Albert Einstein once said, “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” Why do we fear changes? What can we do to eliminate this fear? And what are the benefits of promptly making necessary changes? All these questions, among others, are answered in “Who Moved My Cheese?” a self-help book by Dr spencer Johnson. In this book, the author uses the “cheese” parable to convey a powerful message on change and how we can easily embrace it. Cheese, in this case, represents what we want in life, including a fancy car, a career, and a degree, among others.
Who Moved my Cheese? Synopsis
The study revolves around four characters: two mice named Sniff and Scurry and two little people named Hem and Haw. Living in a maze, the characters have adequate cheese located at “Cheese Station C.” With the constant supply of cheese, the characters remain content. Unfortunately, as time went by, the cheese was no more. What happens to these characters? Will they get angry and frustrated and later die of hunger, or will they embrace change and move around to look for more cheese?
After noticing that the cheese was no more, Sniff and Scurry (mice) searched for new cheese sources in the maze. The two mice’s character traits demonstrate a willingness to change and explore new opportunities and possibilities. On the contrary, the small people, Hem and Haw, resisted change. Instead of embracing change and looking for more cheese opportunities, they became angry and frustrated. Later, Haw embraced change, leaving Hem alone, angry and frustrated.
With his decision to change, Haw (the little human) continued exploring the maze, hoping he would come across new cheese. Constantly, he turned to the maze’s wall along his journey and scribbled his ideas, thoughts, and experiences. For example, he once wrote, “If You Do Not Change, You Can Become Extinct.” From the statement, we learn that change is inevitable. Ultimately, Haw discovered a new cheese station. He enjoyed it for a while but remembered that the cheese would one day finish, so being adaptable was crucial. Dr Spencer Johnson concludes the book with Haw’s decision to explore the new maze and embrace change positively.
After reading Dr Spencer Johnson’s “Who Moved My Cheese?” book, the readers grasp the benefits of embracing change. In this life, we must let go of fear and adapt to new circumstances. The book also highly emphasizes the need to proactively pursue opportunities rather than remaining stagnant, hoping for past or common things to return to the way they were. Lastly, the book encourages us to view life-related changes as a chance for growth and transformation instead of something to be feared or resisted.
Who Moved My Cheese? Key Lessons
1. Change is inevitable – According to Dr Spencer Johnson, change is a life’s natural part that everyone undergoes. In this case, resisting change results in unhappiness and frustration. Do not fear change; embrace it as a growth opportunity.
2. We should anticipate change – According to Dr Spencer Johnson, we should always be alert and proactive in anticipating life-related changes. In this case, we should constantly monitor our environment and life stages, among other elements, to respond effectively when changes occur.
3. We should be flexible and ready to adapt- In “Who Moved My Cheese,” the characters that adapted to changes are the ones that succeeded and vice versa. For the ones that were unwilling to let go of the traditional ways of doing things, such as Hem, they failed terribly. From the book, we learn that both adaptability and flexibility are key for professional and personal growth.
4. We should always be ready to embrace new opportunities – “Who Moved My Cheese?” book motivates readers to approach change open-mindedly and view it as an opportunity for novel discoveries and accomplishments. By embracing change, we enhance our chances of finding new cheese “opportunities.”
5. We should move beyond fear – As per Dr Spencer Johnson, fear remains a significant barrier to change. So, we should confront and overcome fear which hinders our progress. Fear also holds us back from attaining our life’s key goals.
6. We should take action – Examining Scurry and Shew, they acted faster after they realized that the cheese was almost over. Rather than waiting passively for change to occur as Haw and Hem did, the Scurry and Shew took proactive steps to navigate and adapt to new circumstances. From this, we learn that taking action empowers us to attain goals and works as a source of fulfilment.
7. When adapting to change, keeping a positive attitude is crucial – In this book, Dr Spencer Johnson highlights the benefits of optimism and resilience during change and finding new paths to success.