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Who Moved My Cheese? (by Spencer Johnson)

I’ve come across this book countless times in bookshops. It was so in my face that I could hear it shouting: “Read me! You keep seeing me, yet you keep ignoring me!” Now I feel relieved that I’ve read it, although it didn’t have a significant impact on me. In fact, I could have happily continued living without having read it.

This book is about change. It tells a very simple story, illustrating the point that nothing is permanent; things keep changing. The four characters, Sniff, Scurry, Hem, and Haw, represent the various ways we respond to this.

I often find myself resisting change. Perhaps it’s because the longer I stay in a familiar situation, the more I settle into my comfort zone. Stepping out is not only uncomfortable but also scary.

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

Some might find the story overly simplistic, but I believe its interpretation ultimately depends on the reader and the circumstances they’re living in.

I think this book aims to encourage us to be proactive and take charge of our lives. The message is that what we need to do is not wish that things didn’t change, which is inevitable, but learn to adapt.

It’s easy and quick to read. It’s quite short, it probably took a couple of hours to finish. It didn’t change my life, nor did it make me reflect at the same depth as similar books did.

However, if you are considering making a change in your life and are looking for some advice, and you don’t want it to come from a boring and lengthy book, I’d probably give it a chance.

By doing so, although you might risk wasting a couple of hours of your time, you could, however, get the nudge you need to make the change you’ve been contemplating.

What will you do?

Title: Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life
Author: Spencer Johnson
Year First Published: 1999

From Goodreads:

“Who Moved My Cheese?” is a simple parable that reveals profound truths. 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 “Littlepeople” — 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, health, or spiritual peace of mind.

And the “Maze” is where you look for what you want — the organisation 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 Wall,” 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, the story takes less than an hour to read, but its unique insights can last for a lifetime.