Cheese of Change: Who Moved my Cheese?

Change is very hard to deal with for most people’s lives.  Whether be in your personal life between you and your partner or in your work life where you just want to quit your job because you can’t stand your boss or something else.  Change is all around us, new buildings go up in cities while old buildings are either remodeled or come down.  New developments replace farms, new crops are planted and the seasons change.  The world is constantly changing both by man and nature.  Sometimes in people’s lives change is hard to deal with.
The book, Who Moved My Cheese?, by Spencer Johnson provides a basis for believing that change can be good in life.  The author provides a simple story that people young and old can draw connections to their lives with.  The simple story of miniature humans and two mice stuck in a maze forced to look for cheese in order to nourish themselves.   The mice are named Scurry and Sniff while the humans are called Hem and Haw.  The four characters find a large supply of cheese in one section of the maze.  The two mice keep their supplies of finding cheese nearby while the humans put the supplies away.  One day the cheese disappears.  Each of the characters reacts to the movement of cheese in the maze with different attitudes.  Scurry puts on his running shoes and runs around in every direction looking for cheese.  Sniff takes his time, but is not to far behind Scurry.   Sniff is basically sniffing out the new cheese to find his nourishment.  Hem basically refuses to move from the last place he found cheese.  Haw follows Hem’s thoughts of “hey the cheese will be back if we wait long enough” attitude.  But Hem eventually convinces himself that he needs to leave in order to find some cheese in the maze.  While looking for cheese various inspiring ideas come to light such as “change happens” and “Adapt to Change Quickly.” 
Eventually, while you are reading the book, a connection between you and a character will occur.  This connection will be choosing which character best describes you in terms to reacting to change.  This connection occurs once you learn about each of the characters strengths, weaknesses and strategies for dealing with the “no cheese” situation.  In other words, each character reacts to change differently.  Once you have made the connection you will eventually realize what adjustments in your own life you will need to make in order react to change in a more positive manner.  The connection you make with one of the book’s characters is probably what makes this book so good to read. 
The text to self connection is one of the greatest parts about the book, but is not the only one.  This book is also very easily read to all ages.  Adults will notice a positive way to react to change while young children will be able to visualize a well told story.  In other words this book is for a wide variety of age groups.  The book is also easily to discuss in classroom situations in terms of the obvious theme of “change” and the use of creating important quotes in order to make things a lot easier to remember. 
Overall, this book is well worth the hour to two hour read.  Once you have finished reading the book, you will see change in a new light.  Change can be a positive step if done right.  So while experiencing change in your life, after reading the book, consider which character is required at what time in order to make the change a positive situation.  Remember, change doesn’t have to be bad, change is generally good if you “scurry,” “sniff,” and “haw” your way through it!



Johnson, Spencer. Who Moved My Cheese?: an amazing way to deal with change in your work and in your life. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2002.