Celebrating Women of African Descent

Book Review: Who Moved My Cheese

As much as change is inevitable, we deal with it in so many different ways, sometimes afraid; we want to stick our heads in the sand or just get stuck. When I first heard of the title I thought hmmmm…cheese, change, change, cheese, how do they relate? But Dr. Spenser Johnson did coin the lesson in the story very well. 

Towards the end of last year, my mother suggested I buy this book.  She had given it such a positive review I thought it would be a good new year’s read. It took less than an hour to read the 94 page book but I took away valuable life changing lessons on how to deal with change.

He starts the story with a discussion among a group of high school friends getting together before their reunion. They discuss how their lives have changed since school and how things turned out differently from what they expected. Michael relates a tale presented as a parable he heard many years back that helped him deal with change positively.  

The main part of the book is a parable is set in a maze with four characters; two mice, Sniff & Scurry and two other little people the size of mice; Hem and Haw. The characters look for cheese in a maze (in our case where we spend our energies). In the everyday life cheese is a metaphor that represents what we want in life, in a relationship, in your business and in the course of our lives, the cheese may be moved or taken away from us, it might be a job or a relationship. Will you accept the moved cheese, or will you stay in denial, afraid of change?

In the parable, the characters are faced with unexpected change.  Sniff is the one who sniffs change early while Scurry acts immediately. Realizing that their cheese had been moved from its original place, Sniff and Scurry moved away, followed the maze, found new cheese and settled there. When it comes to the little people Hem is one to deny change, he doesn’t realize his cheese has been moved so he goes around sulking. Haw learns quickly to adapt to change knowing that it will lead to something good.

Lessons Learned from the Handwriting on the Wall
  •     Change is inevitable; the cheese will always be moved. When it happens we have to accept it.
  •     We have to anticipate change; we have to get ready for the cheese to move. 
  •     Monitor change; we have to smell the cheese often to know when it’s getting old.
  •     Adapt to change quickly; the quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you can enjoy the new cheese.
  •     Change; move with the cheese depending on what your goals are.
  •     Enjoy change.
  •     Be ready to change quickly and enjoy it again because they keep moving the cheese.
This is a great read especially with the New Year. Read the book and find out if your cheese has been moved and what you can do to find new cheese.

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