The best laid schemes o’mice and men often go astray ~ Robert Burns

Who Moved My Cheese?“, by Dr Spencer Johnson, is a book that I’ve been meaning to read for awhile and when I spotted it in the bookshelf of my current housesit I knew now was the time.

 The book only took an hour to read and, although the story was told very simply, it had some invaluable insights into how we react to and deal with change in work and in life.

The story follows 4 characters; Sniff – who sniffs out change early, Scurry – who scurries immediately into action, Hem – who denies and resists change as he fears it will lead to something worse and Haw – who learns to adapt in time when he sees changing can lead to something better!

These characters are searching in a maze for “Cheese”. Each of us has an individual idea of what our “Cheese” is; job, relationship, freedom, health, money, and we chase it because we think this is what will make us happy.

By reading about the adventures of these characters I found these lessons which I know will be of great benefit to me in terms of my current career change and my relationships:

  • Take the situation seriously but not yourself.
  • Keep your sense of humour in times of change. Being able to laugh at yourself and at what you have been doing wrong can be a release of negative energy and allow you to move on.
  • The fastest way to change is to laugh at your own folly.
  • Change your attitude in order to adapt.
  • Recognise when fear is holding you back – “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”
  • Don’t allow fear to hold you captive – “When you stop being afraid, you feel good!”
  • The fear that you let build up in your mind is worse than the situation that actually exists.
  • Let go and trust what is ahead for you, even if you don’t know exactly what it is – “It is safer to search in the maze, than remain in a cheeseless situation.”
  • Change takes courage.
  • Be aware of your limiting beliefs.
  • Movement in a new direction helps you find New Cheese.
  •  Use the power of your imagination to picture yourself enjoying New Cheese in detail!

The world is changing whether we want it to or not. This book shows the benefits to be gained by learning how to adapt to change and enjoy something better. I wanted to leave you with this quote from the book:

Life is no straight and easy corridor along

which we travel free and unhampered, but a maze of passages,

through which we must seek our way,

lost and confused, now and again

checked in a blind alley.

But always, if we have faith,

a door will open for us,

not perhaps one that we ourselves

would ever have thought of,

but one that ultimately

prove good for us. ~ A.J. Cronin

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