I read the short story of “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson, I found it to have a plethora of insight in the 30ish pages of the story. The story followed 4 subjects, 2 mice named Sniff and Scurry and 2 little people named Hem and Haw. Each subject has a different quality. Sniff will sniff out a change early, Scurry will scurry into action. Hem will resist change because he fears it will lead to something worse, and Haw who learns to adapt when he sees changing can lead to something better. Each one of us may present each of these qualities at different times in our life.
The story follows all 4 subjects throughout a maze. Every morning, they get up and run through the maze to find cheese to eat and survive. The four of them come upon a cheese station that has a lot of cheese. Everyday they go to the cheese station and eat. Sniff and Scurry hang their running shoes from their necks, ready to run to the next cheese spot as soon as they run out of cheese at their current cheese station. Hem and Haw on the other hand, packed up their running shoes and go to the cheese station thinking it will last forever.
One day they get to the cheese station and there is no more cheese. Sniff and Scurry knew the cheese was running out because they analyzed their stash everyday. So, when they showed up and saw the supply was gone, they put on their running shoes to go find the next cheese station. Hem and Haw on the other hand were caught off guard that their cheese supply was gone and did not want to believe it. They stuck around for a long time waiting and looking for more cheese to show up. Haw ended up getting sick of not having cheese and knew it was time to move on. Hem however would not join Haw on his adventure. Hem was too afraid to leave the cheese station because he did not want change. Haw knew he had to leave if he ever wanted more cheese.
Through trials and tribulations, Haw found cheese, he went back to Hem to tell him of his successes and encourage him to come along. Hem turned haw down and stayed at the dried up cheese station due to being too scared of change. Haw went back out into the maze and found a new cheese station, with a lot of new cheese. When he arrived, he saw Sniff and Scurry, who had their shoes tied around their necks. Haw took his shoes off and tied them around his neck. Haw realized a lot of life lessons on his way to the new cheese station. At the end of the story he listed his lessons: Change happens, anticipate change, monitor change, change, enjoy change, and be ready to change quickly and enjoy it again and again.
People can interpret the story in many ways. How I interpreted the story is as follows: Change is crucial in everyone’s life. You need to be ready to change at the flip of a switch. You can be afraid of change but you need to be able to overpower that fear, for the betterment of your life. I looked at the cheese as a job/money. If you are at a dead end job, where you are not able to progress then your cheese is being eaten up, you need to go out and look for more cheese. Once you find a good paying job or a job with potential, keep looking for cheese (ways to progress in the company or your field). However, even with this good job/career field, always be monitoring your position and job, and be ready to take an opportunity if it comes up. If you notice something is going wrong and your cheese is running low, be ready to run out into the maze to find new cheese.
Moral of the story to me, is be ready for change, change is a positive, and crucial thing for us all. Don’t let fear run your life, you run your life, and push the fear aside.
Go out and get a copy of “Who Moved My Cheese?” it is a short read with a lot of good insight.
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