Author: Dr. Spencer Johnson
Pages: 32 pages
Blinkist Summary Length: 10-min read
Who Moved My Cheese Summary:
Who Moved My Cheese uses a fable about 4 little characters (Sniff, Scurry, Hem, and Haw) to show the different ways of dealing with change. “Cheese” in this case is a metaphor for what you want in life, be it a successful job, relationship, money, etc.
Through story-telling, the book offers valuable lessons about how you can deal with change both in your work and in your day to day life. Whichever area of your life you may be dealing with, this short but sweet book will empower you to see when change is coming and to deal with it positively.
Three Lessons from Who Moved My Cheese:
Lesson 1: Change is Inevitable, Do not Settle, Be Prepared
It is said that the only constant in life is change. Even when things are going smoothly,(especially then) be on the lookout for new opportunities. Settling down when you find happiness or achieve a certain goal may seem like the best thing to do in the short run. However, if you are not alert or get too comfortable you will fail to realize when things begin to change.
Always be prepared to seize new opportunities and to notice when time is up in your current situation. Whether it is market changes in a business industry or a relationship whose course is coming to the end, if you are alert you will see the signs before it’s too late.
Take the example of changes in the market place, once you attain a breakthrough in a certain industry, you may get excited about your success and relax because you feel accomplished. Alternatively, you could start thinking of ways you can improve your offering and stay abreast with industry trends. If you choose the latter, you will be able to tell when industry trends are changing. As such you can be able to take action and take advantage of the new trends. This way you are prepared for change and will be among the early birds in embracing it.
When you are prepared, you can see change coming, and if you can see it coming then it is much easier to deal with it.
Lesson 2: Overthinking can end up making your life more complicated than It is
Beware of the dangers of overthinking and overanalyzing situations. Sometimes the solution is to simply move on but you get caught up in analyzing all kinds of outcomes before taking the first step. The best thing you can do for your self when facing change is to take action. It does not matter how much you evaluate all potential solutions to your problem, as long as you do not take the first step, you will remain in the same position.
So what should you do? Decide on one direction and take it. If you fail, learn what does not work and try something else, eventually, you will reach your goal.
Lesson 3: Do it Scared, Dare to take the first step in a new direction and embrace change
What if you are facing a scary change in your life? Whichever solution you envision, it just seems scary because you have never done it before. There is always the worry that if you take the next step, you might get lost or you may not succeed. Take the first step anyway.
Remaining in the same position you are longer does not benefit you in any way. It only serves to waste your time and keep you further from your happiness. Moving forward, even when you are not absolutely certain about what you are doing helps you to overcome the resistance that is caused by your fears.
Forward motion is better than standing still. Keep moving, and eventually, you will reach that goal, find the happiness you are looking for, attain a new level of success. Whatever your challenge requires of you, persisting through your fears is absolutely necessary.
Who Moved My Cheese Book Review
Who Moved My Cheese uses a very simple approach to convey powerful messages that are crucial for our day to day success. By using the analogy of Cheese to depict your goals, the author brings out important concepts. For example, he shows the dangers of overthinking and overanalyzing situations when you are faced by challenges.
He also brings out the paralyzing effects of the fear of change and how it is so much easier to deal with change when you decide to face your fears and take the steps that are necessary to move towards your goals. The importance of visualizing your goals also comes out clearly through this book.
For a book so simple and so short, I think the author did a great job in conveying some of the most important lessons about change. I also like that the book is so easy to read and can impact anyone at whichever age. If I would describe the book in one phrase, it would be: Short and Sweet.
Who is this book for?
This book is for you if you are:
- A business person/ entrepreneur who needs better ways to prepare for change and manage it.
- An employee dealing with changes in the workplace, e.g. layoffs, changing roles, etc.
- Anyone who is dealing with change in your personal life. It could be a big move, a divorce or separation. Whichever area you are struggling with, Who Moved My Cheese could give you the tools you need to deal with those changes.
Would I recommend this book?
Absolutely. I personally read Who Moved My Cheese? at least once every year, and sometimes (like this year) even more than once. Needless to say, it makes it to my list of best personal development books. It helps that it is a very short book to read, with only 32 pages. You can also listen/ read the summary on Blinkist for just 10 minutes.