Who Moved My Cheese by Dr. Spencer Johnson

WHO MOVED MY CHEESE? is a story which tells us the importance of adapting to unexpected changes. Highly recommended in the corporate world by managers, this 90 pages short book can be read, enjoyed and understood by everyone – young or old.


It has 4 characters. 2 are mice named Sniff and Scurry. 2 are humans who are the size of mice named Hem and Haw. They live in a maze and have to constantly find “cheese” to survive. “Cheese” here signifies money, fame, reputation, happiness, success, achievements, or anything else.

One day they find a lot of cheese at one place. They start coming there daily, eat cheese and leave. Mice soon realise that the quantity of cheese is diminishing day by day but the humans never paid attention to this. The humans settle down and slowly get arrogant. They show off their cheese and brag about it.

A day comes when all the cheese is over. Mice knew what to do. They started looking for more cheese at newer places. While humans kept complaining. They screamed, “WHO MOVED MY CHEESE?”.

After waiting and complaining about some days Haw realised that the cheese is not going to come and they need to look for another cheese. Haw asked Hem to join him. But Hem was adamant. He didn’t leave. And Haw had to continue his search alone.

Haw finds tiny bits of different types of cheese in the maze, which he brings back to Hem. Hem refuses to eat it because he only wants HIS old cheese.

While searching for cheese Haw learns a few lessons about life which he starts scribbling on the wall along with a drawing of cheese.

After a lot of hard work, Haw finally found the mice and new Cheese which was much more than previous one.

Lessons

  • Change Happens They Keep Moving The Cheese
  • Anticipate Change Get Ready For The Cheese To Move
  • Monitor Change Smell The Cheese Often So You Know When It Is Getting Old
  • Adapt To Change Quickly The Quicker You Let Go Of Old Cheese, The Sooner You Can Enjoy New Cheese
  • Change Move With The Cheese
  • Enjoy Change! Savour The Adventure And Enjoy The Taste Of New Cheese!
  • Be Ready To Change Quickly And Enjoy It Again They Keep Moving The Cheese.

Haw now regularly explores new parts of the maze and monitors the cheese supply so the same thing doesn’t happen again. He decides it’s best to let Hem find his own way to him; he realizes Hem has to change on his own.

It is a beautiful parable which teaches us a complicated lesson of life in the simplest way.

It reminds us that we should not stop moving. We must always keep pushing, trying new things, and be ready to change.

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the OLD, but on building the NEW.

– Socrates

So decide which character you are.

Sniff: One who sniffs all the opportunities and threats as they are approaching.

Scurry: One who scurries into action or take action immediately.

Haw: One who is reluctant to change at first but after seeing no other better alternative decides to change.

Hem: One who is scared of changes and thinks something wrong might happen, hence, doesn’t change at all.

Happy Reading!

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