Change. Change. Change.
It can be the most frightening thing. However, by the time you've experienced lots of it in your life, you tend to come to the realization that sometimes change can leave you better off than you were before.
Last month, I read the #1 International Bestseller, Who Moved My Cheese? written by Dr. Spencer Johnson.
It's quite a remarkable book. One thing I think many of its readers appreciate is how simple and understandable its message is. And the book isn't very long either. I know of many people who started reading it and were finished within a few hours; on their plane flight or for a couple of hours before bed.
Who Moved My Cheese? is widely known and appreciated. And it's no surprise why. This is certainly a book that puts power in your hands.
You feel in control again.
Many days after reading Who Moved My Cheese?, I felt confident and calm even during moments that could cause stress and anxiety.
So what is it about?
The book looks at the lives of 4 main characters in a maze:
Sniff and Scurry, two mice that are non-judgemental and don't over-analyse things. They work together like this: Sniff senses his surroundings, and Scurry scurries in the right direction based on Sniff's guidance.
- and -
Haw and Hem, mice-sized characters with human emotions, reasoning and logic. They analyse situations deeply and come to conclusions about what they encounter.
The main plot of the story is that all four characters start off with cheese. However, one day they discover that their cheese is gone. Someone has moved it. It is now up to these four characters to deal with the change and find a way to get new cheese.
Of course, all of the characters react differently to the situation of the missing cheese. The change takes Haw and Hem by surprise. They have become complacent to the fact that the cheese is always in the same place they left it. They believe that it is 'their cheese', and that no one will ever take it away.
Sniff and Scurry, on the other hand, are alert. In fact, they notice changes with the cheese very early on. They are prepared for change and adapt very quickly to the same change that cripples Haw and Hem.
Because of their very different views of change, Haw and Hem experience different results in comparison with Sniff and Scurry.
Who Moved My Cheese? tells us a lot about the different ways people react to change, and provides a great opportunity for self-reflection.
Reading the book will help you identify which character you are most like, and whether you flow with change or are resistant to it. Most importantly, the book contains some powerful quotes that help to teach/reinforce some key truths about how best to deal with change.
Without giving too much of the book away, here are 3 vital lessons Who Moved My Cheese? taught me about dealing with change.
Who Moved My Cheese? stresses the importance of not being complacent. Now, more than ever before, we live in a world where things are constantly changing. Your 'cheese', what you need, love or desire in life - like your job, health, or friendships - are constantly evolving, and thus it is important that you don't get stuck in thinking these things will never change.
Sniff and Scurry expected change, and thus they were more successful in getting their cheese. If you have a feeling of entitlement, believing you own your cheese and that no-one has the right to take it away - you may unfortunately discover that it can, and will be taken away at some point.
Don't waste time when you see that your cheese has moved. Moving along with the change immediately helps you to avoid getting left behind.
A big lesson that the book teaches is how your results can be much better if you adapt to change quickly. Of course, adapting to change after a while is always better than never adapting to change. However, at the end of the day, those who get up and get going quicker will be more fruitful than those who hesitate at first.
Although staying where you are may seem more comfortable, moving with change when change happens will ultimately free you. The status quo can be quite deceiving, and it may seem that any shift away from your current situation is negative or dangerous.
Like we said in the beginning, change can also seem terrifying, especially if you have to go it alone.
Yet, when you take a courageous step away from all that you're used to, and start embracing change, you discover that life is better and you feel stronger.
Staying the same is often more dangerous than changing.
It's a relief when you realize that you've conquered your fears and adapted. Change is not always easy, yet it is very much necessary, and knowing that you can deal with any change that comes along is liberating.
If, like me, you'd like to get better at dealing with and accepting change, you can find Who Moved My Cheese? on Amazon, here.
After reading the book, you'll find that you'll have developed a beautiful attitude towards the rapidly moving environment around us, and you'll view change in a completely different way.
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