The book Who Moved My Cheese by Dr. Spencer Johnson is a timeless business read. Originally the book was published in 1998 and 17 years later the message and metaphors are still relevant. The essential message is about change. How do we deal with it, do we avoid it or do we adapt to it? Is it healthy to hold firmly to our belief systems, even when they are not working for us?
The book is a tale of 4 characters who live in a maze. Two are mice and two are human. One day they are faced with the dilemma that someone has moved their cheese. What are they to do?
Life is full of choices, we all know this to be true. But sometimes we get stuck in that comfortable place. As humans (not mice) we have to learn to be adaptable and open to the possibility of new ideas. We need to be aware of what is going on around and keep our head in the game – not only in business, but in life. “Noticing small changes early helps you adapt to the bigger changes that are to come” (Who Moved My Cheese, 1998, page 68).
Change is going to happen to us regardless, do you want to take control of your destiny or do you want to be pulled whichever direction. We get scared sometimes. The unknown can sometimes paralyze us and keep us from embracing change. “The fear you build up in your mind is worse than the situation that actually exists” says Johnson. (Who Moved My Cheese, 1998, page 63).
This slim volume can be read in one sitting. While reading you may sit back and ponder what character you may be in the book. Do I seek out change? Am I willing to execute when given a new plan? Or do I sit back and hold onto to what I have and hope for the best? Are you holding on to some moldy cheese? Or are you open to finding new cheese?
These simple messages will stick with you. One day you may find yourself hollering “WHO MOVED MY CHEESE” (Who Moved My Cheese, 1998, page 33).
Johnson, S (1999). Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change In Your Work and In Your Life. (Ed.). London: Vermilion. (Original work published 1998)