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Who Moved My Cheese?

An Amazing Way to Deal With Change in Your Work and in Your Life

By Dr. Spencer Johnson
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Who Moved My Cheese? by Dr. Spencer Johnson

Revealing business wisdom through a modern parable, Who Moved My Cheese (1998) offers valuable lessons on how to best manage change in your life. Whether you’re struggling amid a business downturn or trying to find a graceful way to handle a struggling relationship, this book gives you the tools to better understand human nature and see change as a positive force.

Key idea 1 of 6

Your “cheese” or success in life may be paralyzing you.

The two mice, Sniff and Scurry, don’t think about things too much. They instead spend their time running up and down the corridors of their maze, in search of cheese.

This seemingly “brainless” way in which these two mice set about achieving their goal is instructive, and is often the most effective method in reaching your own goals. In fact, acting without thinking too much can save you time and energy.

If there’s no cheese at the end of a path, for example, Sniff and Scurry simply turn around and scramble down another path – without wasting time being angry or frustrated.

Hem and Haw were also searching for cheese in the maze, but not because they were hungry. Rather, they thought that finding cheese would make them feel happy and successful.

With their more “complex” brains, Hem and Haw worked out strategies to find cheese, memorizing the maze’s dark corners and blind alleys. Yet with all this planning, they still often got confused, and sometimes lost their way. And whenever the pair came up empty-handed, they became depressed, wondering if happiness would ever be attainable.

In “real” life, we too tend to overcomplicate things. Not only do we overthink issues or events, but we also become overly attached to the status quo.

Finally, Hem and Haw found a huge stash of fancy, imported cheese down one corridor, at Cheese Station C. Every day they made sure to wake up early and visit the station for a snack.

Yet the pair’s life gradually began to revolve around the feast at Cheese Station C. They felt at home there, and were very proud of it – yet they also began to take it for granted.

Like Hem and Haw, when we find success or “our cheese,” we can quickly become dependent on it, so much so that our life revolves only around our “cheese.”

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