Who Moved My Cheese? is a story about change that takes place in a maze. Written by Spencer Johnson, this is a short book which fits in for all age groups and leave them with insights for a whole lifetime.
Four characters are looking for “cheese” – which is a metaphor for what we want in life. The four characters in the story – Sniff, Scurry, Hem and Haw – represent the simple and complex parts of ourselves. Ultimately it makes us connect with the fact that “We all need to find our way in the Maze and succeed in changing times.”
Summary Read Time: Less than 4 minutes
Actual Book Length: 96
First Published in: 1999
Below is the detailed yet quick summary of the book:
Sniff, Scurry, Hem, and Haw are four characters that live in a dark, elaborate maze. All of them are searching for their own special cheese to nourish them.
Stop Overthinking & Start Acting
Our maze has two mice, Sniff and Scurry, who are constantly searching for cheese. They sprint down the alleyways, searching for nourishment. If there isn’t any cheese, they turn around and walk back. While this may seem haphazard and disorganized, it actually saves them a lot of time and energy.
Hem and Haw are two little people who spend their days in the maze looking for cheese. They’re not looking for cheese because they’re hungry, though. They think finding it will make them feel happy and successful.
Due to their complex brains, they keep on the thinking the following:
- How they can find the cheese the fastest
- Which strategies will work best in getting through the maze
- How to keep track of those strategies
- What finding the cheese will feel like
- When they’ll finally find it
They also wonder if there will be any cheese in the maze at all every time they turn another empty corner.
Every minute you spend thinking about success, what it looks like, and how to achieve it is a minute not spent working towards it. We are complicated beings, but that doesn’t mean everything has to be complicated. We have to be more like a mouse and just start running!
Enjoy Change & Learn to Anticipate It
Sniff and Scurry soon found a big stash of cheese at Station C. They enjoyed snacking on it every day, but they paid attention to how much cheese they had. They realized that the cheese was slowly but steadily declining, so they decided to move on before they ran out of cheese. They soon found another huge stash of cheese at Station N.
When Hem and Haw discovered station C, they decided to settle there. Soon after, their daily cheese feast became the focal point of their existence as they believed it was the just recompense for their efforts. Although they were too preoccupied with cheese to notice it was disappearing one chunk at a time, some corners of it getting mouldy, they didn’t notice that someone had moved it the next morning.
This made Hem and Haw feel awful- like they had been treated unfairly. They kept going back to Station C instead of looking for new cheese, but all they found was hunger and weakness.
Just like no supply of cheese can last forever, change is always bound to happen sooner or later. Instead of fooling yourself that things will stay the same forever, always keep an eye open for change. Recall that no matter how secure something feels, you should always expect change to happen.
Be Ready To Change Quickly And Enjoy It Again
Sniff and Scurry soon found a big stash of cheese at Station C. They enjoyed snacking on it every day, but
The best part about cheese is that there’s always more to be found. Haw decided to seek out new cheese on his own because he grew weary of sitting. He began to move, and immediately his situation improved. Although he began by finding a few bits of cheese here and there, this was much better than being immobilized by fear and doing nothing.
After all, once you’ve found it, you’re set for life, right? Not quite. While it may be tempting to sit around and enjoy the cheese you have, eventually you’ll get sick of it.
That’s why it’s important to go out and look for new cheese, even if it means facing your fears. After all, once you’ve faced them once, they’ll never have as much power over you as they did before.