Who Moved My Cheese


“Who Moved My Cheese” by Spencer Johnson was written in 1998 and if you haven’t read it you have probably heard of it. The book is about change for people in the workplace who are not in a position to manage the change.

The cheese in the book can symbolize your job, money, your home, family or love life. It is what makes you happy. Some time in life your cheese is going to get moved. Spoiler alert: The book never answers who moved the cheese.

One of the things I took away from the book is a slight shift in thinking. When presented with a problem or a change I would often think, “What’s the worst that can happen?” Now I will add to that question another, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

We are supposed to identify with the character Haw who “works” with 2 mice, Sniff and Scurry. Haw is one of the “little people,” as is the other little person, Hem. As Haw makes his way through the maze of change he has several realizations that he writes on the walls of the maze:

  • Having Cheese makes you happy.
  • The more important your cheese is to you the more you want to hold onto it.
  • If you do not change, you become extinct.
  • What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
  • Smell the cheese often so you know when it’s getting old.
  • Movement in a new direction helps you find new cheese.
  • When you move beyond your fear, you feel free.
  • Imagining myself enjoying new cheese even before I find it, leads me to it.
  • The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you find new cheese.
  • It is safer to search in the maze than to remain in a cheeseless situation.
  • Old beliefs do not lead you to new cheese.
  • When You see that you can find and enjoy new cheese, you change course.
  • Noticing small changes early helps you adapt to the bigger changes that are to come.
  • Move with the cheese and enjoy it.




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