“Who Moved My Cheese?” is an excellent book on productivity that everyone should read at least once in their lifetime. It is a short but powerful story in the form of a parable based on two mice and two men who live in a maze and struggle to find their cheese.
The “cheese” in the story stands for the goals and aspirations we have in life, whether your education, career, money, success, or love, or anything that makes you go ahead and live your life.
Are you wondering how this short book will help you become a productivity guru, as the title states? Well, when you read the story (that has been summarized for you), you come to understand the lessons hidden in this parable. These lessons are the foundation of your journey to become a productivity guru.
The story revolves around four characters, namely Sniff, Scurry, Hem, and Haw. Sniff and Scurry are the mice, and Hem and Haw are the little people. Initially, all of them would actively put on their running shoes to find their favorite cheese in the maze.
After lots of trials and errors, everyone was well settled into their routine of finding the cheese in the maze. They were happy and secure with this plentiful supply of cheese and even started living near it and built their life around it.
However, with time, Hem and Haw became too comfortable and slacked and didn’t notice that the cheese had gone bad. The mice quickly adapted themselves to the change and moved on to find a new resource.
On the other hand, Hem and Haw refused to take any risks, even if it meant starving, and developed a victim’s mentality.
Finally, Haw also decided to take the risk and venture out to find new cheese despite all the hardships and difficulties. At the same time, Hem died in the C station.
What do the Characters Symbolize?
All four characters mentioned in the story depict the four parts of our personalities.
The mice symbolize the intuitive and straightforward parts and the little people signify the complex factors associated with us as human beings. We experience all these different aspects of our personality at one time or another.
Sometimes it is the curious part of our personality that prompts us like Sniff to anticipate the game’s changes. Sometimes we are like Scurry, who is quick in accepting changes and scurries into action and adapts. We may identify with Hem, who remains in a state of denial and refuses to accept the change and move on because of fear. Some of us may even relate with Haw, who learns to overcome his fear and adapts to change.
No matter what part we choose or identify with, there is a common need that we all recognize and share while finding our way in the maze of life and adapt ourselves to the changes happening around us.
Productivity Lessons from Who Moved My Cheese?
The main idea behind “Who Moved My Cheese?” is how people can or cannot handle the change. Change is inevitable, and it is suitable for everyone. How you feel and adapt to the change is what makes the difference. The sooner you understand and adapt to it, the better it is for you if you want your life to be productive. It will help if you forget the past and move forward to lead an abundant life.
Here are the lessons that you need to learn, remember, incorporate in your life and practice them diligently to impart the same knowledge to others.
- Anticipate change and learn to adapt quickly.
- Avoid the blame game. Don’t get bitter about your circumstances and take responsibility for where you are in life.
- It may seem unfair, but you need to take the initiative and improve your circumstances.
- Sitting there pitying yourself won’t change anything, and if you do not change, you can become extinct.
- Humans tend to get lazy and stick to bad habits. It is essential to get rid of this bad habit.
- Don’t complicate matters and stop overthinking.
- Don’t use difficulties and problems as an excuse to not do something in life.
- Humans believe that they are superior and manage complicated things but this belief can backfire.
- Sometimes, you have simple solutions but they may not be very straightforward.
- Always stay alert and prepare for the inevitable and prepare for the unknown adverse events of your future.
- The best time to prepare for change is when you don’t have to.
- Enjoy the change and be ready to change again and again.
If you haven’t read the book already, then you must. This little booklet has some great lessons packed inside like all the goodness packed in the cheese.