By Dr Spencer Johnson
This a review of “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Dr Spencer Johnson
The forewords by Dr Kenneth Blanchard reads:
It’s…An AMazing Way To Deal With Change In Your Work And In Your Life Who Moved My Cheese? is a simple parable that reveals profound truths about
change. It is an amusing and enlightening story of four characters who live in a ‘Maze’ and look for ‘Cheese’ to nourish them and make them happy.
Two are mice named Sniff and Scurry. And two are little people’ – beings the size of mice who look and act a lot like people. Their names are Hem and Haw.
‘Cheese’ is a metaphor for what you want to have in life – whether it’s a good job, a loving relationship, money, a possession, good health, or spiritual peace of mind. And ‘The Maze’ is where you look for what you want – the organization
you work in, or the family or community you live in.
In the story, the characters are faced with unexpected change. Eventually, one of them deals with it successfully, and writes what he has learned from his
experience on the maze walls.
When you come to see ‘The Handwriting on the Wal ‘, you can discover for yourself how to deal with change, so that you can enjoy less stress and more
success (however you define it) in your work and in your life.
Written for all ages, this story takes less than an hour to read, but its unique insights can last for a lifetime.
The four imaginary characters
depicted in this story
– The mice: “Sniff” & “Scurry;’
– Little people: “Hem” & “Haw”
It is a simple yet, complex book.
It is an exposé on all of us & indeed, “Parts of All of Us!” –
The Simple and The Complex
They’re intended to represent the simple and the complex parts of ourselves, regardless of our age, gender, race or nationality.
Sometimes we may act like
SNIFF out change early
SCURRY into action
HEM ourselves in, deny & resist change as we fears it will lead to something worse
HAW in paused hesitation to study, learn to adapt in time when we see changing can lead to something better!
Whatever parts of us we choose to use, we all share something in common: a need to find our way in the Maze and succeed in changing times.
In the Gathering, old school classmates eating together after a reunion all realized that although they had gone off in different directions—from working at home to managing companies they were
experiencing the similar thing. Everyone was trying to cope with the unexpected changes that were happening to them in recent years. And most admitted that they did not know a good way to handle them.
Micheal, One of the gathering then told them how he learned to cope, with lessons from this story.
I must say here:
THIS A STORY BEST READ IN FULL. IT IS QUITE SHORT & TAKES LESS THAN AN HOUR TO READ!
Sniff & Scurry; the mice, run around in a labyrinth of maze chasing for cheese to eat daily.
Hem & Haw; the little people, did the same daily.
Both pairs put on their running shoes & do the same thing everyday.
They return daily with helpings of cheese for the day’s meal.
Then they hit Cheese Station C. It had large storage of cheese.
Hem & Haw moved their home closer to Station C & decorated their cozy home’s walls to enjoy a simple life of plenty.
Sniff & Scurry however didn’t change much. They hung their running shoes around their necks & simply came from further off like before to enjoy the moment while it lasted.
Then the cheese finished suddenly one day.
White Hem & Haw in their arrogance, which they had developed, blamed the system for the abruptness of the loss of their cheese paradise, Sniff & Scurry on the other hand simply took it in their strides, put on their running shoes once more & hit the road, running through the nooks of the maze in search for more cheese.
Hem & Haw kept returning daily to their now empty paradise, in the hope for a miracle but it remained empty of cheese & they were the worse off for it.
Sniff & Scurry hit the jackpot soon enough with their discovery of Station N, which has the largest storage of cheese they have ever seen.
Hem kept asking the air “WHO MOVED MY CHEESE?” as Haw started having doubts if their complex approach of rationalizing & analysing will pay any dividend for they remained hungry still.
Soon enough, Haw got tired of trying to persuade Hem to leave Station C & come away in search of food rather than sit around complaining.
Haw left some inspirational quotes on the wall & left Hem to his misery too.
Haw finds tiny bits of a new type of cheese in the maze, which he brings back to Hem, but Hem refuses to eat it because he only wants the old type of cheese. He has grown accustomed to what he’s used to.
Haw keeps exploring since these tiny bits aren’t enough to sustain him. As he journeys to new areas of the maze, he pushes past his fears and learns many life lessons.
He writes a few lessons on the wall from time to time to encourage himself to move forward and for Hem if he ever decides to follow him.
Haw finally finds a new place deep in the maze that has a ton of cheese, including all sorts of new types.
Haw meets Sniff and Scurry again, who arrived here long before he did.
Haw writes all the lessons he wrote earlier on a big wall, the lessons are:
1. Change Happens. They Keep Moving The Cheese.
2. Anticipate Change Get Ready For The Cheese To Move
3. Monitor Change Smell The Cheese Often So You Know When It Is Getting Old
4. Adapt To Change Quickly The Quicker You Let Go Of Old Cheese, The Sooner You Can Enjoy New Cheese
5. Change Move With The Cheese
6. Enjoy Change! Savor The Adventure And Enjoy The Taste Of New Cheese!
7. 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.