I have a friend whose husband is also in sells and he has been using what she thinks is an expensive advertising campaign that no longer works. She told me that she had told him that his cheese had moved. I was intrigued by that comment and have wanted to read "Who Moved My Cheese" ever since.
I recently stuck it on an Amazon order; which isn't hard for me to do as I am a huge reader and I am constantly sending in orders. I was amazed when it came at how thin and small the book was. What I found however is that sometimes amazing things come in small packages. On the front cover it says "A GEM - small and valuable and that is what I found it to be.
The story is told in parable form. There are 4 characters, two mice (Sniff & Scurry) and two little people (Hem & Haw) and they are all searching through a maze for cheese. Change happens whether we like it or not and the parable deals with how change is handled. The mice possessed simple brains & good instincts. The little people have more complex brains filled with many beliefs & emotions.
Sniff, sniffs out change easily while Scurry, scurries in to action. Hem denies or resists change as he fears it may lead to something worse. He has been comfortable in his maze and he doesn't want it to change. The emphasis of the story though is around Haw; who learns to adapt in time when he sees that changing can lead to something better.
When the cheese disappears Sniff and Scurry put on their sneakers and leave in search of more cheese. Hem and Haw on the other hand do just what their name implies they Hem and they Haw. Finally Haw sees the light "We keep doing the same thing over & over again and wonder why things don't get better. If this wasn't so ridiculous, it would be even funnier."
Much of the story is based on Haw's discoveries as he enters in to the maze looking for more cheese. One of his first discoveries was if you do not change you can become extinct. He then contemplates what he would do if her weren't afraid. As he is wondering around the maze he wonders if he has bit off more than he can chew but then it dawns on him he wasn't chewing on anything anyway.
As he is going along he realizes that you need to smell your cheese often so you know when it is getting old. If you move in a new direction it helps you to find new cheese. The quicker you let go of that old cheese, the quicker you can find that new cheese. Once Haw stops being afraid he feels good. He realizes it is safer to search in the maze than to be in a cheese-less situation. His old beliefs were not leading him to any new cheese. When he envisioned himself enjoying his new cheese it led him to the new cheese. Once he saw that he could find and enjoy new cheese it was easier to change course.
Haw stayed around longer than he should have as he tried to talk Hem in to going out in to the maze with him. Finally he realized that if he kept staying there he was going to starve and he was just going to have to do it himself. Poor Hem never adapts to change; he is probably still there right now.
The cheese in the story could be anything real estate, loving relationships, money, health or even spiritual peace of mind. The maze is where you look for what you want. I could see myself at different times in my life in all 4 different characters.
So now you have had a brief introduction to "Who moved my Cheese" by Spencer Johnson M.D. He is the same person who wrote "The One Minute Manager". I found it to be very inspirational and it really is appropriate for this ever changing real estate market we find ourselves in.