Do you remember a book from about 20 years ago called Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson? It was a widely popular, best-selling book with a key theme of guiding people on how to focus on the opportunity in a changing situation, versus seeing change as the end of something. How you interpret the theme depends on if you are a “why” or a “what” kind of person. If you are more of a “what” person, you might have heard the message to accept change as it comes, that it is inevitable and something out of your control. Just roll with what comes your way.
I recently read a slight twist on this book, called I Moved Your Cheese, by Deepak Malhotra from Harvard Business School. I Moved Your Cheese is a parable of sorts also about mice in a maze and three mice in particular who refuse to take life at face value, instead chose to ask questions in order to understand “why” or believe in something so strongly that it is realized. Zed, Max and Big cross paths and help each other out, yet each mouse approaches his or her dreams in a slightly different way.
Who Moved My Cheese helped guide my foundation many years ago of wanting to learn more, asking “why” in situations versus accepting shifts in life as a given and out of my control. This foundation has served me well both professionally and personally as I have been faced with opportunities for growth. We each are unique in some way and are challenged daily to balance the certainty of waking up each day and having a financial means to live, with the uncertainty of what will happen tomorrow and being open to something new as a shift happens. Just like Zed, Max, and Big, each of us has a choice to frame our own dreams and create our experiences from a solid foundation.
How have I come to know that what you believe is what you experience? Through a three-year life-changing period where everything I knew and counted on changed, from my home, to my work environment, to the people I loved deeply. And in the process of letting go of all I knew, I expanded my edges of belief to a somewhat foreign and unknown place, one that has brought me comfort every day since my mother passed away. Even though I wasn’t a strong enough person in my own right to choose to grow through this loss, I am grateful that my children gave me a reason, a purpose, to push through and become an example of strength, versus shut down and let my life lead me. For those of you facing change in your life, you might ask yourself if you are willing to feel the fear and embrace change anyway, or accept a path someone else chooses for you. What you experience in life will follow which choice you make.
To see a book review and some helpful tips from I Moved Your Cheese, visit: