even care, let alone have it in for her?

And as for “life”, then to me, “life” is nothing more than the total collection of your own experiences, thoughts and perceptions.

In addition, she often also wondered why she could never have a “good day.”

Now, for her, a “good day” meant one where nothing went wrong.

And that is the crux of it, as I tried to explain many, many times.

As I told her, for a day to be perfect, that meant every single thing had to be right, whereas for a day not to be perfect, it only took one thing to go wrong.

Which do you think is more likely to happen?

Let’s work through some basic maths and assume that there are just ten things (or events, if you like) in the day that need to go right. Of course, in real life, there are many, many more events than that.

And let’s also assume that each of those ten things has a 50% chance of turning out the way you want, and, therefore, a 50% chance of not turning out the way you want too.

In other words, it’s exactly the same as tossing a coin.

Again, in the real world, it’s not that simple, but it will suffice for the purpose of this example.

So, the chance of all ten things turning out the way you want is the same as tossing a coin ten times, and getting ten heads.

Simple probability theory then states that the chance of this happening is calculated as 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5, and that works out to be a very small figure indeed – 0.000976563, to be exact.

That figure probably doesn’t mean very much, so to put it another way, your chances of a perfect day would be just one in 1,024.

Another way of looking at this would be this: you’d only experience one perfect day every three years (give or take a few days).

And remember, this assumes that you only have ten things happening per day that could go your way or not.

Scale this up to real life, when there are hundreds, or maybe even thousands of events (most of which will be of minor significance in the grand scheme of things), and you can easily see why we so rarely experience our “perfect” day.

So, now you know!