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Book Summary: “Who Moved My Cheese” by Spencer Johnson

With all the change that occurred in 2020 (such as the pandemic and related public health issues, disruptions to business operations and to our lives in general, economic misfortunes, the presidential election, social unrest, extreme weather), we thought we’d highlight a book that has been around awhile, but is as relevant as ever.

Who Moved My Cheese is a simple parable about change. The story is set around characters (mice) who live in a “maze” (which represents life, your family, your community, the organization you work in, etc.) and who look for “cheese” (a metaphor for whatever it is you want to have in life). In the story, the mice handle things very differently from one another when they are faced with unexpected change.

As the mice come to learn, when you see “The Handwriting on the Wall,” you can discover for yourself how to deal with change, so that you can enjoy less stress and more success in your work and in your life.

The Handwriting on the Wall (with our augmentation)

Change Happens (They Keep Moving the Cheese): Change is inevitable. And often the change that occurs is beyond our control.

Anticipate Change (Get Ready for the Cheese to Move): Be proactive, not reactive, in expecting that change is going to occur. The better you anticipate change, the better you can respond and adjust (and possibly even help “shape” the change.)

Monitor Change (Smell the Cheese Often So You Know When It is Getting Old): Continuously assess what you are doing, how you are doing it, and why you do it. This helps you anticipate change or even get out in front of the change.

Adapt to Change Quickly (The Quicker You Let Go of Old Cheese, The Sooner You Can Enjoy New Cheese): It is said that “Commitment to the past hinders change in the future.” When change is occurring, holding on to the way things have been only delays the inevitable.

Change (Move with the Cheese): Don’t let things pass you by. Be an active part of the change, or even lead the change. Regardless, don’t get left behind.

Enjoy Change! (Savor the Adventure and the Taste of New Cheese!): Choose to see change as an opportunity to learn and grow as opposed to a time to resist or to shut down.

Be Ready to Quickly Change Again and Again (They Keep Moving the Cheese): Don’t get complacent. Change is not only inevitable, but it is also often constant. Being adaptable and resilient in the face of change can have an enormously positive impact on your life!

 

For other postings on the topic of change, type “change” into the search box in this Blog section.

For a summary of another book (co-written) by Spencer Johnson, click here.