The book by Dr. Spencer Johnson Who Moved My Cheese? features four imaginary characters: “Sniff” and “Scurry” (who are mice) and two little people “Hem” and “Haw”. Cheese is a metaphor for what makes you happy — this is the cheese of life (a good job, health, spiritual peace of mind, a loving relationship) deals with anticipating, adapting and enjoying change and to be always ready for new changes. The story goes that the four little characters ran through a maze (the organization) daily, looking for cheese to nourish them and make them happy. Sniff and Scurry used their instincts and a simple trial-and-error method, whilst Hem and Haw used their brains, filled with many beliefs and emotions but also learning from past experiences, developing more complicated methods. This often made their lives complicated and challenging.
The lessons Haw learned which we could use are:
1. Laugh at your own folly — then you can let go and quickly move on.
2. Keep life simple (don't overanalyze or overcomplicate things).
3. Envision yourself (in realistic detail) finding something better.
4. Learn from mistakes made in the past and learn to deal with change.
5. Do not overcomplicate matters or confuse yourself with fearful beliefs.
6. Notice when little changes began so that you would be better prepared for the big change that might be coming.
7. If you do not adapt in time, you might as well not adapt at all.
8. The biggest inhibitor to change lies within yourself and nothing gets better until you change.
9. There is always new cheese out there, whether you recognize it at the time or not, and you are rewarded with it when you go past your fear and enjoy the adventure.
10. Some fear should be respected as it keep you out of real danger — most of our fears are often irrational and keep us from changing when we need to.
11. Change is often a blessing in disguise, as it leads us to finding better cheese.