As promised in the last post, today I am sharing a story from the book which is not only just a tale in the maze but also an inspiring message that the author wants to share with everyone regarding how we can handle one of the most difficult aspect of our life that’s CHANGE! The book is wirtten by Spencer Johnson and it’s called ‘Who moved my Cheese?’.
The story revolves around four characters that are lost in a Maze in search of their most favourite ‘Cheese’! So let’s begin with the tale full of twists, turns, confusion and of course a powerful lesson!
Once, long ago in a land far away, there lived four characters who ran through a maze looking for cheese to nourish and make them happy. Two were the mice ‘Sniff’ and ‘Scurry’ and two were little people being as small as mice but who looked and acted a lot like the people today. Their names were ‘Hem’ and ‘Haw’.
Everyday the four of them would go around the maze in search of their special cheese. One day while searching, they came across a huge Cheese Station named ‘C’, where they found all their favourite type of cheese. They danced in rejoice! And enjoyed all their special cheese. Everyday, Sniff and Scurry would wake up early and go to the Station and enjoy their cheese. While Hem and Haw would go late everyday to the station and eat their cheese, since they knew where the cheese was kept and how they can reach there. They were pretty sure that the Cheese Station contains so much cheese that they can survive whole life with this cheese. Both of them became much secure and comfortable. Haw was so happy that he wrote on the wall ‘Having cheese makes you happy’. On the other hand, Sniff and Scurry were not so much comfortable with the situation. They used to check from time to time if there was any change in the area and quantity of cheese.
One morning Sniff and Scurry arrived at the station, they saw that there was no cheese available. They were not that surprised seeing the scenario, since they knew that the supply was getting smaller everyday. They didn’t waste their time cursing or blaming the situation, instead they changed according to the situation and started searching for the new cheese station. On the very same day when Ham and Haw reached the station they saw that it was empty, which sent them in a state of shock. Ham became so angry that he started shouting and saying “Who moved my cheese?”. All of their plans were dependent on the cheese which they thought will always be there. Seeing this Haw said,”Sniff and Scurry are not here. Don’t you think they know something that we don’t know?” To which Ham said,”this can’t happen, they are just mice and we are the smarter one’s here”. Haw was analysing the situation and he understood that right now they are not acting like the smart ones and told Ham that they should also go out and search for another station. But Ham was too stubborn to listen and he said,”I will fix the situation, and make it the way it was!”
At the same time, Sniff and Scurry were busy finding the new cheese across the maze, they went on the new ways where they had never been before. During their search finally they reached a place where they found ‘Cheese Station N’ and that station had more cheese than the previous one. They started celebrating! Standing near the Station C both Ham and Haw were busy thinking how the cheese must have got over. While looking towards the road Haw was lost in a reveire that he is exploring the maze and eating tasty cheese and he said to Ham,”We should go out. We might find better cheese than before”. But Ham was so scared to go out. He told Haw that it’s too risky to go out since they haven’t been there before and they might get lost and not find any cheese. It is better to stay here and wait for the situation to get the way it was. (which was impossible). Haw thought that Ham is right and they both went home. Each day they would go to the station expecting the cheese to come back there. But when it didn’t happen for days, they started digging the ground to find the cheese there, it never happened too. And they would go back home with tension and depression.
One day while digging, Haw started laughing loudly and Ham stared at him with no clue of what’s happening. Haw exclaims,”We are stupid. We are doing the same things each day and expecting different results”. Ham was so stressed that he paid no attention towards what Haw said and kept on thinking Who moved his cheese. Haw said to Ham that they should now give up on this station and go out in search of new cheese. But Ham said he doesn’t want to go and will wait until his cheese comes back. Haw then decided to go alone in the search and before going he wrote on the wall, ‘What would you do if you weren’t afraid?’.
Haw took new routes and kept his search on. Soon he realised that these new routes aren’t easy and anything can happen. But he also understood that the routes and maze are not that bad. He then kept clues for Ham expecting him to someday follow them and reach him. He wrote, ‘Smell the cheese often so you know when it’s getting old’. While running he started feeling good. Though he didn’t have anything at that moment but he was enjoying it. He again wrote on the wall ‘When you stop being afraid, you feel good’. After some time he found a Cheese Station E. But when he entered there, he found a very little amount of cheese. Then he said to himself, Only if I would have changed sooner! Haw then goes back to Ham with the cheese remembering all the direction. Ham’s situation was worse and he wasn’t ready to take any new cheese. He only said,”I just want my old cheese”. Haw tried to explain him but Ham was so deeply involved in his negative thinking that he would even get scared by the thought of going out! Haw soon got that Ham won’t join him and while making directions he went in search of cheese again. He also wrote on the wall, ‘When you change what you believe, you change what you do’. While running Haw got little cheese on his way and finally he reached Station N where he found a huge amount of cheese. He also met Sniff and Scurry and he was happy but he also wished that Ham was with him. He was hoping that some day Ham would come following the directions he kept.
Haw was on cloud nine, having his favourite cheese but this time he didn’t stay in his comfort zone enjoying the cheese. He would also check the amount of cheese each day and go in search of new cheese, so that he doesn’t have to face the problem that were caused earlier!
This was the whole story of ‘Who moved my cheese?’ Let us get things clear. The cheese was just Food for the mice but for humans it was a metaphor for all the thing that we humans need to be happy like health, money, relationships, happiness, etc. Often we humans forget that Changes in our life are bound to happen. Just like Ham, we keep on blaming the situation instead of trying to figure things out and move on just like Sniff and Scurry. There are situations when we realise a bit late that it’s better to move on, just like Haw. As they say, Better late than never!
From this story we get to learn 5 key lessons,
- Change happens! They keep moving the cheese.
- Anticipate change. Get ready for the cheese to move.
- Monitor the cheese. Keep smelling the cheese
- Adapt the changes quickly.
- Enjoy the changes.
At the end of the day it depends on us, what kind of approach we keep towards our life. And finally the one question that I want you to ask yourself,
Your answer to this question is the clue for you to get that thing which you want without being afraid of what the end results will be. So friends I wish you All the best for that ‘Awesome Changes’ that you wish to have in your life.
Now it is upto us to choice whether to have a Long view just like Sniff, Scurry and Haw or to have a short view like Ham.
This books has helped me to be better at opting changes and living a better life, and I hope it helps you too. Please let us know your experience after taking the actions and following the tips mentioned.
Enjoy every moment and Embrace the beautiful changes! Have an awesome weekend and do spread the thought. Much love. Carpediem!