Summary/Review: Who Moved My Cheese? | Worth Reading?

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Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson is one of the top-selling business books of the past decade.

It's a charming and entertaining book that uses a fable to show how to handle change which can be stressful in work and life. 

In the book, management expert 'Kenneth Blanchard' says cheese is a metaphor for what we want in life. Be it a job, a relationship, money or organizational success. 

Our task he says is to learn to change or move with the cheese in a way that helps us get what we really want, especially in these times of rapid change.
Who Moved My Cheese Summary & Review

Who Moved My Cheese Summaryis in three sections:

1. A gathering

It’s a class reunion about trying to deal with changes in their lives.

2. The actual story of who moved my cheese

It’s a fable that the people at reunion read.

3. The discussion

It’s a talk about how they’re going to use the story in their work and lives.

Who Moved My Cheese Review: The book begins with a lunch gathering of former classmates in Chicago, the day after their high school reunion. All of them are trying to cope with the unexpected changes, and most of them admit that they aren’t great in handling them.

Michael shares how he used to fear change in his business until he heard a funny little story called Who Moved My Cheese?

Once he passed the story around to people in his company, the business did much better, and it altered how Michael looked at change.

Now we move into the heart of the book – The Story!

The story features two mice named ‘Sniff’ & ‘Scurry’ and two little people who were as small as mice named ‘Hem’ and ‘Haw.'

Every day they put on their jogging suits & running shoes to hit the maze in search of cheese. One day they all find the cheese at Cheese Station C. Hem and Haw believed that having cheese makes you happy.

Once they found the cheese at Cheese Station C, they got very comfortable and expected the cheese to be always there. They took the cheese for granted, moved their homes closer and unfortunately created a false sense of security.

They assumed that their hard work and finding the cheese justified an endless supply of it.

However, Sniff and Scurry behaved differently. They followed their instincts and paid attention to small changes. They did not cling to beliefs about how things should be.

One morning when Cheese Station C had no more cheese, they quickly went off in search of new cheese.

At the lack of cheese Hem and Haw freaked out!

They thought that their happiness lies in finding the cheese where they expect to find it, and they believed that if your cheese is important, you must hold onto it.

Who Moved My Cheese?” It is so unfair -Hem yelled.

Even when there was no cheese, they kept coming back the morning after morning expecting to find cheese, but they didn’t.

Finally, Haw started to laugh at himself. Haw suggested that they maybe go and find new cheese but Hem doesn’t agree.

What they don’t know is Sniff & Scurry already found a huge supply of cheese at Cheese Station N as they searched the maze for new cheese.

Haw realizes that the old cheese isn’t going to show up and that it was time to start another search.

He felt alive when he decided to move on!

He left a note for Hem which said ‘If you do not change you can become extinct. What would you do if you weren’t afraid?’

As Haw journey’s out into the maze, he writes messages to himself hoping that one day Hem will see them and understand the wisdom he is trying to share.

Recalling the cheese at Cheese Station C, Haw admits that the cheese had gotten smaller, older and it didn’t taste good as well. The change would not have taken him by surprise if he had watched what was happening and anticipated change.

He wrote- Smell the cheese often, so you know when it is getting old.

Although he felt fear, Haw moved into a new direction. He began trusting what lay ahead, even though it was unknown.

He felt good and wondered why?

After some time he knew why and wrote- When you move beyond your fear, you feel free.

In the maze, Haw started having fun. He imagined eating many pieces of the cheese he liked while enjoying the tastes of new cheese.

Then he wrote- Imagining myself enjoying new cheese leads me to it.

On his journey, Haw found bits of new cheese and began to get stronger. He wanted to go back and see if Hem would come along.

As he did this, he wrote- The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you'll find new cheese.

When he went back to the Cheese Station C, he offered Hem new cheese, but Hem said that he didn’t think he would like it because it was not what he was used to.

Haw ventured back out on his own. He realized that it is safer to search in the maze than remain in a cheeseless situation.

Haw realized that the fear you let build up in your mind is worse than the situation that actually exists. He’d been so afraid of never finding a new cheese that he didn't even start looking.

Now just looking was becoming exciting. Haw beliefs were evolving. He no longer believed that the cheese should stay in one place or change was wrong.

Haw believed relocated cheese and change were natural; whether expected or not.

He then wrote- Old beliefs do not lead you to new cheese.

Haw saw that new beliefs encouraged new behaviors. He knew that when you change what you believe, you change what you do.

You can either believe that change will hurt you or that new cheese will help you embrace change.

Haw then wrote- When you see you can find and enjoy new cheese, you change course.

By this time Haw saw if he had embraced change sooner and left Cheese Station C earlier, he’d be in a better shape.

Finally, he hoped that Hem would read his messages on the wall and find his way.

Noticing small changes early, helps you adapt to the bigger changes to come.

Just as Haw was letting go of the past and adapting to the future, he found new cheese. Cheese Station N had piles of cheese of all kinds.

Sniff and Scurry were there too.

Haw jumped into the new cheese and ate a ton.

After Michael was done telling the story, he and his classmates agreed to get together and talk about the story as it applied to some of their own experiences in work and life.

We hope "Who Moved My Cheese Summary" is fun and "Who Moved My Cheese Review" is an enjoyable read that will prepare you to handle change and position you for the reality of ongoing change in your life.

The book takes less than an hour to read, but its impact and wisdom will last much longer.

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