Who moved my cheese? by Dr Spencer Johnson
Wondering around the shops this afternoon with Ange, drawn into the Business section in Waterstones I started to browse the books aimed at start-ups. My cheese, or rather my goal, to develop my ideas into a real business. I have bought books in the past, related to starting a business, describing the methods and steps you need to take; however, simply reading a book doesn’t simply make your idea a business overnight. There’s an element of risk, self doubt & worrying about the finer details (such as funding and staffing); you could call this the fear. There’s also the motivation required to take an idea and build on it, moving out of your comfort zone and doing something. Meanwhile back in Waterstones, I found a book ‘The Lean Startup‘ based around the concept of constantly innovating to create a successful business; this appealed to me as I believe innovation in a business is crucial to moving forward and keeping ahead of the game. As I left the Business section I saw a small white paper back with prominent red lettering ‘Who Moved My Cheese?‘, having heard the name mentioned various times I picked it up and read the synopsis. I initially thought the book was geared toward dealing with change in a workplace, I’ve never really had much problem with change and do embrace it, however I felt compelled to buy the book.
The book is a story, a story based around 4 characters in a maze all with a goal (their cheese) to find cheese. There are 2 mice that don’t over analyze their situation and follow their instincts, the other 2 characters are little people who think as humans do and tend to over analyze and hesitate. The characters face a change and the story goes on to describe how each character reacts, or failure to do so.
Find the cheese
I kept a fairly open mind whilst reading, as the story progressed I saw how the different parts of my life could benefit from trusting my basic instincts and not over analyzing certain things. However, the story really did open up my eyes to my current situation, developing ideas into a business, I can see my cheese but like Hem I choose not to venture out into the maze and prefer to remain comfortable. I have always been the sort of person to move with change, to embrace it and reap the rewards; like Scurry or Haw I could move forward and see the benefits of change. I have business ideas but get caught in the middle, over analyzing and waiting around as if something will just happen!
For me, my cheese has never moved it’s still there, I need to get past the fear and remember ‘What would you do if you weren’t afraid?’. I think this story has gone much deeper for me, rather than how to deal with change it’s shown me that the cheese won’t come to you, you have to adapt and hurdle the fears between you and the cheese.
I would highly recommend everybody read this book, even if you’re skeptical just read it and see if it can relate to any part of your life.