By Mark Brown
It has been said that the only constant in life is change. One who doesn’t anticipate change of some sort—in careers, economics, home life, and more—is bound to be frustrated and possibly even angry when change comes his or her way.
Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life, may be the best-known book we have featured on this blog. Written as a parable of sorts, the book features four characters: two “littlepeople” Hem and Haw, and two mice, Scurry and Sniff. This quartet lives in a maze and their existence is about finding cheese. They eventually find plenty at “Cheese Station C.”
But later, there is no cheese there. The mice start looking for new cheese, but Hem and Haw simply get upset that someone moved their cheese. Over time, Haw finally decides to leave Cheese Station C and find new cheese. He writes, “What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid?” on the wall of the maze and embarks on his new journey. What will he find?
As we teach in our Max Living seminars, it’s essential for us to recognize what we can control and what we can’t. Change on some level is inevitable for all of us; we can’t prevent it, we probably can’t control it, but it may be possible to mitigate its impact on us. That is the message of this book—being prepared for change and not getting complacent.
The recent economic upheaval has resulted in a lot of moved (or vaporized) cheese. Many have been through a lifetime’s worth of change in the last couple years. This book won’t solve all problems, but I’m sure it will help you realize, as Haw states, that “when you move beyond your fear, you feel free.”