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Change is Inevitable; Progress is Optional

Change is the steadiest thing in the world. The statement, although, paradoxical, finds the relevance in its application and implication. But the question remains, how do we tackle the change that comes along our way? Should we just go with the flow, should we succumb to it, should be define our own path to deal with the change? These questions are beautifully portrayed in one of my favourite books of all the time, Who Moved My Cheese? by Dr. Spencer Johnson.

Dr. Spencer Johnson was an American Physician and Author who wrote the bestseller book Who Moved My Cheese? in 1998. A remarkable work defining the meaning of change and how to deal with it. The beauty of this book lies in its simplicity that keeps it readers glued to the subject.

The story is all about two little men, Hem and Haw and two mice, Sniff and Scurry. Four little character whose lives revolve around the supply of Cheese at Cheese Station C in a wide maze. Every day they would put on their jogging shoes and make their way through the maze to the Cheese Station C. Hem and Haw are so satisfied with the constant supply of cheese that they forget the amount of cheese is decreasing day by day. And one day, the fate swings its wand. There exists no trace of Cheese at Cheese Station C. Sniff and Scurry arrives at the station but are not surprised with this turn of event. They put their jogging shoes on and start looking for other cheese station in the maze. On the other hand, Hem and Haw cannot accept the fact that there is no cheese anymore and spend days lamenting over the same without cheese. Finally, Haw realizes that this change was bound to happen; only they failed to see it. Haw, now determined, sets out for the new adventure of finding new cheese. He tries to convince Hem to join him but Hem denies stating his resistance to the whole situation. Haw goes past his fears and prejudices and explores new areas of the maze.  He write his thoughts on the wall every time he is faced with the doubts and hence, make the way for Hem, if he changes his mind to set out for the search of new cheese.

Finally, Haw finds new Cheese Station N with an unimaginable supply of cheese. He finds Sniff and Scurry already waiting for him in the new cheese station. They all enjoy the delicious cheese before Haw hears footsteps outside the cheese station hoping it would be Hem.

Cheese is used as a metaphor in this book that signifies that one thing you desire to have. Changes happen every time, every day, and every moment. It depends upon us how do we anticipate the change and act accordingly. The most understandable context is the structural re-organization in the companies that put every stakeholder in the middle of change. The cheese station changes and hence the quest of new cheese station begins. In the end, Dr. Spencer Johnson gave seven mantras to deal with change:

Change Happens

They Keep Moving The Cheese

Anticipate Change

Get Ready For The Cheese To Move

Monitor Change

Smell The Cheese Often So You Know When It Is Getting Old

Adapt To Change Quickly

The Quicker You Let Go Of Old Cheese, The Sooner You Can Enjoy New Cheese


Move With The Cheese

Enjoy Change!

Savor The Adventure And Enjoy The Taste Of New Cheese!

Be Ready To Change Quickly And Enjoy It Again

They Keep Moving The Cheese.

Say Cheese !


Shireen Namjoshi

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