Self Help

Who Moved My Cheese? Revisited

If you are like me (before I read this book) – you believe that Self-Help books are for losers. (Losers are people who don’t have it in them; people who just keep moaning about life and how external factors prevented them from making it). This little book made me sit up and acknowledge how wrong I was.

Every one needs help at some stage of his/her life. I don’t mean financial help – I mean good old morale boosting help. And if you don’t have a best friend….if you don’t have a special someone to give you that morale boosting talk, don’t worry,’ Who moved my Cheese’ is here!

Read this little book with an open mind – read it with an open heart. I am not saying that the book WILL change your life. All I am saying is that it CAN change your life IF you give it a chance. And if you are the cynical sort and believe that you don’t need advice, then fine you have wasted a few minutes of your life on a worthless book…no big deal….no harm done.

“Who moved my Cheese?” is written by Dr. Spencer Johnson. Dr. Johnson “earned a B.A. degree in Psychology from the University of Southern California, an M.D. degree from the Royal College of Surgeons, and medical clerkships at The Mayo Clinic and Harvard Medical School”. So to answer the pompous question normally put by a cynic “Is the guy qualified to write a self help book that will help ME (who says I need help anyway)?” – a short answer “Yes he is”. If you have any doubts about Dr. Johnson or the book itself – check out the book’s site.

Moving on to the book itself – it’s about mice and little people. Wait a minute, you say, did u say mice? Yes…mice. But the mice aren’t really mice….they represent people – not specific people but types of people. Two little mice and two little people, named very appropriately Sniff, Scurry, Hem and Haw, between themselves represent the human race and their quest for “success”. The cynic reading this will no doubt argue that you can’t possibly club all humans in just four groups. Relax, pal. Like I said…keep an open mind. Give the book a chance…ok? Coming back to our friendly neighbourhood mice, they spend their lives looking for cheese. Again, cheese is a representation of “success” – the reader should substitute “cheese” with his/her goal(s) in life. After all everyone has a different view of what constitutes “success”. Right, so our mice and little people are looking for “cheese” which they think (the cynics know) will keep them happy. They live in a maze which represents the world WE humans live in. Each of them has a different method of finding his cheese and each finds his own “stash” of special cheese – their type of cheese. They settle into a rhythm – each morning they wake up and go to their cheese. And that’s how life is, isn’t it? We eventually either find nearly everything we look for in life or if we don’t, we compromise and we settle down happily (or unhappily). Basically, we take things for granted, don’t we? One fine day, our mice and little people set off for their cheese only to find that the cheese isn’t there any more. You guessed it….someone’s MOVED the cheese! The four don’t know who moved it or where its gone – it could be anywhere in the maze. How each of them reacts to this “unforeseen” situation, is what this book is about.

The beauty of this book is its simplicity. The use of mice and little people makes the book childlike and that’s what the author wants. Become a child when you read this book because only as a child will you have an open mind. The book attempts to pose (and answer) various questions. Which of the mice or little people are YOU similar to? Are you simple minded and uncomplicated like Sniff and Scurry? Or are you complex and complicated like Hem and Haw? How do YOU manage change? Are YOU ready for change? What would YOU do if YOUR cheese was moved? And the most important question is…..Are you ready for the day your cheese is moved? Because my friend, YOUR cheese WILL move. Will you panic and give up like Haw? Or will you analyze the situation and take control like Hem? Or will you just move onto new cheese like Sniff and Scurry?

Read the book to answer these questions…. maybe it will change your life as it did mine. After all (and here I change Benjamin Franklin’s quote a bit)…in this world, nothing is certain but death, taxes and change.

Mr. Cynic, you aren’t going to argue about this as well, are you? Are you saying that nothing in your life will EVER change? In which case, I wish you the best of luck, my dear chap!

As for the rest of you, after you’ve read the book and analysed it, do ask yourself this question whenever faced with a tough “real life” situation…”What would you do if you weren’t afraid”?

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