Who Moved My Cheese is a very short book, and it only takes about an hour or two to read it from cover to cover. Dr Johnson explains in this very simple, short story, how different people deal with change and how we can learn to deal with it better. Who Moved My Cheese is a story about four characters in a maze looking for cheese. DR Johnson uses cheese as a metaphor for whatever it is each one of us value. Cheese could be a relationship, money, a big house, freedom, health, recognition, spiritual peace, or even an activity like jogging or golf. Cheese means something different for each one of us.
The Book has four characters, two mice, and two littlepeople who are the size of mice:
The mice are:
Sniff – Sniffs out change early
Scurry – Scurries into action
and The littlepeople are:
Hem – Denies and resists change as he fears
Haw – Learns to adapt in time
In the beginning of the story, Dr Johnson tells of how all four characters go out into the maze in search for their cheese. They each put on their little tracksuits and running shoes and they head out into the maze. They all find their cheese. It is at this point of the story that we really start to see the differences in the characters. The littlepeople become comfortable with their circumstances and start to take things for granted, but the mice however anticipate change and are ready to go out into the maze as soon as the cheese starts depleting. The little people are surprised when one day they wake up to find the cheese is gone. Instead of being aware and realising that change had been happening for some time, they think it happened overnight and complain “Who Moved My Cheese.”
Throughout the book, Dr Johnson shares some valuable insights to change. He tells us how the more important your cheese is to you, the more you want to hold on to it. We are all afraid of change to some degree, some more than others, but to become better or more competitive or more productive, we often need to change. If you find yourself in this situation where you think your fear is preventing you from changing for the better, ask yourself: “What would I do if I weren’t afraid?” when you stop being afraid, you feel good.
The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you find new cheese. Dr Johnson tells us that in order to move on to new things, we have to be willing to let go of current comforts.
Change is not a bad thing. There is an old saying that a change is as good as a holiday.
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