The Law of Unintended Consequences states that for any action or course of actions, whether or not it has the intended effect, will have at least three results you never expected, and at least one of those will be unpleasant.

Although the law itself could be said to be a fundamental fact of the universe, the form stated above is derived from the Wheel of Time novels by Robert Jordan, offered as advice from Siuan Sanche to the new Amyrlin Seat, Egwene al'Vere.

This law, unlike mathematical and scientific laws, deals with wisdom instead of knowledge or intelligence. Indeed, it is arguable that one of the first and most important concept of wisdom is that you do not know everything, can not know everything, and never will know everything; close behind is the understanding that just because you do not know of something, it does not mean that said something does not exist. Combining these two pseudo-proverbs will bring you fairly close to the subject of this node.

When we realize that we can not know or understand everything, but that "everything" still exists regardless, one can adjust their way of thinking to be flexible and reactive to situations not entirely understood. An old military adage states that all the careful planning goes out the window after the first shot is fired. It is well to be remembered.