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Book Summary 17 — Who moved my cheese?

You can find all my book summaries — here.

An amazing way to deal with change in your work and in your life

Stage: Maze

1. Sniff — mouse
2. Scurry — mouse
3. Hem — littleperson
4. Haw — littleperson

Small size, easy not to notice

All looking for their own special cheese to make them happy

Mice — simple brain good instinct
Littlepeople — complex brains many beliefs and emotions

Mice — trial and error, run down one try run back try another, remember what didn’t work
Sniff — smelled general direction
Scurry — just ran ahead
often bumped into walls but found their way
Hem & Haw — their sophisticated ways also lost but also found their way

Having cheese makes you happy

Every morning
- Mice ran to the cheese
- Littlepeople walked, made their home next to the cheese, called it theirs, decorated walls and made themselves comfortable
proud of their cheese, confidence grew, arrogance of success “we made it”
so comfortable they didn’t realise what was happening

One day — no more cheese

The more important cheese is to you the more you want to hold on to it

Sniff and Scurry — no problem, they’ve been running there every day assessing situation and knew it’s going to end
so they took their running shoes and left to look for more cheese in an instant

Hem — arrived, were angry, “who moved my cheese?! This is not fair!”
Haw — stood there in shock, not ready for this, he didn’t want to hear Hem and tuned him out
Cheese was really important to them so they spent a long time deciding what to do
They decided to first check if the cheese was really gone
They had made future plans of the cheese being there and got depressed
They went home hungry

Haw — blocked out everything, didn’t believe it gradually decreased but someone took it
Hew — analysed and asked “why did they do this to me?”
“where are Sniff and Scurry? did they know something? we’re smarter than them? we’re entitled to our cheese!”

Sniff & Scurry well on their way found New cheese much more than every before

Haw — “Ok, let’s go”
Hew — “No, it’s scary. I’m comfortable here. It’s dangerous out there. I’m getting old. I don’t want to make a fool of myself”
Haw’s fear of failing returned.
Every day found no cheese, got irritated, angry and less energy.

“If we work harder maybe we can find it”
They pur holes in the wall — nothing.
Found difference between activity and productivity.

Took a step back “what are we doing? every day same thing and expect things to gt better. Let’s go find some new cheese.” Started to laugh about themselves.
Found their running shoes again.

Haw imagined himself, visualised himself with New cheese and prepared for run

If you do not change you can become extinct

Haw started looked back
- could feel its comfort, it’s so familiar so easy
He became anxious and unsure, wrote

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

He jogged on, he was weak — decided that next time he won’t wait around for so long and start looking for cheese sooner.
He thought “Better late than never”

He found cheese here and there, but wasn’t sure about himself. Laughed that he had nothing to chew on and kept looking even though it was scary since things changed since he was last time in the maze.

but he moved on, anything is better than being cheeseless.
and Sniff and Scurry did it too so he could do it.

and he realised that he should have monitored the cheese he wrote down:

Smell the cheese often to see if it goes bad

Often discouraged and weight down by being alone and disappointments he wrote down:

Movement in a new direction helps you find cheese

Continued on journey without fear and suddenly felt good

When you stop being afraid You feel good

He has been captive by his own fear. Visualised again great cheeses he was going to find.

Imagining yourself enjoying your cheese leads you to it.

New excitment tried new cheeses and they were good.

The quicker you let go of old cheese the sooner you find new cheese.

Went back to Hem to offer him some New Cheese but he didn’t even want to try. Only old cheese will do. Ham disappointed but realised that even though alone great to not be attached to fear. He found the journey which made it fun.

It is safer to search in the maze, than remain in cheeseless station.

He changed his belief that change is required and good.

Old beliefs do not lead you to new cheese.

and then he saw that beliefs led to behaviours and actions, New beliefs to new behaviour.

When you see that you can find and enjoy new cheese, you change course

Happy he realised and was giving himself queues along the way.

Noticing small changes early helps you realise big changes to come.

He let go of his past and focused on present and before long he found the new cheese station.
Sniff and Scurry were already there and greeted him.
There was new cheese there which he didn’t even know about and he started reflecting.

He put his running shoes around his neck just in case he will need them again.

Why did he change and go looking for new cheese?
1. afraid of starving helped
2. once he started laughing at his own folly and what he was doing wrong (then it’s easy to get up and look for new)

He learned from Sniff and Scurry
They kept life simple, didn’t overanalyse and didn’t fear.

He know could learn, monitor changes and quickly adapt in the future.

Biggest obstacle is yourself.

There is always more New Cheese — you get rewarded for searching and pasing fear.

Change is blessing in disguise to find more and better New Cheese.

He hoped that Hem could read his handwriting and would follow him on his path.

Change happens

They keep moving the cheese

Anticipate change

Get ready for the cheese to move

Monitor change

Smell cheese so you know when it gets old

Adapt to change quickly

The quicker you let go, the sooner you find



Enjoy change!

Savour adventure Enjoy new cheese

Be ready to change quickly and enjoy it again & again

They keep moving the cheese

Even though he had cheese he knew it would be easy to go back to old station and be comfortable
he new change was gonna come to monitored his cheese and explored maze around him to stay in touch

One day he could hear someone coming…

Move with the new cheese and enjoy it

You can find all my book summaries — here.




Goal: Read and summarise one book a week

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Michael Batko

Michael Batko

Learning Enthusiast

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