WhoMovedMyCheese?An Amazing Way to Deal With Change In Your Work & InYour LifeDR SPENCER JOHNSON
“Cheese” – a metaphor for what we wantto have in life, whether it is a job, arelationship, money, a bighouse, freedom, health, recognition, spiritual peace, or even an activity like joggingor golf.Each of us has our own idea of whatCheese is, and we pursue it because webelieve it makes us happy. If we get it, weoften become attached to it. And if we lose
ONCE, long ago, there lived 4 little characterswho ran through a maze looking for cheese tonourish them & make them happy.Two were mice named“Sniff” & “Scurry”and two werelittle peoplenamed “Hem” & “Haw”.
Every morning, the mice &the little people dressed intheir running gear &headed over to CheeseStation C where theyfound their own kind ofcheese. It was a large storeof Cheese that Hem & Haweventually moved theirhomes to be closer to it &built a social life around it.To make themselves feelmore at home, Hem &Haw decorated the wallswith sayings. One read:
One morning, Sniff & Scurry arrived atCheese Station C & discovered therewas no cheese.They weren’t surprised. Since they hadnoticed the supply of cheese had beengetting smaller every day, they wereprepared for the inevitable & knewinstinctively what to do. They werequickly off in search of New Cheese.Later that same day, Hem & Hawarrived. “What! No Cheese? Whomoved my Cheese? It’s not fair!”, Hemyelled. They went home that nighthungry & discouraged. But before theyleft, Haw wrote on the wall:
The More ImportantYour Cheese is ToYou, The More YouWant To Hold OntoIt.
The next day Hem & Haw left theirhomes, & returned to Cheese Station C.But situation hadn’t changed. Hawasked, “Where are Sniff & Scurry? Doyou think they know something wedon’t?” Hem scoffed, “What wouldthey know? They’re just simple mice.They just respond to what happens.We’re little people. We’re smarter.”Haw suggested, “Maybe we should stopanalyzing the situation so much andjust get going & find some New Cheese.Haw decided to leave Cheese Station Cwhile Hem was more comfortablestaying in the cheeseless Station C. Hawannounced, “It’s MAZE time!” andwrote:
Meanwhile, Sniff & Scurry went farther into the maze until they found CheeseStation N. They found what they had been looking for: a great supply of New Cheese.It was the biggest store of cheese the mice had ever seen.Haw on the other hand become more anxious & wondered if he really wanted to goout into the Maze. He wrote a saying on the wall ahead of him & stared at it forsome time:
Haw now realized that thechange probably would nothave taken him by surprise ifhe had been watching whatwas happening all along and ifhe had anticipated change. Hestopped for a rest & wrote onthe wall of the Maze:
Smell The CheeseOften So You KnowWhen It Is GettingOld.
Haw wondered if Hem had moved on, or ifhe was still paralyzed by his own fears.Then, Haw remembered the times when hehad felt his best in the Maze. It was when hewas moving along. He wrote:
Movement In A NewDirection Helps YouFind New Cheese.
As Haw started running down the darkcorridor, he began to smile. Haw didn’trealize it yet, but he was discovering whatnourished his soul. He was letting go &trusting what lay ahead for him, eventhough he did not know exactly what itwas.To his surprise, Haw started to enjoyhimself more & more. He stopped towrite again on the wall:
To make things even better, Hawstarted to paint a picture in hismind again. He saw himself in greatrealistic detail, sitting in the middleof a pile of all his favorite cheeses-from Cheddar to Brie! He sawhimself eating the many cheeseshe liked, & he enjoyed what hesaw.The more clearly he saw the imageof himself enjoying NewCheese, the more real & believableit became. He wrote:
Imagining MyselfEnjoying NewCheese, Even BeforeI Find It, Leads MeTo It.
Haw wondered why he had alwaysthought that a change would lead tosomething worse. Now he realized thatchange could lead to something better.Then he raced through the Mazewith greater strength & agility.Until he found bits of New Cheese.He entered the Cheese Station but it wasempty. Someone had already been there.He stopped & wrote on the wall:
The Quicker You LetGo Of OldCheese, The Sooneryou Find NewCheese.
Haw made his way back to Cheese Station C to offer Hem bits of NewCheese but was turned down. Hem wanted his own Cheese back. Hawjust shook his head in disappointment but this does not stop him fromfinding New Cheese. He smiled as he realized
It Is Safer To SearchIn The Maze ThanRemain In TheCheeselessSituation.
Haw realized again, that what you are afraidof is never as bad as what you imagine. Thefear you let build up in your mind is worsethan the situation that actually exists.He realizes it was natural for change tocontinually occur, whether you expect it ornot. Change could surprise you only if youdidn’t expect it & weren’t looking for it.When he realized he had changed hisbeliefs, he paused to write on the wall:
Haw now realized that his new beliefswere encouraging him to behave in a newway. He was behaving differently from theway he had when he had kept returning tothe same cheeseless station.It all depends on what you choose tobelieve. He wrote on the wall:
When You See ThatYou Can Find AndEnjoy NewCheese, You ChangeCourse.
Haw just hoped he was heading in the rightdirection. He thought about the possibilitythat Hem would read The Handwriting On TheWall & find his way.He wrote on the wall what he had beenthinking about for some time:
Noticing SmallChanges Early HelpsYou Adapt To TheBigger Changes ThatAre To Come.
He continued on through the Maze with greater strength & speed. Heproceeded along a corridor that was new to him, rounded a corner, &found New Cheese at Cheese Station N where he saw the greatestsupply of Cheese he had ever seen.Sniff & Scurry welcomed him.
“Hooray for Change!”Haw wrote down a summary of what he hadlearned on the largest wall of Cheese Station N& smiled as he looked at what he had learned:
Change HappensAnticipate ChangeMonitor ChangeAdapt To Change QuicklyChangeEnjoy Change !Be Ready To Change Quickly & Enjoy It Again.