Out of the Maze Book Summary - Out of the Maze Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Out of the Maze summary

Spencer Johnson

A Story About the Power of Belief

4.6 (63 ratings)
23 mins

Brief summary

Out of the Maze by Spencer Johnson is a parable that follows a character named "Who Moved My Cheese?" as he navigates challenges and learns to adapt. It offers insights on how to handle change in a positive way, emphasizing the importance of embracing new perspectives and taking action.

Table of Contents

    Out of the Maze
    Summary of 8 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 8

    It’s easy to take happiness or success for granted – and to feel lonely, empty, scared, mad or stuck when we lose them.

    Our story begins with two miniature people named Hem and Haw, who live inside a maze. They spend their lives running through the maze together, looking for cheese to eat.

    One day, they discover a place called Cheese Station C, where there’s a seemingly infinite supply of cheese. They have no idea where it comes from or how it materializes, but it just keeps showing up, day after day. So they stop exploring the maze and settle down at the station. They become complacent, and start feeling entitled to the cheese.

    Then, suddenly, it disappears. Haw eventually goes off to search for a new supply, but he never returns. Hem stays behind, expecting the cheese to reappear.

    It never does. Days go by, and Hem feels increasingly hungry, lonely and scared. Part of him also feels worried about what happened to Haw – but another part seethes over the possibility that Haw simply abandoned him.

    Let’s pause and take a step back here. In the story, the cheese that Hem and Haw once feasted on is also a metaphor for happiness and success.

    Thus, on a literal level, Hem and Haw are looking for cheese, which provides physical nourishment, while on a metaphorical level, they’re just like us: searching for fulfillment, which provides personal nourishment.

    When we find it, we may take it for granted and feel like it belongs to us, much like Hem and Haw. But then things change, and it goes away. Some of us move on, like Haw. Others of us try to cling to what’s gone, like Hem.

    This can leave us feeling isolated and empty, as well as anxious about or resentful toward the people who have moved on without us.

    Change can be difficult to accept, because it represents the end of the world we knew – the one in which we’ve grown up and built our lives. Seeing others accept it can also be difficult as it might feel like they’re ushering in, and embracing, the end of that world.

    As a result, many people, like Hem, refuse to move on, until reality finally compels them, as we’ll soon see.

    Want to see all full key ideas from Out of the Maze?

    Key ideas in Out of the Maze

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Out of the Maze about?

    Out of the Maze (2018) tells a simple but powerful story that illustrates important life lessons about adapting to change, both in our personal and professional lives. It’s a sequel to the author’s famous book Who Moved My Cheese (1998) which teaches us the importance of adapting to new realities. Here we learn more about the ways in which we can actually achieve that adaptation.

    Out of the Maze Review

    Out of the Maze (2018) by Spencer Johnson is a thought-provoking book that offers practical guidance for overcoming challenges and finding solutions. Here's why you should give it a read:

    • It presents simple yet powerful insights that help navigate through difficult situations and make better decisions.
    • Through engaging stories and relatable characters, the book keeps readers hooked, offering valuable lessons in a captivating way.
    • With its down-to-earth approach and relatability, the book makes understanding complex concepts effortless, making it an enjoyable and valuable read.

    Who should read Out of the Maze?

    • People facing tough changes in their careers or personal lives
    • Believers in positive thinking who are looking for new paths forward
    • Skeptics who are willing to have their minds changed

    About the Author

    Spencer Johnson was an American physician who shifted from a career in medicine to a life of writing motivational books after he found them to be his true calling. He was the co-author of The One Minute Manager and the author of The Precious Present, Yes or No and, most famously, Who Moved My Cheese? The latter was a New York Times bestseller that sold more than 21 million copies in its first five years. Johnson died in 2017. Out of the Maze was published posthumously by his friends and family.

    Categories with Out of the Maze

    Book summaries like Out of the Maze

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    Out of the Maze FAQs 

    What is the main message of Out of the Maze?

    The main message of Out of the Maze is that we can find freedom, happiness, and fulfillment by embracing change and adopting a growth mindset.

    How long does it take to read Out of the Maze?

    The reading time for Out of the Maze varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Out of the Maze a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Out of the Maze is a thought-provoking book that offers valuable insights and practical guidance. It's definitely worth reading for anyone looking to navigate life's challenges with resilience and clarity.

    Who is the author of Out of the Maze?

    The author of Out of the Maze is Spencer Johnson.

    What to read after Out of the Maze?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Out of the Maze, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson
    • The Six Disciplines of Strategic Thinking by Michael D. Watkins
    • The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson
    • The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk
    • The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama
    • Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
    • 7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness by Jim Rohn
    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy by Olivia Telford
    • The Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith
    • Good to Great by Jim Collins