August 13, 2015

5 Lessons I Learned from ‘Who Moved My Cheese’?

By Amanda Fernandes, Project Happiness Regional Director, Caribbean

Enlightening. Amusing. Life-changing. That’s how I describe Dr. Spencer Johnson’s book, ‘Who Moved My Cheese?’. I selected this book as my in-flight entertainment on a recent trip and haven’t stopped thinking, or talking, about it since.

“That what you are afraid of is never as bad as you imagine. The fear you let build up in your mind is worse than the situation that actually exists.” – Dr. Spencer Johnson

This charming parable explores the lives of four characters whose “cheese” has been moved. “Cheese” in this instance, meaning anything – a job, a relationship, anything that can be a source of comfort and security. How would you react if your cheese was moved? As human beings it’s natural for us to view change as a threat or to be afraid of change, especially when it comes unexpectedly. We tend to put our guard up and go back to what we know, avoiding change like the plague.

‘Who Moved My Cheese?’ illustrates the importance of being able to deal with unexpected change, but in such a relatable manner that you can read it in one sitting and walk away with a wealth of knowledge that will forever alter the way you live your life. It certainly changed mine, so much so that I’ve decided this week’s blog post to the 5 amazing lessons I’ve learned from Dr. Johnson’s book.

Smell the cheese often so you know when it is getting old

Monitor change

Monitor change! We often get comfortable in situations and tend to avoid new ones due to fear of the unknown. We are often oblivious to the small changes that are being made because we are so caught up in our comfort zone. Be wary of all that is going on rather than sitting back and letting life pass you by.

When you stop being afraid you feel good

Face your fears

Face your fears! Our fears often make a situation undergoing change appear to be worse than it really is. Johnson’s book teaches you to take stock of each scenario and helps you to put your fears aside in order to look to the future. Conquering your fear and approaching ‘change situations’ with the right attitude can put an entirely new (and positive) spin on things, allowing you to navigate the event in a logical and rational manner.

Imagining yourself with new cheese leads you to it

change-ahead

Look to the future! Sometimes we’re so focused on what we’re leaving behind, we don’t realise that what we’re looking for is actually just ahead of us. Let go of the past by setting new goals and imagine yourself achieving those goals. When you start envisioning yourself in new, positive situations and opening yourself up to new ideas, only then will you start heading in the right direction.

The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you can enjoy new cheese

Adapt quickly

Adapt to change quickly! Despite your fears and apprehensions, it’s important to embrace inevitable change and acknowledge it as an opportunity for growth and development. Dwelling in the past will only lead to misery and frustration, so instead focus your energy on adjusting your lifestyle and mindset to the new order of things.

Move with the cheese and enjoy it

Change and enjoy it

Change and enjoy change! According to Dr. Johnson, “That what you are afraid of is never as bad as you imagine. The fear you let build up in your mind is worse than the situation that actually exists.” So let go and give in to the alterations taking place in your life. Focus on the good in these new experiences instead of dwelling on what you might be losing and you will find many new doors opening up!

If you’re dealing with change in your life or maybe even just looking for a new book to read have a go at this one. It’s definitely a great read that I’d suggest to anyone.