Review – Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson (Nonfiction)


Who Moved My Cheese: An Amazing Way to Deal With Change In Your Work and In Your Life

by Spencer Johnson

Summary: Written by Spencer Johnson, coauthor of The One Minute Manager, this enlightening and amusing story illustrates the vital importance of being able to deal with unexpected change. Who Moved My Cheese? is often distributed by managers to employees as a motivational tool, but the lessons it teaches can benefit literally anyone, young or old, rich or poor, looking for less stress and more success in every aspect of work and life.

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Source: I borrowed a hardcover at work from my branch library


NOTE: I’ll be reading books like this during the year as part of my job.

In high school, my English teacher read this book to the class. I remembered some of it, but this was the first time I actually picked it up to read it.

Who Moved My Cheese is a very simple short story that teaches a valuable lesson about change. It’s about two mice and two littlepeople who represent regular people. It’s a story that could be told at work, school, or even to your kids. It’s a great lesson and I’m sure there are other similar stories that do the same type of parallel. Like any fairy tale or children’s book, it is short, involves animals, uses simple examples, but teaches a bigger lesson.

A lot of people hate this book because it because so popular. Also, I guess I’d be upset if I paid over $20 for a large print 90 page book where the main story only takes up half of that and could be less than 10 pages if printed in a normal book sized font. However, that’s not the point. I’m not going to judge the book in that way because I don’t think it’s relevant when I didn’t pay for the book myself. Despite the issue of whether or not the book is worth paying for or just exists to make a profit, it’s worth the read.

Change is a very major part of our lives. I see people struggle with it everyday. It’s hard to connect with people sometimes because I’ve grown so used to change in my life and I get that most people don’t understand how I could be okay with moving at the drop of a hat. As a military spouse, I totally get change. As a person who very much enjoys routine, I fight against it sometimes.

I love the point of the book and the different observations it makes. The lesson is that you have to examine your life and be on the lookout for things that are happening so that you anticipate change. You have to embrace change. You cannot be stagnant in the world. Whether you own your own business and are fighting to keep things traditional and still stay afloat or you work for a company and are used to do the same thing day in and day out, it’s important to note that you have to change.  Maybe you don’t have to be okay with moving away from friends and family, changing jobs, getting used to new people and places, and then having to do it all about a couple of years later, but you do have to realize that you must change. Your “cheese” won’t always be the same, stay in the same place, and be there forever.

The book is simple. I understand that people can think that’s lame. But if you’ve never really broken down the reasons that change is good, this story is extremely helpful. You’re not entitled to something just because you have it right now. Even if you do embrace some change, I think most people hold on to some sort of routine or expect something to stay the same always and it’s a good wake up call to realize that you have to open yourself up a bit to change. I worked for a company that didn’t embrace change and suffered from growing pains because of it. I work for a company now that has changes frequently with how we do things and while it can be hard to keep up, each change is a result of finding out that what we were doing before wasn’t working as well. I know that the attitude towards change has to be part of the reason I enjoy working there so much.




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